Event 12 of 24: Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Summit Motorsports Park
June 21-23, 2019
Langdon Drives Global Electronic Technology Camry to the Quarterfinals
The Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry and Shawn Langdon raced to the quarterfinals today at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Langdon was racing to become the first winner in Top Fuel and Funny Car at the fan-friendly track located outside of Cleveland.
As the No. 12 qualifier Langdon drew a tough first round opponent in Blake Alexander who was the event defending Top Fuel winner. Langdon was on his game and took as healthy starting line advantage against Alexander and his Global Electronic Technology powered down the right lane to victory. Just as Langdon crossed the centerline Alexander’s Funny Car blew the body sky-high in the lane beside him. No one was injured but it made for a spectacular finish for Langdon.
“We kind of struggled in qualifying and then you get a tough race like Blake Alexander in the first round,” said Langdon from the top end after his win. “I was just trying to block out all the distractions this morning. We are really focused on getting this Global Electronics Technology Camry back on track. We are going rounds. It feels good to get that round win.”
In the second round Langdon once again took off first but by half-track his Funny Car was losing ground to his opponent. He made another smooth and clean run but it wasn’t enough to advance him to the semifinals.
“We had to change lanes a couple times before we even ran,” said Langdon. “That is part of the game. I knew I left on him and we made a good run in the Global Electronic Technology Camry. If we picked up a little bit in that round we are racing in the semifinals. We are battling over here to stay in the top ten and go rounds. I like everyone’s attitude over here.”
Langdon on racing in Norwalk: “The fans here have been awesome. There were a ton of people watching this weekend. We gave them a good show in the first round and in the second round we made a decent run we just needed a little more at the finish line.”
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH Shawn Langdon 12 .085 4.011 319.45 (W)
Blake Alexander 5 .095 4.126 290.32
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH Shawn Langdon 12 .056 4.075 313.95
Jack Beckman 4 .069 4.015 318.77 (W)
DHL Camry and J.R. Todd Take Big Win En Route to Quarterfinals
Looking for his first win at Summit Motorsports Park reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd knew he would have a tough route to victory. As the No. 7 qualifier Todd was squaring off with the Mello Yello point leader in the first round. Over the course of two days of qualifying Todd’s DHL Toyota Camry was not giving the team the kind of performance they were looking for and on the eve of eliminations his crew chiefs decided to pull out their back-up Camry that the team drove to the championship last season.
“It was a bold move by Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith to go to the spare car, but I have total faith in these DHL Camry guys,” said Todd. “They deserve the credit. It’s always big to get a win over Robert Hight.”
Both Funny Cars launched together and Hight had an advantage until Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry drove around him at the finish line. Todd’s winning time of 3.978 seconds was one of the quickest winning elapsed times of the first round. It was a strong performance and propelled Todd to a quarterfinal race against Hight’s teammate, 16-time champion John Force.
In the second round Todd did not back down from the winningest driver in NHRA history. Both drivers rolled into the pre-stage beams and then after a seemingly lengthy wait Force, then Todd staged. Todd took a starting line advantage and was in front of his opponent until the final section of the track. In one of the closest races of the day the DHL Camry was defeated by three thousandths of a second at 318 mph, which is about 18 inches.
“We did everything we needed to do,” said Todd. “I didn’t see him until the very end. I am glad we brought out the championship DHL Camry for today. We are going to make a few runs tomorrow in testing. Both of the runs today were quality runs and I think we can get more out of it.”
J.R. Todd on finishing four races in four weeks: “We had our ups and downs the last four weeks. I am really proud of this DHL Toyota team. We learned a few things and we are going to do some testing. Bringing out the back-up car today was big. I think we can do some damage with that car as well as get the other race car squared away.”
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH J.R. Todd 7 .074 3.978 318.99 (W)
Robert Hight 10 .076 4.048 287.41
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH J.R. Todd 7 .057 4.022 318.17
John Force 2 .082 3.994 320.13 (W)
Kalitta Takes Applied Imaging to Quarterfinals in Norwalk
Doug Kalitta and the Applied Imaging Top Fuel dragster battled today at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Kalitta was looking to pick up his second win of the season and second win at Summit Motorsports Park from the No. 13 starting position. After a tough two days of qualifying Kalitta was confident heading into race day.
“We knew we needed to step up from qualifying,” said Kalitta. “The good news is I knew this team could give me a good race car today. I was really looking to getting the Applied Imaging dragster some round wins and starting the day on a positive note was great.”
In the first round Kalitta had his hands full for the second race in a row. The veteran driver got the jump off the starting line and moments later his opponent smoked the tires. As Kalitta was accelerating his Top Fuel dragster spun the tires but Kalitta masterfully gathered up his race car. The three-time finalist at Norwalk stormed down the track to pick the round win from the bottom half of the ladder.
“Last week I got the win by pedaling my Mac Tools dragster and today I got the win pedaling the Applied Imaging dragster,” said Kalitta. “It is the same race car but that really is a lot of fun when it works out. The conditions come into play a lot and I know if I have to pedal my race car it will react favorably.”
In the quarterfinals Kalitta took a starting line advantage but by half-track he was hazing his Goodyear tires and his motor started mixing up cylinders. The loss of power allowed the race car in the other lane driven by eventual race winner and Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence to get the win.
“We were going after that round in the quarterfinals. We knew we needed to put up a good number and we just overpowered it on the tune-up. We are still No. 2 in the Mello Yello points. We’ll have a week off and I am looking forward to getting to Epping,” added Kalitta.
Doug Kalitta on wrapping up four races in a row: “That was a grind for sure. The month flew by and we held our position in the points. I think we had a decent month and the Western Swing is up next. Those three races will be a lot of fun.”
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH Doug Kalitta 13 .065 4.540 239.78 (W)
Clay Millican 4 .077 8.119 84.01
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH Doug Kalitta 13 .093 4.077 232.15
Steve Torrence 5 .112 3.836 315.86 (W)
Norwalk First Round Tough on DHL Dragster and Richie Crampton
The DHL Top Fuel dragster was heading into race day as the No. 9 qualifier and Richie Crampton was facing Terry McMillen for the fourth time this season. Last week it was Crampton getting the first round win in Kansas.
Today Crampton was not able to make it two weekends in a row with a victory over McMillen. Off the starting line Crampton was behind and he never was able to make up the head start afforded his opponent. The DHL dragster was aggressive and went up and smoking leaving Crampton no choice but to clink it off and begin to focus on the next race in Norwalk, Ohio.
“That was definitely not what we were looking for,” said Crampton. I think we were pretty fortunate that the other people we are fighting with in points struggled as well. We are going to put this behind us and go on to the next one.”
“We smoked the tires which is tough. He was definitely there for the taking. Between the way I drove and smoking the tires it just wasn’t our day,” added Crampton.
Richie Crampton on four races in a row: “We are grinding at this point. You have to take the positives from every race. There are things we are learning with every pass. We just need to put them all together. No one is giving up over here and we are going to give it our all in Norwalk in a few days.”