By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Shawn Langdon has not been a Top Fuel Dragster pilot in several years. But on Friday, it seemed like he never left.
Langdon — who has spent the last several years driving a Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports — switched to Top Fuel in the off-season. Sometimes, a driver may have an adjustment period, even past several preseason testing passes.
The Indianapolis, Indiana native is the present provisional No. 1 qualifier at the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, California. Langdon went 3.699 at 322.42 mph to claim the top spot.
He knocked out his girlfriend Brittany Force, who had the top spot after the first qualifying session.
Langdon will attempt to have his time hold up on Saturday, the second qualifying day of the season. If it does hold up, it’ll be his third No. 1 qualifier at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
In addition, it’ll be his 19th No. 1 qualifier in his career if the pass holds up.
“There are tracks you go to and it seems like everything just clicks,” Langdon said. “I could stage this thing in reverse and it seems like it just works out. There are tracks you go to and it feels like you fall out of bed awkwardly. Pomona is one of those tracks I feel like I’ve had good success at. I’m just excited about today. It’s a good start.
“Every run we’re making small little changes trying to get me more comfortable. It’s a big change going back from a Funny Car to a dragster. We feel confident right now. For Connie [Kalitta, owner and crew chief], I know he’s excited.”
Top Fuel ladder, Friday, Feb. 7th:
- Shawn Langdon — 3.699, 322.42 mph
- Brittany Force — 3.706 at 329.10 mph
- Leah Pruett — 3.715 at 324.75 mph
- Doug Kalitta — 3.729 at 329.75 mph
- Shawn Reed — 3.735 at 328.86 mph
- Terry McMillen — 3.758 at 325.45 mph
- Clay Millican — 3.770 at 283.55 mph
- Antron Brown — 3.780 at 322.42 mph
- Brandon Welch — 3.841 at 272.17 mph
- Jim Maroney — 4.035 at 294.43 mph
- Justin Ashley — 4.094 at 214.96 mph
- Austin Prock — 4.361, 195.03 mph