After a difficult spring, Shawn Langdon and his Kalitta Air Careers Toyota team appear to be headed in the right direction this summer as the team looks to Topeka’s final ride for the team’s next step. The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season resumes with the final race at Heartland Motorsports Park August 11-13 in Topeka, Kansas.
Langdon has one win in two final rounds at Heartland Motorsports Park, and the team heads to Topeka on the strength of semifinal appearances in two of the last three races. Improved qualifying and more consistent runs appear to show co-crew chiefs Jason McCulloch and Kurt Elliott are getting a handle on the Kalitta Air Careers car. The two semifinal berths are an impressive improvement on the races just prior. Race wins, no, but going rounds and mining data are two of the basic building blocks that can lead to more win lights and a return to the winner’s circle.
“Things are definitely looking up for the Kalitta Air Careers team,” the 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion said. “We made some progress on the Western swing, and that felt really good. I know the crew chiefs and the team have been working hard to get us where we need to be, and it’s nice for everyone to have a little success –consistency and win lights just help everything and motivate all of us to keep getting better. I know I said it after Sonoma, but we’re really looking forward to Topeka because we feel really good about the progress we made on the Western Swing. We’ll keep working at it until we can make everyone at Kalitta Air, Revchem, Toyota and everyone else that supports us proud of what we’re doing.”
Langdon enters Topeka in 11th place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails 10th place Clay Millican by 16 points and leads 12th place Tony Schumacher by 103 points.