Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Doug Kalitta Wins New England Nationals, Completes NHRA Career Sweep; Shawn Langdon, J.R. Todd Reach Semifinals

Kalitta Motorsports photo

Doug Kalitta was the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA New England Nationals. It was his third No. 1 qualifier of the season, his third in the last four races and the 56th of his career. He was quickest in the first session Friday afternoon with a 3.751-second effort at 331.61 mph, but he was even quicker in the Friday night session with a 3.700-second pass at 332.84 mph.

Kalitta defeated Scott Farley and Tony Stewart before racing his teammate, Shawn Langdon, in the semifinals. Kalitta beat Langdon by two thousandths of a second to advance to the final round against Tony Schumacher. It was their 95th head-to-head matchup and their 19th in a Top Fuel final. The final round was all Kalitta as the reigning Top Fuel champion won his 54th-career race with a 3.802-second run at 332.92 mph. Kalitta is now tied with Steve Torrence for fourth most Top Fuel wins all time.

With his first New England Dragway win, Kalitta now has at least one victory at every race track the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series visits. It was Kalitta’s second win of the season, and the fifth win Kalitta Motorsports win in the first seven races of the season. (Shawn Langdon has two wins; J.R. Todd has one.)

When Kalitta advanced to the semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge next week in Bristol, Tenn. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Bristol, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Epping will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points. 

Kalitta leaves Epping in third place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails his teammate, second-place Shawn Langdon, by 14 points and leads fourth-place Steve Torrence by 73 points. 

“It’s a dream come true with Alan (Crew Chief Alan Johnson), Mac (Assistant Crew Chief Mac Savage) and this whole team that got behind me,” said Kalitta. “We’ve been digging hard; the car’s so good, I just really want to make sure I’m not the weak link. I probably relied on those guys a little more than I’d like to today, but we got it done for Mac Tools, Revchem, SealMaster and Toyota. We finally got the win at Epping. We had a nice tribute to my cousin, Scott (Eddie’s Lobsterfest), last night so that was a cool experience with Connie (Team Owner Connie Kalitta). We’re just really happy to get this win, and this will be a special trophy knowing we finally won a race on the Eddie’s Lobsterfest weekend with Joe (Poulin) and all his guys here with us. It’s definitely a special day.”

Kalitta Motorsports photo

Shawn Langdon was the No. 4 qualifier at the NHRA New England Nationals. It was his second-straight No. 4 qualifier. His best pass came in the Friday evening session when he needed just 3.722 seconds to reach the finish line at 329.58 mph.

Langdon defeated Shawn Reed and Billy Torrence before losing to his teammate, Doug Kalitta, in the semifinals by two thousandths of a second. Langdon left the starting line first and was leading the race, but his 3.884-second effort was not enough to beat Kalitta’s 3.848-second pass at 330.72 mph.

When Langdon advanced to the semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge next week in Bristol, Tenn. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Bristol, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Epping will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points. 

Langdon leaves Epping in second place in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings. He trails points leader Justin Ashley by 12 points and leads his teammate, Doug Kalitta, by 14 points.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“The Kalitta Air Careers car is running very well especially racing in the hot conditions we’ve had these last couple of races and heading into the summer months,” said Langdon. “The car is responding well. We’re just learning more and getting more confidence with every run we make so we feel really good about everything; we just lost a close race to Doug. It was great to have two Kalitta cars in the semifinals – Brian (Crew Chief Brian Husen) and the guys are doing a great job for Kalitta Air, Toyota, Revchem, Future Energy Solutions, and we’re rollin’. We have nothing to hang our heads about. We’ll head onto Bristol and get our stuff prepared for Thunder Valley.”

NHRA photo

J.R. Todd was the No. 3 qualifier at the NHRA New England Nationals – it equaled his best qualifying position of the season. During the Friday-evening session, Todd posted a 3.865-second run at 327.74 mph to take the No. 3 position.

Todd and the DHL Toyota team defeated Dave Richards and Bob Tasca before losing to John Force in the semifinals. It was the sixth time in seven races this season that Todd advanced to at least the semifinals.

When Todd advanced to the semifinals, he earned a spot in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge next week in Bristol, Tenn. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Bristol, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Epping will re-run the semifinals and final earning additional purse and championship bonus points. 

Todd leaves Epping in fourth place in the NHRA Funny Car point standings. He trails third-place Matt Hagan by 10 points and leads fifth-place Bob Tasca by 47 points.

“It was a good weekend for the DHL GR Supra team – we qualified well and made it to the semis which means we get to race in the too fast, too tasty deal (Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge) at Bristol which is always the goal,” said Todd. “We’re still behind those Force cars quite a bit so we have some work to do going into Bristol, but at the end of the day, it’s nice to be going rounds and earning points for DHL, Revchem and SealMaster.

“Gotta give a big shout out to Lobster Joe (Joe Poulin, Wyndham Rental Company) and his crew for taking care of us this weekend. We needed an air compressor for our DHL rig, and they came in clutch there and fed us last night at the Lobster dinner (Eddie’s Lobsterfest) in honor of our buddy, Eddie (Scott Kalitta), that we miss.”

This story was originally published on June 3, 2024. Drag Illustrated

You May Also Like

News

The star-studded STREET OUTLAWS: No Prep Kings series is set to return for its 6th season in the summer of 2023. Fans can expect to...

News

Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star and renowned engine builder Pat Musi joined the recent episode of The Wes Buck Show and provided an update...

News

Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star Lizzy Musi announced today that she has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer via her Youtube channel....

News

Ryan Fellows, who starred in “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America,” died in a tragic crash while filming for the show in Las Vegas on...

Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.