Progress is defined as “forward or onward movement toward a destination,” and if the destination is advancing deep into race day and challenging for race wins, Shawn Langdon and his Kalitta Air Careers Toyota team are making some progress. The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series resumes with the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, California., July 28-30, 2023.
Langdon won at Sonoma in 2013, the year he went on to win the NHRA Top Fuel Championship. The Kalitta Air Careers team remains focused on its destination – winning races. After several rough outings, this race team has two solid Western swing showings with mid-field qualifying followed by consecutive semifinal appearances. One thing, though, does not stand out as the difference maker.
“We’ve really kinda been doing the same things; we’re just starting to get a little race day luck,” Langdon said. “The car’s been better in qualifying. We’ve been staying away from the bottom half of the field a little better and not racing the people who are laying down low ET (elapsed time) in the first round on Sunday. We’re qualifying a little better and making a little bit better runs. We still have a long way to go, but we’re slowly getting better thanks to support from Kalitta Air, Revchem, Toyota – everyone who’s helping us get where we need to be. Things are starting to fall our way a little bit, but these things take time.
“It’s always good to go rounds on Sunday, but we want to get back to winning races,” Langdon added. “But we have to take it one step at a time. I’ve always liked Sonoma, and we’re looking forward to getting there this weekend. It’s definitely more fun to go to the race track when the team’s going some rounds, but again, we’re here to win races so this team is not satisfied. We want to win races, and we’ll stay at it until we get there.”