Shawn Langdon is confident. He and his Kalitta Air Careers Toyota team have just two round wins in the Countdown, but now, he has reason to be confident entering the season’s final three races. The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series resumes this weekend at the NHRA FallNationals in Ennis, Texas, the fourth of six races that make up the Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs.
Langdon entered the last race near St. Louis after having made a modest move up the point standings, but a first-round loss, to eventual runner-up Leah Pruett, relegated him back to 11th in points – right where he was when the Countdown began. Having not had the Countdown they hoped they’d enjoy, the Kalitta Air Careers team tested in Indianapolis on the way back to Michigan from St. Louis, and now, the team is more confident than it’s been in some time.
“We were able to make some decent runs in testing so we’ll take what we learned there, apply it in Dallas and hopefully do well this weekend,” the 2013 Top Fuel champion said. “A lot is different when you get to a national event from testing, but you try to have a gameplan going into testing, try some things, hopefully make some good runs and go into the next race with some confidence. We have a lot of confidence.”
And that is something Langdon hasn’t said very often this season. Except for a runner-up finish at the season’s second race and two western swing semifinals, the Kalitta Air Careers team struggled. It’s not for a lack of effort – things just haven’t come together, but the good news is that three opportunities remain to end the season on a positive note.
“Our main focus is getting our car back in the top 10, hopefully we’ll be able to do that, and then see how far we can go for all the great people who support us like Kalitta Air, Toyota, Revchem and Safety-Kleen,” Langdon added. “Winning the championship is a pretty big stretch at this point, but anything’s possible. If we could win the last three races, we’d have a good shot at it, but we’ll have to take it race-by-race, see how these next couple of races go and do the best we can.”