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Shawn Langdon Says Team Kalitta “Headed in the Right Direction” to Start 2023

Entering the season’s first race in Gainesville, Fla., 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion, Shawn Langdon, talked about getting the process in place to win races and challenge for championships. Early in the process is making good runs, and that is something the DHL Top Fuel team checked off its to-do list. The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Season resumes March 24-26, 2023 at the NHRA Arizona Nationals set for Chandler, Ariz., just outside Phoenix.
 
Langdon and his Team Kalitta DHL Top Fuel team did, indeed, make some good runs at the first race with a top qualifying run at 3.776 seconds at 326.16 mph. In the first round of eliminations on Sunday, Langdon raced three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Antron Brown in the first round. The two drivers had nearly identical reaction times (.066-.088) and nearly identical elapsed times (3.704 – 3.706), but Brown reached the finish line first. His margin of victory was .0002 seconds – or two 10 thousandths of a second.
 
“The car ran well first round which was a good thing – it ran a big speed which is one of the things we were trying to accomplish in the off season,” Langdon said. “That’s an indication of horse power – 3.70 at 333 mph in the first round was an excellent run so we’ll definitely be looking to improve that when we get to Phoenix. Last year we were able to make some good runs there so we’re looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish this week.
 
“Gainesville was a really good start; With what we ran in the first round, Doug’s 3.64 in his first round and J.R. making it to the final, it shows Team Kalitta is headed in the right direction even after just one race. The DHL Top Fuel team didn’t get the results we were looking for, but we just lost a good race in the first round so there’s nothing to hang out heads about there. We’re definitely looking forward to what’s ahead this year – better results and getting Team Kalitta back into the winner’s circle.”
 
This weekend’s race could be the final NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Following this season of events, the facility will be replaced by an overpass and Interstate 10 extension.
 
“I’ve always enjoyed racing in Phoenix,” Langdon added. “I’ve raced there since my junior dragster days in the late 1990s so I have a lot of memories at that track. I enjoy going there – I love the area; it’s an awesome area with great golf courses, and I definitely enjoy going to that track. This could potentially be the last time, but I hope we get to race there in the future.”

This story was originally published on March 23, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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