Team Kalitta is expanding to a third full-time Top Fuel dragster team beginning with the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ next event in Houston. The machine will be backed by Global Electronic Technology with 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon as the driver.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive the Global Electronic Technology dragster,” said the 34-year-old Langdon. “It is awesome to see new companies like Global Electronic Technology come in to drag racing, and I am excited to be a part of it.
“It’s been a tough year so far with me sitting on the sidelines. It has been the first time since my rookie year in 2009 that I haven’t been able to attend the NHRA races,” Langdon continued. “I cannot thank Connie [Kalitta, team owner] and Jim O. [Oberhofer, team vice president, operations] enough for the opportunity. Kalitta has top quality cars that contend for wins and championships, so I feel that this partnership will work well. I also want to thank Don [Schumacher] and everybody at Don Schumacher Racing for bringing me in when I didn’t have a ride and making me feel like part of the family. We did everything we could to find adequate funding, and I want to thank Don for keeping me on the payroll throughout the process of trying to find sponsorship.
“My focus is to contend for a championship. We are seven rounds out of the top 10 and we have 14 races to catch up, and I am confident in my chances with the group that Kalitta is putting behind me.”
Langdon is renowned for his excellent driving capabilities and his successes in many forms of drag racing. Like new teammate J.R. Todd, Langdon began his career in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League, capturing a national title in 1997 and a division title in 1999. Before beginning his nitro career, he continued his career with championship wins in the Super Comp division in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008. Since joining the Top Fuel ranks in 2009, Langdon has captured the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel world championship to go along with 14 race wins in 28 final-round appearances. The Mira Loma, Calif., native has eight consecutive Countdown to the Championship finishes and claimed the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout $100,000 bonus in 2013.
The addition of Langdon is made possible due to an agreement with Global Electronic Technology, the fastest name in credit card processing. Global Electronic Technology is scheduled to be the primary sponsor on Langdon’s machine for 19 of the remaining 20 events this season.
“Samantha and I are honored to join one of the top teams in NHRA racing,” said Steve Bryson, Global Electronic Technology founder and CEO. “We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Connie Kalitta, Jim Oberhofer, Rob Flynn, and Shawn Langdon for helping make this come true. We are very excited to join a family like Kalitta and start at the top! See you in Baytown, Texas, for the debut of the Kalitta/Global dragster.”
Based in Torrance, Calif., Global Electronic Technology has over a quarter century of expertise in the payment processing industry. The Global Electronic Technology team is committed to setting the standard by delivering some of the most advanced technological packages in the payment processing industry, which makes its team one of the most knowledgeable in the world. Global Electronic Technology first joined Kalitta Motorsports in the offseason as a major associate partner on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta.
“All of Kalitta Motorsports is excited to represent Global Electronic Technology in this capacity,” said Oberhofer, vice president of operations for Kalitta Motorsports. “Steve and Samantha Bryson have been truly unbelievable to work with, and their excitement for the sport of drag racing is infectious. I am also thrilled to be able to welcome Shawn Langdon to the Kalitta Motorsports team. Drivers with his record do not become available often, and we are excited to be able to have him join our organization.”
With the addition of Langdon’s team, the Team Kalitta crew chiefs will make a few changes. All three Top Fuel teams will continue to share information and data with the focus on winning races and championships. Oberhofer will now be the lead tuner on both the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster with driver Doug Kalitta and the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster with Troy Coughlin Jr. He will continue to team with Troy Fasching on the Mac Tools ride and will work with Glen Huszar and Nick Casertano on the SealMaster team. The Global Electronic Technology team will be led by NHRA’s only Lifetime Achievement honoree, Connie Kalitta, and Rob Flynn.
The new look five-team effort with Top Fuel drivers Coughlin Jr., Doug Kalitta, and Langdon and Funny Car drivers Alexis DeJoria and J.R. Todd will make its official debut in qualifying for the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston April 21-23.
STATEMENT FROM DON SCHUMACHER:
“Shawn always will be part of the Don Schumacher Racing family. He was a great, great asset to our team and an excellent teammate for our seven other drivers.
“We have been looking for partners to help us run his team, but I will never stand in the way of a driver wanting to race. If I can’t give him that opportunity then I won’t hold him back.”