NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Shawn Langdon has hopes for another all-Kalitta Top Fuel final in Norwalk

Shawn Langdon and points leader and teammate Doug Kalitta met in the final round of the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals, with Kalitta getting the win, and Langdon is hopeful for another opportunity at this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
26 Jun 2024
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Shawn Langdon

Last weekend in Richmond represented an ideal scenario for Kalitta Motorsports in the Top Fuel ranks, and standout driver Shawn Langdon would love to see that continue — with one minor change — at this weekend’s 18th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at world-class Summit Motorsports Park.

Langdon and points leader Doug Kalitta met in the final round on Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park, with Kalitta getting the win and his third victory of the season. It was a great moment for the team, and Langdon is hopeful for another opportunity this weekend in Norwalk, which serves as the home track for Kalitta Motorsports.

The only difference, of course, is Langdon would like to get the win in his 11,000-horsepower Kalitta Air Careers dragster, which also gave him three victories in what has been a massive turnaround season for the former world champion.

Kalitta and Langdon are first and second in points approaching the halfway mark of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season, rolling to five wins in the first nine events. It’s been an ideal start, and Langdon is hoping it continues at “America’s Racetrack” to close out a stretch of four races in five weeks.

“You know Norwalk will pack the stands. The Bader family does a great job promoting their track,” Langdon said. “It’s definitely exciting to get back there every year to experience the great atmosphere. Hopefully, we can make this ‘two Kalitta cars in the final’ thing a trend. It’s the home track for Kalitta, so it’ll be an extremely busy weekend, which is going to be awesome. I think everybody’s going to be riding the high from last week in Richmond of both cars being in the final. I think everyone’s eager to get out there. We’ll have a lot of Kalitta people there to enjoy it.” 

Last year, Leah Pruett (Top Fuel), Blake Alexander (Funny Car), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all took home wins at an event that will again be broadcast on FOX and FS1, including eliminations on FOX starting at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. It is the 10th of 20 races during the 2024 season, and it’s a loaded weekend that includes a spectacular fireworks show after Friday qualifying, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, and eliminations on Sunday.

Langdon will take part in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday, facing off with Antron Brown, while the other matchup features Kalitta and Top Fuel newcomer Tony Stewart. The winners meet in the finals of the specialty race on Saturday, with bonus points and a bonus purse on the line.

It’s another opportunity for Kalitta Motorsports to thrive, and there’s been plenty of that in 2024. Langdon opened the year with a win in Gainesville and added another victory in Phoenix, while Kalitta has been red-hot in June, winning two of the past three races. Combined, it’s been an impressive combo, and Langdon, who has one career win in Norwalk, will look to keep it going while facing off against a loaded field that also includes Justin Ashley, Steve Torrence, Tony Schumacher, Clay Millican, and Brittany Force.

“They’ve been giving me a great race car all season, so we just have to keep at it and keep working hard,” Langdon said. “I couldn’t be happier for this whole Kalitta bunch. It’s great to see the success that has come from all the hard work that’s been invested into these cars. It’s rewarding, and I’m really happy for the guys. You can definitely see a little bit bigger smile on the guys’ faces, and it obviously gives them a lot of confidence.”

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 5 and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, June 28 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 29 at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 30. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, with eliminations coverage starting at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday on FS1, moving to FOX at 5 p.m.

To purchase tickets to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, fans can visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com or call 419-668-5555.