Top Fuel’s Shawn Langdon has Hopes for Another All-Kalitta Final at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

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NORWALK, OH – June 26, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – 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 give 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.”

In Funny Car, Alexander, one of only 19 drivers in NHRA history to win in both nitro categories, picked up his first Funny Car win last season over Matt Hagan, who went on to collect the world championship. Other stars include class newcomer and points leader Austin Prock, J.R. Todd, Daniel Wilkerson, Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III.

Hartford picked up his first Norwalk win last season when he defeated current points leader Dallas Glenn. To repeat that, he’ll have to get past Greg Anderson, reigning champion Erica Enders, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Richmond winner Aaron Stanfield.

Arana was one of only four drivers to win in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class last season. Gaige Herrera, the 2023 champion, dominated for the bulk of the season, and is undefeated in 2024, winning an NHRA-record 10 straight races dating back to last year. Matt Smith, Angie Smith and Richard Gadson will try to unseat Herrera this weekend.

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown and the new Holley EFI Factory X category. The Summit Racing Equipment Junior Drag Racing League Shootout will take place in Norwalk as well. After nitro qualifying on Friday, fans will be treated to an impressive fireworks display that has been a highlight of the event for several years.

Summit Motorsports Park also has some of the finest camping facilities and grounds on the tour, offering fans a great way to spend their weekend at the track, enjoy a memorable atmosphere and not miss a second of the action.

Fans will be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which is the main entertainment hub in the pits, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more. Race fans at Summit Motorsports Park can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners.

As always, fans get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Norwalk. Fans get a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. They can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

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. For more information about NHRA, visit www.nhra.com.

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About Mission Foods

MISSION®, owned by GRUMA, S.A.B. de C.V., is the world’s leading brand for tortillas and wraps. MISSION® is also globally renowned for flatbreads, dips, salsas and Mexican food products. With presence in over 112 countries, MISSION® products are suited to the lifestyles and the local tastes of each country. With innovation and customer needs in mind, MISSION® focuses on the highest quality, authentic flavors, and providing healthy options that families and friends can enjoy together. For more information, please visit https://www.missionfoods.com/

About NHRA

NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 20 national events featuring the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+, NHRA Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown™, NHRA Holley EFI Factory X and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock at select national events. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal™. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street® program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League® for youth ages 5 to 17. With 110 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services® (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv®, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; and In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series

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