BRISTOL, Tenn. – Reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon claimed his first victory of the season Sunday at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers.
Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) also were winners in their respective categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Bristol Dragway.
Langdon raced to his first Bristol Dragway victory and ninth win of his career in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster by posting a final round performance of 3.819 seconds at 320.51 mph to defeat series points leader Doug Kalitta. With the win, Langdon moves to third in the points standings.
“With the stiff competition in Top Fuel, one thing you have to learn is patience and not to take anything for granted,” Langdon said. “We knew it was going to be tough. We’re still learning. Fortunately, we got this win and most importantly, we hope to continue earning those Mello Yello points.”
Langdon, who qualified No. 7 for the event, defeated teammate Khalid alBalooshi, Terry McMillen and Bob Vandergriff Jr. en route to his third final round appearance of the season.
“I was a little worried about pedalling in the final going up against the Kalitta group,” Langdon said. “They are definitely the hottest car in the circuit. That’s why it is great to be a part of the Alan Johnson and Al-Anabi Racing. You feel like you have a pretty good race car too.”