SONOMA, Calif. — Shawn Langdon did not have the weekend he wanted at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ most recent event last weekend in Denver. But the good news for the reigning Top Fuel world champion is that he won’t have to wait long to bounce back.
Langdon and his Al-Anabi Racing dragster will look to bounce back at the second race of the three-week NHRA Western Swing at this weekend’s 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 25-27, at Sonoma Raceway. The good news for Langdon, who lost in the first round last weekend in Denver, is that he enters as the defending champion at the event and it represents one of the most familiar destinations on the NHRA circuit for him.
He grew up racing at the track and turned in a brilliant performance a year ago when he knocked off Morgan Lucas in the final round. Those good memories have Langdon excited to return.
“Some tracks you just feel better going to,” Langdon said. “But once you’re in the car it doesn’t matter where you’re at. I’m automatically in race mode, so it’s more about the excitement leading up to the event. There’s a lot of excitement for me and, of course, you’ll have lots of friends and family there.”
Ron Capps (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also last year’s winners of the event. It is the 15th of 24 races during the 2014 season and comes at a critical juncture with the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship closing in.
Langdon is also eager to get back on track after his struggles in Denver. With a recent final-round appearance in Norwalk, Langdon feels his team is still closing in on championship form. He trails Doug Kalitta and Antron Brown in the points standings, but knows his team is capable of competing for another championship.