CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If Top Fuel standout Shawn Langdon could pick a place to continue to his red-hot momentum after recently winning the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, zMAX Dragway would likely be one of his top choices.
Langdon’s first career Top Fuel win came there during the Countdown to the Championship playoff opener a year ago and when the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts gets underway Sept 13-15, the No. 1 seed will have plenty of good vibes about what has transpired since that important victory.
Langdon and his 8,000-horsepower Al-Anabi Racing dragster have been dominant in 2013, winning five times and building serious championship aspirations. He’ll go to zMAX Dragway with a dragster and team firing on all cylinders, hoping to re-create more Charlotte magic and get his championship title pursuit started on the right foot.
“We have a lot of momentum right now, a lot of good things are happening,” Langdon said. “Going into the first race of the Countdown, you’re on a high note. That is exactly how you want to start it out. Hopefully, we can put together a repeat performance from last year of winning at Charlotte, start off on the right foot and hopefully carry this momentum all the way through.”
Langdon couldn’t enter the Countdown on a better note after a double-win weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. But that celebration has ended and Langdon and his team are now only focused on finishing strong.
They had it figured out a year ago when the Mira Loma, Calif., native started the Countdown with his first career victory. Langdon also claimed No. 1 qualifying spots at three Countdown races, providing a glimpse that a championship was within reach. He then followed with a giant leap forward in 2013, winning the first race of the year in Pomona. Four more victories have littered a tremendously successful season and Langdon said the right mindset from everyone on the team has been crucial.
“There are just a lot of different things that can happen in the cars that can really help or hurt you,” Langdon said. “I think the biggest thing is just learning from your mistakes and being kind of true to yourself. You know, if you make a mistake, you accept it, and you learn from it, and you try to make yourself a better person on and off the track. So I think it’s just a lot of those things throughout the years of just trying to be an honest racer trying to make myself better to prepare myself for situations like this.