NHRA rookie Langdon qualifies No. 1 in Top Fuel

  • Herald news services
  • Saturday, April 4, 2009 6:55pm
  • SportsSports

LAS VEGAS — Rookie Shawn Langdon raced to his first No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel Saturday at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.

Langdon, a two-time Super Comp national champion in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the 1997 NHRA Jr. Dragster national champion, covered the race distance at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a performance of 3.874 seconds at 311.41 mph in his Dixie Chopper/Lucas Oil dragster.

Langdon will face Steve Chrisman in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations.

“My first No. 1 is a great feeling,” Langdon said. “The car’s been running really good, and we’ve had the potential. We’ve run good and consistent in qualifying, and we’ve just struggled a little bit in eliminations. I think Stewie [crew chief John Stewart] is onto something. He showed a little bit today, and hopefully we can get four good runs tomorrow.

“I’ve been trying to adapt as quickly as possible so as to not slow anybody down. Being a rookie driver, I didn’t want to hold the team back. I’ve got a great team and a great crew chief and great sponsors, and I’ve just been trying to do my part.”

Tony Pedregon and Mike Edwards also were No. 1 qualifiers in the NHRA Full throttle Drag Racing Series event, which will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD Sunday at 1 p.m.

In Funny Car, Pedregon posted a 4.100 at 302.62 in his Herzog/Q-Horsepower Chevy Impala to earn his first No. 1 of the season and 35th of his career. He will face Del Worsham in the first round.

“It was just good conditions going into that last session,” Pedregon said. “I’m surprised that some other cars didn’t take advantage of the conditions. It was a good racetrack out there. The car finally did what we told it to do. We’re getting back on track, and I feel really confident about the car.

“We’ve got a pretty good history in this town. I love it. This is without question one of the nicest facilities that we race at, and if the weatherman’s right, we should have the same conditions tomorrow, so I feel good.”

Edwards took his third No. 1 qualifying performance of the season in Pro Stock with a track record time of 6.656 at 206.16 in his Young Life/Penhall Pontiac GXP. Edwards will race Steve Spiess in the opening round.

“The conditions were really good, and the track was really good,” Edwards said. “We’ve had an awesome start this year, that’s for sure. All my guys are doing an outstanding job. I’ve never really done good on Sunday here, but hopefully tomorrow I can turn that around. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going.”

In other Pro Stock news for the day, Houston winner Ron Krisher failed to qualify in his Valvoline Chevy Cobalt.

LAS VEGAS — First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday at the 10th annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel

1. Shawn Langdon, 3.874 seconds, 311.41 mph vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 4.243, 281.95; 2. Antron Brown, 3.878, 312.86 vs. 15. Mike Strasburg, 4.213, 220.73; 3. Larry Dixon, 3.907, 311.70 vs. 14. Urs Erbacher, 4.098, 292.01; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.908, 313.88 vs. 13. Terry Haddock, 4.084, 291.82; 5. Cory McClenathan, 3.918, 306.74 vs. 12. Troy Buff, 4.078, 276.92; 6. Spencer Massey, 3.951, 305.08 vs. 11. Brandon Bernstein, 4.027, 281.13; 7. David Baca, 3.957, 303.30 vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.991, 301.07; 8. Morgan Lucas, 3.987, 301.81 vs. 9. Joe Hartley, 3.989, 305.63.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Steve Faria, 4.837, 189.39; 18. Rob Passey, 19.041, 42.41.

Funny Car

1. Tony Pedregon, Chevy Impala, 4.100, 302.62 vs. 16. Del Worsham, Toyota Solara, 4.278, 283.61; 2. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.115, 305.15 vs. 15. Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.251, 297.88; 3. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.125, 304.46 vs. 14. Gary Densham, Impala, 4.212, 289.94; 4. Ashley Force Hood, Mustang, 4.139, 303.23 vs. 13. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.202, 302.69; 5. Bob Bode, Chevy Impala SS, 4.145, 303.43 vs. 12. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.185, 301.33; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.148, 297.94 vs. 11. Brian Thiel, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.182, 298.47; 7. John Force, Mustang, 4.149, 302.35 vs. 10. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.169,

298.93; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Solara, 4.167, 301.67 vs. 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.167, 301.67.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Jerry Toliver, Monte Carlo, 4.340, 268.44.

Pro Stock

1. Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.656, 206.16 vs. 16. Steve Spiess, Chevy Cobalt, 6.759, 203.74; 2. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.668, 206.70 vs. 15. V. Gaines, Dodge Stratus, 6.758, 203.61; 3. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.690, 205.94 vs. 14. David Beckley, Stratus, 6.755, 204.76; 4. Jason Line, GXP, 6.697, 205.82 vs. 13. Dave Connolly,

Stratus, 6.751, 203.22; 5. Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.699, 205.26 vs. 12. Rickie Jones, Stratus, 6.739, 204.63; 6. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.703, 206.26 vs. 11. Johnny Gray, Stratus, 6.737, 204.29; 7. Tom Hammonds, Cobalt, 6.706, 205.13 vs. 10. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 6.723, 204.91; 8. Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.708, 204.94 vs. 9. Kurt Johnson, Cobalt, 6.715, 205.38.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.764, 204.32; 18. Gordie Rivera, GXP, 6.777, 202.39; 19. Ben Watson, Pontiac GTO, 6.781, 202.18; 20. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.782, 204.57; 21. Erica Enders, Mustang, 6.854, 199.11.

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