|Pre-Race Team Kalitta NotesEvent 7: 2021 NHRA Norwalk Nationals|
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park
June 25-27, 2021
|Team Kalitta sits second in Funny Car and fourth and sixth in Top Fuel in the point standings. Doug Kalitta and Shawn Langdon will be racing to see who can secure their second Top Fuel title at the NHRA Norwalk Nationals and J.R. Todd will be looking for Funny Car win number two of 2021|
Doug Kalitta will be taking on the NHRA Norwalk Nationals in the Applied Imaging Top Fuel dragster this weekend. This is the second specialty car he has raced in 2021 and this is the second time Applied Imaging will be the primary sponsor on the perennial championship contended at the NHRA Norwalk Nationals. Kalitta sits in sixth place in the NHRA Camping World Top Fuel point standings but he is just over three rounds out of third with a busy stretch of races on the horizon.
“We have been in the mix at the top of the point standings all season which is where you want to be,” said Kalitta. “We have a couple runner-up finishes so far, but we are looking for that first win of 2021. Getting four win lights on Sunday in Norwalk would be a great way to start the summer.”
Getting another title at the NHRA Norwalk Nationals is definitely within Kalitta’s reach. Over the past ten events he has been to the final round three times pick up the win in 2015 from the No. 1 qualifying position. In addition to his success at Summit Motorsports Park on race day Kalitta’s team has also been strong in qualifying starting from the top of the field four times since 2013. They were No. 1 qualifiers in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“We have had some good luck at Norwalk over the years. The one thing that stands out is how great the fans are in Norwalk,” said Kalitta. “The Baders do an amazing job of promotion and you can just tell this is a big event. We have been No. 1 qualifier quite a few times and we have been to the finals three times I think. I’ll be running the Applied Imaging Top Fuel dragster this weekend and we are still looking for that 50th win so maybe we can get that win this weekend. I am glad we are back racing in Ohio since it is so close to our shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan, we have a lot of employees from the shop and Kalitta Air that come to the race. It will be a busy weekend but also a lot of fun.”
This season Kalitta has been a strong competitor in his traditional red and white Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. The team is celebrating 20 years with Mac Tools with a career that has featured over 700 round wins and 49 Top Fuel national event wins to go along with 50 career No. 1 qualifiers. Two runner-up finishes stand out so far this season with final round appearances at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals and the SpringNationals in Houston.
“We are starting to pick up some momentum and this team is coming together,” said Kalitta. “(Crew chief) Rob Flynn and the guys on the crew are busting their tails to make sure we have a great race car. I am feeling confident and we just need to keep doing our jobs for Mac Tools and especially Applied Imaging this weekend. We will have a lot of guests at the race so it will be a busy weekend.”
2019 NHRA Norwalk Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 13; Beat Clay Millican, Lost to Steve Torrence
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA New England Nationals): Qual. No. 5; Beat Shawn Langdon, Lost to Mike Salinas
Career Stats: 530 events, 523 starts, 720 round wins, 49 wins, 107 finals, 50 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Arthur Allen; Lost to Justin Ashley
Las Vegas1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 3; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey, Beat Shawn Langdon and Leah Pruett; Lost to Steve Torrence
Atlanta: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Antron Brown
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 12; Beat Josh Hart, Billy Torrence, Kyle Wurtzel; Lost to Brittany Force, Josh Hart
Houston: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 9; Beat Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon; Lost to Steve Torrence
Epping: Qual. No. 5; Beat Shawn Langdon, Lost to Mike Salinas
Langdon Set to Race SealMaster
Top Fuel Dragster in Norwalk
Shawn Langdon will have a busy weekend at the NHRA Norwalk Nationals representing long-time sponsor SealMaster in a specially designed Top Fuel dragster and also getting their employees revved up for race weekend at a pre-race event on Thursday in Sandusky, Ohio. As the global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of pavement maintenance products and equipment SealMaster has over 300 employees at their headquarters and they will be treated to an up close and personal experience with the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster as Langdon warms up his 11,000 horsepower race car at their offices and then along with teammate J.R. Todd signs autographs and mingles with the employees. The team will shift their focus on Friday to running to the top of the qualifying sheet and getting a win on Sunday.
“Running the SealMaster colors is pretty cool especially since the Norwalk track is the closest race to our shop and their headquarters. I am definitely looking forward to getting this SealMaster Top Fuel dragster on the track at Norwalk,” said Langdon. “There will be a huge crowd in the stands and in the pits so it will be a ton of exposure for SealMaster. We also want to perform on the track so this will be an important weekend for the team.”
In 2016 Langdon took the NHRA Norwalk Nationals title with a win over now teammate J.R. Todd. Two years before that win he was runner-up after starting the event from the No. 1 spot.
“The Norwalk track is a great facility and we have had some success there,” said Langdon. “I know there will be a ton of fans in the stands and the Friday night qualifying session should be great conditions to put up some awesome numbers. On Saturday we will need to get ready for race day.”
Throughout the early part of the season Langdon and his DHL Kalitta Air team have been consistent qualifiers and have unfortunately run into their teammate Doug Kalitta at a number of events. The past two races it has been Kalitta who has ended Langdon’s race day each time in close races that showed how competitive both teams are performing.
“We have been just looking for some consistency this season and hopefully getting back to Norwalk will get us in a groove,” said Langdon. “We have had to race Doug a couple times and you really only want to do that in the final round so we are guaranteed a Kalitta Motorsports victory. Maybe we can get lined up to do that this weekend. We are up there in the points and we will keep battling.”
Langdon will bring the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster into the race No. 4 in the point standings with some race day success already in the books. A runner-up finish at the season opening Gatornationals has been combined with two semi-final finishes to prove to Langdon and his fans he has a race car that can contend for the championship.
“The goal every season is to win races, make the Countdown and be racing for the championship at Pomona at the end of the season,” said Langdon. “We are looking for that first win but we are on track to try and get that second Top Fuel world championship.”
2019 NHRA Norwalk Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): In Funny Car, Qual. No. 12; Beat Blake Alexander, Lost to Jack Beckman
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA New England Nationals): Qual. No. 8; Lost to Doug Kalitta
Career Stats: 273 events, 270 starts, 305 round wins, 17 wins, 35 finals, 19 No. 1 qualifiers; in Top Fuel: 225 events, 222 starts, 15 wins, 32 finals, 266 round wins, 19 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 6; Beat Doug Foley, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown; Lost to Josh Hart
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 6; Beat Troy Buff and Rob Passey; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence
Atlanta: Qual. No. 11; Beat Leah Pruett, Mike Salinas; Lost to Steve Torrence
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Antron Brown and Krista Baldwin
Houston: Qual. No. 7; Beat Josh Hart, Justin Ashley; Lost to Doug Kalitta
Epping: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Doug Kalitta
J.R. Todd and DHL Toyota Camry Team Confident Heading to Norwalk Nationals
J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car are taking charge of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series with a strong start heading into the NHRA Norwalk Nationals. The team opened the season with a win at the historic NHRA Gatornationals and has continued to show strong early season performance results including a runner-up finish at the NHRA Carolina Nationals and a No. 1 qualifier at the final NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta. Todd and the DHL team are currently No. 3 in the Funny Car point standings and are within striking distance of the No. 1 spot with a strong race weekend in Norwalk.
“I am excited with the start of the season for this DHL Toyota Camry team,” said Todd. “The Gatornationals win was huge and gave us a lot of confidence to keep the pressure on some of the other teams. We are running really well and we just need a little more consistency on race day. I know we can stay in the championship mix and I am looking forward to a busy Norwalk Nationals.”
Todd, raced to a runner-up finish in Top Fuel at the 2016 race against now teammate Shawn Langdon, is looking for his first win in Ohio. The duel threat racer has victories at ten NHRA facilities in either Top Fuel or Funny Car over his career and would love to add Summit Motorsports Park to the list of tracks where he has hoisted a Wally.
“We came close in Top Fuel a few years ago but I would love to get that Funny Car win this weekend,” said Todd. “The Bader family does a great job promoting this race and we will have a ton of people in our hospitality. We will be hosting a kid from A Kid Again which is always cool. I am just looking forward to getting in this DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and making quick runs and seeing a lot of win lights on Sunday.”
This season Todd is one of only two Funny Car competitors who have not suffered a first round loss. That kind of race day success has been a key to the team’s continued improvement. Qualifying will begin with one session on Friday night followed by two more sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday with the race being broadcast on Fox national.
2019 NHRA Norwalk Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 7; Beat Robert Hight, Lost to John Force
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA New England Nationals): Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon, Lost to John Force
Career Stats: 241 events, 233 starts, 261 round wins, 19 wins, 37 finals, 13 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 89 events, 89 starts, 10 wins, 17 finals, 113 round wins, 4 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: WINNER; Qual. No. 6; Beat Blake Alexander, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon and Robert Hight
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon and Jonnie Lindberg; Lost to Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III
Atlanta: Qual. No. 1; Beat Alexis DeJoria, bye; Lost to John Force
Charlotte1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No.4; Beat Terry Haddock, Jim Campbell, Tim Wilkerson; Beat Mike McIntire, Terry Haddock; Lost to John Force, Beat Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria
Houston: Qual. No. 8; Beat John Force; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Epping: Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon, Lost to John Force
COURTESY KALITTA MOTORSPORTS