Lucas Oil Raceway was smokin’ as the NHRA wrapped up the last day of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on Monday.
It was the 59th installment of what is perhaps the most celebrated, oldest, richest, and most prestigious drag race in the world. It is also the final event of the NHRA’s regular season, with the remaining racers advancing to the upcoming 6-race Countdown to the Championship.
The unofficial final points standings had Shawn Langdon and the Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team at number-1, having defeated defeated Steve Torrence in the final round. The victory marks the second year running of the Traxxas Shootout at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Langdon, beat Brittany Force in Saturday’s first round, but Mother Nature had other ideas, as strong thunderstorms with heavy rain thunderstorms and fail meant the semi-finals and finals could not be run until Sunday.
In the semi-final portion of the event, Langdon pulled an upset of the defending world champion, Antron Brown, thereby setting up a final contest with Steve Torrence in the final round. It was close race, that’s for sure. How “close” is close? Try 3 thousandths of a second—yeah, that close!
The deciding factor had to have been the fact that Langdon got the jump on Torrence at the start of the race. And he never looked back. The win gave him and his team the $100,000 first-place prize and the trophy.
“It was a great feeling just to get in and be a part of it. There’s a lot of attention drawn to this one event. I’m hitting the gas in the finals for $100,000. It’s gets you in the stomach. There have been two moments in my career in the Top Fuel class that I got that kind of little, gut feeling with the butterflies rolling: the first time I ever sat in the car and the final just now. I am so happy to win this race with Sheikh Khalid here today, and it’s great to win for everyone on the Al-Anabi team, Sheikh Khalid and Qatar.”
The win makes Langdon the No. 5 qualifier, while his teammate Khalid alBalooshi is the No. 10 qualifier.
Langdon’s team, Al-Anabi Racing, has several locations throughout the United States and Qatar, including one right here in Central Indiana, in the small town of Brownsburg that is managed by Alan Johnson Racing. It is a 2-car operation that competes in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Matt Hagan took the number-1 spot in the Funny Car class, followed by Ron Capps and Johnny Gray.
Jack Beckman, the Defending world champion, took home the $100,000 Traxxas Nitro Shootout prize on Sunday. His took his car from 0-310.77 mph in slightly over 4 seconds before his engine exploded in spectacular fashion at the finish line. Fortunately, Beckman was uninjured. He beat Courtney Force and Ron Capps to reach the last round of the 8-car field.
Cars used in the making of the movie, The Snake and the Mongoose, were on display. The movie is based on a true story about how two drag racers from Southern California, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen teamed up with corporate giant Matel to launch the era of sponsorship for their sport.