By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Shawn Langdon is going to remember this race. He won his first career Funny Car race at the 10th annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway on Sunday in Concord, North Carolina.
He is the 17th driver to have a win in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. Langdon went 4.125, 305.08, as he defeated a quad that also included Robert Hight, who was the runner-up, John Force, and Matt Hagan.
“There’s so many things that I’ve gone through to get to this point,” said Langdon. “The reason I’m here is because of the people I’ve been surrounded by. They’re the ones who picked me to drive the car and I’ve been so fortunate to get to drive for a legend like Connie Kalitta. Working with a guy like that, and then working with a guy like J.R. (Todd) who’s a teammate and champion, very talented.
“I bounce ideas off of him all the time. And then working with Nicky Boninfante who’s worked with some of the greatest drivers out here and to bring Del Worsham in, that has been a big key factor. Working with these guys has really elevated my game.”
Reigning Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence won his first race of 2019. He went 3.778 at 323.19 to win his quad that also featured Leah Pritchett, Clay Millican, who was the runner-up, and Terry McMillen.
“Richard Hogan (crew chief) and Bobby Lagana (assistant crew chief) and every one of those Capco boys, they just instill confidence in you,” said Torrence. “I hadn’t been driving with the most confidence. Maybe I was driving on the defense instead of on the offense. I changed my mindset and just went out there and did what I know how to do instead of thinking about it.
“In Vegas at the Four-Wide I got up there and let my mind get in front of my foot. We’ve had a lot of success here at zMAX. I really like this place.”
Andrew Hines loves Charlotte. He added to his all-time wins record, as he has the most wins of any PSM rider, at the facility.
He went 6.831 at 198.17 mph to get the win. It is his 50th career win — and he is the first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to get to 50 wins.
Hines defeated a quad that also featured his teammate Eddie Krawiec, Hector Arana Jr., and Ryan Oehler. Krawiec was the runner-up.
“The day went pretty good. It got hotter and hotter which made it tougher and tougher,” said Hines. “Our crew is pretty good at persevering in different weather conditions and we had to do that all weekend long. Not one of those days was similar to the other.”