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Jul 02, 2014 - 06:17 AM
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2014 NHRA: The Al-Anabi Racing Team - Norwalk, Ohio NHRA Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 02, 2014 - 06:13 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: The Al-Anabi Racing Team - Norwalk, Ohio NHRA Preview


Residence: Avon, Ind.
Hometown: Mira Loma, Calif.
Date of birth: Sept. 3, 1982
Crew chief: Brian Husen
Al-Anabi Racing Team Owner: His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani
Al-Anabi Racing Team Manager: Alan Johnson
Alan Johnson Racing Owner: Alan Johnson
2014 wins/final rounds: 1/3 (.334)
Career wins/final rounds: 9/21 (.429)
2014 No. 1 qualifiers: 2
Career No. 1 qualifiers: 15
Best points finish: 1st (2013)
Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs appearances: 5 (2009, ’10, ’11, ’12, ‘13)
First start: Pomona 1, 2009
Career-best elapsed time: 3.712 seconds (Reading, 2012)
Career-best speed: 334.15 mph (Reading, 2012)

 

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■ Reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon enters the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in third place in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings. He trails second-place Antron Brown by 128 points and leads fourth-place Spencer Massey by 68.

■ The Al-Anabi team won the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals four of the last five years. The team won with Larry Dixon in 2009 and ’10, Del Worsham in 2011 and Khalid alBalooshi last year. One year ago at Norwalk, Langdon was the No. 5 qualifier. He defeated J.R. Todd and Bob Vandergriff before losing to Doug Kalitta in the semifinals.

■ Langdon won his first race of the season and the ninth of his career last month in Bristol, Tenn. He has one win (Bristol), two final rounds (Charlotte and Topeka) and two semifinal appearances (Houston and Englishtown) in the last eight races.

■ With his Bristol win, Langdon has qualified for the 2014 Traxxas Nitro Shootout in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend. Langdon is the defending champion of the special event; last year, he defeated Brittany Force, Antron Brown and Steve Torrence on his way to winning the second-year event and its $100,000 prize. He went on to win the U.S. Nationals the next day.

■ Langdon has been a solid qualifier this season; he has qualified in the top-four positions at seven of the 12 races; his average qualifying position in 2014 is 5.25. He has two No. 1 qualifiers this season and 15 in his career. He was an excellent qualifier last year when his average qualifying position was 3.75.

■ Langdon and his teammate Khalid alBalooshi have raced each other eight times in their respective Top Fuel careers, and in five of the eight meetings, the winner has gone on to win the race. Langdon leads the career head-to-head series, 6-2.
Year Winner Loser Location Round Winner's Result
2012 Langdon alBalooshi Sonoma First Second
2012 alBalooshi Langdon Reading Semifinals Win
2013 Langdon alBalooshi Pomona1 Semifinals Win
2013 Langdon alBalooshi Houston Semifinals Final Round
2013 Langdon alBalooshi Englishtown Finals Win
2014 alBalooshi Langdon Pomona1 Semifinals Win
2014 Langdon alBalooshi Las Vegas1 First Second
2014 Langdon alBalooshi Bristol First Win

■ Langdon is the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Champion for the first time in his career. The 2013 title was Langdon’s fourth NHRA National Championship. He won the 1997 NHRA Junior Dragster National Championship in the 14 year old division and the NHRA Lucas Oil Super Comp championship in 2007 and ’08. He is the first alumnus of the NHRA Junior Dragster program to win a Mello Yello Championship.

■ Last year’s NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship last was the third in the last four seasons for the Al-Anabi Racing Team. Larry Dixon won in 2010, and Del Worsham won in 2011. When Langdon won the title last year, he became the fifth driver to win a Top Fuel title with Alan Johnson serving as the crew chief, team owner or team manager. The other Top Fuel champions that worked with Johnson during their championship seasons are: Gary Scelzi, Tony Schumacher, Dixon and Worsham.

■ When Langdon won the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship last year, it was the 11th Top Fuel title for legendary tuner and Al-Anabi Racing team manager Alan Johnson. He won his previous 10 Top Fuel championships serving as crew chief, team owner and team manager. Including his NHRA National Championships in alcohol dragster, Johnson now has 15 NHRA National Championships.

■ Langdon recorded the fastest speed to 1,000 feet in NHRA history in October of 2012 in Reading, Pa., when he reached 334.15 mph. In addition, during the same Reading race weekend, his 3.712-second elapsed time was the national elapsed-time record until Antron Brown made a quicker pass in the same weekend and set the record. Langdon’s run still stands as the second-quickest 1,000-foot run in NHRA history; in fact, Langdon holds the second, fourth and fifth-quickest elapsed times in NHRA history.

■ Including former Al-Anabi drivers Larry Dixon and Del Worsham, the Al-Anabi Racing Team won 39 races and three World Championships in its first five seasons (2009 -’13) for an average of 7.8 wins a season or nearly a third of the races. Including the 2014 season, the Al-Anabi Racing Team has now won 41 races.

Year Driver Wins Driver Wins Team Wins Season Result
2014 Langdon 1 alBalooshi 1 2
2013 Langdon 7 alBalooshi 1 8 Langdon Championship
2012 Langdon 1 alBalooshi 1 2 Langdon 4th; alBalooshi 11th
2011 Worsham 8 (TF) Dixon 2 10 Worsham Championship
2010 Dixon 12 Worsham 0(FC) 12 Dixon Championship
2009 Dixon 5 Worsham 2(FC) 7 Dixon 2nd; Worsham 7th

■ Langdon qualified for the Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs in each of his five previous seasons driving a Top Fuel car. He won the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship last year, finished fourth in 2012 after finishing ninth in 2011, fifth in 2010, and ninth in 2009, his rookie season.

■ Langdon joined the Al-Anabi Racing team prior to the 2012 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. He won the 2007 and ’08 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Super Comp championships and the 1997 NHRA Junior Dragster championship in the 14-year old division making him a three-time NHRA national series champion.

Langdon prior to Norwalk:
“We have all of the ducks; now we just have to get all our ducks in a row. We’ve been addressing problems with some things we’ve been doing at the last couple of races. We’re kind of fixing one problem after another because when we fix one thing, it affects something else so then we move on to that one because it’s all related We really think we’ve gotten to the base of it now.
“We’re not far off; it could take us another race or two to get completely back in the swing of things, but we might also see some fast improvement. Some things we changed during the off season that we thought would work have affected our performance so we’ve kind of eliminated those issues and gone back to some stuff we know will work so we can get back on track. It does seem like we’re kind of chasing our tail, but even though the results haven’t shown it in the last couple of races, we are definitely making progress. We all know it’s just a matter of time before we have the Al-Anabi car that won the championship last year back.
“The Al-Anabi team has had a lot of success at Norwalk, and we really couldn’t be going back there at a better time. We have tons of great Norwalk data, and we can definitely use that information for both of Al-Anabi cars. Hopefully the first couple of runs go well, and things fall our way. If the car responds quickly to the changes we’ve made, I don’t see any reason why the Al-Anabi team can’t repeat as Norwalk champions.”


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