NHRA pros at Bristol, Tenn.

Langdon, Johnson Jr. break through

Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car and Shawn Langdon in the Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher/Sandvik Coromant Top Fuel dragster swept the nitro titles for Don Schumacher Racing Sunday, June 19, in the 16th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

And each had to beat a DSR teammate in the final round to earn their first event titles of the year in the 11th event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

It is the second time this year that DSR has swept the premier categories in the same Mello Yello event and 53rd time since DSR began field both Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in 2001. And it brings DSR's event titles total to 276.

The wins by Johnson and Langdon earned each entry into their respective $100,000 Traxxas Nitro Shootouts that will be held during the NHRA U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend near Indianapolis.

It also is the second time each won at Bristol on Father's Day.


The past few weeks in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Shawn Langdon has repeatedly said that their time was coming. After five straight first-round losses, the Red Fuel team got it done at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Langdon and the team led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler knocked out Terry McMillen in the first round, Brittany Force in the quarterfinals, points leader Doug Kalitta in the semifinals and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the final round.

Langdon's .035-second reaction time gave the Red Fuel/Sandvik team the starting line advantage and the 3.838-second pass at 322 mph got the final win light of the day.

It was the first final round of the season for the Red Fuel team. Langdon finished last year driving in six races for DSR, where he won the finale at Pomona, Calif.

His victory on Sunday, made for his 12th career win.