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Langdon Captures Gateway

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 25 2016
Shawn Langdon was Top Fuel winner at Gateway Motorsports Park on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series)

Shawn Langdon was Top Fuel winner at Gateway Motorsports Park on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series)

Shawn Langdon raced to his third victory of the year on Sunday when he captured the Top Fuel Portion of at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park just east of St. Louis in Madison, Ill.

Also taking class victories Sunday were Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Alex Laughlin (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Langdon powered his Don Schumacher Racing dragster to a 3.798-second pass at 323.66 mph to defeat eight-time world champion and DSR teammate Tony Schumacher’s 3.783 at 317.49 on a holeshot.

Langdon notched his 14th career win and first at Gateway. The 2013 Top Fuel world champion moved to fourth in the points. He outlasted reigning world champ and points leader Antron Brown, three-time 2016 event winner Doug Kalitta and No. 1 qualifier Richie Crampton en route to the final round.

“We didn’t really have a dominant car in qualifying, but we just kept picking away at it,” said Langdon, who also won at Britol, Tenn., and Norwalk, Ohio. “That’s what we’ve been doing since we got those two victories (earlier this year). The car has just responded well. All in all, this was a great team effort. The whole team did a great job and gave me a great racecar today.”

Schmuacher, the winningest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history, qualified second and outlasted Chris Karamesines, Phoenix winner Leah Pritchett and Sonoma winner J.R. Todd before meeting Langdon in the final.

Brown held his grip on the points lead despite the early exit and is followed by Kalitta in second and Schumacher in third.

Beckman posted a 3.928 at 324.51 in his Dodge Charger R/T to better Tommy Johnson Jr.’s 4.185 at 231.40 in his Dodge Charger R/T during the Funny Car final round.

Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car world champion, claimed his 24th career victory and second at Gateway with the performance. The 2015 season runner-up moved to third in the points standings. Beckman beat Dale Creasy Jr., 16-time champion and recent Charlotte, N.C., winner John Force and points leader Ron Capps in the earlier rounds.

“Our team was in a slump and we did what was incredibly difficult with the way our car was acting unpredictably,” said Beckman, who won earlier this year in Chicago. “I’m not quite sure what changed, but I think I had a good outing as a driver today, the guys tuned smart and we turned on the win-light every time.”

Johnson Jr., who won earlier this year in Bristol, Tenn., raced past Las Vegas winner Alexis DeJoria, No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight and two-time 2016 winner Tim Wilkerson to make his fourth final round appearance of the season. Johnson Jr. jumped to second in the points standings.

In Pro Stock, Laughlin sprinted to his first career final round appearance and victory by powering his Chevy Camaro to a 6.611 at 208.68 to outlast Butner’s 6.637 at 209.26 in his Camaro. Laughlin, competing in only his second year in Pro Stock, did not qualify for the Countdown to the Championship. He knocked down Seattle winner Aaron Strong, two-time 2016 runner-up Vincent Nobile and No. 1 qualifier Shane Gray before meeting Butner in the final.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Laughlin. “It’s not even real at this point. This has got to be a dream. The whole day has been a blur. Took it one round at a time and ended up coming up to the final. I was a little nervous but took a couple deep breadths and told myself, ‘It’s just like any other round, just go up there and do your deal.’ As soon as I let the clutch out, I knew my crew chief gave me a good car.”

Butner, still pursuing his first career victory, earned his fifth runner-up finish of the season and sixth of his career with the performance. He raced past Mark Hogan, Indianapolis winner Chris McGaha and points leader Jason Line before losing to Laughlin in the final. Butner improved to third in points with the runner-up finish.

Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Jerry Savoie rode to his first victory of 2016 with a 6.933 at 189.36 on his Suzuki, defeating Angelle Sampey’s 6.852 at 195.85 on her Buell in an all-Louisiana final. Sampey left the starting line early and red-lighted, giving Savoie the go-ahead victory. Savoie, who had not won a race since 2015 in Dallas, tallied his fifth career win and second at Gateway. The victory moved Savoie up to fourth in the points standings.

“You go to the finals four times and win one, but out here the competition is so strong and it takes a little bit of luck,” said Savoie, who outlasted veteran Steve Johnson, Matt Smith and rookie Cory Reed in the earlier rounds. “We got some luck in the finals. Losing hurts so bad, but winning feels so good. My team is a great team. Our bike is really consistent and we’ve had some issues, but today was our day.”

Sampey, who won for the first time since 2007 earlier this year in Englishtown, N.J., made her third final round appearance of the season by riding past Angie Smith, Hector Arana and Charlotte winner Chip Ellis. She moved to second in points.

Andrew Hines remains the Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader, Ellis dropped to third and Eddie Krawiec dropped to fifth.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will continue with the 21st event of the season and third of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship sept. 29-Oct. 2 with the Dodge NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa.

***

MADISON, Ill. — Final finish order (1-16) at the fifth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.  The race is the 20th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

  1. Shawn Langdon; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  J.R. Todd; 4.  Richie Crampton; 5.  Pat Dakin; 6.  Doug Kalitta; 7.  Leah Pritchett; 8.  Brittany Force; 9.  Clay Millican; 10.  Antron Brown; 11.  Kebin Kinsley; 12.  Steve Torrence; 13.  Wayne Newby; 14.  Kyle Wurtzel; 15.  Terry McMillen; 16.  Chris Karamesines.

FUNNY CAR:

  1. Jack Beckman; 2.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 3.  Tim Wilkerson; 4.  Ron Capps; 5.  Robert Hight; 6. Matt Hagan; 7.  John Force; 8.  Courtney Force; 9.  Alexis DeJoria; 10.  Del Worsham; 11.  Brian Stewart; 12.  Dale Creasy Jr.; 13.  Chad Head; 14.  Cruz Pedregon; 15.  John Hale; 16.  John Bojec.

PRO STOCK:

  1. Alex Laughlin; 2.  Bo Butner; 3.  Shane Gray; 4.  Jason Line; 5.  Greg Anderson; 6.  Vincent Nobile; 7.  Chris McGaha; 8.  Drew Skillman; 9.  Allen Johnson; 10.  Jeg Coughlin; 11.  Aaron Strong; 12.  Deric Kramer; 13.  Erica Enders; 14.  Alan Prusiensky; 15.  Mark Hogan; 16.  Dave River.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

  1. Jerry Savoie; 2.  Angelle Sampey; 3.  Chip Ellis; 4.  Cory Reed; 5.  Matt Smith; 6.  Hector Arana; 7.  Eddie Krawiec; 8.  Andrew Hines; 9.  Hector Arana Jr; 10.  LE Tonglet; 11.  Steve Johnson; 12.  Jim Underdahl; 13.  Angie Smith; 14.  Karen Stoffer; 15.  Melissa Surber; 16.  Joe DeSantis.

###

Sunday’s final results:

Top Fuel — Shawn Langdon, 3.798 seconds, 323.66 mph  def. Tony Schumacher, 3.783 seconds, 317.49 mph.

Funny Car — Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.928, 324.51  def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.185, 231.40.

Pro Stock — Alex Laughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.611, 208.68  def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.637, 209.26.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.933, 189.36  def. Angelle Sampey, Buell, Foul – Red Light.

Pro Modified — Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.802, 253.85  def. Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.830, 250.09.

Competition Eliminator — Terry Smith, Dragster, 6.547, 198.29  def. Fred Allen, Chevy Roadster, 7.387, 177.63.

Super Stock — Larry Cummings, Chevy Cavalier, 8.538, 157.65  def. Keith Lynch, Dodge Challenger, 9.713, 136.06.

Stock Eliminator — Jacob Pitt, Plymouth Barracuda, 10.524, 123.52  def. Chris Stephenson, Olds Apollo, 11.594, 111.96.

Super Comp — Christopher Dodd, Dragster, 8.895, 173.87  def. Bob Eaker, Nova, Foul – Red Light.

Super Gas — Koy Collier, Chevy Camaro, 9.910, 156.97  def. Jacob Elrod, Chevy Corvette, 9.925, 151.83.

Top Dragster — Matt Driskell, Dragster, 6.322, 212.23  def. Jeff Strickland, Dragster, 6.421, 199.85.

Top Sportsman  — Tom Schmidt, Pontiac GXP, 6.892, 201.73  def. J.J. Heber, Ford Mustang, 6.669, 203.16.

###

Final round-by-round results:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Brittany Force, 3.756, 324.44 def. Clay Millican, 3.760, 327.82; Leah Pritchett, 4.009, 282.95 def. Wayne Newby, 4.977, 159.40; Tony Schumacher, 3.785, 322.96 def. Chris Karamesines, Foul – Red Light; Richie Crampton, 3.810, 322.81 def. Kebin Kinsley, 3.909, 302.96; Doug Kalitta, 3.751, 328.22 def. Terry McMillen, 6.426, 105.64; J.R. Todd, 3.818, 320.28 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 5.595, 119.26; Shawn Langdon, 3.771, 325.53 def. Antron Brown, 3.774, 320.20; Pat Dakin, 3.779, 324.98 def. Steve Torrence, 4.405, 186.28; QUARTERFINALS — Schumacher, 3.767, 321.42 def. Pritchett, 4.183, 215.55; Todd, 3.798, 319.22 def. Dakin, 3.827, 316.90; Crampton, 3.783, 322.42 def. Force, 4.515, 200.11; Langdon, 3.782, 322.27 def. Kalitta, 3.861, 310.91; SEMIFINALS — Langdon, 3.784, 322.27 def. Crampton, 3.844, 317.79; Schumacher, 3.757, 326.71 def. Todd, 3.802, 322.04; FINAL — Langdon, 3.798, 323.66 def. Schumacher, 3.783, 317.49.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.909, 327.66 def. John Hale, Dodge Charger, 11.042, 70.12; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.042, 309.27 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala, 4.076, 298.93; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.944, 320.74 def. John Bojec, Toyota Solara, Broke; Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.984, 318.32 def. Brian Stewart, Mustang, 4.024, 316.45; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.934, 327.43 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 8.729, 86.18; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.953, 323.27 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.575, 183.72; John Force, Camaro, 3.958, 327.43 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.989, 320.28; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.940, 321.65 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.985, 323.35; QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 3.930, 322.42 def. Hight, 3.938, 325.37; Wilkerson, 3.928, 316.52 def. Hagan, 3.948, 326.40; Capps, 3.976, 320.05 def. C. Force, 4.100, 257.73; Beckman, 3.978, 318.17 def. J. Force, 3.961, 324.83; SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 3.954, 319.60 def. Capps, 4.112, 285.71; Johnson Jr., 3.937, 323.04 def. Wilkerson, 3.993, 283.97; FINAL — Beckman, 3.928, 324.51 def. Johnson Jr., 4.185, 231.40.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.646, 208.49 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.663, 207.82; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.632, 208.46 def. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.667, 206.70; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.609, 209.43 def. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.699, 206.35; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.641, 208.75 def. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.684, 206.57; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.627, 209.49 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.769, 203.98; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.619, 208.91 def. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 6.966, 198.06; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.625, 209.01 def. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.806, 202.06; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.635, 209.23 def. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.696, 205.98

QUARTERFINALS — Laughlin, 6.643, 208.59 def. Nobile, 6.655, 208.33; Butner, 6.656, 208.52 def. McGaha, 6.664, 207.56; Gray, 6.629, 209.01 def. Skillman, 6.676, 208.07; Line, 6.637, 208.49 def. Anderson, 6.645, 208.39; SEMIFINALS — Butner, 6.678, 207.75 def. Line, 6.627, 208.78; Laughlin, 6.634, 208.75 def. Gray, 6.623, 209.10; FINAL — Laughlin, 6.611, 208.68 def. Butner, 6.637, 209.26.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.887, 194.77 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.926, 191.16; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.948, 194.35 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.977, 192.19; Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.890, 194.66 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.933, 194.07; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.873, 194.52 def. Angie Smith, 6.971, 189.98; Cory Reed, Buell, 6.873, 194.24 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.911, 193.79; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.911, 193.49 def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.908, 194.52; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.890, 192.19 def. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.236, 179.92; Matt Smith, 6.940, 192.22 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, Foul – Red Light; QUARTERFINALS — Savoie, 6.889, 194.60 def. M. Smith, 6.897, 191.81; Ellis, 6.895, 194.30 def. Hines, 6.941, 191.73; Reed, 6.921, 192.47 def. Krawiec, 6.925, 191.65; Sampey, 6.882, 195.08 def. Arana, 6.916, 193.96; SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.922, 193.68 def. Reed, 7.022, 189.26; Sampey, 6.873, 194.94 def. Ellis, 6.884, 193.93; FINAL — Savoie, 6.933, 189.36 def. Sampey, Foul – Red Light.

###

Point standings (top 10) followingthe Midwest Nationals:

Top Fuel

  1. Antron Brown, 2,258; 2.  Doug Kalitta, 2,245; 3.  Tony Schumacher, 2,204; 4.  Shawn Langdon, 2,181; 5.  Brittany Force, 2,167; 6.  Steve Torrence, 2,161; 7.  J.R. Todd, 2,152; 8.  Richie Crampton, 2,127; 9.  Leah Pritchett, 2,107; 10.  Clay Millican, 2,084.

Funny Car

  1. Ron Capps, 2,273; 2.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,225; 3.  Jack Beckman, 2,203; 4.  John Force, 2,199; 5.  Del Worsham, 2,189; 6.  Matt Hagan, 2,177; 7.  Robert Hight, 2,159; 8.  Courtney Force, 2,149; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 2,144; 10.  Alexis DeJoria, 2,068.

Pro Stock

  1. Jason Line, 2,310; 2.  Greg Anderson, 2,247; 3.  Bo Butner, 2,223; 4.  Vincent Nobile, 2,185; 5.  Shane Gray, 2,167; 6.  Chris McGaha, 2,135; 7.  Allen Johnson, 2,127; 8.  Drew Skillman, 2,126; 9.  Jeg Coughlin, 2,084; 10.  Erica Enders, 2,052.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

  1. Andrew Hines, 2,260; 2.  Angelle Sampey, 2,258; 3.  Chip Ellis, 2,243; 4.  Jerry Savoie, 2,218; 5.  Eddie Krawiec, 2,184; 6.  LE Tonglet, 2,138; 7.  Hector Arana Jr, 2,115; 8.  Hector Arana, 2,107; 9.  Cory Reed, 2,105; 10.  Matt Smith, 2,096.
| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 25 2016
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