Shawn Langdon wins his first NHRA Championship in his Al-Anabi Top Fuel Dragster, beating Kalitta Motorsports’ Doug Kalitta in an all-Red Line Oil final round in Pomona. Red Line teams also clinched championship titles in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Modified and Super gas.
Benicia, Calif. (November 10, 2013) – The final round of the final race of the NHRA season pitted two Red Line Oil equipped entries against each other, and in the end Shawn Langdon captured his first, and Red Line’s second, NHRA Top Fuel Dragster championship on Sunday when Langdon pedaled his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to the win with a 3.784 second run at 323.58 mph against Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools dragster, which posted a 2.808 at 322.04 mph at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, California.
This was Langdon’s seventh victory of the season, and the Southern California native became only the sixth Top Fuel driver in history to sweep both Pomona races, as he opened the season with a victory at the NHRA Winternationals. Tony Schumacher (2004), Gary Scelzi (2000), Mike Dunn (1999), Darrell Gwynn (1989), and Gary Ormsby (1986) also accomplished the feat.
“This is the top of the cake this weekend,” said Langdon. “It’s an absolutely special weekend for everybody involved with Al-Anabi Racing. This is what I envisioned as a kid wanting to be a professional drag racer. When you’re living a dream and being part of something special, it almost puts you at a loss for words. I’m very fortunate to be a part of a great team. I still have to keep pinching myself.”
Matt Smith clinched his second-career NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock Championship on his Red Line Oil equipped Viper Motorcycle Co. Buell with a clutch win at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway two weeks ago. After winning two of the last three events, Smith held a sizable lead in the standings before entering the penultimate event in Las Vegas and clinched the title, and the $75,000 bonus that accompanies it, after winning the final round against White Alligator Suzuki’s Jerry Savoie.
“With me winning the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship and dad winning the Pro Mod championship it’s been great,” Smith said. “I don’t know what else I could ask for. This Viper team has been awesome. I don’t want to sound too confident, but we’ve almost been unstoppable. We’ve been to 10 finals since Epping and have six wins. Those are amazing numbers for our team.”
In the Pro Mod ranks, veteran Red Line Oil racer Rickie Smith took advantage of several early exits by most of his series challengers and captured the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series world championship title at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis. Smith claimed his first season championship title in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series when he took the semifinal victory over event top qualifier Jim Laurita.
“It’s been a long time since we won a championship; we won seven titles [IHRA Pro Stock and Super Modified], but the last one was in 1989,” said the 59-year-old Smith, of King, N.C. “I’ve been doing this for 40 solid years. I drive my own truck and put my own awning up, and it’s time to back off, be a crew chief and let these young guys do it. I am tickled to death to pull this deal off. I want to walk away from this thing a champion.”
Super Gas racer Rick Beckstrom also locked up the 2013 NHRA World Championship in Las Vegas. Beckstrom drove his Red Line Equipped Pontiac Grand Prix to three wins and four final rounds this year including a pair of national event wins. This was his first world championship.
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