INDIANAPOLIS (September 7, 2020) – Shawn Langdon powered to his first Top Fuel victory since 2016 on Sunday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, capping off an impressive weekend with a win at drag racing’s biggest race, the 66th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Scotty Pollacheck (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the sixth race of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Langdon, who was also the No. 1 qualifier this weekend, went 3.705-seconds at 326.32 mph in his 11,000-horsepower DHL dragster to beat Leah Pruett in the final round, winning for the 17th time in his career and second time at Indy. The victory marked a major moment for Langdon, a former Top Fuel world champ who moved to Funny Car in 2018 before switching back to Top Fuel in 2020. He knocked off Joey Haas, Cory McClenathan and Justin Ashley to reach the final round, where Langdon impressed with a .015 reaction time and had a superb start-to-finish run.
“There’s been a lot of hard work that has gone into this team,” Langdon said. “Working with (team owner) Connie (Kalitta) and the DHL team again, I love those guys and they’re all awesome. They proved that today. We’ve had an awesome car the entire weekend and it’s just a great team. How much work they put into this, it’s really impressive. This is an awesome deal, and when I hit the gas I knew we had it as long as we didn’t smoke the tires. I’m trying to give it everything I’ve got and my team did a great job.”
Pruett beat Terry McMillen, Tony Schumacher and Steve Torrence to reach her 16th final round.
Funny Car points leader Beckman continued his impressive 2020 campaign, going 3.908 at 327.35 in his 11,000-horsepower Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to beat J.R. Todd in the final round, claiming his second win this year and 32nd overall. A day after Don Schumacher Racing claimed its 350th overall win, Beckman added to it on Sunday, also giving DSR its ninth straight Funny Car win dating back to last year. He beat Cruz Pedregon, teammate Ron Capps and Tim Wilkerson to reach the final round, edging out Todd in a close side-by-side race.
“If this is the last time I race at Indy, this team left nothing on the race track,” said Beckman, who reached his 67th career final round. “This is what drag racing is all about. I hope I can continue to keep doing this, but I’m going to revel in this right now. Our team was just awesome today.”
Todd reached his 35th final round by knocking off Blake Alexander, Dale Creasy Jr. and Matt Hagan.
A year after a heartbreaking defeat in the final round, defending world champ Enders enjoyed her U.S. Nationals redemption on Sunday, rolling to the Pro Stock win with a 6.606 at 208.55 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. She posted a sterling .009 reaction time against Matt Hartford in the final round and never trailed, winning for the second time in 2020 and 27th time in her career. To reach her 53rd career final round, Enders beat Kenny Delco, Deric Kramer and rookie Mason McGaha, picking up her second career U.S. Nationals victory a round later.
“This is really sweet and it means the world to me,” Enders said. “You work your entire life for something like this and it’s a dream come true. I’ve drag raced for 30 years and raced in Pro Stock for 16 years, and so many people have made this possible. This Chevy Camaro is mean, I’ve got the three baddest crew chiefs on the property in Rick Jones, Rickie Jones and Marc Ingersoll, and I’ve got the best team in the world. This is just amazing.”
Hartford beat Fernando Cuadra, Bo Butner and Jason Line to reach his eighth career final round.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pollacheck capped off his dream weekend with his first career victory in the class, beating Andrew Hines in the final round with a 6.790 at 200.53 on his Strutmasters.com EBR, breaking the track speed record he set on Saturday in the process. Pollacheck also qualified No. 1 for just the second time in his career, advanced to the finals of the Mickey Thompson Pro Bike battle and joined the DENSO 200-mph club earlier in the weekend, finishing it off with the victory on the biggest possible stage. He raced past Michael Phillips, Angelle Sampey and Steve Johnson to reach the final round, riding past Hines in the finals and setting off an emotional celebration.
“There’s so many people that put in so much work and effort to help get us here,” Pollacheck said. “My wife, Susan, has really pushed me, and Matt and Angie Smith have given me an amazing bike. Michael Ray, my crew guy, he’s the baddest man on the planet. This bike was just flawless all weekend. This is like the biggest thing ever. I can’t even believe it. It’s just awesome.”
Hines, the defending world champ, topped John Hall, Matt Smith and Eddie Krawiec to advance to his 97th career final round.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues Sept. 25-27 with the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Final finish order (1-16) at the 66th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The race is the sixth of 11 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
1. Shawn Langdon; 2. Leah Pruett; 3. Steve Torrence; 4. Justin Ashley; 5. Cory McClenathan; 6. Doug Kalitta; 7. Antron Brown; 8. Tony Schumacher; 9. Terry McMillen; 10. Clay Millican; 11. Doug Foley; 12. Pat Dakin; 13. Billy Torrence; 14. T.J. Zizzo; 15. Kyle Wurtzel; 16. Joey Haas.
1. Jack Beckman; 2. J.R. Todd; 3. Tim Wilkerson; 4. Matt Hagan; 5. Bob Tasca III; 6. Dale Creasy Jr.; 7. Dale Creasy Jr.; 8. Bob Bode; 9. Blake Alexander; 10. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 11. Terry Haddock; 12. Paul Lee; 13. Jim Campbell; 14. Alexis DeJoria; 15. Cruz Pedregon; 16. Dave Richards.
1. Erica Enders; 2. Matt Hartford; 3. Jason Line; 4. Mason McGaha; 5. Bo Butner; 6. Greg Anderson; 7. Deric Kramer; 8. Kyle Koretsky; 9. Kenny Delco; 10. Chris McGaha; 11. Fernando Cuadra; 12. Val Smeland; 13. Alan Prusiensky; 14. Jeg Coughlin; 15. Aaron Stanfield; 16. Alex Laughlin.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
1. Scotty Pollacheck; 2. Andrew Hines; 3. Eddie Krawiec; 4. Steve Johnson; 5. Angie Smith; 6. Cory Reed; 7. Angelle Sampey; 8. Matt Smith; 9. Ryan Oehler; 10. Hector Arana Jr; 11. Jerry Savoie; 12. John Hall; 13. Chris Bostick; 14. Michael Phillips; 15. Jim Underdahl; 16. Marc Ingwersen.BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Sunday’s final results from the 66th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The race is the sixth of 11 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel — Shawn Langdon, 3.705 seconds, 326.32 mph def. Leah Pruett, 5.141 seconds, 145.75 mph.
Funny Car — Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.908, 327.35 def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.960, 324.28.
Pro Stock — Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.606, 208.55 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.610, 208.59.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.790, 200.53 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson,
6.914, 197.10.BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Final round-by-round results from the 66th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, the sixth of 11 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
ROUND ONE — Cory McClenathan, 3.761, 313.58 def. Doug Foley, 3.768, 322.65; Antron Brown, 3.752, 325.61 def. T.J. Zizzo, 3.793, 320.81; Tony Schumacher, 3.770, 324.59 def. Clay Millican, 3.763, 286.74; Doug Kalitta, 3.707, 329.67 def. Pat Dakin, Foul – Centerline; Shawn Langdon, 3.729, 315.71 def. Joey Haas, 4.032, 273.77; Steve Torrence, 3.749, 325.37 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.869, 311.70; Justin Ashley, 3.717, 323.12 def. Billy Torrence, 3.773, 320.81; Leah Pruett, 3.703, 325.61 def. Terry McMillen, 3.726, 320.13;
QUARTERFINALS — S. Torrence, 3.750, 325.77 def. Brown, 4.088, 246.30; Langdon, 3.723, 319.90 def. McClenathan, 3.731, 330.47; Ashley, 3.774, 294.50 def. Kalitta, 3.755, 329.67; Pruett, 4.312, 211.89 def. Schumacher, 9.048, 79.71;
SEMIFINALS — Pruett, 3.743, 322.34 def. S. Torrence, 3.724, 325.14; Langdon, 6.920, 175.00 def. Ashley, 7.237, 184.90;
FINAL — Langdon, 3.705, 326.32 def. Pruett, 5.141, 145.75.
ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.915, 328.62 def. Dave Richards, Mustang, 8.079, 84.91; Bob Bode, Mustang, 4.034, 285.65 def. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.924, 156.41; Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.009, 315.64 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.011, 276.58; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.924, 328.06 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.902, 166.25; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.898, 330.31 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.383, 246.57; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.942, 326.63 def. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.737, 169.13; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.909, 327.74 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 7.734, 87.81; J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.916, 331.28 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.996, 319.52;
QUARTERFINALS — Wilkerson, 4.011, 312.78 def. Bode, 4.005, 318.62; Beckman, 4.003, 316.01 def. Capps, 5.454, 137.79; Hagan, 3.939, 327.03 def. Tasca III, 3.940, 328.46; Todd, 3.919, 328.14 def. Creasy Jr., 4.000, 315.78; Todd, 3.919, 328.14 def. Creasy Jr., 4.000, 315.78;
SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 3.915, 329.10 def. Wilkerson, 3.914, 324.59; Todd, 3.946, 327.03 def. Hagan, 4.132, 273.05;
FINAL — Beckman, 3.908, 327.35 def. Todd, 3.960, 324.28.
ROUND ONE — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.605, 208.65 def. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.594, 207.72 def. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.581, 208.39 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.586, 209.56; Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.574, 208.42 def. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.622, 208.14; Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.578, 209.07 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.664, 206.54; Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.626, 207.98 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.601, 208.52; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.564, 208.59 def. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.645, 208.17; Bo Butner, Camaro, 7.395, 135.35 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, Foul – Red Light;
QUARTERFINALS — M. McGaha, 6.660, 207.08 def. Koretsky, Foul – Red Light; Enders, 6.603, 208.68 def. Kramer, 12.821, 67.70; Hartford, 6.621, 206.57 def. Butner, 6.616, 208.88; Line, 6.598, 209.07 def. Anderson, 6.624, 208.55;
SEMIFINALS — Enders, 6.614, 208.49 def. M. McGaha, 6.791, 192.63; Hartford, 6.624, 208.84 def. Line, 6.605, 208.91;
FINAL — Enders, 6.606, 208.55 def. Hartford, 6.610, 208.59.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
ROUND ONE — Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.870, 197.28 def. Ryan Oehler, 6.894, 196.93; Cory Reed, 6.909, 195.00 def. Hector Arana Jr, 6.934, 196.13; Angie Smith, 6.924, 198.00 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.943, 192.28; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.831, 196.87 def. John Hall, Suzuki, 6.964, 192.66; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.860, 194.16 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.968, 194.80; Matt Smith, 6.908, 196.82 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, Broke; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.811, 198.93 def. Marc Ingwersen, Broke; Scotty Pollacheck, 6.812, 199.11 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 8.804, 111.64;
QUARTERFINALS — Johnson, 6.870, 194.94 def. A. Smith, Foul – Red Light; Hines, 6.868, 196.99 def. M. Smith, 29.003, 21.32; Pollacheck, 6.821, 199.08 def. Sampey, 6.966, 171.08; Krawiec, 6.850, 199.05 def. Reed, Foul – Red Light;
SEMIFINALS — Hines, 6.841, 197.86 def. Krawiec, 6.829, 199.70; Pollacheck, 6.821, 199.32 def. Johnson, Broke;
FINAL — Pollacheck, 6.790, 200.53 def. Hines, 6.914, 197.10.BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Point standings (top 10) following the 66th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, the sixth of 11 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –
1. Doug Kalitta, 492; 2. Leah Pruett, 442; 3. Steve Torrence, 432; 4. Justin Ashley, 370; 5. Billy Torrence, 331; 6. Shawn Langdon, 330; 7. Antron Brown, 316; 8. Terry McMillen, 305; 9. Clay Millican, 279; 10. T.J. Zizzo, 179.
1. Jack Beckman, 517; 2. Matt Hagan, 482; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., 460; 4. J.R. Todd, 387; 5. Ron Capps, 376; 6. Bob Tasca III, 355; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 348; 8. Alexis DeJoria, 241; 9. Cruz Pedregon, 234; 10. Paul Lee, 225.
1. Erica Enders, 453; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 446; 3. Jason Line, 442; 4. Matt Hartford, 291; 5. Greg Anderson, 290; 6. (tie) Bo Butner, 249; Chris McGaha, 249; 8. Alex Laughlin, 243; 9. Kenny Delco, 228; 10. Deric Kramer, 197.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Scotty Pollacheck, 251; 2. Andrew Hines, 226; 3. Eddie Krawiec, 225; 4. Matt Smith, 224; 5. Angelle Sampey, 221; 6. Ryan Oehler, 204; 7. Hector Arana Jr, 158; 8. Chris Bostick, 154; 9.Angie Smith, 145; 10. Steve Johnson, 137.
DENSO SPARK PLUGS NHRA U.S. NATIONALS
WHAT: 67th annual DENSO Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals, the sixth event of the 2020 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Competition will feature the four professional classes: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Also competing at the U.S. Nationals will be the fan favorite E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Presented by J&A Service, SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown series and the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series. Finally, the JEGS Allstars as well as the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle events will be featured at the historic race.WHERE: Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Brownsburg, Ind. From I-465, exit Crawfordsville Road (Hwy. 136). Head west for four miles past downtown Clermont. The facility’s main entrance is on the left, one-half mile past Raceway Road. From I-74 go south on Ronald Reagan Parkway, exit 68 and turn south. Turn east on U.S. 136 and entrance on the track will be on the right.
COURSE: Championship dragstrip; Track elevation is 700 feet above sea level; Track direction is south to north.
WHEN: September 3 – 6
2019 EVENT WINNERS:
Doug Kalitta, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Alex Laughlin, Pro Stock; Jerry Savoie, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Tony Schumacher, TF, 10; Bob Glidden, PS, 9; Don Garlits, TF, 8; Don Prudhomme, TF/ FC, 7; Greg Anderson, PS, 6; Warren Johnson, PS, 6; Ed McCulloch, FC/TF, 6; Dave Schultz, PSM, 6;John Force, FC, 5; Larry Dixon, TF, 4, Jeg Coughlin Jr., PS, 4.EVENT HISTORY:
The most historic and prestigious event in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the DENSO Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals has been contested annually since 1955. Originally known as “The Nationals” and first held at an abandoned airstrip in Great Bend, Kan., the event made stops at Kansas City, Mo., Oklahoma City and Detroit before eventually moving to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 1961. Past winners include “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, an eight-time winner in Top Fuel; Shirley Muldowney, 1982 Top Fuel winner; Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, a seven-time winner and one of a handful of drivers to win the event in both Top Fuel and Funny Car; and Bob Glidden, the legendary Pro Stock driver who dominated the race by advancing to the final round in 13 consecutive seasons from 1977-’89. The Indiana native won the event nine times. Tony Schumacher has the most wins at the event with 10 victories with his 2016 win. It is the only major motorsports event to be contested on Labor Day.
In 1958, led by Tom Binford, Frank Dickie, Rodger Ward and Howard Fieber, 15 Indianapolis-area businessmen and racing professionals invested $5,000 each to fund the development of what would become Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The group purchased a 267-acre farm about seven miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and developed a multipurpose auto racing facility. The original intention in creating Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis was to design a 15-turn, 2.5-mile road course. Nearly as an afterthought, and as an insurance measure against economic problems, the investment group decided to incorporate a quarter-mile drag strip into the long straightaway of the 2.5-mile road course design. Constructed with assistance from the NHRA, the drag strip was the first of the three courses to be completed, with the facility’s first event held on the strip in the fall of 1960. During the 1960 U.S. Nationals in Detroit, a handshake agreement between Binford and NHRA founder Wally Parks promised that the event would move to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 1961. The historic three-year pact was signed and sealed under a tree in Detroit Dragway’s pits, and Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis eventually became the home of NHRA’s biggest annual event. The NHRA purchased the entire facility in 1979. The first major improvement came in 1983 with the construction and dedication of Parks Tower, the four-story drag strip tower. In 1998, new grandstands, suites and a tower complex on the front straightaway were completed at the oval track at a cost of nearly $2.5 million, which included the repaving of the entire oval surface as part of a three-phase facility improvement project. In 2001, NHRA and Lucas Oil Raceway constructed a new drag strip racing surface, replacing the strip with a 660-foot concrete pad and laying new asphalt on the remainder of the track and shutdown area. Prior to the 2003 race, eight new luxury suites were added along the top of the west-side grandstands of the drag strip, giving fans a unique perspective of the action on the famed track. In 2006, new soft barrier walls were added to the oval. In 2007, the track announced its first track entitlement with O’Reilly Auto Parts. In 2011, the track announced a new track entitlement with Lucas Oil Products. The track – formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park – is now known as Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. During the winter of 2008, a new main track office building was constructed near the track entrance.
Top Fuel – 3.645 sec. by Brittany Force, Sept. 2017; 333.33 mph by Billy Torrence, Sept. 2019.
Funny Car – 3.799 sec. by Matt Hagan, Sept. 2017; 338.77 by Matt Hagan, Sept. 2017.
Pro Stock – 6.538 sec. by Jason Line, Sept. 2011; 211.13 mph by Mike Edwards, Sept. 2012.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.807 sec. by Matt Smith, Aug. 2020; 199.29 mph by Hector Arana Jr., Sept. 2018.
Top Fuel – 3.623 sec. by Brittany Force, Sept. 2019, Reading, Pa.; 338.17 mph by Brittany Force, Nov. 2019, Las Vegas
Funny Car – 3.793 sec. by Robert Hight, Aug. 2017, Brainerd; 339.87 mph by Robert Hight, July 2017, Sonoma, Calif.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March 2015, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May 2014, Englishtown N.J.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.720 sec. by Andrew Hines, March 2019, Gainesville, Fla.; 201.76 mph by Matt Smith, March 2019, Gainesville, Fla.
Photos and videos courtesy of NHRA
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and E3 Spark NHRA Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.