Gray Continues Funny Car Hot Streak
“We haven’t quite been able to finish it out on Sunday,” Langdon said. “[My crew] had the fire in their eyes today. They wanted to close it out. We didn’t want to go four races in a row feeling like we had a car that can win and not getting it done.”
Top qualifier Langdon used a string of 3.7-second runs in earlier round wins against Pat Dakin, Steve Torrence and Spencer Massey. He saved his quickest run for last against Schumacher.
“That’s [team manager/tuner] Alan Johnson, [crew chief] Brian Husen, and Al-Anabi Racing,” Langdon said. “Sheikh Khalid [bin Hamad Al Thani, owner] assembled a great team. They don’t settle for second place. They always want to have the fastest car. They really made my job easy this weekend.”
With the win, Langdon moves to second in the series standings, 34 behind leader Schumacher.
Coughlin broke a winless drought of more than two years by taking the Pro Stock victory over teammate Allen Johnson. Coughlin took the win light with a performance of 6.680 at 206.20 in his JEGS.com/Team Mopar Dodge Avenger, while runner-up Johnson finished in 6.698 at 206.57 in his Team Mopar Avenger.
“Any day you are hoisting a Wally at the end of the day is a good thing and it’s what you work for,” Coughlin said. “Today was extra-special for several reasons. We hadn’t won in a couple of years. To finally get a Wally on Sunday is exactly what the doctor ordered. We have been working hard and trying to work smart, and today was our day and it felt fantastic.”
Coughlin won from the fourth qualifying position and beat Greg Stanfield, Rickie Jones and Vincent Nobile en route to the victory, the 53rd of his career. He also joined the 500 round wins club, earning round wins 499, 500, 501 and 502. He is only the 12th driver in NHRA history to accomplish that feat.
“I’ve been very blessed,” Coughlin said. “My family has been behind me all the way and they are a huge part of getting this 500th round win as well.”
Coughlin remains in second place in the series standings, but with the victory, cut leader Mike Edwards’ advantage to 76. Runner-up Johnson stayed in the third place, but also trimmed Edwards’ lead by about 30 points.
“This Pro Stock race has just begun to heat up,” said Coughlin, a four-time world champ. “We are getting ready to go into a great stretch of races and I love where we are sitting.”