The Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel team of Doug Kalitta and Shawn Langdon has packed quite the 1-2 punch this season in the NHRA.

Kalitta and Langdon have each won two races, and they are first and third in third in the points standings after eight events.

They show no sign of slowing down at race No. 9 on the national circuit, the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals in Richmond, Va., this weekend.

Langdon captured the No. 1 qualifying spot with his 3.872-second elapsed time at 319.82 mph in Q3, while Kalitta was No. 2 at 3.883 seconds at 318.69 mph.

Top Fuel and Funny Car each had three qualifying sessions Saturday during an historic day for NHRA. There were zero qualifying sessions on Friday.

“For me, I’m just hitting the gas,” Langdon said. “Brian (Husen, Langdon’s crew chief) felt there was probably like a mid-3.80 (out there). After we made that run, he said he was a little worried that someone behind us would overtake that. There was a little bit left out there. The problem is just getting everything in sync. The track is so good and so smooth that these hot conditions don’t do this track much justice with how good it really is.

“We are tiptoeing down the track. It’s crazy how much we have these things backed up, so it is just a matter of getting the power level right and getting the clutch in sync and getting everything in sync. The first couple of runs we were off a little bit, and Brian just made some good calls for Q3. He felt that run was out there all day long. It was just a matter with these conditions, a 150-degree track temp, it is just getting everything right.”  

This is Langdon’s 21st career No. 1 qualifier and second this season. He also topped the qualifying board at the season-opening race in Gainesville, Fla., which he won.

Langdon is searching for his first career win in Richmond. He will begin that quest by taking on Lex Joon in Round One.

“Our hot setup has showed a lot of promise the last couple of races,” Langdon said. “We just kind of get into the scenario, and we get in the eliminations and (it is a case of) would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. In hindsight, we could have done this or that. But a lot of those things are going to come with Brian, this being his first year, there are going to be a lot of things he just has to do things – good, bad, right, wrong – but he has to be able to build up that gut feeling, that gut confidence. By the time we are Countdown ready, I know Brian he will be ready for it. Right now, I think we have showed a good car on the hot setup, it just hasn’t really showed its full potential. It has a lot of promise for sure.”

Langdon applauded the three qualifying sessions in one day that NHRA implemented in Richmond.

“I really like it,” Langdon said. “I have been outspoken a little bit the last few years about something like that, and whether anybody has heard or not, I don’t know. I have done two-day things. I would like to see like a Friday, potentially Saturday and a Saturday night race, especially in the summers. Like a track like this, you take out 40-degrees of track temp and you are picking up a couple of tenths. This track, if you get it in the right conditions, you can fly here. So, I think a night race would be really intriguing and be a lot of fun.

“A Saturday night race would be something different, and I know there are a lot of moving parts to a lot of these things to make it all work for all parties involved is really difficult to accomplish, but I’m all for the two-day format. I think it is great.”

Langdon welcomes the challenge Sunday presents and he aims to capture his 20th career Wally and 18th in Top Fuel. He also has two nitro Funny Car victories.

“The neat thing about today, making three runs, really prepares you well,” Langdon said. “It is not like you made two runs and it was at the end of the day and you had half the day off. We were out here early (Saturday morning), and we all have been working all day and made three runs and ran both lanes. I feel like we are set up pretty well” for Sunday.