It’s a Win-Win NHRA Weekend for Kalitta Motorsports at Winternationals in Gainesville

Jackson Wheeler
18 Min Read


  • Shawn Langdon and J.R. Todd picked up wins in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively, in what was a first for Kalitta Motorsports.
  • Austin Prock, making his NHRA Funny Car debut, rolled to his ninth career final round by defeating John Smith, John Force and Chad Green.
  • Eric Enders wins for the 48th time in Pro Stock.

For the first time in team history, Kalitta Motorsports doubled-up in the nitro categories on Sunday at Gainesville Raceway, as Shawn Langdon and J.R. Todd picked up wins in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively, to kick off the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season at the 55th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the first of 21 races during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

After 18 previous attempts to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car in one weekend, Langdon wrapped up the successful nitro sweep for Kalitta Motorsports on Sunday, picking up his first victory in Gainesville with a run of 3.711-seconds at 335.40 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Kalitta Air Careers Toyota dragster in the final round against Billy Torrence.

Top Fuel

Langdon qualified No. 1 with new crew chief Brian Husen and rolled off a string of strong runs on Sunday to collect his 18th career victory and first since 2020, knocking off Cody Krohn, Justin Ashley and Antron Brown to reach the final round. There, he quickly tracked down Torrence, setting off a memorable first-time celebration for Kalitta Motorsports.

“It feels really good,” Langdon said. “You keep your head down and keep working hard, and I’m just with a great group. J.R. and I are out here having fun and living our dreams. I can’t say enough as Brian. It’s his first race as a crew chief and he gave me an absolute flawless car.

“There were so many pressure situations going into the final round: going for my first Gatornationals win, the first double-up for Kalitta Motorsports. But I just took a deep breath and told myself, ‘Don’t screw this up.’ We’ve had a rough time (in recent seasons), but we’ve just kept our heads down and kept working.”

Torrence reached his 13th career final round by knocking off Brittany Force, Mike Salinas and his son, Steve Torrence.

Funny Car

Before Langdon finished the job for the nitro sweep, Funny Car’s J.R. Todd picked up his second Gatornationals victory with a run of 3.889 at 329.10 in his 11,000-horsepower DHL Toyota GR Supra to knock off No. 1 qualifier Austin Prock. Todd struggled to make a clean run through the first three rounds but found himself in the final round after getting past Blake Alexander, Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III.

Todd, though, and the team delivered in the championship round, making their best run of the weekend with the Wally and the Golden Gators trophy on the line. It gave Todd his 21st career victory and special moment being part of the Kalitta Motorsports double-up.

“It’s probably the most bizarre day I’ve had in drag racing and the final round was the first clean run we’ve had all weekend,” Todd said. “We’ve been trying to double up for a while and for whatever reason, we couldn’t get it done. The stars just aligned here in Gainesville and it’s pretty awesome.”

Prock, making his NHRA Funny Car debut, rolled to his ninth career final round by defeating John Smith, John Force and Chad Green.

erica enders races to 48th career win

NHRA/National Dragster

The beat goes on for the winningest women in motorsports.

Pro Stock

The wait for a Gatornationals victory is over for six-time and reigning Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, as motorsports’ winningest female won in Gainesville for the first time on Sunday after defeating Elite Motorsports teammate Cristian Cuadra in the final round with a standout pass of 6.494 at 211.93 in her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/Melling Performance/SCAG Power Equipment car.

She picked up her 48th career Pro Stock win in the process, knocking off Kelley Murphy, Aaron Stanfield and longtime rival Greg Anderson to reach the final round. After qualifying No. 1 with a 6.549, Enders dipped into the 6.40s three times during eliminations, including a stunning 6.483 at 211.96 to defeat Anderson in the semifinals. That helped set up a memorable final round for Enders, who claimed the Gatornationals win on Sunday.

“We’ve been chomping at the bit to get this done,” Enders said. “I’ve been to three final rounds here and we finally got it done.”

Cuadra reached his second career final round on Sunday, taking down Larry Morgan, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Dallas Glenn.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

At the site of his first career Pro Stock Motorcycle victory a year ago, Gaige Herrera was simply dominant on Sunday in Gainesville, capping off a spectacular day with a run of 6.636 at 204.39 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki in the final round to get past Matt Smith.

Herrera, who was also the No. 1 qualifier, won his sixth straight race dating back to his remarkable championship season in 2023, and earned his 12th career victory and not much was in doubt on Sunday. He put together four straight runs in the 6.60s at more than 200 mph, defeating Joey Gladstone, John Hall and Angie Smith leading into the final round.

That included a track-record best of 6.629 at 204.54 in the second round, which was the second-quickest run in class history, behind only his record-setting run last year in Dallas.

“Today was good and we ran really well,” Herrera said. “The weather was really close to Dallas (last season), where I set the national record. Everyone kind of picked up in the class and we expected to as well.”

Matt Smith went to the finals for the 76th time in his career thanks to round wins against Chris Bostick, Mark Ingwersen and LE Tonglet.


Results

55th NHRA Gatornationals

at Gainesville, Fla.

Final finish order (1-16) at the 55th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. The race is the first of 21 events in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Shawn Langdon; 2. Billy Torrence; 3. Antron Brown; 4. Steve Torrence; 5. Josh Hart; 6. Justin Ashley; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Mike Salinas; 9. Tripp Tatum; 10. Tony Schumacher; 11. Cody Krohn; 12. Tony Stewart; 13. Brittany Force; 14. Shawn Reed; 15. Clay Millican; 16. Doug Foley.

FUNNY CAR:

1. J.R. Todd; 2. Austin Prock; 3. Chad Green; 4. Bob Tasca III; 5. John Force; 6. Alexis DeJoria; 7. Ron Capps; 8. Matt Hagan; 9. Daniel Wilkerson; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. Buddy Hull; 12. Jim Campbell; 13. Paul Lee; 14. John Smith; 15. Blake Alexander; 16. Terry Haddock.

PRO STOCK:

1. Erica Enders; 2. Cristian Cuadra; 3. Greg Anderson; 4. Dallas Glenn; 5. Aaron Stanfield; 6. Jeg Coughlin; 7. Brandon Foster; 8. David Cuadra; 9. Matt Hartford; 10. Jerry Tucker; 11. Kenny Delco; 12. Kelley Murphy; 13. Larry Morgan; 14. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 15. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 16. Deric Kramer.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Gaige Herrera; 2. Matt Smith; 3. Angie Smith; 4. LE Tonglet; 5. John Hall; 6. Richard Gadson; 7. Steve Johnson; 8. Marc Ingwersen; 9. Hector Arana Jr; 10. Kelly Clontz; 11. Ryan Oehler; 12. Chris Bostick; 13. Chase Van Sant; 14. Joey Gladstone; 15. Bud Yoder II; 16. Jianna Evaristo.

Final Round Results

Top Fuel — Shawn Langdon, 3.711 seconds, 335.40 mph def. Billy Torrence, 4.050 seconds, 228.50 mph.

Funny Car — J.R. Todd, Toyota GR Supra, 3.889, 329.10 def. Austin Prock, Chevy Camaro, 5.360, 145.03.

Pro Stock — Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.494, 211.93 def. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 18.386, 39.84.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.636, 204.39 def. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.748, 200.83.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Joe C. Maynard, 5.275, 272.67 def. Jeff Veale, 5.311, 281.07.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Ulf Leanders, Chevy Camaro, 5.454, 263.67 def. Phil Esz, Camaro, 5.441, 265.12.

Competition Eliminator — David Billingsley, Chevy Camaro, 8.068, 161.46 def. Robert Bailey, Dragster, 6.614, 170.49.

Super Stock — Kenny Horne, Olds Achieva, 9.854, 122.61 def. Monty Bogan, Chevy Camaro, 9.072, 150.51.

Stock Eliminator — Jeff Strickland, Chevy Camaro, 10.543, 90.68 def. Jay Storey, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Super Comp — Holden Laris, Dragster, 8.921, 176.44 def. Brad Plourd, Dragster, 8.936, 155.35.

Super Gas — Christopher Williams, Chevy Corvette, 9.915, 175.23 def. Rick Swank, Brogie Roadste, Foul – Red Light.

Top Sportsman — James Hinkle, Pontiac Grand Am, 7.197, 190.03 def. Darian Boesch, Chevy Camaro, 6.248, 229.82.

Top Dragster — Blake Peavler, Dragster, 6.564, 158.78 def. Robert Tehle, Dragster, Foul – Red Light.

Pro Modified — Jose Gonzalez, Chevy Camaro, 5.685, 253.23 def. Kris Thorne, Camaro, 10.333, 80.64.

Factory Stock Showdown — Mark Pawuk, Dodge Challenger, 7.745, 177.23 def. Stephen Bell, Chevy Camaro, 8.012, 171.25.

Round By Round

Final round-by-round results from the 55th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the first of 21 events in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Justin Ashley, 4.414, 297.94 def. Tony Stewart, 4.453, 267.80; Doug Kalitta, 3.658, 337.75 def. Clay Millican, 7.442, 89.73; Josh Hart, 3.750, 329.26 def. Tony Schumacher, 4.024, 323.81; Antron Brown, 3.730, 333.00 def. Tripp Tatum, Foul – Red Light; Shawn Langdon, 3.690, 335.90 def. Cody Krohn, 4.391, 203.86; Steve Torrence, 3.673, 335.90 def. Shawn Reed, 6.306, 109.66; Mike Salinas, 3.930, 250.51 def. Doug Foley, Foul – Red Light; Billy Torrence, 3.669, 336.74 def. Brittany Force, 6.116, 100.86;

QUARTERFINALS — Brown, 3.730, 332.84 def. Hart, 3.866, 298.14; Langdon, 3.709, 334.40 def. Ashley, 4.890, 157.12; B. Torrence, 4.535, 171.25 def. Salinas, 6.272, 98.31; S. Torrence, 3.708, 334.90 def. Kalitta, 5.672, 119.94;

SEMIFINALS — Langdon, 3.702, 336.74 def. Brown, 5.731, 122.40; B. Torrence, 4.540, 165.70 def. S. Torrence, 7.067, 107.67;

FINAL — Langdon, 3.711, 335.40 def. B. Torrence, 4.050, 228.50.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Chad Green, Ford Mustang, 4.018, 325.37 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 9.894, 85.50; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota GR Supra, 3.955, 327.19 def. Paul Lee, Dodge Charger, 7.681, 89.54; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.450, 290.01 def. Buddy Hull, Charger, 5.068, 185.03; Ron Capps, GR Supra, 3.870, 332.18 def. Jim Campbell, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.559, 128.63; Austin Prock, Chevy Camaro, 4.357, 293.92 def. John Smith, Charger, 7.831, 96.30; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.869, 329.58 def. Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.927, 317.12; J.R. Todd, GR Supra, 4.203, 221.92 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 9.123, 85.37; John Force, Camaro, 4.260, 225.18 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.340, 213.10;

QUARTERFINALS — Tasca III, 3.886, 337.41 def. DeJoria, 3.963, 329.42; Green, 3.968, 323.50 def. Hagan, 9.794, 123.26; Todd, 9.107, 84.72 def. Capps, Foul – Red Light; Prock, 3.899, 332.43 def. Force, 3.913, 328.46;

SEMIFINALS — Todd, 4.963, 180.26 def. Tasca III, 5.206, 203.98; Prock, 3.871, 334.40 def. Green, 4.053, 306.88;

FINAL — Todd, 3.889, 329.10 def. Prock, 5.360, 145.03.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.609, 210.90 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 17.607, 42.84; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.527, 211.89 def. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 7.240, 162.76; David Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.526, 210.28 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.511, 211.66; Brandon Foster, Camaro, 6.531, 210.47 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 8.497, 128.03; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.526, 210.70 def. Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.529, 210.14; Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.499, 210.97 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.552, 211.20; Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.495, 210.67 def. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.582, 210.93; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.496, 212.13 def. Kelley Murphy, Camaro, 6.554, 210.21;

QUARTERFINALS — Anderson, 6.553, 210.64 def. Foster, 6.593, 209.62; Glenn, 6.560, 209.46 def. D. Cuadra, 15.652, 53.21; Enders, 6.508, 211.46 def. Stanfield, 6.534, 211.76; C. Cuadra, 6.528, 210.14 def. Coughlin, Foul – Red Light;

SEMIFINALS — C. Cuadra, 6.535, 210.08 def. Glenn, 6.582, 209.85; Enders, 6.483, 211.96 def. Anderson, 6.508, 210.18;

FINAL — Enders, 6.494, 211.93 def. C. Cuadra, 18.386, 39.84.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — John Hall, 6.785, 197.77 def. Hector Arana Jr, 6.775, 200.83; Angie Smith, Buell, 6.691, 203.61 def. Jianna Evaristo, Buell, 15.402, 45.78; Marc Ingwersen, 6.834, 197.16 def. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.897, 197.31; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.756, 201.40 def. Bud Yoder II, Buell, 7.049, 186.33; Richard Gadson, Suzuki, 6.724, 201.97 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.829, 197.39; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.765, 199.14 def. Ryan Oehler, 6.859, 196.67; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.751, 203.22 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.867, 196.62; Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.639, 204.35 def. Joey Gladstone, Buell, 6.949, 194.16;

QUARTERFINALS — A. Smith, 6.737, 202.12 def. Johnson, 6.831, 197.91; M. Smith, 6.826, 199.40 def. Ingwersen, Foul – Red Light; Tonglet, 6.878, 197.80 def. Gadson, Foul – Red Light; Herrera, 6.629, 204.54 def. Hall, 6.801, 201.37;

SEMIFINALS — M. Smith, 6.722, 201.43 def. Tonglet, 6.777, 200.95; Herrera, 6.684, 202.27 def. A. Smith, 6.735, 202.91;

FINAL — Herrera, 6.636, 204.39 def. M. Smith, 6.748, 200.83.

Updated Points Standings

Point standings (top 10) following the 55th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the first of 21 events in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

1. Shawn Langdon, 125; 2. Steve Torrence, 86; 3. Billy Torrence, 81; 4. Antron Brown, 76; 5. Mike Salinas, 60; 6. (tie) Justin Ashley, 53; Doug Kalitta, 53; 8. Josh Hart, 52; 9. Tony Schumacher, 34; 10. Tony Stewart, 32.

Funny Car

1. J.R. Todd, 114; 2. Austin Prock, 106; 3. Bob Tasca III, 84; 4. Chad Green, 74; 5. Ron Capps, 59; 6. Matt Hagan, 55; 7. Alexis DeJoria, 53; 8. John Force, 52; 9. Cruz Pedregon, 33; 10. (tie) Blake Alexander, 32; Terry Haddock, 32; Paul Lee, 32.

Pro Stock

1. Erica Enders, 125; 2. Cristian Cuadra, 104; 3. (tie) Greg Anderson, 77; Dallas Glenn, 77; 5. (tie) Jeg Coughlin, 53; Aaron Stanfield, 53; 7. (tie) David Cuadra, 52; Brandon Foster, 52; 9. Troy Coughlin Jr., 35; 10. Matt Hartford, 34.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1, Gaige Herrera, 127; 2. Matt Smith, 103; 3. LE Tonglet, 77; 4. Angie Smith, 74; 5. Steve Johnson, 56; 6. (tie) Richard Gadson, 54; John Hall, 54; 8. Marc Ingwersen, 52; 9. Chase Van Sant, 33; 10. (tie) Hector Arana Jr, 32;Kelly Clontz, 32; Jianna Evaristo, 32.

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    Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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