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Special Article

"They Said It: Charlotte and Talladega"

April 27 2019 Christopher Bell and Jeffrey Earnhardt at Talladega Superspeedway"They Said It: Charlotte and Talladega"

In Charlotte, Shawn Langdon became the 17th driver to score a win in both of NHRA’s top two classes, as he claimed the Funny Car win at the Four-Wide Nationals. 

Langdon’s victory gave Toyota-backed Kalitta Motorsports their fourth win in six events to start the season. However, as big of a victory Sunday was for Langdon, his family recently experienced another milestone moment: a successful liver transplant for his father who has been battling cancer. Langdon talked about the emotional ‘wins’ after claiming the trophy.

“A lot of times, you just come out here and race, and you build up this wall of emotion. You become a little bit emotion-less because you know you’re going to lose more than you win, and you learn how to deal with it. Then you get struck with things you really haven’t dealt with before family-wise. A lot of people have been through it, and those are the people that really helped us get through the tough times. So many encouraging messages from fans that have been through similar situations who offered us words of encouragement and advice and different things. So much of that motivated my dad to get through it. I just tried to be there for him as much as I could, and I told him, ‘I’m going to get you one (a win).’ I was hoping that it was going to be last race, but beggars can’t be choosers. Second race in, I’ll take it. Fortunately, he’s healthy. He beat cancer and had a liver transplant. He’s doing well. I’m going to see him this week between races and I’m going to get him that trophy. It’s family and it’s important.”

In Talladega, Todd Gilliland scored his second ARCA Menards Series win and continued Toyota’s undefeated streak in the series this season. Fellow Toyota drivers Riley Herbst and Brandon Lynn followed Gilliland across the finish line at Talladega Superspeedway. After the victory, team owner and former NASCAR winner David Gilliland talked about how special it is to win with his son.

“I have been around a long time and I’ve done some things right and I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but this is special. After the year he’s had, with all of the ups and downs, it’s great for him to come here and get a win like this. I had some really good runs here and finished second behind my teammate here one time, but watching this was better. Todd is a fighter. He’s a winner. He never gives up and I think this will be the boost he needs for the rest of the year.”

Christopher Bell tied his best career NASCAR Xfinity Series superspeedway finish with a third-place result in his Toyota Supra at Talladega Superspeedway, qualifying him for the final ‘Dash 4 Cash’ race this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

“I just wanted to run top-four so bad. I know going to Dover that we were going to have an excellent shot at winning the race so really wanted to be in that Dash-4-Cash.”