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Langdon races to Top Fuel qualifying lead

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MADISON, Ill. (AP) - Shawn Langdon raced to the Top Fuel qualifying lead Friday in the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

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Langdon regained sole possession of the series lead after entering the day tied with Doug Kalitta, powering to a 3.761-second run at 326.40 mph. Langdon received six bonus points for leading both qualifying sessions.

``Right now we are just focusing on racing smart,'' Langdon said. ``Those qualifying bonus points are huge and we're trying to that lead back. We were able to accomplish that in both sessions and maintain the No. 1 qualifying position. We were able to make two strong runs and get those little qualifying bonus points and everything adds up in the end.''

Matt Hagan topped the Funny Car field, Allen Johnson was fasted in Pro Stock, and Michael Ray led the Pro Stock Motorcycle order in the third of the six playoff events in the Countdown to the Championship.

Points leader Hagan set both ends of the track record with a 4.001 at 320.20 in his Dodge Charger. He also claimed six bonus points for leading both sessions. Defending series champ Johnson had a run of 6.512 at 212.29, and Ray finished in 6.844 at 195.79.

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The Associated Press
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