Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Langham has a Big Night in Bandit Big Rig at Mobile

Johnathan Langham made his debut in the Bandit Big Rig Series in front of a sellout crowd at his hometrack of Mobile International Speedway on March 23, 2019 (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

By: Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

IRVINGTON, Alabama (March 27, 2019) - Johnathan Langham went into the opening event for the 2019 Bandit Big Rig Series season a rookie, but relied on his years of experience at Mobile International Speedway to carry him through this new experience, coming away with a solid performance in equipment that his competition thought wouldn’t perform at such a high level in front of a sellout crowd on March 23rd.

Prior to raceday, Langham had only turned a handful of laps, shaking down his number 69 Kruckeberg Motorsports Frieghtliner. It didn’t take long for the Mobile area native to begin to find comfort behind the wheel, and find speed... looking forward to a very full plate of racing scheduled throughout the day to give him the laps he needed to be ready for the night’s 30 lap feature.

“It’s definitely going to help,” he said. “Anytime you can get seat time is a major plus in anything. We’re still learning little things lap by lap.”

“With the last man standing race and the 15 lap Challenge race we should definitely have a lot more seat time going into them as long as we complete every lap in ever event tonight, I’ll be very happy and I think we’ll be able to be somewhere in there in the end.”

Was he nervous? A little right at first, but those nerves quickly subsided, allowing Langham to place his focus on the task at hand.

“I’m ready to get out there and be able to run with trucks. It’s been a bunch of single truck runs. I haven’t really been side by side in traffic much yet so I’m looking forward to the heat race and seeing if we can capitalize on it.”
While Langham didn’t have the results in his heat race that he was looking for, he did have a bit of a battle with driver Tim Ashley in the first 15 lap Challenge race, finishing second, and learning a lot about his truck and what it would take to get it done in the A-Main later in the evening.

“A lot of luck,” said Langham. “This truck that I’m in is a bone stock truck. It’s got bone stock turbos… stock injectors… you can’t adjust on the injectors none. It’s got a stock steering box so I’m having to turn three times, four times as much as these other guys.

“I think if we can keep the right front on it, keep the brakes cool, I think we’ll be able to come out of here with a top five and who knows we may have a little bit of luck on our side and some of these others have attrition not play in their favor, it may play in ours and we could probably wind up better than fifth.”

In the 30 lap A-Main feature, Johnathan Langham performed very well, running solidly in the top half of the field throughout the entire event. After a late race restart, last year’s race winner Allen Boles made contact with Langham as the pair rolled around turn two. The contact sent Langham into a lazy spin, just cresting the turn’s banking. Langham got his truck refired, and back to pit road to the attention of his crew.

After the race, Langham shared his thoughts, relishing in the overall accomplishment of the night, but aggravated to have his overachieving run thwarted by the late race contact.

“We were able to keep it on all four, but it really sucked though cause we restarted fourth and got collected with Allen on the restart,” he said. “We came in to make sure the tires were good and everything was good on the truck. Instead of giving you two courtesy laps, they only gave me a half a lap or whatever. They had taken the green and was coming off of turn two by the time we had gotten through the gears coming down the front straightaway.”

“It just sucks because I was really surprising myself there, you know,” he continued. “We were sitting there fifth, fourth, sixth, and coming down to the halfway point and you know you still have a truck that’s good enough and you’re running with the leaders, it pisses you off but you take it with a grain of salt.”

“I set out with my original goal. I wanted to complete all the laps, stay out of trouble and finish on the lead lap, and we accomplished that. We were ‘that’ close, we were so close and could of had us a podium finish. I feel like we really had a top three truck.”

“The ninth place finish we got doesn’t show the finish we were capable of.”

The Bandit Big Rig Series visit to Mobile International Speedway was by all accounts a huge success, posting a sellout crowd and setting the stage for next week when the track’s regular season schedule kicks off.

During my interview with Langham, you could hear the roaring crowd in the background, something that gave the local guy chills as we sat on the pit wall.

“That’s the part that will give you chills more than sitting in this truck today,” said Langham. “I love sitting in this packed house. This is the Bandits’ first ever sellout crowd and they accomplished it here at Mobile International Speedway. This track has needed something like this. This is something very big for Mobile.”

“Hopefully, if we can get half these people back thats in the stands tonight, and get them back next week, then the week after that they tell their friends and they come out. Man, this is what Mobile International Speedway needs again, is a packed house like this. People will want to build cars if they see people in the stands like this and that will get Mobile back to the way it was back in the 90s.

Langham will return to the familiar seats of his Sportsman, Pro Truck and Outlaw next Saturday, but is open to a return to the Bandit Big Rig Series should the opportunity arise.

“If I get a second chance to run one of these trucks for somebody, I’ll definitely be interested and want to take them up on it. It was a lot of fun.”

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. & 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts