2011 panned out to be another very exciting year for K&N's Jody Lang, who over the course of the season put together an incredible six NHRA National Event victories that were evenly split between his Stock and Super Stock entries. The final win for the Puyallup, Washington resident came in Super Stock during the 47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, California. Along the way, Lang also collected the 2011 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 6 Stock Championship to add to his ever growing list of accolades.
NHRA Super Stock Win for Jody Lang
Jody Lang during the 47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
A pair of those NHRA National wins came at the same event when Lang doubled up in both his Stock category 1981 Malibu Wagon and in his Super Stock 1981 Malibu during the Seattle race. Although Lang had doubled up once before a few years prior in Las Vegas, he still revels in how big an accomplishment like that really is. "It's really crazy," he admitted. "I mean there are some races you don't go any rounds at all and to win both classes with that many people [friends and family] there is pretty incredible, actually to even think about."
Many racers who get the opportunity to go deep into rounds in two cars reflect how chaotic things become between rounds and Lang shares the sentiment. "When you have two cars going like that, it's kind of easy to get confused," he confessed. "Not as to which is which, but numbers and your dial-ins and stuff like that. You really have to take a moment and pay attention to putting the correct dial on the correct car."
While all the wins during 2011 were very important to Lang, it was the Seattle double that meant the most to him. "Seattle is my home track, so I have a lot more friends and family who attend or can attend that event than say a Pomona race," he explained. "So to be able to not only win one class, but both and share that experience with everyone was absolutely fantastic."
For the Pomona event, Lang was pleased at where he ended up on the qualifying ladder, especially in Super Stock. "I think a lot of times, where you end up and who you end up racing is very important," he said. "You know you are not going to make a perfect run, every run. I don't want to say it's destiny how you are qualified, but it's just how it works sometimes. You don't make a great run, but you are able to sneak by that round. Especially when you see ten other guys that round that would have been able to beat you that round, but you were the one that ended up winning. Like Alan Reinhart says, it's a right place, right time kind of a sport."
While he was ultimately happy with where he landed in qualifying, because he feels it put him on the right track to the win, he had been shooting for a particular spot and just wasn't able to make it happen. "Well I had been shooting for one of the quadrants, which I'm pretty sure, we had sixty-five cars and that means there is a single every round of the race," he said. "And my little quadrant didn't have one. So, not one bye to be had where I ended up, but obviously it worked out just fine for me not having a chance at any singles."
Where Lang didn't have any planned single runs for the Pomona event, he did get several lucky rounds when his competition went red. "There were three of the seven rounds where they went red," he said.
In addition to going rounds in his Super Stock entry, he was also doing well in early rounds of Stock. Sunday evening however, the situation got a little bit hairy. "I almost missed the round," he admitted of the third round of Stock Eliminator. "They said they were going to have a round of Super Gas in-between, but between all the traffic leaving and all the festivities for the pros, there wasn't enough time for Super Gas to get up there. So they call Stock and I'm up there running in the other class. I almost missed it and at least I was able to run it. I was within just a minute or two of missing out on the whole run, which would have been heartbreaking, even though I ended up just missing the tree with a .003 red."
With the early curfew at the Pomona facility, Lang would have to wait until Monday morning to finish the rounds in Super Stock. "I would have rather to have kept going and I think anybody who is still in like that would just want to keep going," he said. "I drive pretty good at night, but looking back I was actually getting pretty lucky there. So I guess the break helped me get my lights back to where they needed to be. That definitely helped me in the semi-final with my win over Jimmy DeFrank."
"I was a little tardy in the final, but I still wasn't late," he pointed out. "But, I guess I got away with that one because Abe [Loewen] left a little early there."
For the most part being the slower car and leaving first, Lang quickly saw his win light come on shortly after launching when Loewen turned it .008 red, and let her coast on across the stripe to take the final 2011 NHRA National Event Super Stock Victory and the special 60th Anniversary pewter Wally.
Both Lang's 1981 Malibu's did very well for him during the 2011 season and while he couldn't grab a win at Pomona in Stock, he had already secured his sixth division championship. His stellar season also included finishing number nine in the NHRA Super Stock national standings and a mere three points kept Lang from a national title in Stock, where he still landed at a very impressive number two in the country.
Lang's winning philosophy includes being very particular in his selection of the parts and products that he chooses to use on both of his championship Malibu cars. "It's all about consistency and reliability," he explained. "There are guys that buy used stuff and that might be OK for guys who run a couple of races a year, but if you really want to go up there and not worry about something breaking, you have got to start with the best you can get your hands on."
Some of those "best you can get your hands on" products for Lang come from K&N Engineering. "I absolutely love them," he expressed. "I started using the oil filters a few years ago and they are so easy to work with and take off. Same with the air filters, you don't have to worry about dust or small rocks getting into your motor, it just makes it really nice when you know you are protecting all the best parts you can get, with the best filters you can get and that's K&N."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.