The magnitude of the opportunity is in no way lost on the Pennsylvania racer-turned North Carolinian, who has made his racing home largely at the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout for Legends cars and Bandoleros over the past decade.
He knows its something special to be in the field at the Chili Bowl, calling it “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“I don’t think it’ll really hit me until practice night (on Monday) or my qualifying night when I’m on the track, but I know how huge an opportunity it is. I’ve raced midget-style cars in the past and tested some big-block modified stuff in the past … so I’m confident in my skills on the dirt. You just have to go there with the mindset that you can win, because it’s the Chili Bowl and anything really is possible.”
“I hope it’s not once in a lifetime, honestly … I hope I can come back again after this year,” he laughed. “But I know right now I’ve got one chance to make the most of it, and I want to make it count.”
Langenstein also said that he’ll be working at the HMS Motorsport booth at the Chili Bowl Trade Show on the days he’s not racing, something that is unique to his situation thanks to his day job.
“I don’t know how many other drivers would come out, race at the Chili Bowl and be selling safety equipment on the days they’re not in the car,” Langenstein said. “I’m proud of that and I definitely think it’ll be a lot of fun as we go along.”
And as far as his goals for the week? Langenstein is keeping motivated, but realistic expectations.
“As a racer, you have to go into any event thinking you can win, and if I didn’t think that then there would be no reason for me to go … but at the same time, I have to be realistic because it is my first Chili Bowl and it’s not something that I’ve done before,” Langenstein admitted. “I know it’s not going to be easy and that there’s going to be a learning curve, but I feel like I’m up to the challenge and that I can handle it.”
“You always want to win, but I think if we go out, stay out of trouble and I can do what I know I’m capable of in a race car, I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t contend to make the feature. If we can keep it together and get in, I feel like that’d be a huge accomplishment for us.”
Langenstein was also quick to thank Brett Stevens with Frontline Enterprises, which is offering major support to his Chili Bowl effort as well.
“Without Brett, Joe (Marko) from HMS and all the people I’ve had behind me, this wouldn’t even be close to happening,” he said. “They’re helping to cross a huge item off my bucket list and now I’m going to go out and savor the moment. I can’t wait.”
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network, as well as a periodic contributor to SPEED SPORT Magazine.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: [email protected]
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