TORRANCE, Calif.. -- (October 8, 2012) – Khalid alBalooshi defeated fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown in the final to win the rain-delayed and record-setting Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Penn, Monday, in an event that saw three different Toyota drivers combine to break the national E.T. record four times.
“It’s been tough this year not winning any rounds in the first 12 races,” said alBalooshi, the former ProMod champion in his rookie season of Nitro competition. “I’m really happy to win this one. I try my best and I know everybody on the team tries their best – and finally, I won my first race.”
Brown didn’t walk away with the victory, but twice during the weekend he established new national E.T. records, culminating in a spectacular 3.701-second pass to eliminate Brandon Bernstein in the semi-finals. Prior to Brown setting the record on Sunday, Morgan Lucas had established a new record in Saturday’s qualifying. Langdon then established a new mark in Monday’s second round with a 3.712 only to see Brown eclipse that mark in the semi-finals.
Those strong runs also saw four Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel drivers make an all-Toyota semi-final as Brown defeated Bernstein and AlBalooshi advanced past Langdon. In fact, all four Toyota drivers that were eliminated during the event were eliminated by fellow Toyota drivers as Brown also defeated Lucas as the rains began to fall at Maple Grove on Sunday afternoon.
For Bernstein, the event marked his fourth consecutive trip to the semi-finals since the Countdown began – the only driver to advance to the semis in each of the four races. In addition, his victory over Tony Schumacher in the second round helped him pull to within 41 points of third place.
Sunday’s race day began after a two-hour rain delay. The clean track and cool temperatures played havoc with the Funny Cars as 11 of the 16 cars in the first round were unable to make clean runs. Unfortunately, each of the Toyota Camry Funny Cars were among among those who had troubles and none were able to advance.
Source: Toyota Motorsports