Takes out top qualifier, but falls in the finals.
Antron Brown reached the Top Fuel finals, but fell just short of his sixth win of the season in leading Toyota in today’s NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle.
Brown defeated Bob Vandergriff, fellow Toyota driver Richie Crampton and number one qualifier Tony Schumacher on the way to his seventh final of the season and the 97th of his Mello Yello Drag Racing Series career.
"All in all it was a great day for our team," Brown said. "We threw our best shot out there and we thought it would be good enough to win but he (Doug Kalitta) just threw a monster run out there. They got us this weekend. We had some trouble in qualifying but we definitely rebounded today. That just shows you the fight that we have in this team to win after struggling in qualifying."
After reaching the finals at Sonoma last week, Shawn Langdon advanced to the Top Fuel semi-finals today. The 2013 world champion knocked off Clay Millican, then teammate Khalid alBalooshi before being defeated by Kalitta. AlBalooshi had won his opening round against Brittany Force prior to falling to Langdon. Crampton defeated Terry McMillen in round one, but developed problems with his engine idle before his round two match against Brown.
In Funny Car, fellow Toyota driver Alexis DeJoria advanced to the semi-finals for the second consecutive week by registering wins over Tony Pedregon and Jack Beckman. She would eventually fall to John Force in the semi-finals. Cruz Pedregon ran the second-quickest pass in each of the first two rounds of eliminations. Unfortunately, it was his second-round opponent, Force, who registered the only quicker passes – knocking off Pedregon in round two. Pedregon had previously defeated Ron Capps in his opening round. Del Worsham and Tony Pedregon each lost in the opening round.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ is off next weekend, before resuming at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota, Aug. 15-17.