Gainesville: Toyota Motorsports final report

Browns' Dominant Weekend Falls Just Short of Gatornationals Win GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2010) -- Antron Brown ran the fastest time in four of the seven rounds of the weekend, but fell just short in the finals in recording a runner-up finish...

Browns' Dominant Weekend Falls Just Short of Gatornationals Win

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2010) -- Antron Brown ran the fastest time in four of the seven rounds of the weekend, but fell just short in the finals in recording a runner-up finish as the top Toyota-sponsored entry at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

After earning top qualifier honors in both sessions on Saturday, Brown defeated Todd Paton in the opening round and Steve Torrence in the quarter-finals before squaring off with fellow Toyota-sponsored driver Shawn Langdon in the semi's. Brown ripped off a 3.801-second run in defeating Langdon on the way to the finals. The Matco Tools Toyota dragster driver registered the fastest times in both the quarter and semi-finals as he advanced.

Brown wasn't the only Toyota Top Fueler to shine on the weekend, though. Both Larry Dixon and Shawn Langdon progressed to Sunday's semi-finals. Each of the two drivers also shined in qualifying with Dixon securing the third spot and Langdon in fourth. With the strong showing this weekend, all three Toyota drivers who advanced to the semi-finals now rank in the top six in Top Fuel points with Dixon leading the way in third, followed by Brown in fifth and Langdon in sixth. Morgan Lucas went out in the first round in Top Fuel competition, as did both Toyota Camry Solara Funny Car drivers Cruz Pedregon and Del Worsham.

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will resume with the inaugural Four-Wide Nationals at the Charlotte zMax Dragway, March 25-27.

NOTES:

- Antron Brown's runner-up finish marked his first finals appearance of the season and was the 50th of his career with 17 of those coming in Top Fuel competition.

- Today's semi-final run marks the second time in three races that Larry Dixon has advanced to the final four after winning the Winternationals at Pomona in February.

- Shawn Langdon's semi-final showing is his best of the season. He made eight semi's during his rookie campaign a year ago. The run also makes it two consecutive races that the Morgan Lucas Racing team has advanced to the semi-finals after Morgan Lucas turned the feat at Phoenix.

Antron Brown, Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "It was a great weekend. We got real close to a dominant weekend, but fell one round short. It was great to come back after the first couple of races and to get back on track. We fought through some gremlins here and there, but we got back on pace this weekend. When you get into a crunch, you really need to have the resources to fall back on -- and with all of our support within our team, everyone at DSR and at Toyota and TRD, that's what we have. Now, we need to go back and work even harder and go to Charlotte and try to get the same results, but one round better."

Larry Dixon, Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "I'm disappointed. We had a great car all weekend long and we just lost a close race in the semis. Unfortunately, that was my worst light of the weekend when I needed my best light. We'll regroup and go to Charlotte."

Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "It was a huge weekend for us and we made some great strides. We were running a few hundredths off the fastest guys out here. We've definitely improved our baseline tune-up and we're making improvements in some other areas. Any time you can make a semi-final, it's not a bad weekend."

Morgan Lucas, GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "Today just wasn't our day. We struggled all weekend in qualifying due to some parts problems. Then we missed a qualifying run and we just ended up playing catch-up. We're going to test tomorrow. We need to find a good tune-up that we can rely on when we struggle, so we can insure that we can go to any race and compete to win."

Del Worsham, Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Camry Solara Funny Car: b^0x001cWe're extremely disappointed to come out and lose in the first round today. You lose one qualifying run to the rain and one to mechanical problems and everything compounds up and pretty soon, you don't have the first-round match-up you'd like. We were just outmatched in that round. We'll come back and work hard between now and Charlotte and be ready for the Four-wide."

Cruz Pedregon, Snap-On Toyota Camry Solara Funny Car: b^0x001cThe air conditions were a lot better than we were prepared for and we just over-powered the track. We're a run or two away from getting it. We're not consistent yet, but we're getting close to making the Snap-On Toyota consistent. We had our best run of the year in qualifying yesterday. It's really a run we can look at and key off of and continue to work on things."

-source: toyota motorsports

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , Cruz Pedregon , Todd Paton , Morgan Lucas , Steve Torrence , Shawn Langdon