Toyota Motorsports press release
WORSHAM TAKES TOYOTA TO READING FINAL – SETS NEW NATIONAL RECORD 3.735!
TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2011) – Del Worsham advanced to the finals at Maple Grove Raceway and set a new national Elapsed Time (ET) record in the process Monday at the NHRA Uni-Select Auto Plus Nationals – the fastest weekend in NHRA history.
Worsham’s record-setting run was bittersweet as he lost in the final on a hole shot by Spencer Massey despite registering his record 3.735-second run. Worsham’s weekend was unparalleled in NHRA history as he ran more than three one-hundredths faster than any other driver in history and his final three passes were all below the record set by Antron Brown on Saturday.
No less than three different Toyota drivers set a new ET record over the course of the weekend. Larry Dixon registered a 3.769 pass in Saturday’s second qualifying session to begin the record run. Unfortunately for Dixon, that time lasted just one pairing as Brown eclipsed the time by .003 seconds with a 3.766-second run. Brown was able to sleep on the record overnight, but Worsham set a new standard with his first-round eliminations run of 3.760-seconds, he then shattered that mark with the 3.735 in the final to gain the 20 points for setting a national record.
Dixon had a strong overall weekend, also registering four consecutive runs in the 3.7s before falling to Massey in the semi-finals. In total, he ran 3.7s in five of his last six passes of the weekend.
After establishing the record in qualifying on Saturday, Brown was eliminated in the second round on Sunday. Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon were defeated in the first round – with Langdon’s loss coming on Worsham’s first record run of the weekend.
In Funny Car competition, Cruz Pedregon was upset in the opening round by Jeff Arend. He remains third in the points chase.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs take next weekend off before resuming October 14-16, at the Firebird Raceway in suburban Phoenix.
- Del Worsham’s appearance in Monday’s final is his ninth of the season with six victories and three runner-up finishes.
- In the Top Fuel point standings, Antron Brown, Del Worsham and Larry Dixon currently stand second, third and fourth with Worsham closing to within nine points of Brown. Shawn Langdon is in ninth-place, while Morgan Lucas is in the 10th position.
Antron Brown, Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “This is a tough one to take after having a great car all weekend. We will regroup and focus on the next one.”
Morgan Lucas, GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "We learned a lot. We learned we have to change certain things for changing conditions that we never realized needed changing. We were sticking to a certain ratio and sticking things out. "We know better what to do in these kind of conditions. First pair everybody is watching. Everybody wants to see what you are going to do. Both their car and our car ran well on Saturday and we were an evenly matched pairing, we just didn't have enough in it. I had to pedal the car. It shook early and I had to pedal. Whenever you pedal it things go south from that point. We just backed the car down way too much for the way the air improved.”
Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “There's not much you can do against a guy who sets the national record against you. We just need to find our way right now. The top cars are taking advantage of these cool conditions late in the year. Unfortunately, right now we're not on that same level. We're struggling to make it down the track right now, and we need to find a different direction to go. We've hit our threshold on the direction we've been going."