Dixon Takes Top Fuel Title; Brown Gives Toyota Win At Pomona POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2010) -- Antron Brown defeated Shawn Langdon in an all-Toyota final to win the NHRA Auto Club Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday, as fellow...
Dixon Takes Top Fuel Title; Brown Gives Toyota Win At Pomona
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2010) -- Antron Brown defeated Shawn Langdon in an all-Toyota final to win the NHRA Auto Club Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday, as fellow Toyota driver Larry Dixon earlier clinched his third Top Fuel World Championship.
In addition to the two Toyota-sponsored drivers in the final, Dixon and Morgan Lucas made it an all-Toyota-sponsored semi-final as Brown eliminated Lucas and Langdon defeated Dixon. For Dixon though, the first round may have been the most important as he defeated Mike Strasburg to officially clinch the Top Fuel title. He then went on to win his second round match-up against Brandon Bernstein before squaring off with Langdon in the semis.
Dixon had assumed control of the Top Fuel lead at Las Vegas in April and led the final 16 rounds of the championship, going a perfect 12 for 12 in finals appearances. After building up a 282-point lead in the regular season, Dixon didn't skip a beat in the six Countdown races, winning three and eventually taking the title by 102 points over runner-up Tony Schumacher.
The victory was the first for Brown since winning here at Pomona last November, despite making seven finals appearances over the course of the season. On the way to the victory, he defeated Steve Torrence, teammate Schumacher and, finally, Lucas.
Langdon also had an impressive run to the final defeating Ron August Jr., Doug Kalitta and Dixon. The impressive run clinched his first top-five overall Top Fuel points finish.
The day didn't go quite as well for the Toyota Camry Solara Funny Car drivers as Del Worsham was eliminated in the second round, while Cruz Pedregon fell in the first round after both had qualified in the top six on Saturday.
Larry Dixon, Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "I've never had so many people so excited for a first-round victory as we had today. I felt good coming in this morning because I knew I had Allan Johnson on my side. We're very fortunate. This team has been phenomenal all season. We had a four-race lead when the regular season came to an end and then it was cut to a round-and-a-half with the start of the Countdown, but the team just kept after it. It's just been so much fun. I'm so glad I can do this for a living. We were always at the races as a kid. That's what we did -- I didn't really play other sports, we went to the drag races every Friday night. Coming into this season, it felt a lot like I did after the 2001 season where we fell just short of the championship, but then won it in both 2002 and 2003. You can't really say that, but I had that feeling. To win in this sport, you have to be surrounded by a tremendous amount of talent and I'm very fortunate."
Antron Brown, Matco Tools/Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "It feels good to close out the season with a win in our Matco Tools/Toyota dragster. It's been a year full of ups and downs, but we just kept pushing and pushing. It's great to close out the season with a win because it makes you even hungrier for next season -- and if you want to contend for a championship, you've got to be hungry. The competition won't get any easier out here next year. It's just getting better and better. Now we need to go back and work even harder this off-season and be ready to run from a championship from the first race on next year."
Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "This is where I grew up racing. I remember being in the grandstand as a kid wondering if one day I could be racing here. I wanted to win more than you know. I grew up 20 miles from here (Mira Loma outside of Riverside) and this is all I've ever wanted to do. But you got to hand it to Antron (Brown) and that team over there. They earned this one. We'll have to get the next one. This team really stepped it up in the Countdown (playoffs) and that's exactly what we wanted. We're at a point now where we're running the same numbers as the top teams, not having to rely so much on the start every run, and it's showing on the track. We had two runner-up finishes in the last few races and that tells me we're heading in the right direction."
Morgan Lucas, GEICO Powersport/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "We had a good weekend. I'm extremely pleased with it and it makes me really excited for next year. I haven't felt this good ending a season in a long time. There's still going to be a road to get the car exactly where Dickie and Kurt want to be, and I have some work to do to become a better driver, but as a team we've improved tremendously. We're going to do some damage next year. It's so great to see the confidence and the positive outlook on my dad's face, on all the guys on the team, and everyone else involved with what we do. Having a weekend like this is a good way to go into off-season and all the preparations that need to take place before the 2011 season."
-source: toyota motorsports