Dixon defeats Brown in all-Toyota Top Fuel Final at Bristol
Larry Dixon edged Antron Brown by nine one-thousandths of a second in an all-Toyota Top Fuel final in today’s NHRA Full Throttle Series Thunder Valley Nationals at the Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn.
The victory was the first of the season for Dixon after registering a series-high 12 wins a year ago on the way to the Top Fuel title. In addition, he climbs into second place, just 31 points behind Al-Anabi Racing teammate Del Worsham.
While Brown saw his potential third win of the season slip away by the narrowest of margins, he did climb into fourth place in the championship race and is now less than 100 points out of the series lead. Brown had previously won at Las Vegas and Atlanta.
Dixon defeated Rod Fuller, Morgan Lucas and Spencer Massey en route to the victory, while Brown eliminated Bob Vandergriff, Chris Karamesines and Tony Schumacher to advance to the final. It was the third finals appearance for each driver this season.
Del Worsham and Morgan Lucas won their opening match-ups before each falling in close matches in round two. Shawn Langdon fell in the first round.
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon saw his consecutive top-six qualifying streak snapped at 18 on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from advancing to the semi-finals today. Pedregon knocked off fast qualifier Bob Tasca in the second-round, but unfortunately lost his engine in a fiery explosion. The result was considerable damage to the car, which was then unable to make a run in the semi-finals.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series next heads south to Norwalk, Ohio, for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals next weekend, June 24-26.
Cruz Pedregon, Snap-On Tools Toyota Camry Solara Funny Car: “We definitely hurt the engine (in the second-round win). That will be an expensive break – $20-30,000. But, we’re out here to win races and we are pressing the envelope every time out. With Toyota and everybody involved in this car, we’ve got a bad (fast) race car now.”
Larry Dixon, Al-Anabi Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “Overall, the Al-Anabi car ran great this weekend. We were a little disappointed with our qualifying. We ended up fourth, but our car ran well every second. Going into race day, we had a real good car in all three rounds we were in. For me, I was a little late and it cost us a round win against our teammate. I’m disappointed for the team, and I’m disappointed for Sheik Khalid. He doesn’t go to many races, and I obviously wanted to do better in front of him. We had a good car, and I lost a close race to my teammate. I feel for him in the final round. I’m bummed that neither one of us got the win.”
Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "We made a pretty good run at it. The motor started eating itself up out there and it was enough for him to catch us. We seem to have the car happy in the front of the track but we keep dropping holes (cylinders) down track. It's frustrating to keep losing these close races."
Morgan Lucas, Geico/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "First round went great and overall I think we've learned a lot here. I have absolutely no complaints about this weekend at all. Getting any round win is great and beating Terry considering the way he's been running is a nice win. Even in the second round we ran decent and learned some stuff. Larry absolutely welded me at the starting line with a great reaction time, but you expect that from him. He's a great driver and that's a great team. Going rounds in the GEICO car should be a regular occurrence and it's good that we're heading in that direction.”
-source: toyota motorsports