Brown and Hagan conquer Texas
Antron Brown furthered his points lead in Top Fuel by racing to victory at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, as Matt Hagan, Drew Skillman and Eddie Krawiec also ran out winners in the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA season.
Antron Brown sprinted to a 3.744-second pass at 321.12 mph in his Matco Tools dragster to defeat Steve Torrence’s 3.750 at 323.12 in his Capco Contractors dragster. This is Brown’s 61st career win, seventh of the season and third at the Texas Motorplex, and it extended his lead over second-place Doug Kalitta by 150 points. Brown outlasted Chris Karamesines, Kalitta and J.R. Todd in the earlier rounds.
“We had a great drag race out there,” said two-time and reigning world champion Brown. “It could’ve gone either way. We were both close on the tree, but we snuck one out there.
“Nobody is blowing people out anymore,” he observed. “The only way you win is by inches. To win that final was monumental for our team. We needed to do that. We’re still not done working yet.”
Torrence raced past Clay Millican, Leah Pritchett and Shawn Langdon en route to his seventh final round appearance of the season. His runner-up finish bumped Torrence up to fifth in points.
Matt Hagan pushed his Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T to a 3.913 at 327.03 to beat points-leader Ron Capps’ 3.906 at 322.19 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T on a holeshot in the Funny Car final round. Hagan, who won at Dallas in 2010, claimed his fourth victory of the year and 22nd of his career to move up to third in points, trailing Capps by 88 and second-place Tommy Johnson Jr. by 24. He defeated John Bojec, Courtney Force and Robert Hight on his way to glory.
“That was a huge round,” said Hagan, a two-time champion. “It’s just unfortunate that we’re facing [Ron Capps] so late in rounds. In Reading I had him in the semis and he spanked me on the tree, and this time I was able to get a little payback.
“I actually try to minimize everything out of my control and just focus on leaving on time, keeping it in the groove, and turning on the win light, and let the rest take care of itself. We can’t worry about who might mess up or how many rounds someone might go; we just need to do the best job we can and turn on as many win lights as we can.”
Capps, who has five victories in 10 final rounds this year, outlasted Tim Wilkerson, Jack Beckman and Del Worsham in the earlier rounds to extend his championship lead.
Drew Skillman notched a 6.661 at 209.36 in his Ray Skillman Auto Group Chevy Camaro to knock off Alex Laughlin’s 6.708 at 208.30 in his Gas Monkey Garage Chevy Camaro. Skillman, who won earlier this year in Brainerd, Minn., tallied his third career win with the performance and the 2015 Rookie of the Year award winner moved to sixth in points. He eliminated Chris McGaha, points leader Jason Line and Shane Gray in the earlier rounds.
“We have struggled so badly with this racecar,” said Skillman. “We were lost, and going into the Countdown that’s the worst time of the year to be lost. We had some luck on our side this weekend. I drove decent, and the car at least went. We’re going the right direction, I think. We need to test again. We’re going to hit these last two races hard.”
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Eddie Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.880 at 196.36 in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round to cross the finish line before Jerry Savoie, who posted a 6.856 at 196.76 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki. Krawiec claimed his fifth win of the season, 36th of his career and second at the Texas Motorplex. Krawiec beat Karen Stoffer, Hector Arana and LE Tonglet to appear in his seventh final round of the season.
“Anytime you race [Savoie], you’ve got to be focused,” said Krawiec, who now has a 17-point lead over teammate Andrew Hines. “As a matter of fact, you have to be focused for just about anybody out there. You see LE (Tonglet) came up from nowhere and took Andrew out, then I’ve got to run him, and we run almost neck and neck with each other. You have to be on your game every single round here.”
Final finish order at the 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex
TOP FUEL: 1. Antron Brown; 2. Steve Torrence; 3. Shawn Langdon; 4. J.R. Todd; 5. Tony Schumacher; 6. Doug Kalitta; 7. Leah Pritchett; 8. Brittany Force; 9. Larry Dixon; 10. Troy Buff; 11. Terry McMillen; 12. Kebin Kinsley; 13. Scott Palmer; 14. Chris Karamesines; 15. Richie Crampton; 16. Clay Millican.
Final: Antron Brown, 3.744 seconds, 321.12 mph def. Steve Torrence, 3.750 seconds, 323.12 mph
FUNNY CAR: 1. Matt Hagan; 2. Ron Capps; 3. Del Worsham; 4. Robert Hight; 5. Alexis DeJoria; 6. Jack Beckman; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8. Courtney Force; 9. Chad Head; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. Dave Richards; 12. John Bojec; 13. John Hale; 14. Tim Wilkerson; 15. Brandon Welch; 16. John Force.
Final: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.913, 327.03 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.906, 322.19
PRO STOCK: 1. Drew Skillman; 2. Alex Laughlin; 3. Greg Anderson; 4. Shane Gray; 5. Jason Line; 6. Bo Butner; 7. Shane Tucker; 8. Allen Johnson; 9. Jeg Coughlin; 10. Deric Kramer; 11. Aaron Strong; 12. Vincent Nobile; 13. Erica Enders; 14. Kenny Delco; 15. Chris McGaha; 16. Alan Prusiensky.
Final: Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.661, 209.36 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.708, 208.30
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Jerry Savoie; 3. LE Tonglet; 4. Angelle Sampey; 5. Andrew Hines; 6. Matt Smith; 7. Hector Arana; 8. Chip Ellis; 9. Steve Johnson; 10. Karen Stoffer; 11. Cory Reed; 12. Melissa Surber; 13. Shawn Gann; 14. Joey Gladstone; 15. Hector Arana Jr; 16. Joe DeSantis.
Final: Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.880, 196.36 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.856, 196.76
Point standings after 22 of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Antron Brown, 2,504; 2. Doug Kalitta, 2,354; 3. Shawn Langdon, 2,332; 4. Brittany Force, 2,313; 5. Steve Torrence, 2,307; 6. Tony Schumacher, 2,295; 7. J.R. Todd, 2,260; 8. Leah Pritchett, 2,250; 9. Richie Crampton, 2,195; 10. Clay Millican, 2,168.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps, 2,465; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,401; 3. Matt Hagan, 2,377; 4. Jack Beckman, 2,334; 5. Del Worsham, 2,320; 6. Robert Hight, 2,278; 7. John Force, 2,267; 8. Courtney Force, 2,238; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2,228; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 2,151.
PRO STOCK: 1. Jason Line, 2,454; 2. Greg Anderson, 2,428; 3. Vincent Nobile, 2,340; 4. Shane Gray, 2,320; 5. Bo Butner, 2,314; 6. Drew Skillman, 2,269; 7. Chris McGaha, 2,222; 8. Allen Johnson, 2,213; 9. Jeg Coughlin, 2,146; 10. Erica Enders, 2,135.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Eddie Krawiec, 2,425; 2. Andrew Hines, 2,408; 3. Jerry Savoie, 2,376; 4. Angelle Sampey, 2,365; 5. Chip Ellis, 2,328; 6. LE Tonglet, 2,288; 7. Cory Reed, 2,229; 8. Hector Arana, 2,211; 9. Matt Smith, 2,202; 10. Hector Arana Jr, 2,183.
Troy Coughlin Jr. signs with Kalitta team for 2017
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