Brown, Capps and Anderson conquer New England
Antron Brown raced to his second Top Fuel victory of the season, while Ron Capps took Funny Car Honors and Greg Anderson won Pro Stock, at the NHRA’s rain-delayed New England Nationals at New England Dragway.
Brown slashed into the points lead of Doug Kalitta with a convincing victory over Steve Torrence in the final round. Brown powered his Matco Tools dragster to a winning performance of 3.769 seconds at 314.61mph to hold off Torrence’s Capco Contractors machine, which trailed with a 3.778 at 325.30, in a very close finish.
It was Brown’s 56th career win and his first at New England Dragway. He earned an opening round bye as the No. 1 qualifier and then defeated Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher to advance to his fourth final round appearance of the season. With the victory, Brown cut Kalitta’s lead from 95 to 46 points.
“The car ran great all weekend,” said Brown. “We were fortunate to get the win. Steve is a real tough competitor and we like racing against those guys because you know they are going to give you a great race every time.
We’re going home to Englishtown this weekend and we are ready for it. We’ve got to keep pushing.”
Capps scored his second win of the season, second at this event and 47th of his career by outrunning Tommy Johnson Jr. in the Funny Car final. In a battle between Dodge Chargers, Capps finished in 3.923 at 325.61 in his NAPA Auto Parts machine, just ahead of Johnson’s 3.947 at 322.11 in his Make A Wish Funny Car.
Capps was quick all weekend, taking No. 1 qualifying position and then using a string of 3.9-second runs to dispatch Dave Richards, Courtney Force and John Force en route to the final round.
“I am proud of crew chief Rahn Tobler this weekend, he let it all hang out,” Capps said. “To be low E.T. and win the race and to win here twice is cool.
“There were some nail-biters out there, including that final round. We knocked off some big cars today and made a big jump in the points. I am proud of Tobler and the whole team.”
Anderson claimed his fourth win of the season and second straight at this event when he sped past final round opponent Allen Johnson. Anderson covered the distance in 6.598 at 210.44 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to hold off Johnson’s charging Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart, which left the starting line first but finished second with a 6.673 at 208.71.
It is the ninth straight final round appearance of the season for Anderson and series leader Jason Line’s KB Racing team and Anderson’s 82nd career victory.
“It’s been a great start to the year,” said Anderson, who defeated V. Gaines, Alex Laughlin and Line in early rounds. “This team is on fire. It’s a dream to drive that race car. I love racing here. It feels like racing back home in Minnesota. I had the best car on the grounds this weekend and only I could’ve screwed it up, and fortunately I got the job done today.”
Final finish order (1-16) at the fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway. (NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series round 9 of 24
TOP FUEL: 1. Antron Brown; 2. Steve Torrence; 3. Tony Schumacher; 4. Doug Kalitta; 5. Leah Pritchett; 6. Todd Paton; 7. Shawn Langdon; 8. J.R. Todd; 9. Brittany Force; 10. Clay Millican; 11. Terry McMillen; 12. Richie Crampton; 13. Smax Smith.
Final: Antron Brown, 3.769 seconds, 314.61 mph def. Steve Torrence, 3.778 seconds, 325.30 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 3. Del Worsham; 4. John Force; 5. Jack Beckman; 6. Courtney Force; 7. Matt Hagan; 8. Tim Wilkerson; 9. Bob Tasca III; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. John Hale; 12. Jeff Diehl; 13. Dave Richards; 14. Alexis DeJoria; 15. Robert Hight; 16. Chad Head.
Final: Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.923, 325.61 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.947, 322.11.
PRO STOCK: 1. Greg Anderson; 2. Allen Johnson; 3. Jason Line; 4. Shane Gray; 5. Bo Butner; 6. Alex Laughlin; 7. Vincent Nobile; 8. Chris McGaha; 9. Jeg Coughlin; 10. Drew Skillman; 11. Erica Enders; 12. V. Gaines; 13. Kenny Delco; 14. John Gaydosh Jr.
Final: Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.598, 210.44 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.673, 208.71.
Point standings after 9 of 24 events
Top Fuel: 1. Doug Kalitta, 785; 2. Antron Brown, 739; 3. Steve Torrence, 658; 4. Brittany Force, 623; 5. Tony Schumacher, 483; 6. Clay Millican, 475; 7. J.R. Todd, 473; 8. Richie Crampton, 450; 9. Shawn Langdon, 399; 10. Leah Pritchett, 360.
Funny Car: 1. Courtney Force, 654; 2. Jack Beckman, 639; 3. Ron Capps, 632; 4. Tim Wilkerson, 608; 5. Del Worsham, 558; 6. Matt Hagan, 556; 7. Robert Hight, 545; 8. John Force, 527; 9. Tommy Johnson Jr., 503; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 483.
Pro Stock: 1. Jason Line, 1,026; 2. Greg Anderson, 937; 3. Bo Butner, 680; 4. Allen Johnson, 559; 5. Drew Skillman, 497; 6. Chris McGaha, 459; 7. Vincent Nobile, 405; 8. Alex Laughlin, 381; 9. Erica Enders, 373; 10. Jeg Coughlin, 372.
Pro Stock Motorcycle (not racing today): 1. Eddie Krawiec, 353; 2. Andrew Hines, 233; 3. Hector Arana, 207; 4. Jerry Savoie, 204; 5. Chip Ellis, 193; 6. Angelle Sampey, 179; 7. LE Tonglet, 143; 8. Matt Smith, 124; 9. Karen Stoffer, 118; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, 117.
Brown, Capps and Line lead their respective categories heading into Sunday eliminations
NHRA reveals 2017 schedule