Brown’s Semi-Final Run Leads Toyota At Denver
Antron Brown advanced to the semi-finals to lead the Toyota contingent in today’s NHRA Full Throttle Series Mile High Nationals at the Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.
Brown, who qualified eighth, defeated Terry McMillen in the opening round and then knocked off fellow Toyota pilot Del Worsham in the second round. The showing marked Brown’s second straight run to the semi-finals and the third time in the last four races he has advanced to the semis or beyond. He has now closed to within 17 points of third-place in the championship hunt.
Worsham had registered the fastest times in each of Friday’s sessions on his way to earning his fourth number one qualifier of the season. Yet, the heat, altitude and thin air made every run a challenge for competitors this weekend including the top qualifier. Worsham knocked off Steve Chrisman in the opening round before falling to Brown in round two. Shawn Langdon also advanced to the second round today, defeating David Grubnic in his first run and falling to eventual winner Spencer Massey in the second.
Worsham’s Al-Anabi Racing teammate Larry Dixon was eliminated in a much-anticipated first-round match-up Tony Schumacher, but Dixon remains in third-place in the championship hunt. Morgan Lucas also fell in Round One.
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon set a new track record in qualifying on Friday as he earned his third pole position of the season. Unfortunately, his Snap-On Toyota Camry Solara was chasing the set-up throughout the remainder of the weekend and he was eliminated in the second round today. He remains fourth in Funny Car points.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Sonoma, Calif., next weekend for the second stop on its three-races-in-three-weeks western swing before closing out the stretch in Seattle on Aug.7.
Antron Brown, Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “It was a good race day. Overall, the car really responded to what we wanted it to do this weekend. That’s always a good sign going forward. For sure, we want to win every race we compete in, but if you are going to lose to someone it might as well be your teammate. We were right there with him until the tires let loose. We just didn’t pull it back enough to accommodate the track. We tried to run a four-flat, but it just wouldn’t hold. We knew we had to step it up against those Al-Anabi guys. They have been running incredibly well all year long, so it was nice we were able to get by them early in the day.”
Del Worsham, Al-Anabi Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “Denver is a hit-and-miss place. We came here, and the Al-Anabi car made some pretty good runs. Gotta hand it to Antron Brown’s team; they threw down a great run and beat us. We leave here going down the track and making some pretty decent runs so I’m looking forward to Sonoma.”
Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "We did move up a spot in the points. It's just a hard deal. This weekend is just so different than any other because you don't run in any conditions close to this the rest of the season. The rest of the Western Swing is about going rounds and going around the people in front of us. Hopefully we'll move up a spot or two before the start of the Countdown. The motor is looking happier internally with the bearings and pistons. I think we've fixed some problems we've been having the last couple of months.”
Larry Dixon, Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “It was not a very representative weekend for our Al-Anabi team. Right from the first run of the weekend, we struggled to put down a good lap in qualifying. That put us in the bottom half of the ladder which meant we had to run someone who was running well. That happened to be Tony (Schumacher), and they put their best lap of the weekend on us in the first round. That was it for us in Denver. Point-wise, we took a beating this weekend. Hopefully we can get them back in the next couple of events, but we have work to do.”
Morgan Lucas, GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "We stayed on all eight cylinders until I pedaled it. We got out there and had a little malfunction in the bell housing, which caused us to smoke the tires. There's something about the mathematical formula about me racing here that just never adds up. We never can seem to get everything on the right page up here. This is one of my favorite tracks. It would be cool to win here. It just didn't work in our favor today."
By: toyota motorsports