Toyota Motorsports press release
BROWN WINS ALL-TOYOTA FINAL AT U.S. NATIONALS
CLAREMONT, Ind. (Sept. 5, 2011) – Antron Brown narrowly defeated Del Worsham in an all-Toyota final to win today’s prestigious NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Claremont, Ind. The win is the 13th of the season for a Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel driver and it’s the fifth time in 2011 that two Toyota drivers have squared off in the finals.
It was little surprise that Brown and Worsham met in the finale. The duo qualified one-two for today’s elimination rounds and have now combined to win six of the last seven events. They will go into the Countdown to the Championship playoffs seeded first and second. Brown’s victory was his third win in the last four races. The triumph didn’t come easily, though. After defeating Shawn Langdon and Doug Kalitta in the first two rounds, he knocked off fellow Toyota driver Larry Dixon in the semi before matching up with Worsham in the hotly-contested final.
Worsham came into today already having clinched the top spot in the Countdown by qualifying for the event. He then defeated Troy Buff, Terry McMillen and Brandon Bernstein to reach his eighth final of the 2011 campaign.
Worsham’s Al-Anabi Toyota teammate Dixon climbed up to fourth in points by advancing to the semi-finals today. The reigning Top Fuel champion defeated David Grubnic and Spencer Massey.
Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon both had strong first-round runs with matching 3.86s but were not able to advance. Each qualified for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs this weekend with Langdon earning the eighth seed and Lucas one position behind him in ninth.
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon topped the charts on all three days of qualifying to take the number one spot in eliminations, but was upset on a hole-shot victory by Jeff Arend in the first round, despite registering an impressive 4.127-second pass second.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will begin the Countdown to the Championship playoffs September 18 in Charlotte with the O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals.
Antron Brown, Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “Words cannot describe how this feels. To come here and win at Indy, the biggest stage in drag racing, means so much. It just goes back to my childhood dream and sitting under those grandstands as a kid and saying ‘I want to do that one day.’ It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had. We tested here last week and we worked really hard to get a good car here. We weren’t the fastest in all of the rounds, but we got it done in the finals. It definitely wasn’t easy. This Top Fuel field is so competitive. First, it’s Shawn Langdon in a battle in the opening round, then it’s Doug Kalitta in round two. Then you get the Al-Anabi guys – and if they don’t get you the first time, they’ve got another one coming.”
Del Worsham, Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “It was a good day and a great race; the two best teams were in the final round, but we just lost to a team that was a little bit better than we were in the final. Losing is never fun no matter what race, but especially this race. I think this experience today will make the Al-Anabi team stronger when the Countdown begins in Charlotte in two weeks. The Al-Anabi team will be ready to go when we get there.”