Toyota Motorsports Joliet Final Report

Route 66 Raceway

Worsham Notches Fifth Top Fuel Win Of The Season At Chicago

Del Worsham defeated David Grubnic to earn his series-high fifth win of the season on Sunday and extend his Top Fuel championship league to 125 points in today’s NHRA Full Throttle Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.

Del Worsham
Del Worsham

Photo by: Ted Rossino

After qualifying during the evening hours on Friday and Saturday, competitors had to overcome the intense heat that saw track temperatures climb close to 130 degrees on Sunday. Yet, the long-time Funny Car driver-turned Top Fueler made four trouble-free runs on Sunday to earn his 30th NHRA Nitro victory. He also defeated Dom Lagana, Doug Kalitta and fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown on the way to his sixth final of the 2011 season.

In addition to Worsham’s strong day, both Brown and Shawn Langdon advanced to the semi-finals with Langdon beating both Larry Dixon and Tony Schumacher in the process. His victory over Dixon came by the narrowest of margins – just .004 seconds. Brown defeated Troy Buff and Brandon Bernstein before eventually falling to Worsham.

Worsham’s Al-Anabi Racing teammate Dixon ran the two quickest ETs of the day, yet, lost on a hole-shot to Langdon. He did close to within five points of second place by advancing to the second round.

Morgan Lucas fell in the opening round against Tony Schumacher to round out the Toyota Top Fuel contingent.

In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon came up short against his brother, Tony, in the first round after qualifying seventh. Despite the early loss, he remains in fourth place in the title chase.

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is off next weekend before returning in Denver at the Bandimere Speedway, July 22-24, for the Mile High Nationals.

Del Worsham, Al-Anabi Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “It was a day with some ups-and-down, but I had a terrific car. I made a mistake in the second round, but the talent and the depth of this team is just so good. (On adjusting to Sunday’s heat:) It was tougher for the crew chiefs than the drivers. I just can’t say enough about the entire Al-Anabi Toyota team. I’m just lucky to be here. (On cIinching a Countdown berth:) Most years, it’s generally gone down to the wire to clinch a berth. To do it at this point of the season is just amazing. I’m so grateful for this opportunity from Alan, the Sheikh and everyone involved in the Al-Anabi team. It’s something I’ll always remember.”

Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "The engine was happy all day. We didn't mess up any pistons and the bearings looked good. But it can be frustrating to beat two of the best cars out there and not be able to carry it through to a win. But that's why drag racing is the toughest sport in the world. The sport just teases you enough to keep you coming back. If we would have made an okay run we probably would have made it around Grubby (Grubnic). Then who knows what could happen after that. We've had a race car for two rounds today, now we just need to stretch it across all four rounds on Sunday. These things are animals and it's so hard to get them to go down the track every time out.”

Antron Brown, Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “Man, we really wanted to beat those Al-Anabi guys. They are the team to beat right now. We just couldn’t quite get it done today. It definitely was a challenging weekend with the hot weather and getting it all together. Getting to the semifinals was good, but we’re here to win races. We’ll just have to go back to the shop and work even harder to prepare for the Western Swing.”

By: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Cruz Pedregon , Brandon Bernstein , Morgan Lucas , Troy Buff , Shawn Langdon , Dom Lagana
Tags chicago, funny car, joliet, nhra, route 66 raceway, top fuel, worsham