BROWN PUTS TOYOTA IN TOP FUEL WINNER’S CIRCLE AT ATLANTA
TORRANCE, Calif. – Antron Brown out-dueled teammate Tony Schumacher in the final to earn his second victory of the season and put Toyota into the Winner’s Circle at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga. The win is the seventh straight for a Toyota-sponsored car in Top Fuel competition and the sixth in a row this season.
Dating back to last season’s finale at Pomona, Brown has now won three of the last seven Top Fuel events and climbs into second-place in the point race heading into the midway point of the regular season next weekend in Topeka.
On the way to the victory, Brown eliminated David Grubnic, fellow Toyota pilot Shawn Langdon, Terry McMillen and finally Schumacher. Outside of Brown’s success, early match-ups against one another determined that it wasn’t going to be a banner day for the Toyota contingent. The Toyota-sponsored Al-Anabi and Morgan Lucas Racing teams squared off in two first-round match-ups with Larry Dixon eliminating Morgan Lucas and Langdon upsetting point leader and number two qualifier Del Worsham. Brown then ended Langdon’s day in the second round, while Dixon fell to Schumacher.
In Funny Cars, Cruz Pedregon continued his strong 2011 campaign. The two-time series champion defeated Robert Hight in the first round and then knocked off his brother, Tony Pedregon, to advance to the semi-finals before losing a close contest to eventual winner Jack Beckman. On Saturday, Pedregon earned the number four qualifying position, his sixth consecutive top-five qualifying effort this season.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Topeka, Kansas, for the Summer Nationals next weekend at Heartland Park Topeka, May 20-22.
- Today’s win was the second of the season for Antron Brown and his third in the last seven Top Fuel races. He previously won at Las Vegas in April and closed out the 2010 season with a victory at Pomona. The victory is the 27th of his NHRA career and fourth at the Atlanta Dragway.
- Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel drivers occupy the top three spots and five of the top eight in the point standings with Del Worsham first, Antron Brown second, Larry Dixon in third, Shawn Langdon in seventh and Morgan Lucas currently in eighth-place.
- Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel cars have won 18 of the last 25 NHRA Top Fuel events and 11 of the last 13.
- Today’s race marked the third time in six races this season that Cruz Pedregon’s Snap-On Tools Toyota Camry has advanced to the semi-finals or beyond. With the strong outing, he has closed to within 13 points of third-place in the Funny Car point standings.
There’s a lot of great competition in Top Fuel.
Del Worsham, Al-Anabi Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “It was a tough day for the Al-Anabi Team. There’s a lot of great competition in Top Fuel with a lot of cars capable of winning on any given day. We lost a close race to Shawn Langdon. We put up a good run, but it wasn’t good enough today. Luckily we get to run again in five days when we get to Topeka (Kan.) so hopefully the results will be different.”
Larry Dixon, Al-Anabi Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “In the grand scheme of things today was a little disappointing. It wasn’t in the cards for the Al-Anabi team this weekend. We had a little trouble getting down the track during qualifying with only one good run, but it seeded us fourth. Race day, we were third quick of the first round, but the only downside was that we had to run the quickest car of the first round in the next round. Lane choice seemed to be a determining factor in most of the racing today. It seemed like there was a couple hundredths difference between the lanes, and it kind of put us behind a little. We ended up being on the wrong side of a good drag race.”
Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil/Speedco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: "When you are running Del, you have to make a perfect run against him. He’s been really solid this year so we knew we had to lay down a big run. Our goal was to run a 3.85 or better. It was an all or nothing shot for us on that round. It held for us. It was an excellent job by the guys, considering all the adversity we’ve faced lately."
-source: toyota motorsports