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Brown Charges To Top Fuel Victory In The New England Nationals

| , RacinToday.com Monday, June 6 2016
Antron Brown, foreground, edged Steve Torrence in the finals of Monday's rain-delayed New EnglandNationals.

Antron Brown, foreground, edged Steve Torrence in the finals of Monday’s rain-delayed New EnglandNationals.

Doug Kalitta’s three-race winning streak came to an end and Antron Brown raced to his second Top Fuel victory of the season Monday at the rain-delayed NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway.

Brown closed the gap on series points-leader Kalitta with a convincing victory over rival Steve Torrence in the final round. Brown powered his Don Schumacher Racing dragster to a winning performance of 3.769 seconds at 314.61 mph to hold off Torrence, who trailed with a 3.778 at 325.30, in a very close finish.

Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) also were winners of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near Boston.

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, who is now 18-1 in head-to-head meetings versus Torrence. “We were fortunate to get the win. That Capco team over there is no joke. 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.”

Kalitta’s bid for a fourth straight win came to an end when he lost to Torrence.

“When you are on such a high you never want to slow down,” said Kalitta. “I am so proud of these Mac Tools guys. We will see if we can start another streak next weekend.”

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 DSR flopper, just ahead of Johnson’s 3.947 at 322.11 in his car.

Capps’ Dodge was quick all weekend. He took the No. 1 qualifying position and then used a consistently quick string of 3.9-second runs during eliminations to claim round wins over 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. How about the fans that showed up today – who cut work and cut school to see some of the racing they saw today, you won’t see that every weekend. There were some nail-biters out there, including that final round. It was a fun day. We knocked off some big cars today and made a big jump in the points. I am proud of Tobler and the whole team.”

Capps said winning this event during two significant golden anniversary celebrations is one he will always cherish.

“I love coming here,” said Capps, who with the victory moved from sixth to third in the series points standings. “As a kid I remember reading about this place in National Dragster magazine. It’s been a dream to win here for the second time. It’s huge. There’s so many old school Funny Cars here on display this weekend. To be the guy that wins New England Dragway during the 50th anniversary of Funny Car is only fitting because I love ‘em. I love the nostalgia series. I love driving them. I feel like I was born 25 years too late.”

In Pro Stock, Anderson claimed his fourth win of the season and second straight at this event when he sped past Allen Johnson in the finals. Anderson covered the distance in 6.598 at 210.44 in his Ken Black Racing Chevy Camaro to hold off Johnson’s charging 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.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues June 9-12 with the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

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EPPING, N.H. — Final finish order (1-16) at the Fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway.  The race is the ninth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

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.

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.

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.

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Monday’s final results from the Fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway:

Top Fuel — Antron Brown, 3.769 seconds, 314.61 mph  def. Steve Torrence, 3.778 seconds, 325.30 mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.923, 325.61  def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.947, 322.11.

Pro Stock — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.598, 210.44  def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.673, 208.71.

Competition Eliminator — Doug Doll Jr., Dragster, 7.462, 170.82  def. Al Ackerman, Dragster, 8.033, 166.27.

Super Stock — Joe Santangelo, Chevy Camaro, 10.318, 121.88  def. Ray Knight, Olds Calis, 10.067, 131.46.

Stock Eliminator — Allison Smyth, Pontiac Firebird, 10.487, 123.56  def. Jerry Hatch, Plymouth Duster, 10.678, 122.64.

Super Comp — John Smith, Dragster, 8.909, 165.33  def. Nick Willard, Dragster, 8.918, 162.86.

Super Gas — Tom Stalba, Chevy Corvette, 9.902, 163.95  def. Ray Sawyer, Chevy Camaro, 9.937, 167.28.

Super Street — Steve Sisko, Chevy Vega, 10.922, 139.29  def. Keith Mayers, Porsche, 10.907, 149.91.

Top Sportsman — Matt Harper, Pontiac Grand Prix, 7.313, 187.26  def. Fred Perkins, Chevy Bel Air, 6.732, 202.88.

Top Fuel Harley — Jay Turner, Harley, 6.292, 223.32  def. Tii Tharpe, Harley, 6.467, 198.03.

Pro Stock Snowmobile — Ricky Romano, Yamaha, 8.658, 148.95  def. Tyler Small, Ski Doo, 8.570, 152.92.

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Final round-by-round results from the Fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Shawn Langdon, 3.751, 324.51 def. J.R. Todd, 3.788, 306.05; Doug Kalitta, 3.749, 329.26 def. Terry McMillen, 6.453, 106.39; Antron Brown, 3.758, 316.30 was unopposed; Steve Torrence, 6.525, 91.56 def. Smax Smith, Broke – No Show; Todd Paton, 4.024, 294.24 def. Brittany Force, 4.225, 297.42; Tony Schumacher, 4.306, 252.85 def. Richie Crampton, 6.950, 103.05; Leah Pritchett, 4.098, 267.16 def. Clay Millican, 5.593, 119.96;

QUARTERFINALS — Schumacher, 3.783, 324.75 def. Pritchett, 3.850, 318.92; Torrence, 3.772, 325.06 was unopposed; Brown, 6.170, 107.69 def. Langdon, Foul – Red Light; Kalitta, 3.817, 326.71 def. Paton, 3.911, 283.25;

SEMIFINALS — Brown, 3.858, 263.62 def. Schumacher, Foul – Red Light; Torrence, 3.796, 313.29 def. Kalitta, 4.570, 202.97;

FINAL — Brown, 3.769, 314.61 def. Torrence, 3.778, 325.30.

 

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.960, 322.81 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.092, 306.40; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.921, 322.19 def. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.135, 306.12; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.081, 311.13 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.046, 309.06; John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.933, 326.71 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.958, 315.71; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.901, 323.35 def. Chad Head, Toyota Camry, 10.818, 70.38; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.935, 325.14 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.007, 312.06; Del Worsham, Camry, 3.951, 328.30 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, Foul- Red Light; Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.175, 239.74 def. Robert Hight, Camaro, Foul – Red Light;

QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 3.956, 320.51 def. Beckman, 3.937, 325.30; Capps, 3.956, 323.12 def. C. Force, 3.999, 323.04; J. Force, 3.976, 326.24 def. Wilkerson, 7.725, 97.22; Worsham, 3.969, 324.75 def. Hagan, 4.930, 158.69;

SEMIFINALS — Capps, 3.926, 318.69 def. J. Force, 3.966, 319.14; Johnson Jr., 3.926, 323.89 def. Worsham, 3.965, 324.44;

FINAL — Capps, 3.923, 325.61 def. Johnson Jr., 3.947, 322.11.

 

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.623, 209.36 def. Jeg Coughlin, Dodge Dart, 6.659, 206.76; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.639, 208.20 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.653, 208.71; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.622, 208.14 def. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.684, 207.15; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.586, 210.11 def. V. Gaines, Dart, Foul – Red Light; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.630, 209.23 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.668, 207.88; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.612, 209.59 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.750, 205.57; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.599, 210.50 def. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.828, 203.12;

QUARTERFINALS — Johnson, 6.662, 208.65 def. Nobile, 6.683, 209.49; Gray, 6.620, 209.52 def. Butner, 6.603, 210.11; Line, 6.603, 210.18 was unopposed; Anderson, 6.592, 210.64 def. Laughlin, Foul – Red Light;

SEMIFINALS — Johnson, 6.726, 207.72 def. Gray, 6.737, 208.88; Anderson, 6.618, 209.46 def. Line, 6.620, 210.14;

FINAL — Anderson, 6.598, 210.44 def. Johnson, 6.673, 208.71.

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Point standings (top 10) following the New England Nationals:

Top Fuel

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.
| , RacinToday.com Monday, June 6 2016
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