Antron Brown held off fellow Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the final round when he powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.793-second pass at 319.82 mph. It was Brown’s first win of the season in his second consecutive final round appearance. It was also his 32nd career win, with 16 wins in Top Fuel and 16 wins in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Antron Brown raced to his first Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway (FIR).
Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were winners at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event near Phoenix.
Brown held off fellow Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the final round when he powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.793-second pass at 319.82 mph. It was Brown’s first win of the season in his second consecutive final round appearance. It was also his 32nd career win, with 16 wins in Top Fuel and 16 wins in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“It was an incredible day,” Brown said. “The competition in Top Fuel now, pound for pound, is like a 324-mph Pro Stock class. Even though the odds were against us, we dug down deep and believed in our Matco Tools boys. We took it one round at a time and really had to battle with these guys. Making it to the final round for the second race in a row is a real huge statement. But it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, especially when the Countdown gets tight.”
The win moved Brown to the top spot in the Top Fuel standings, 32 points ahead of second-place Schumacher, whose winless streak increased to eight consecutive final round appearances. Schumacher’s last win came at Las Vegas in Oct. 2010. Fellow Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey sits third after his second round appearance.
In Funny Car, Hight powered his Auto Club Ford Mustang past fellow John Force Racing teammate Mike Neff in the final round with a performance of 4.139 at 307.07. It was Hight’s first win at FIR and the 24th win of his career.
“It’s pretty exciting two weekends in a row having all-John Force Fords in the final,” Hight said. “You have to cherish that because you know that’s not going to keep happening. It’s tough to do. What’s really cool is I got in that Traxxas (Nitro) Shootout. When they show you the rules and there’s seven guaranteed in there – the first seven winners – that isn’t that easy. There’s a lot of good Funny Cars out here, so to get it this early, it’s a little relief.”
With the win Hight moved to second in the point standings behind teammate Neff. Team owner John Force sits third in the point standings, four points behind Hight. Force fell in the first round to daughter Courtney Force, who advanced to her first career semifinal appearance.
Defending Pro Stock world champion Line held off fellow KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson to secure his first victory of the season. Line drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.558 at 211.69 and past Anderson to earn his 28th career win and first at FIR.
“This is a great start,” Line said. “I felt like I had the best car at both races, but we just didn’t get the job done in Pomona. This was the first off-season we’ve had in a while without any tragedies, and I think it shows in how we’ve started off the year. All in all, it was a great day and a great weekend.”
With the win, Line moved to second in the points standings, one point behind leader Anderson, who made his second consecutive final round appearance of the season. Recent runner-up finisher Jeg Coughlin sits fifth in the point standings after his first round loss to Line.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues March 8-11 at Florida's Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville with the tradition-rich Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com.