BRAINERD, MN – Pro Stock driver Shane Gray had the quicker car in his first-round match with back-to-back Pro Stock champion Erica Enders, but a quicker reaction time by his opponent was a tad too much to overcome and he ultimately lost the race by .003-second, or a few inches in length.
“It was hard to tell who won at the stripe because we were nailed together door handle to door handle, but give her credit, she pulled off a better light and that was the difference,” Gray said. “It’s always tough to lose, it’s tougher to lose in the first round, and it’s brutal to lose on a holeshot, but I’m a big boy. I’ll take my lumps and move on.
“Bottom line, we have a great race car. We are consistently qualifying in the top half of the field, and I feel confident coming into every race that we can win. I didn’t do my job today but the guys sure did. We’ll pick up and get to Indy and try all over again.”
BRAINERD, MN – The winningest driver in NHRA history has enjoyed unrivalled support from his legions of fans for nearly four decades. When John Force was starting his now historic career fans encouraged him, cheered him and in many cases fed his low budget team. This year Force will rely on his fans one more time in his bid to race in the 2016 edition of the Traxxas Nitro Funny Car Shootout. He has two wins in 2016 but the surging Force in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS was not one of the first seven Funny Car drivers to win this season and will vie for the 8th and final spot through the fan vote and lottery process. Fans can vote for John Force by clicking this link http://bit.ly/Traxxas2016 which will take them to the fan vote on NHRA’s Facebook page. Voting is open now and will remain open until 9 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
“I have a great race car and it just took us a while to get a win. We are No. 7 in the points and we got wins in Denver and Sonoma which were two tough races. I have raced in a lot of All-Star races and I definitely want to race this year in this PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car,” said Force. “The competition has never been tougher and I love being in my race car. These young kids led by my crew chief Jon Schaffer are working hard at every race and I want to keep them busy at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.”
Schumacher, Brown Square Off for Fifth Time This Season in Brainerd Semifinal
The U.S. Army Top Fuel driver duo of Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher and Antron Brown solidified their positions for this year’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs during this weekend’s 35th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway.
The powerhouse duo squared off in Sunday’s Top Fuel semifinals with Brown gaining the upper hand for the first time in their last four meetings. And the reigning and two-time world champion nearly scored his second event title on consecutive days, a feat achieved just once in NHRA history when Schumacher and the U.S. Army Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) did it en route to the 2014 Top Fuel world championship.
Brainerd, MN – Matt Hagan had quite a weekend in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car at the NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Hagan, racing out of the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) pits, blasted to a national record setting run in the final round of qualifying on Saturday to nab the pole, and on Sunday, he carried that Mopar momentum all the way to the final round. The final was the fourth of the year for Hagan and the 12th of the season for the Mopar-powered DSR Funny Cars.
“We had a great weekend here at B.I.R.,” said Hagan. “We qualified No. 1 and set a national record. The car was on a string pretty much all day long, we just came up a little short in the final. All in all, it was a good points day for us, and I’m sure we helped ourselves a little bit there.”
TORRANCE, CA – Del Worsham drove his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car to a 3.908-second pass to defeat Matt Hagan in the finals of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., Sunday. The victory is the 12th of the season for a Toyota driver in NHRA Nitro competition.
Worsham, who lost in the rain-delayed Seattle final on Saturday, earned a second opportunity on the weekend with victories over Bob Bode, Tim Wilkerson and Courtney Force setting up his final round match-up with Hagan. The win is the first of the season for Worsham after previously advancing to three final rounds and comes in his milestone 500th career Mello Yello Drag Racing Series start.
BRAINERD, MN – Brittany Force made the most of her return to the final round at the 35th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Last year Force came up a little short to No. 1 qualifier Richie Crampton but today against two-time world champion Antron Brown Force took the win in a wild, fireball spewing final run. Force and her Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster had just enough power to outrun a tire-smoking Brown, who she beat last year in Brainerd in the semifinals.
“It’s just awesome to be able to win here. I felt good coming in here this weekend just because we had some success (runner-up finish) last year. We had been struggling a little bit and to come out here and get the win is exactly where we want to be going to the Countdown and the biggest race of our season in Indy (the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals), so we’re exactly where we want to be,” said Force. “I have to say thank you to my entire Monster Energy team for all their hard work, and it feels so good to bring home another win.”
Capps, NAPA Dodge clinch top seed for championship playoff; Hagan, Brown advance to final rounds of Brainerd Mello Yello race
BRAINERD, MN – Don Schumacher Racing leaves Brainerd International Raceway in northern Minnesota with two NHRA Wally trophies but none were earned on Sunday in the 17th event of the 24-race Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Although DSR’s two-time and reigning Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown and two-time Funny Car
world champ Matt Hagan advanced to the championship rounds Sunday in the NHRA Nationals, Brown and Ron Capps earned the titles at the track on Saturday in the completion of the event that started two weeks ago near Seattle.