BROWN ON A ROLL HEADING TO BRAINERD – Antron Brown fell just short of sweeping the Western Swing with two wins and a runner-up finish to his credit and will arrive in Brainerd as the Top Fuel point leader. The Matco Tools/Toyota driver has advanced to the final round seven times in the last nine races.
With his most recent victory in Seattle, Brown has now won 34 races since the start of the 2012 season – 18 more than any other driver in the series. In addition, he has closed to within three wins of Joe Amato for third on the all-time Top Fuel win list. The three-time world champion has gone to the winner’s circle twice previously in Brainerd where he was victorious in 2011 and also won the final round of the 2016 Seattle event that was pushed back to Brainerd two weeks later after rains halted action In Seattle after three rounds.
SEATTLE, WA – Antron Brown defeated Terry McMillen on a hole-shot to win the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle and reclaim the Top Fuel point lead. Sunday’s win was the fourth of the season for the Matco Tools/Toyota driver.
Brown defeated Ron Smith in the opening round and then escaped a problem on the light in the second round against Mike Salinas. He eliminated Clay Millican in the semi-finals to set up his final round match-up with McMillen where he had an .020 advantage on the tree to overcome a .004 deficit in ET.
SEATTLE, WA – Antron Brown moved past Doug Kalitta with a 3.735-second pass on the final run in Top Fuel to capture number one qualifier honors for Sunday’s Northwest Nationals at the Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle as the two Toyota drivers placed first and second.
The pole is the second of the year for Brown, who previously qualified first at Englishtown. The defending Seattle champion placed in the top three in three of the four Top Fuel qualifying sessions to earn six valuable bonus points.
BROWN HOLDS RARE DISTINCTION IN SEATTLE – Antron Brown will arrive in Seattle this week as the defending champion in a race he actually won 1,560 miles away in Brainerd, Minn., after rain in Seattle postponed the final round in 2016. The three-time world champ defeated T.J. Zizzo, Clay Millican and Morgan Lucas before the rains set in and pushed the finals to the following race in Brainerd. Two weeks later, Brown picked up right where he left off, defeating Steve Torrence with a 3.737-second pass for his fourth win of the 2016 season on the way to the Top Fuel title.
Brown will be looking for his third Seattle victory this weekend and his second in this year’s Western Swing after previously winning at Denver. He also registered a runner-up finish last weekend in Sonoma. The three-time world champion has advanced to the finals in six of the last eight Top Fuel events. For the season, Brown has three wins, eight final round appearances and has progressed to the semi-finals or beyond 10 times.
SONOMA, CA – Camry driver J.R. Todd defeated Tim Wilkerson in the final round to win the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals and become the first African-American driver in history to win an NHRA Funny Car event. The triumph gave Todd back-to-back victories at Sonoma Raceway after winning last year’s Top Fuel race before making the move to Funny Cars this season.
Todd drove his DHL Toyota Camry to wins over teammate Alexis DeJoria in round one and John Force in the second round to set up one of the most amazing comebacks in NHRA history in the semi-finals. After smoking the tires at the start, Todd proceeded to overcome a 1.27-second disadvantage in running down Jack Beckman in a pedal fest to advance to the finals against Wilkerson.
“I was able to win here at the Toyota Sonoma Nationals last year in Top Fuel and to be able to do it this year in a Funny Car is pretty special,” relayed Todd. “I love this track. This place is magical. I think we showed a lot of promise in Denver and it gave us a lot of hope coming back to sea level.
SONOMA, CA – Doug Kalitta ran a 331.28 mile-per-hour pass to set a new Top Fuel track speed record on the way to qualifying third as he paced the Toyota drivers in preparation for Sunday’s Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
This weekend’s performance marks the fifth time in the last six races that Kalitta has qualified in the top three. He earned bonus points for finishing in the top three in each of the weekend’s first three sessions and will match up with Shawn Reed in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.
TOYOTA AND SONOMA – Toyota is in its second year of its NHRA entitlement sponsorship with Sonoma Raceway. In addition, the manufacturer has served as co-title sponsor of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event since 2007, as well as the raceway’s official vehicle.
BROWN SETS SIGHTS ON SWEEPING WESTERN SWING – Antron Brown was the last Top Fuel driver to sweep the NHRA’s Western Swing back in 2009 and after a victory at Denver this past weekend, the three-time world champ is on pace to make a run at a second sweep. To complete the task, Brown will need victories at the Toyota Sonoma Nationals this weekend and at Pacific Raceways in Seattle next weekend. To date, he has won a combined total of nine races at the three tracks and is the defending champion in Seattle. Of course, Brown is generally a favorite at every stop on the NHRA circuit. His dominance over the past five and a half seasons extends to three world titles and 33 race wins – more than double the next highest driver.