ENNIS, TX – October 15, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Antron Brown powered to the No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel Saturday at the 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 22nd event of 24 on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals is the fourth race of the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Brown’s Friday night performance of 3.682 seconds at 330.55 mph in his Matco Tools dragster was enough to secure the No. 1 spot. His time is a Texas Motorplex track record. The reigning world champion tallied his 47th career No. 1 qualifier, third of the season and first at Dallas. Brown will race Chris Karamesines in the first round of eliminations.
“We’ve been racing good in the Countdown but we haven’t been getting those qualifying points like we need to,” said Brown, the Top Fuel points leader. “A lot of these teams have been racking up on us. To come here and to qualify the way we have has been phenomenal. We just hope that can carry over to race day. That’s where all the points are at. Right now, I couldn’t be happier for my whole team.”
Leah Pritchett qualified second with a 3.698 at 327.43 in her Papa John’s dragster. Pritchett won earlier this season in Phoenix and is competing in the Countdown to the Championship for the first time. She is currently seventh in points and will find Scott Palmer in the opposite lane Sunday morning.
Tony Schumacher, an eight-time world champion, is third with a 3.705 at 326.71 in his U.S. Army dragster. He is paired with Kebin Kinsley. J.R. Todd is fourth and matched with Troy Buff while Brittany Force qualified fifth and Shawn Langdon qualified sixth.
Hight pushed his AAA Texas Chevy Camaro SS to the No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car with a 3.839 at a 332.02, which he notched Friday night. His time is the third-quickest Funny Car pass in NHRA history and a Texas Motorplex track record. This is his 49th career No. 1 qualifier, second of the season and fifth at Dallas. The 2009 world champion is currently eighth in points with one win this year, which came in Gainesville, Fla. He will go heads up with Brandon Welch in Sunday’s first round.
“Starting at St. Louis, we turned things around,” said Hight, a two-time Dallas winner. “Tell you what, to come out here to Texas, my sponsor’s race, and make four runs in the 3.80s, that shows we’ve got it going on. My teammates are running 3.80s and we’re right at the top. It’s exciting to have a qualifying like this, but tomorrow is a new day. We’ve been having problems with sealing the deal on Sunday. It’ll be a tough match tomorrow.”
Jack Beckman sits in the No. 2 spot with a 3.843 at a track record speed of 333.66 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T. Beckman, third in points, won earlier this season in Chicago and St. Louis. He will battle Dave Richards to start eliminations.
Tommy Johnson Jr. posted a 3.847 at 325.06 at the controls of his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T to qualify third. He will race John Hale in the first round. Two-time world champion Matt Hagan qualified fourth and Houston winner Courtney Force in fifth.
In Pro Stock, Line used his Saturday performance of 6.568 at 210.34 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to secure the No. 1 spot for the seventh time this year and 48th time in his career. Line, a two-time world champion, won this event in 2011 as the No. 1 qualifier and also sprinted to victory here in 2013. He leads the points with eight victories and five runner-up finishes this season.
“Everybody is close,” said Line, who will race Alan Prusiensky Sunday morning. “It really comes down to just making the best decision. It’s like a big chess match. I think we had a good day using all three (Ken Black Racing) cars, and we used them wisely today. We learned some things and hopefully all three cars are good for tomorrow.”
Greg Anderson qualified No. 2 with a 6.579 at 210.11 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro. Anderson is a four-time world champion and also a four-time Dallas winner. He will go up against back-to-back and reigning world champion Erica Enders in the first round.
St. Louis winner Alex Laughlin, from Granbury, Texas, is third and matched up with five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin. Shane Gray is fourth and set to go up against Seattle winner Aaron Strong.
Louisiana alligator farmer Savoie claimed his first No. 1 qualifier of 2016 with a 6.805 at 197.31 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki. This is the sixth No. 1 of his career and second consecutive at Texas Motorplex. Savoie, who won this event last year, raced to victory in St. Louis and posted three runner-up finishes earlier this season. He is currently fifth in points and will open eliminations against Joe DeSantis.
“At this point in the game it is really important to get as many points as you can,” said Savoie, who finished a career-high third in points one year ago. “I don’t know if I’m more excited about being No. 1 or to win a race. It’s a good weekend and Dallas is my home track now since we don’t run in Houston. After our showing last year, hopefully we can repeat it and have some fun.”
Reigning world champion Andrew Hines qualified second with a 6.811 at 195.90 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. The five-time world champion won this event in 2014 and is paired up with Joey Gladstone.
Eddie Krawiec, Hines’ Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate, is third and matched up with Karen Stoffer while Englishtown, N.J., winner Angelle Sampey is fourth and will go up against Shawn Gann.
Eliminations for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals are set to begin Sunday at 11 a.m. and will be shown live on FOX Sports 1 starting at 2 p.m.
ENNIS, TX — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel — 1. Antron Brown, 3.682 seconds, 330.55 mph vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, 4.213, 232.31; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.698, 327.82 vs. 15. Scott Palmer, 3.929, 311.41; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.705, 326.71 vs. 14. Kebin Kinsley, 3.921, 311.85; 4. J.R. Todd, 3.723, 324.90 vs. 13. Troy Buff, 3.911, 314.02; 5. Brittany Force, 3.727, 325.37 vs. 12. Terry McMillen, 3.835, 309.84; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.729, 324.67 vs. 11. Larry Dixon, 3.767, 320.81; 7. Steve Torrence, 3.737, 327.43 vs. 10. Clay Millican, 3.746, 321.04; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.741, 322.42 vs. 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.745, 326.00. Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 6.365, 184.98.
Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.839, 332.02 vs. 16. Brandon Welch, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.040, 158.39; 2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.843, 333.66 vs. 15. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.035, 298.54; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.847, 325.06 vs. 14. John Hale, Charger, 4.032, 308.78; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.851, 331.85 vs. 13. John Bojec, Toyota Camry, 3.988, 315.49; 5. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.854, 324.05 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.952, 284.99; 6. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.857, 327.98 vs. 11. Chad Head, Camry, 3.923, 328.06; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.864, 323.81 vs. 10. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.919, 322.19; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.867, 330.39 vs. 9. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.911, 322.65. Did Not Qualify: 17. Todd Simpson, broke.
Pro Stock — 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.568, 210.34 vs. 16. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.775, 205.54; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.579, 210.11 vs. 15. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.748, 207.75; 3. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.586, 210.73 vs. 14. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.686, 207.24; 4. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.591, 209.98 vs. 13. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.684, 207.72; 5. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 209.39 vs. 12. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.648, 207.98; 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.594, 210.34 vs. 11. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.641, 208.36; 7. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.610, 209.49 vs. 10. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.631, 208.46; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.612, 209.26 vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.614, 210.67.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.805, 197.31 vs. 16. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 6.961, 192.69; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.811, 195.90 vs. 15. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.947, 192.19; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.821, 195.76 vs. 14. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.935, 194.35; 4. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.853, 195.39 vs. 13. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.916, 194.91; 5. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.863, 194.60 vs. 12. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.914, 191.02; 6. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.863, 195.79 vs. 11. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.905, 194.77; 7. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.868, 194.24 vs. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.889, 193.99; 8. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.872, 192.96 vs. 9. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.879, 194.46. Did Not Qualify: 17. Angie Smith, 6.986, 191.19; 18. John Hall, 7.011, 189.39; 19. Mike Berry, 7.044, 187.11; 20. David Hope, 7.113, 183.79; 21. Lance Bonham, 7.222, 183.49; 22. Gunner Courtney, 7.264, 184.95.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association