Brown Clinches Top Fuel Title; J. Force, Torrence, Gray and Savoie Win at the 16th Annual NHRA Toyota Nationals

LAS VEGAS, NV – October 30, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Antron Brown secured his third NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel world championship Sunday at the NHRA Toyota Nationals.

After defeating Wayne Newby in the quarterfinals, Antron outlasted his two closest chasers, Doug Kalitta, who lost in the quarterfinal round to Steve Torrence, and Shawn Langdon, who fell in the first round to J.R. Todd, to secure the season crown.

In other drag racing, John Force (Funny Car), Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were event winners in their respective categories at the 23rd race on the 24 event NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. It is the fifth race of the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship.

It is Brown’s second consecutive world championship, in 2015 he also clinched the title at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His first championship came in 2012. It is the first time in seven years that a Top Fuel champion has won back-to-back titles.

“Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) and our entire team has worked so hard and I’m just privileged to drive that racecar for Don Schumacher Racing because Don makes it all happen,” Brown said. “When you come to a sport with all this access it makes dreams like mine, a kid from New Jersey, come true. My dad, uncle, everybody, they instilled it in me at a young age, work hard and you can make great things happen.”

Brown won his first race of the season at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals and had a runner-up finish at the next event, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. A win in Epping, N.H. kept him second in points. Brown took the points lead at the Route 66 Nationals and never relinquished the top spot. During the famed West Coast Swing he made a final round appearance at Denver and raced to his fourth victory of the season in Seattle. His success continued during the Countdown to the Championship piloting his dragster to three victories in the first four races.

John Force powered his Peak Antifreeze Chevy Camaro to a 3.884 second pass at 327.19 mph to defeat daughter, Courtney Force who raced a 3.906 at 325.85 in her Traxxas Chevy Camaro. It is John’s 147th career victory, fourth of the season and sixth at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speed, fourth at the fall event.

“I’m really excited,” said Force, a sixteen-time world champion and the winningest driver in NHRA history. “I mean I never like beating my daughter. We got two wins in the Countdown just a little bit late. It’s pretty exciting when I see the stands packed. The way NHRA and the way our TV deal has really been hopping, sold out crowds, and so many things going on. To be a part of it still at my age is really awesome.”

It was the fifth time father and daughter had faced each other in a race finals, the most recent was in Denver, where John also won. John defeated John Bojec, Chad Head, and Matt Hagan in the earlier round for the win. With the semifinal finish, Hagan moves to second in the points standings, 86 behind Ron Capps who fell to Courtney in the semifinals.

Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors dragster to a 3.734 pass at 323.81 to defeat J.R. Todd’s 3.762 at 321.96 in his SealMaster dragster in the Top Fuel final. It is Torrence’s third win of the season, eighth of his career and first at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“It’s been a good weekend all together,” Torrence said. “We kind of struggled the first few races of the countdown and dropped the ball. I mean heck we had to turn it on and come up here and try to do some good. The Capco guys have really stayed focus and stayed driven and done what it took to overcome just some bad luck and a couple screw ups on my part. We have a really good team, we have a championship caliber team, I believe.”

Torrence defeated Richie Crampton, Doug Kalitta and Leah Pritchett to get to the finals while Todd faced Shawn Langdon, No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican and 2016 champion Brown in the earlier rounds.

In Pro Stock, Shane Gray raced his Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro to a 6.719 pass at 204.76 to defeat teammate Drew Skillman for his first win of the season, fifth of his career and first at The Strip.

“It was a great weekend,” Gray said. “It was a really good weekend for me. We were talking out there I think I’ve been in nine semis this year and I haven’t won since U.S. Nationals in 2014. It was a great day. I’ve got one more race to run and then my son is getting in the car so I can’t think of a better time to win. Awesome day.”

Gray had victories against Deric Kramer, Bo Butner and Greg Anderson before reaching his first final round of the season. His win moves him into third in points. Jason Line and Anderson remain in the first and second spots, respectively, after they both fell in the semifinals.

Jerry Savoie rode his Savoie’s Alligator Farm Suzuki to a 6.915 at 194.13 to defeat Andrew Hines in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round for his second win of the season sixth of his career and first in Vegas.

“To do what we did here, we been working hard,” Savoie said. “Tim (Kulungian) went back to the shop and looked at a bunch of notes, and got on a dyno and an engine we had back home and did some work. It’s like football and anything else, the harder you work, the better you get. It all came together this weekend. No. 1 qualifier every round, and we got a fast motorcycle. It’s going to be very, very interesting when we get to Pomona.”

Savoie defeated Scott Pollacheck, LE Tonglet, and Matt Smith in the early rounds and is now three points behind Harley-Davidson teammates Hines and Eddie Krawiec who are tied for the points lead.

The final race of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series 2016 season, The Auto Club NHRA Finals, will be Nov. 10-13 in Pomona, Calif.


LAS VEGAS — Final finish order (1-16) at the 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The race is the 23rd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.


1.  Steve Torrence; 2.  J.R. Todd; 3.  Leah Pritchett; 4.  Antron Brown; 5.  Clay Millican; 6.  Doug Kalitta; 7.  Wayne Newby; 8.  Brittany Force; 9.  Richie Crampton; 10.  Shawn Reed; 11.  Tripp Tatum; 12.  Terry Haddock; 13.  Terry McMillen; 14.  Tony Schumacher; 15.  Shawn Langdon; 16.  Scott Palmer.


1.  John Force; 2.  Courtney Force; 3.  Ron Capps; 4.  Matt Hagan; 5.  Del Worsham; 6.  Chad Head; 7.  Jack Beckman; 8.  Cruz Pedregon; 9.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 10.  Paul Lee; 11.  John Hale; 12.  John Bojec; 13.  Jeff Arend; 14.  Robert Hight; 15.  Tim Wilkerson; 16.  Alexis DeJoria.


1.  Shane Gray; 2.  Drew Skillman; 3.  Greg Anderson; 4.  Jason Line; 5.  Bo Butner; 6.  Chris McGaha; 7.  Alex Laughlin; 8.  Vincent Nobile; 9.  Erica Enders; 10.  Allen Johnson; 11.  Deric Kramer; 12.  Jeg Coughlin; 13.  Matt Hartford; 14.  Shane Tucker; 15.  Kenny Delco; 16.  Aaron Strong.


1.  Jerry Savoie; 2.  Andrew Hines; 3.  Eddie Krawiec; 4.  Matt Smith; 5.  Hector Arana Jr; 6.  LE Tonglet; 7.  Angie Smith; 8.  Cory Reed; 9.  Hector Arana; 10.  Angelle Sampey; 11.  Melissa Surber; 12.  Joey Gladstone; 13.  Karen Stoffer; 14.  Steve Johnson; 15.  Scotty Pollacheck; 16.  Chip Ellis.

LAS VEGAS — Sunday’s final results from the 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the 23rd of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Steve Torrence, 3.734 seconds, 323.81 mph  def. J.R. Todd, 3.762 seconds, 321.96 mph.

Funny Car — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.884, 327.19  def. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.906, 325.85.

Pro Stock — Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.719, 204.76  def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 19.793, 27.72.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.915, 194.13  def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, Foul – Red Light.

Pro Modified — Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.814, 250.78  def. Todd Tutterow, Chevy Camaro, 6.018, 233.92.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Garrett Bateman, 5.277, 275.56  def. Joey Severance, 5.305, 269.89.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Terry Ruckman, Chevy Camaro, 5.642, 261.32  def. DJ Cox Jr., Camaro, 5.779, 219.72.

Competition Eliminator — David Rampy, Bantam, 7.368, 169.06  def. Jeff Lane, Chevy Cobalt, 8.222, 167.63.

Super Stock — Kyle Rizzoli, Chevy Camaro, 9.877, 125.33  def. Ryan McClanahan, Chevy Cobalt, 8.757, 156.95.

Stock Eliminator — Darrel Goheen, Chevy Camaro, 11.243, 117.74  def. Nanette Stein, Ford Thunderbird, Foul – Red Light.

Super Comp — Michael Miller, Dragster, 9.069, 163.93  def. Mike Hiatt, Dragster, 9.046, 170.82.

Super Gas — Tommy Phillips, Chevy Corvette, 10.057, 157.74  def. Kevin Moore, Chevy Roadster, 10.043, 157.25.

LAS VEGAS — Final round-by-round results from the 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the 23rd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE — J.R. Todd, 3.752, 324.12 def. Shawn Langdon, 10.405, 82.67; Wayne Newby, 3.836, 313.88 def. Tony Schumacher, 9.603, 74.72; Clay Millican, 3.751, 319.45 def. Terry Haddock, 4.086, 287.66; Leah Pritchett, 3.742, 320.20 def. Shawn Reed, 3.931, 310.41; Doug Kalitta, 3.976, 251.77 def. Scott Palmer, Broke; Antron Brown, 3.765, 323.89 def. Terry McMillen, 6.274, 108.62; Steve Torrence, 3.730, 327.74 def. Richie Crampton, 3.766, 317.19; Brittany Force, 3.772, 321.58 def. Tripp Tatum, 4.005, 238.85;

QUARTERFINALS — Brown, 3.771, 322.11 def. Newby, 3.896, 273.11; Todd, 3.709, 328.94 def. Millican, 3.727, 328.38; Pritchett, 3.816, 279.21 def. Force, 4.303, 223.65; Torrence, 3.732, 324.83 def. Kalitta, 3.739, 324.75;

SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.742, 327.59 def. Pritchett, 3.768, 322.96; Todd, 3.719, 329.02 def. Brown, 7.720, 92.29;

FINAL — Torrence, 3.734, 323.81 def. Todd, 3.762, 321.96.


ROUND ONE — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.906, 326.95 def. John Bojec, Toyota Camry, 5.118, 163.41; Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.890, 326.95 def. Jeff Arend, Charger, 5.805, 98.91; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.911, 328.14 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.389, 201.82; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.916, 323.66 def. Paul Lee, Camry, 3.965, 329.34; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.244, 218.55 def. Robert Hight, Camaro, 6.649, 105.01; Chad Head, Camry, 4.757, 264.55 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 7.027, 125.26; Del Worsham, Camry, 3.923, 327.35 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.949, 321.65; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.888, 327.82 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, Broke – No Show;

QUARTERFINALS — J. Force, 3.917, 325.92 def. Head, 4.032, 280.66; Hagan, 3.887, 329.02 def. Worsham, 3.935, 326.71; C. Force, 3.886, 321.73 def. Beckman, 7.852, 78.74; R. Capps, 3.921, 323.43 def. Pedregon, Broke – No Show;

SEMIFINALS — J. Force, 3.928, 330.39 def. Hagan, 6.561, 122.13; C. Force, 3.880, 326.48 def. R. Capps, 3.937, 317.49;

FINAL — J. Force, 3.884, 327.19 def. C. Force, 3.906, 325.85.


ROUND ONE — Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.714, 205.01 def. Erica Enders, Dodge Dart, 6.737, 204.54; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 7.408, 138.24 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.676, 206.07 def. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.739, 204.76; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.698, 205.32 def. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.739, 203.25; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.707, 205.66 def. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.744, 203.28; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.702, 206.01 def. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.750, 204.70; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.679, 206.01 def. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.783, 202.48; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.682, 205.82 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.757, 203.68;

QUARTERFINALS — Skillman, 6.708, 205.76 def. Nobile, 6.735, 205.19; Gray, 6.702, 205.19 def. Butner, 6.721, 205.26; Anderson, 6.692, 205.60 def. McGaha, 6.725, 205.22; Line, 6.698, 205.76 def. Laughlin, 6.729, 205.29;

SEMIFINALS — Skillman, 6.716, 205.98 def. Line, 14.554, 58.27; Gray, 6.717, 205.22 def. Anderson, 6.730, 206.10;

FINAL — Gray, 6.719, 204.76 def. Skillman, 19.793, 27.72.


ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.908, 194.24 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.116, 185.49; Angie Smith, 7.052, 187.86 def. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.968, 192.77; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.982, 191.10 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Cory Reed, Buell, 6.993, 190.32 def. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.978, 191.59; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.966, 190.94 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.995, 192.36 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.035, 191.65; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.937, 193.65 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, 7.019, 189.10; Matt Smith, 6.961, 191.67 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.205, 160.23;

QUARTERFINALS — Savoie, 6.951, 192.58 def. Tonglet, 7.028, 191.81; Hines, 6.985, 190.38 def. A. Smith, 7.057, 189.28; M. Smith, 6.992, 190.81 def. Reed, 7.141, 186.56; Krawiec, 6.948, 193.18 def. Arana Jr, 7.027, 191.16;

SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.919, 194.10 def. M. Smith, Foul – Red Light; Hines, 6.968, 193.13 def. Krawiec, 7.014, 191.32;

FINAL — Savoie, 6.915, 194.13 def. Hines, Foul – Red Light.

LAS VEGAS — Point standings (top 10) following the 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the 23rd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel
1.  Antron Brown, 2,581*; 2.  Steve Torrence, 2,424; 3.  Doug Kalitta, 2,413; 4.  Brittany Force, 2,366; 5.  Shawn Langdon, 2,365; 6.  J.R. Todd, 2,352; 7.  Leah Pritchett, 2,334; 8.  Tony Schumacher, 2,332; 9.  Clay Millican, 2,232; 10.  Richie Crampton, 2,227.

Funny Car
1.  Ron Capps, 2,546; 2.  Matt Hagan, 2,460; 3.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,433; 4.  Jack Beckman, 2,395; 5.  John Force, 2,387; 6.  Del Worsham, 2,373; 7.  Courtney Force, 2,334; 8.  Robert Hight, 2,313; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 2,262; 10.  Alexis DeJoria, 2,184.

Pro Stock
1.  Jason Line, 2,532; 2.  Greg Anderson, 2,513; 3.  Shane Gray, 2,438; 4.  Vincent Nobile, 2,394; 5.  Drew Skillman, 2,371; 6.  Bo Butner, 2,369; 7.  Chris McGaha, 2,275; 8.  Allen Johnson, 2,245; 9.  Jeg Coughlin, 2,177; 10.  Erica Enders, 2,167.

Pro Stock Motorcycle
1.  (tie) Andrew Hines, 2,509; Eddie Krawiec, 2,509; 3.  Jerry Savoie, 2,506; 4.  Angelle Sampey, 2,399; 5.  Chip Ellis, 2,359; 6.  LE Tonglet, 2,340; 7.  Cory Reed, 2,281; 8.  Matt Smith, 2,277; 9.  Hector Arana, 2,245; 10.  Hector Arana Jr, 2,236.

* Clinched Top Fuel Championship

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, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association