Brown, Johnson Jr. and T. Gray Pick Up Victories at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals

LAS VEGAS, NV – April 2, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –   Antron Brown piloted his Matco Tools dragster to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) and Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) were also winners at the fourth event of 24 on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Brown, who won the event in 2016, raced to a 3.747-second pass at 321.04 mph to defeat Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher who ran a 3.809 at 325.14 in his U.S. Army dragster. This is Brown’s 46th career Top Fuel victory and first of the season. It was also Don Schumacher Racing’s 300th team win.

“Today was tough battles,” Brown said. “When you race two of your teammates you know you got a battle on your hands because you all have the same quality parts. And when you go up there you have to throw everything up there. Especially with Tony he hasn’t been an eight-time champion for nothing buddy he knows how to race. We had to push hard.”

Brown, who has been racing Top Fuel for 10 years, has won a race every year of his Top Fuel career. He is the only racer in NHRA history to have a win in 10 consecutive seasons. He raced past Scott Palmer, No. 1 qualifier Steve Torrence and two-time 2017 event winner Leah Pritchett en route to the finals. Schumacher faced Terry McMillen and Doug Kalitta before seeing Brown in the final round.

In Funny Car, Johnson Jr. claimed his first victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since 2001 when he outran rookie Jonnie Lindberg with a 3.933 pass at 323.66 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T. It is his 15th career win and first of the season. Lindberg pushed his Head Racing Toyota Camry to a 4.016 at 302.14 in his second consecutive runner-up effort in 2017.

“Today was a pretty trying today,” Johnson Jr. said. “It was pretty hot. Probably the hottest track we’ve seen this season yet. The guys did a great job. When we came out first round and were low ET by at least three hundredths I thought, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a good day.’ This is just a great facility. When I come in the gate I have a good feeling because I’ve had some success here, a win prior to this, and a couple runner-up finishes.”

Johnson Jr. pushed past Jim Campbell, Robert Hight and 16-time world champion John Force before facing Jonnie Lindberg in the finals. Lindberg defeated Cruz Pedregon, Jack Beckman and Gary Densham before falling to Johnson Jr., who moves to second in the points standings. Lindberg is now eighth.

Gray, who is only 17 years old, became the youngest Pro Stock winner in NHRA history when he raced his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.681 pass at 206.61 to defeat Bo Butner and his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro on a holeshot in the finals. Butner raced to a 6.678 at 206.76 but his reaction time of .088 at the start was too slow for Gray’s .010.

“I can’t thank everybody enough,” Gray said. “My crew is definitely the reason I’m here. I do a small part. It feels really cool. I was pretty nervous. This was something I wanted to do since I was real young and I finally got the opportunity to do it. When I started this deal I told my dad I wanted to be the youngest Pro Stock winner. To be able to do that feels really cool.”

Gray is now fourth in the points standings after taking on Drew Skillman, Greg Anderson and defending world champ Jason Line before reaching the finals. Butner lined up against Alan Prusiensky, two-time champ Erica Enders and veteran Jeg Coughlin en route to his finals appearance.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals April 21-23 at Royal Purple Raceway.

LAS VEGAS — Final finish order (1-16) at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The race is the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:
1.  Antron Brown; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  Doug Kalitta; 4.  Leah Pritchett; 5.  Terry McMillen; 6.  Steve Torrence; 7.  Brittany Force; 8.  Clay Millican; 9.  Steven Chrisman; 10.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 11.  Steve Faria; 12.  Troy Buff; 13.  Scott Palmer; 14.  Tripp Tatum; 15.  Terry Haddock.

FUNNY CAR:
1.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 2.  Jonnie Lindberg; 3.  John Force; 4.  Gary Densham; 5.  Matt Hagan; 6.  Alexis DeJoria; 7.  Jack Beckman; 8.  Robert Hight; 9.  Jim Campbell; 10.  Tim Wilkerson; 11.  Courtney Force; 12.  Ron Capps; 13.  Phil Burkart; 14.  Del Worsham; 15.  Cruz Pedregon; 16.  J.R. Todd.

PRO STOCK:
1.  Tanner Gray; 2.  Bo Butner; 3.  Jason Line; 4.  Jeg Coughlin; 5.  Erica Enders; 6.  Greg Anderson; 7.  Shane Gray; 8.  Chris McGaha; 9.  Allen Johnson; 10.  Deric Kramer; 11.  Vincent Nobile; 12.  Alan Prusiensky; 13.  Tom Huggins; 14.  Matt Hartford; 15.  Drew Skillman.

LAS VEGAS — Sunday’s final results from the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the fourth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Antron Brown, 3.747 seconds, 321.04 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 3.809 seconds, 325.14 mph.

Funny Car — Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.933, 323.66 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 4.016, 302.14.

Pro Stock — Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.681, 206.61 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.678, 206.76.

Top Fuel Harley — Jay Turner, Dixie, 6.460, 215.10 def. Mike Pelrine, Harley, 7.433, 138.31.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Garrett Bateman, 5.384, 271.24 def. Casey Grisel, 8.195, 112.59.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Shane Westerfield, Chevy Camaro, 5.547, 265.17 def. Doug Gordon, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Competition Eliminator — Alan Ellis, ’23-T Ford, 6.535, 187.89 def. Tony Mandella, Chevy S-10, 8.490, 155.45.

Super Stock — Mike Loge, Plymouth Barracuda, 11.549, 113.04 def. Tim Hall, Dodge Dart, Foul – Red Light.

Stock Eliminator — Chris Hall, Chevy Camaro, 11.013, 94.94 def. Phil Mandella Jr., Chevy Chevelle, Foul – Red Light.

Super Comp — Ryan Herem, Dragster, 9.056, 153.21 def. Luke Bogacki, Dragster, 9.049, 167.24.

Super Gas — Rick Cates, Chevy Corvette, 10.155, 138.20 def. Tim Parker, Chevy Camaro, 11.894, 118.82.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Chuck Phelps, Dragster, 6.603, 200.32 def. Kyle Seipel, Dragster, 6.941, 197.36.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Dean Hall, Chevy Corvette, 7.295, 188.89 def. Ed Olpin, Chevy Camaro, 7.160, 192.28.

LAS VEGAS — Final round-by-round results from the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 4.057, 230.84 def. Tripp Tatum, 10.253, 77.26; Leah Pritchett, 3.756, 328.30 def. Troy Buff, 5.415, 128.19; Brittany Force, 3.762, 329.26 def. Steve Faria, 4.505, 180.96; Tony Schumacher, 3.767, 327.98 def. Terry Haddock, Broke – No Show; Steve Torrence, 3.765, 324.51 was unopposed; Doug Kalitta, 3.743, 326.40 def. Steven Chrisman, 4.104, 248.48; Terry McMillen, 4.227, 269.03 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., 4.230, 194.32; Antron Brown, 3.752, 325.53 def. Scott Palmer, 5.501, 125.27;

QUARTERFINALS — Schumacher, 3.865, 316.45 def. McMillen, 3.916, 311.70; Pritchett, 3.770, 328.06 def. Force, 4.872, 153.39; Brown, 3.822, 318.24 def. Torrence, 4.035, 276.41; Kalitta, 3.778, no speed def. Millican, 4.913, 153.51;

SEMIFINALS — Schumacher, 3.775, 320.97 def. Kalitta, 3.782, 326.87; Brown, 3.797, 320.89 def. Pritchett, 3.919, 311.20;

FINAL — Brown, 3.747, 321.04 def. Schumacher, 3.809, 325.14.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 4.036, 312.86 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.801, 173.01; Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.079, 287.29 def. Courtney Force, Camaro, 5.118, 153.39; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.970, 328.54 def. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 6.251, 118.97; Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.332, 250.37 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 5.607, 125.26; Jack Beckman, Charger, 7.322, 90.06 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, Foul – Red Light; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.943, 320.97 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.714, 181.28; John Force, Camaro, 4.454, 213.64 def. Phil Burkart, Charger, 5.853, 124.97; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.054, 320.97 def. J.R. Todd, Camry, 9.752, 77.54;

QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.068, 268.71 def. Hight, Broke; J. Force, 3.987, 321.81 def. Hagan, 4.043, 318.24; Lindberg, 4.017, 325.37 def. Beckman, 4.096, 312.42; Densham, 4.551, 190.73 def. DeJoria, Foul – Red Light;

SEMIFINALS — Lindberg, 3.991, 318.92 def. Densham, 5.916, 126.78; Johnson Jr., 3.997, 319.45 def. J. Force, 4.128, 282.13;

FINAL — Johnson Jr., 3.933, 323.66 def. Lindberg, 4.016, 302.14.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.703, 207.21 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.734, 206.07 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.683, 207.11 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.785, 205.94; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.665, 206.51 def. Deric Kramer, Dodge Dart, Foul – Red Light; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.676, 203.31 def. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.721, 205.41; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.659, 206.64 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.827, 177.00; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.673, 205.79 was unopposed; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.747, 206.48 def. Tom Huggins, Dart, 6.842, 202.67;

QUARTERFINALS — Coughlin, 6.751, 206.10 def. McGaha, 20.745, 32.12; Line, 6.695, 206.10 def. S. Gray, 6.732, 205.91; T. Gray, 6.702, 206.57 def. Anderson, 6.717, 206.42; Butner, 6.695, 206.45 def. Enders, 6.713, 206.80;

SEMIFINALS — T. Gray, 6.691, 206.67 def. Line, 6.703, 206.26; Butner, 6.714, 206.42 def. Coughlin, 6.739, 205.10;

FINAL — T. Gray, 6.681, 206.61 def. Butner, 6.678, 206.76.

LAS VEGAS — Point standings (top 10) following the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

1.  Tony Schumacher, 382; 2.  Leah Pritchett, 376; 3.  Antron Brown, 357; 4.  Doug Kalitta, 301; 5.  Brittany Force, 258; 6.  Steve Torrence, 251; 7.  Clay Millican, 187; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr., 176; 9.  Terry McMillen, 164; 10.  Scott Palmer, 148.

Funny Car

1.  Matt Hagan, 368; 2.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 324; 3.  John Force, 314; 4.  Ron Capps, 275; 5.  Courtney Force, 218; 6.  Jack Beckman, 205; 7.  Robert Hight, 201; 8.  Jonnie Lindberg, 183; 9.  Jim Campbell, 180; 10.  J.R. Todd, 170.

Pro Stock

1.  Greg Anderson, 380; 2.  Jason Line, 367; 3.  Bo Butner, 299; 4.  Tanner Gray, 296; 5.  Shane Gray, 278; 6.  Jeg Coughlin, 266; 7.  Erica Enders, 219; 8.  Chris McGaha, 193; 9.  Drew Skillman, 190; 10.  Vincent Nobile, 183.

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 24 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 program 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; Gainesville Raceway 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

####

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Brown, Johnson Jr. and T. Gray Pick Up Victories at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals – Motorsport 365

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*