SEMA eNews Vol. 19, No. 42, October 20, 2016

NHRA: Brown Takes Commanding Points Lead With Top Fuel Win; Hagan, Skillman, Krawiec Also Shine in Dallas

Compiled by SEMA Editors

NHRA News

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BROWN TAKES COMMANDING POINTS LEAD WITH TOP FUEL WIN; HAGAN, SKILLMAN, KRAWIEC ALSO SHINE IN DALLAS: Antron Brown furthered his points lead in Top Fuel last Sunday by racing to victory at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals. Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners 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. Brown, the No. 1 qualifier, sprinted to a 3.744-second pass at 321.12 mph in his Matco Tools dragster to defeat Steve Torrence’s 3.750 at 323.12 in his Capco Contractors dragster. This is Brown’s 61st career win, seventh of the season and third at Texas Motorplex. He extended his lead over second-place Doug Kalitta by 150 points with the victory.

“We had a great drag race out there,” said two-time and reigning world champion Brown. “It could’ve went either way. We were both close on the Tree, but we snuck one out there. Nobody is blowing people out anymore. The only way you win is by inches. To win that final was monumental for our team. We needed to do that. We’re still not done working yet.”

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DRIVERS WILLING TO RISK IT ALL IN LAS VEGAS: The high rollers of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series know what’s at stake at the 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 27–30. As the second-to-last race of the 2016 season, the opportunity to win a world championship becomes slimmer and slimmer, and folding is not an option for drivers and teams. Every pass, every point and every round is more crucial than ever at the event, which is the fifth of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The first four races of the Countdown—the NHRA Carolina Nationals, AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, Dodge NHRA Nationals and AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals—will have set the tone for the penultimate race of the season, but anything can happen in the world of 330-mph, 10,000-hp NHRA Drag Racing.

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SEALMASTER, KALITTA MOTORSPORTS ANNOUNCE CONTRACT EXTENSION: SealMaster and Kalitta Motorsports have announced a contract extension for the 2017 season. SealMaster will continue as the primary sponsor on J.R. Todd’s Top Fuel dragster for the entire 24-race 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Season schedule. SealMaster will also be an associate backer on the Top Fuel dragsters driven by Doug Kalitta and Troy Coughlin Jr., and the Toyota Camry Funny Cars of Alexis DeJoria and Del Worsham.

He Said, She Said

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“We have struggled so badly with this race car. We were lost, and going into the Countdown, that’s the worst time of the year to be lost. We had some luck on our side this weekend. I drove decent, and the car at least went. We’re going the right direction, I think. We need to test again. We’re going to get back out there. We’re going to hit these last two races hard, so that’s where we’re going to go."

—Drew Skillman, who raced to his second win of the season and third career victory at the AAA Insurance NHRA FallNationals. Skillman and his Ray Skillman Auto Group Chevy Camaro recently tested at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis to find performance gains in his Pro Stock car. Skillman is sixth in points and 45 behind Bo Butner in fifth.

Inside the Numbers

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19: Number of points that seperates Brittany Force, who is fourth in points, and Shawn Langdon in third. A year after winning just one round over the final three events, Force has had a banner 2016, winning three events and advancing to five final rounds. She wants to move up the standings in the remaining events, including a stop at The Strip as Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 27–30, for the 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals.

“I think doing well in Las Vegas will be a big factor for the championship,” Force said. “Our goal is to have a chance to win the championship when we get to the Auto Club Finals in Pomona. We are going to do everything we can to be in a position where we can win. We go into every race thinking we can win, and it starts with the first round of qualifying. This has been an amazing season and these last couple of races will be even more exciting with the championship on the line."

Did You Know

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CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION WILL GIVE DRAG RACING FANS A BLAST FROM THE PAST: The California hot-rod culture will be on full display at the tradition-rich California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California, October 21–23. The three-day event, produced by and benefitting the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, will feature nonstop entertainment as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. Historic cars, quarter-mile nitro nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Cars, racing legends and heroes of the sport will all be on site for the extravaganza.

 

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