Antron Brown raced to his fifth Top Fuel victory of the season on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the famed all-concrete Texas Motorplex near Dallas. Bob Tasca (Funny Car) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) also were winners at the second of six playoff events in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.
With the win, Brown moved into a tie for the points lead with the driver he beat in the final round, teammate Spencer Massey. Brown powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.898 second run at 311.49 mph to hold off Massey's FRAM dragster, which finished with a 3.945 at 300.60.
Brown and Massey lead seven-time world champ Tony Schumacher by 24 points and the suddenly surging Shawn Langdon is 41 back as the playoff race in the 10,000-horsepower category gets intense.
Funny Car featured a final round battle between two drivers who aren't in the Countdown playoffs, as Tasca prevailed in a tire-smoking final round duel with defending world champ Matt Hagan. Both cars lost traction near mid-track, but Tasca was able to guide his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Ford Mustang to the finish line in front of Hagan's Aaron's/Mopar Dodge Charger.
Tasca outran Alexis DeJoria, top qualifier Courtney Force and defending event winner Cruz Pedregon to advance to the final round. Tasca was very proud of his team's effort in taking out two top Countdown contenders and claiming the team's first victory of the season and fourth of his career.
Series leader Ron Capps, who lost to Hagan in the semifinals, increased his Countdown playoff lead to 96 over second place Mike Neff, who lost in the second round to Pedregon. Saturday's Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner, John Force, lost in the first round to Hagan.
Johnson earned his fifth Pro Stock victory of the season and first in the Countdown playoffs by outrunning local favorite Erica Enders in the final round. Johnson's Team Mopar Dodge Avenger pulled away at the start and finished with a 6.598 at 210.93, while Enders' GK Motorsports Chevy Cobalt slowed to a 6.835 at 209.39.
Johnson outran the 'Professor of Pro Stock' Warren Johnson, Charlotte winner Dave Connolly and the ultra-quick Vincent Nobile in the first three rounds. With the win, Johnson increased his points lead to 93 over defending world champ Jason Line.
Bob Tasca III, Cranston, RI, Motorcraft Quick Lane Shelby Mustang, 4.826, 197.59 mph def. Matt Hagan, Christiansburg, Va., Aaron's Dodge Charger, 5.025, 188.15 mph
Antron Brown, Brownsburg, Ind., Matco Tools/US Army dragster 3.898, 311.49 mph def. Spencer Massey, Ft. Worth, Tex., Fram dragster, 3.945, 300.60 mph
Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Mopar Dodge Charger, 6.598, 210.93 mph Erica Enders, New Orleans, La., GK Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt, 6.835, 209.39 mph
Full Finish Order:
Final finish order (1-16) at the 27th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 19th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
1. Antron Brown; 2. Spencer Massey; 3. Morgan Lucas; 4. Brandon Bernstein; 5. J.R. Todd; 6. Khalid alBalooshi; 7. Tony Schumacher; 8. Shawn Langdon; 9. Steve Torrence; 10. Doug Kalitta; 11. Bob Vandergriff; 12. Scott Palmer; 13. Bruce Litton; 14. David Grubnic; 15. Chris Karamesines; 16. Terry McMillen.
1. Bob Tasca III; 2. Matt Hagan; 3. Ron Capps; 4. Cruz Pedregon; 5. Mike Neff; 6. Jack Beckman; 7. Tim Wilkerson; 8. Courtney Force; 9. Blake Alexander; 10. John Force; 11. Tony Pedregon; 12. Jeff Arend; 13. Johnny Gray; 14. Alexis DeJoria; 15. Todd Lesenko; 16. Robert Hight
1. Allen Johnson; 2. Erica Enders; 3. Vincent Nobile; 4. Richard Freeman; 5. Greg Anderson; 6. Dave Connolly; 7. Jeg Coughlin; 8. Rodger Brogdon; 9. Jason Line; 10. V. Gaines; 11. Warren Johnson; 12. Ron Krisher; 13. Larry Morgan; 14. Chris McGaha; 15. Greg Stanfield; 16. Mike Edwards.