Antron Brown raced to his third Lucas Oil Raceway win Monday as racing came to an end at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.
Mike Neff, Greg Anderson and Hector Arana Jr. were also winners in their respective categories at the final race of the regular season before the start of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, the six-race playoffs to determine the world championships.
Brown became the first driver to win the historic event in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle when he powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.813-second run at 321.73 mph. The final round performance was enough to get past Del Worsham and secure his fifth win of the season and 30th of his career.
“Words cannot describe how this feels,” said Brown. “To come here and win at Indy, the biggest stage in drag racing, means so much. It just goes back to my childhood dream and sitting under those grandstands as a kid and saying ‘I want to do that one day.’ It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.”
With the final regular season race complete, the Top Fuel field is set for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. Worsham secured his No. 1 spot in the point standings during qualifying, while Kalitta Racing driver David Grubnic locked down the 10th and final spot after both Terry McMillen and Bob Vandergriff lost in the second round.
In Funny Car, Mike Neff drove his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang past Bob Tasca to secure his first Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win. Neff posted a run of 4.068 at 314.61 in the final round to take his fifth win of the season and sixth of his career. It was also John Force Racing’s fifth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win in the past six seasons.
“This is the big one, the one you dream about,” said Neff. “It’s huge to win here. I’ve never won here as a driver or a crew chief so to be able to do it here as both was great. It probably hasn’t even sunk in yet.”
Neff secured his top spot in the Funny Car standings for the Countdown to the Championship during qualifying, while runner-up Tasca clinched the 10th and final spot after Johnny Gray lost in the first round to Daniel Wilkerson.
Pro Stock points leader Anderson continued his domination at Lucas Oil Raceway when he held off teammate Jason Line to earn his sixth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win. Anderson and his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP posted a final-round run of 6.552 at 210.50 to get his fifth win of the season and 70th of his career. It was also his fourth win in the past six races.
“I feel like it’s my first and biggest win ever,” said Anderson. “Every time it happens up here it’s just special; it’s just magic. I love this place. I think some of the other racers might miss out on how important it is and what it means to race here. There’s so much history here. It’s just everything about drag racing.”
While Anderson locked up his No. 1 spot in the Countdown to the Championship, Ron Krisher secured the 10th and final spot when 11th-place driver Ronnie Humphrey lost to Allen Johnson in the second round.
Arana Jr. raced to his first career win in Pro Stock Motorcycle when he held off Jerry Savoie in the final round. Arana Jr. rode his Lucas Oil Buell to a 6.867 at 192.60 to take the win in his second consecutive final round appearance for the season.
“It has not sunk in on me yet,” said Arana Jr. “This is the biggest race of the year and I won it in my rookie year. For all my family, this is a hometown event and it just doesn’t get any better than this.”
Eddie Krawiec locked up the No. 1 spot in Pro Stock Motorcycle for the Countdown to the Championship while Jim Underdahl secured the final spot with his semifinal round finish.
Eric Dillard raced to his first career win Monday in the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.
Dillard powered his R2B2 Race Cars ’12 Mustang past runner-up Mike Castellana to a 5.830-second run at 253.99 mph to earn his first win in his first race appearance.
“It’s really hard to take it all in,” said Dillard. “I did some testing for Roger Burgess early in the year and he told me then that sometime this year I was going to get to race. He picked the U.S. Nationals, which you can’t do any better than that.”
Dillard held off drivers Kenny Lang, Rickie Smith and Melanie Troxel en route to the win. Kahlid Balooshi kept his top spot in the point standings with his second round appearance.
Cruz Pedregon set a track record for time as he raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car on Sunday at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.
Antron Brown, Jason Line and Andrew Hines also took the top spots in their respective categories at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Pedregon, who was quickest in four of the five qualifying sessions, powered his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry to a blazing 4.026-second run at 314.24 mph. It is his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 43rd of his career. Pedregon also set the track record for time at Lucas Oil Raceway in Funny Car.
“We got it all on that one,” said Pedregon. “The car ran our career best speed at halftrack. I’ve got to always credit the track because you can’t do that when the track isn’t there, but the track and weather were there for this run.”
Mike Neff clinched the No. 1 spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship with his ninth-place qualifying position in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. Neff will face John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight in the first round of eliminations Sunday.
Antron Brown stayed in the No. 1 spot in Top Fuel as qualifying came to an end. Brown drove his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.818 at 322.96 to get his second No. 1 qualifier of the season, second at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and 28th of his career.
“I think we’re ready for tomorrow for sure,” said Brown. “Tomorrow is going to be just like this but the conditions will be even better. So we have to go back and go to work because tomorrow is going to be a whole new day. And it’s race day; it’s work day.”
Al-Anabi Racing dragster pilot Del Worsham clinched his top spot in the Countdown to the Championship with his second-place qualifying position, while GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster driver Morgan Lucas secured his spot with his ninth-place qualifying position.
In Pro Stock, Line came out on the last pass of Pro Stock qualifying and took the No. 1 qualifier away from his teammate Greg Anderson. Line drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.603 at 209.01 to get his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 21st of his career.
“To be honest, I have not done a very good job driving all weekend,” said Line. “I’ve struggled here in the past and I’d really like to get it out of my head, straighten it out and actually do a good job here. I have a good car so if we don’t tomorrow then it’s all on me. That being said, we’ve got a great hot rod and we just have to go up there and get it done.”
Service Central Pontiac GXP driver Shane Gray clinched his spot in the Countdown after qualifying 14th in the field.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines took the top spot with a stellar run in the final qualifying session. Hines powered his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.909 at 193.90 to get his first No. 1 qualifier of the season, 29th of his career, and second at Lucas Oil Raceway.
“The two runs today were near flawless,” said Hines. “The V-Rod was going nice and straight down the track and that’s all due to the testing we did last week. We were able to work on things during testing and I think it really showed out there today.”
Hector Arana Jr. clinched his spot in the Countdown when he drove his Lucas Oil Buell to the fifth qualifying spot, while Michael Phillips run to the ninth spot in qualifying also clinched his berth in the Countdown to the Championship.
Melanie Troxel raced to the No. 1 qualifying position Sunday in the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.
Troxel came out on the last pass of qualifying and put down an impressive 5.907-second run at 251.25 mph in her ProCare Rx ’53 Corvette to take the top spot in Pro Mod. It’s Troxel’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season.
Troxel moved to the second round of eliminations after she defeated 16th-place qualifier Scott Ray in the first round. She will face Burton Auxier when eliminations continue on Monday.
“It’s always a little tough to run your first round of eliminations early,” said Troxel. “You have to get yourself geared up early. Scott Racy cut a .000 green light against me today. He knew he had to step up and do everything they could. Fortunately (tuner) Steve Petty gave me a car that went right down the track.”
Current points leader Khalid Balooshi also advanced to the second round with his first-round win over Troy Coughlin. Balooshi will face Mike Castellana in the second round.