Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Brown Ready for NHRA Sonoma Nationals after Big Win in Denver
SONOMA. Calif. -- Antron Brown swept the Western Swing in 2009 with victories in Denver, Sonoma and Seattle, and he’s off to a great start this season, as well, taking the victory in Top Fuel in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series action last weekend at Bandimere Speedway.
The series makes its second stop on the Western Swing this weekend in Sonoma for the 25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, and Brown will be ready after defeating Brandon Bernstein in the finals on Sunday in Denver with a pass of 3.957 seconds (308.21 miles per hour). Brown (Matco Tools) trails Top Fuel points leader Spencer Massey by just 11 points entering Sonoma.
“We lived all four rounds (in Denver), and that’s a good start for the Western Swing,” Brown said. “You come out here with a win, and it sets the pace and gives our boys some motivation for when we go out there in Sonoma.”
Action gets under way in Sonoma on Friday with two rounds of pro qualifying at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Final qualifying takes place on Saturday (11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.), with final eliminations set for Sunday at 11 a.m. (all times Pacific).
Other racers entering Sonoma on hot streaks include Allen Johnson in Pro Stock, Jack Beckman in Funny Car and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle. All three posted wins in Denver.
Johnson was the No. 1 qualifier in his Team Mopar Dodge in Denver and defeated V. Gaines in the finals with a run of 6.951 (197.31). With the win, Johnson takes over the category points lead from Greg Anderson, who had held the lead since the first race of the season. Anderson won last year in Sonoma.
In Funny Car, Beckman powered his Valvoline NextGen Dodge to his second win of the year when he defeated rookie driver Courtney Force (Traxxas Ford) with a run of 4.277 mph (293.79). It was Beckman’s 14th career Funny Car win.
"At the end of the day, we took the race car that qualified No. 1 and got it down the race track on every single pass,” Beckman said.
Beckman will be tested in Sonoma by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps (NAPA Dodge), who is the two-time defending champion in Sonoma and has three career Funny Car wins in Wine Country overall (1997). John Force, who is 10th in points, holds the track record with seven career wins in Sonoma.
It was all Harley-Davidson in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final in Denver with Krawiec defeating teammate Andrew Hines in the finals. Hines fouled-out at the starting line, giving Krawiec the win. Krawiec has never won in Sonoma.
For tickets to the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, visit racesonoma.com/nhra or call 800-870-RACE (7223).