Antron Brown Victorious at CatSpot Northwest Nationals
Antron Brown put the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster in the winner's circle during the 31st annual CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals for his first win of the 2018 Mello Yello season. Funny Car winner Ron Capps and Pro Stock winner Tanner Gray joined the three-time Top Fuel world champion on the podium in Seattle. The pavement at Pacific Raceways has been good to Brown as he posted his third consecutive victory and his first since the 2017 Northwest Nationals. Brown became the fourth driver in NHRA history to earn his 50th career Wally in Top Fuel.
In Funny Car, 2016 World Champion Ron Capps put a stop to the John Force Racing winning streak when he eliminated points leader Courtney Force in the final run. Capps had a 4.033 ET at 314.90 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to beat Force. It was his second victory of the year and fourth at Pacific Raceways. After finishing second at the past two stops on the Western Swing, Capps earned his 60th Wally and 59th in the Funny Car division. The victory also marked Capps 24th win with crew chief Rahn Tobler.
It is hard to believe the season that 19-year old Tanner Gray is having in the Pro Stock division of the 2018 Mello Yello Championship. Gray drove to a 6.632 ET at 210.05 mph in his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro to defeat Deric Kramer in the final round as he became the lone driver in the Pro Stock class with four victories on the year. It was Gray's fifth final round appearance and the win locked in his position in the Countdown to the Championship. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Greg Anderson, Erica Enders and Vincent Nobile have also earned a ticket to the playoffs.
With a week off, race teams head east with a mid-west stop for the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, MN from August 16-19.