Antron Brown Wins Top Fuel at Dodge NHRA Finals
After Saturday’s qualifying rounds for the Dodge NHRA Finals, it looked as though Sunday’s final could easily be an East-Texas shootout in the middle of the Nevada desert. Billy Torrence, the elder and often faster of the CAPCO Contractors Racing Team, had claimed the Number One qualifier position after posting a 3.728 ET at 325.3 mph. His son Steve had to settle for second spot with a faster speed of 330.39 mph and a slower 3.731 elapsed time. Billy Torrence eliminated Cameron Ferré in Round One with 3.796 ET at 324.67 mph to earn a bye that moved him directly into the semi-finals. Don Schumacher Racing saw Antron Brown advance to the quarter-final after defeating Tony Schumacher, his teammate who won his 85th Top Fuel Wally at the most recent event at Baytown, TX. After near identical reaction times of .063-seconds versus .066-seconds, Brown motored away from Clay Millican to earn his spot in the semi.
Torrence and Kalitta Settle Championship in Round One
Doug Kalitta came to Las Vegas Motor Speedway trailing Steve Torrence in the points for the Top Fuel world championship. Unfortunately, once Kalitta failed to nail down the Number One qualifier position, the path to the title became a difficult road. Kalitta would need Torrence to lose in his Round One matchup with fellow Texan Kebin Kinsley for starters. Then, Doug Kalitta would have to win out the rest of the way. Unfortunately for the nephew of drag racing great and Motorsports Hall of Famer Connie Kalitta, it wasn’t meant to be. Steve Torrence won his way to the final round with victories over Kinsley, Troy Buff, and Justin Ashley. Kalitta fell in the first round of eliminations with a 3.733 ET to 2020 Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley’s 3.700-second elapsed time. The defeat left the MAC Tools dragster driver second in the NHRA Camping World standings for second season in a row and for the sixth time in his career. Win 49 NHRA Top Fuel National wins, Kalitta is the NHRA’s all-time winningest driver without a World Championship.
Antron Brown Breaks Top Fuel Dry Spell at The Strip
With his last win coming at Seattle in the summer of 2018, three-time world champion claimed an impressive win at the Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil. However, before the driver of the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing earned his spot in the final, he had to take care of Billy Torrence in a semi-final round. Nonetheless, that’s where Brown’s luck seemed to take a sudden change for the "good". The low-qualifier’s CAPCO Contractors machine faltered early in the run and Brown claimed a fortunate win with a 4.04 ET after losing a cylinder. A dedicated DSR crew went to work to put a winning ride on the line against the freshly crowned 2020 Top Fuel champion. Brown would rely on a holeshot .042 reaction time to Torrence’s .128 RT to win with a slower 3.759 ET to a 3.740 ET. At the end of the day, the Dodge NHRA Finals was just what the doctor ordered for the sport’s first Black American champion who also finished second in the points in NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle division in 2001 and 2006 before switching to four-wheels.
Photo Credit Don Schumacher Racing