Brown Turns Back Schumacher, Wins Top Fuel in Sonoma
Antron Brown posted his third win of the season on Sunday, capturing the Top Fuel championship at the FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.
Brown powered his Matco Tools dragster to the victory with a pass of 3.883 seconds (314.61 miles per hour) to defeat Tony Schumacher (U.S. Army) in the finals (3.919, 311.41).
Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also recorded victories in NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series action in the Sonoma Valley.
For Brown, it was his 28th career victory, 12 of which have come in Top Fuel (16 in Pro Stock Motorcycle). It was also Brown’s second win in three years in Sonoma. He swept the Western Swing in 2009.
“I woke up today and felt energized, kind of like how it was in 2009 (when I won here),” said Brown, who sits in third place in the standings and clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship with the win. “You have to go out and race and that’s what we did.”
In all, six track records were broken over the race weekend, including speed and elapsed time in Funny Car (John Force) and Pro Stock (Allen Johnson). Hector Arana III also broke the elapsed-time record in Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Schumacher broke the speed record for Top Fuel.
Capps continued his hot streak in Sonoma, winning for the second straight year, this time over Tim Wilkerson in the finals with a pass of 4.145 (303.57). Wilkerson ran a 4.175 (300.93). It was Capps’ first win of the season and his third at Infineon Raceway. It was his 32nd career NHRA win.
“I knew coming in we had a good car but you never know what’s going to happen,” Capps said. “I never take anything for granted.”
Anderson became the all-time winningest Pro Stock racer in Sonoma with his fourth-career victory, breaking a deadlock with Darrell Alderman, Jim Yates and Warren Johnson. He defeated Mike Edwards in the finals with a run of 6.562 (210.28). Edwards ran a 6.576 (210.14). With the win, Anderson clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship. He is the defending and four-time Pro Stock champion.
“There’s something about Sonoma, it’s just magical for me,” Anderson said.
Tonglet posted his first Sonoma win, turning back 2010 Infineon winner Michael Phillips in the finals with a run of 7.001 (189.76). This marks Tonglet’s third win of the 2011 season; he is also the reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion.