Brown, Capps, Anderson, Tonglet top FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway
Antron Brown drives his Matco Tools dragster to the Top Fuel title during Sunday’s FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals on Infineon Raceway’s famed drag strip.
Roaring with breathtaking bursts of speed on Infineon Raceway’s famed drag-strip, the National Hot Rod Association wrapped up an exciting three-day run of its 24th annual FRAM Autolite Nationals on Sunday with a heated battle between teammates, repeat and first-time title winners, and a first-ever four-time champion.
The second stop of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series “Western Swing” – Denver, Seattle and Sonoma – saw Antron Brown edge Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher to win the Top Fuel title and earn his third victory of the season.
Brown drove his Matco Tools dragster to a top speed of 314.61 miles-an-hour with an elapsed time of 3.883 seconds for the win over Schumacher’s (U.S. Army) 311.41 and 3.919, respectively.
It was Brown’s second win in Sonoma in the past three years – sweeping the Western Swing in 2009 – and it was his 28th career victory, with 12 wins coming in Top Fuel and 16 in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Brown now sits in third place in the standings and clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship with the triumph.
“I woke up today and felt energized, kind of like how it was in 2009 (when I won here). You have to go out and race and that’s what we did,” said Brown.
In Funny Car, Ron Capps captured his second straight Infineon title in 4.145 seconds at 303.57 mph, bettering Tim Wilkerson’s 4.175, 300.93 in the finals.
It was Capps’ first win of the season, his third at Infineon Raceway, and his 32nd career NHRA win.
Greg Anderson became the first four-time Pro Stock champion at Infineon, breaking a deadlock in Sonoma with Darrell Alderman, Jim Yates and Warren Johnson.
Anderson’s 6.562, 210.28 defeated Mike Edwards’ 6.576, 210.14 in the finals and the defending and four-time Pro Stock champion clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship.
LE Tonglet claimed his first title in Sonoma, taking the Pro Stock Motorcycle event by beating defending champion Michael Phillips in the finals with a 7.001, 189.76 run. For Tonglet, the reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, it was his third win of the 2011 season.
In all, six track records were broken over the race weekend at Infineon, 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.
Infineon Raceway continues its popular local event, the Wednesday Night Drags, every Wednesday through Nov. 16.
Also included in the Wednesday Night Drags evening are the “Top the Cops” program – designed to help take illegal racing off the streets and bring it to a safe, legal and controlled environment – and the fast-rising motorsport of “Drifting.”
“Top the Cops” allows high school students the opportunity to drag race against law enforcement officers, who will be driving their squad cars.
The Wednesday Night Drags are open to anyone with a driver’s license, and they can race any vehicle or motorcycle they bring to the track, provided it passes a simple tech inspection.
Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and racing spans from 5 to 10 p.m., with the cost being $25 for competitors – $15 for students with a high school ID – and $10 for spectators. Season-long passes are also available.
Infineon Raceway’s 2011 Big O Tires major events season will conclude with two top attractions – the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma taking place the weekend of Aug. 26 to 28; and the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge on Oct. 1 and 2.
To purchase tickets and ticket packages, or for more details on Wednesday Night Drags, Top the Cops, Drifting, or for general information, visit www.infineonraceway.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or call 800-870-RACE (7223).
INFINEON RACEWAY 2011 MAJOR EVENTS
Aug. 26 to 28: Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend
Oct. 1 and 2: Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge