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Brown takes No. 1 qualifying spot with Matco at Seattle, DSR teammate Hagan seeded second with Mopar Dodge

SEATTLE (Aug. 5, 2016) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald led Don Schumacher Racing to one of its better qualifying efforts this summer when they earned the No. 1 qualifying spot on their last run Saturday and all seven teams qualified in the top-six in the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle.

 

Brown’s time of 3.735 seconds 329.10 mph earned the Matco team its second pole of the year in 16 events and the first since Englishtown, N.J., in early June.

 

DSR was able to take advantage of a “cooling trend” near Seattle that reduced the ambient temperature by about 15 degrees to the high 70s and track temperature by 15 degrees to about 120 degrees.

 

“Everybody shares everything out here but, right now, this is our turn,” said Brown, the three-time and reigning world champion who won the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title at the track a year ago.

 

“We always love coming out here to Seattle. These fans are incredible. The heat yesterday to what we got today, to run those types of runs on a track with those temps, my hat is off to our crew chiefs Brian Mark, Brad (Mason) and all the Matco Tools/U.S. Army boys. They’ve been versatile this weekend, like an Army Soldier, we adapt to every situation.

 

“Qualifying is done, we got some good qualifying points. Now we’ve got to think about racing tomorrow when it’s going to be a tough day. But we’re looking forward to that challenge.”

 

Close behind Brown, who will try for his fourth win of the season, are teammates Leah Pritchett (Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde/PACCAR) in third and Tony Schumacher (U.S. Army) in fifth.

 

Pritchett’s goal of sweeping poles on the three-week Western Swing were stopped after being No. 1 last weekend at Sonoma, Calif., and the week before near Denver.

 

In Funny Car, the DSR Dodge Charger R/T teams Powered by Pennzoil also produced a solid effort with all four drivers qualifying in the top half of the 16-car field for eliminations in which each will have lane choice in the first round.

 

The biggest turnaround was by two-time world champion Matt Hagan and the 80th Anniversary Mopar/Express Lane team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen.

 

After a disappointing two events to open the Western Swing with second- and first-round losses, Hagan moved into the No. 2 spot at Pacific Raceways with a 3.930 (328.54) on Saturday’s first run then closed the day with a 3.950 (327.90).

 

Hagan’s best elapsed time matched the run by teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. (Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge) on Friday night but Hagan’s faster speed leapfrogged Johnson, who qualified third.

 

“We’ve had four good runs here and everything is jivin’ and clickin’,” Hagan said. “The car’s gone down the racetrack every time and we have something we can race with tomorrow.”

 

Jack Beckman (Terry Chandler’s Infinite Hero Dodge) is qualified fifth and reigning world champion and points leader Ron Capps (NAPA AUTO PARTS), who won the Seattle title last year, is sixth.

 

DSR was shut out of a winner’s circle on Sunday at Sonoma for the first time in 15 events and has won of a possible 30 nitro titles this season.

 

The following are Saturday’s qualifying results and first-round opponents for DSR near Seattle:

TOP FUEL                                                                                                                                                  

No. 1 qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.735 sec., 329.10 mph

 

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster – 3x world champion; runner-up last event

Crew chiefs: Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald; Assistant: Brad Mason

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: Ron Smith

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualified: No. 1

FRIDAY: 3.984 sec., 267.27 mph, (first session); 3.813, 317.42, (second session)

SATURDAY: 3.796, 323.74, (third session); 3.735, 329.10, (fourth session)

SEATTLE  BY THE NUMBERS

Last event (July 30), Sonoma, Calif.: Qualified No.  4, lost in championship round to Steve Torrence

A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 4, won in championship round over Steve Torrence

Career at Seattle: Wins 2 (2009, 2016); Runner-ups 2 (2010, 2014); Poles 2 (2011, 2017)

 

LEAH PRITCHETT, Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde/PACCAR Top Fuel dragster – 3x winner, five finals in 2017

Crew chief: Todd Okuhara; Assistant: Joe Barlam

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: Shawn Reed

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualified: No. 3

FRIDAY: 4.112 sec., 226.20 mph, (first session); 3.891, 288.70, (second session)

SATURDAY: 3.755, 325.30, (third session); 6.029, 112.65, (fourth session)

SEATTLE  BY THE NUMBERS

Last event (July 30), Sonoma, Calif.: Qualified No. 1, lost in second round to Terry McMillen

A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 8, lost in first round to Morgan Lucas

Career at Seattle: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

 

TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster – 8x world champion                                               

Crew chief: Mike Green; Assistant: Phil Shuler

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: Troy Coughlin

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualified: No. 6

FRIDAY: 3.862 sec., 317.12 mph, (first session); 3.802, 322.96, (second session)

SATURDAY: 6.544, 99.72, (third session); 3.783, 324.12, (fourth session)

SEATTLE  BY THE NUMBERS

Last event (July 30), Sonoma, Calif.: Qualified No. 5, lost in first round to Scott Palmer

A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 1, lost in second round to Morgan Lucas

Career at Seattle: Wins 4 (2004, 2006-08); Runner-ups 3 (2005, 2009, 2011);

Poles 3 (2004, 2008, 2016)

 

FUNNY CARS                                                                                                                                          

No. 1 qualifier: Robert Hight (John Force Racing), 3.8383 sec., 329.34 mph

 

MATT HAGAN, 80th Anniversary Mopar/Express Lane 2017 Dodge Charger R/T – 3x winner in 2017

Crew chief: Dickie Venables; Assistant: Michael Knudsen

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualified: No. 2

FRIDAY: 4.059 sec., 314.97 mph, (first session); 3.999, 322.19, (second session)

SATURDAY: 3.930, 328.54, (third session); 3.950, 327.90, (fourth session)

SEATTLE  BY THE NUMBERS

Last event (July 30), Sonoma, Calif.: Qualified No. 6, lost in first round to Del Worsham

A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 5, lost in semifinals to Del Worsham

Career at Seattle: Wins 1 (2013); Runner-ups 1 (2012); Poles 0

 

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T                             

Crew chief: John Collins; Assistant: Rip Reynolds

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: Jim Campbell

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualified: No. 3

FRIDAY: 4.011 sec., 319.60 mph, (first session); 3.930, 324.05, (second session)

SATURDAY: 3.980, 321.88, (third session); 4.373, 203.65, (fourth session)

SEATTLE BY THE NUMBERS

Last event (July 30), Sonoma, Calif.: Qualified No. 5, lost in second round to Courtney Force

A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 10, lost in second round to Ron Capps

Career at Seattle: Wins 2 (1993, 2015); Runner-ups 0 Poles 0

 

JACK BECKMAN, Terry Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T       

Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: Del Worsham

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualified: No. 5

FRIDAY: 4.133 sec., 301.87  mph, (first session); 3.983, 322.88, (second session)

SATURDAY: 4.466, 191.87, (third session); 3.943, 323.35, (fourth session)

SEATTLE  BY THE NUMBERS

Last event (July 30), Sonoma, Calif.: Qualified No. 3, lost in semifinals to J.R. Todd

A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 4, lost in second round to Matt Hagan

Career at Seattle: Wins 2 (2007, 2015); Runner-ups 1 (2011); Poles 2 (2013, 2015)

 

RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS  2017 Dodge Charger R/T – 6x winner in ’17, world champ                    

Crew chief: Rahn Tobler; Assistant: Eric Lane

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: Tim Wilkerson

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualified: No. 6

FRIDAY: 4.175 sec., 241.41 mph, (first session); 4.019. 319.37, (second session)

SATURDAY: 3.984, 314.24, (third session); 3.956, 317.34, (fourth session)

SEATTLE  BY THE NUMBERS

Last event (July 30), Sonoma, Calif.: Qualified No. 12, lost in first round to Tommy Johnson Jr.

A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 2, won in championship round over Del Worsham

Career at Seattle: Wins 3 (1995-TF & career first, 1998, 2016);

Runner-ups 4 (2001, 2006, 2008, 2010); Poles 2 (1997, 2012)

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