Qualified: No. 3 (3.772 E.T. at 325.22 MPH)
E1: 3.835 E.T. at 324.12 MPH defeated Brittany Force 4.693 E.T. at 160.58 MPH
E2: 6.903 E.T. at 104.84 MPH defeated by Doug Kalitta 4.089 E.T. at 249.90 MPH
This year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals marked 400 events for three-time Indy winner Antron Brown.
The resident of nearby Pittsboro, Indiana entered his hometown event fresh off of two consecutive final round appearances, including his 50th Top Fuel victory in Seattle. He qualified third to start race day and faced reigning world champion Brittany Force in the opening round of eliminations. Against Force, Brown had the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win.
The three-time world champion, who has raced to Indy victory in both the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories, drew Doug Kalitta in the quarterfinals. Almost immediately, Brown’s 11,000 horsepower machine lost traction and Kalitta was able to score the round win.
Brown will enter the Countdown to the Championship ranked sixth.
“We started off really good today. We qualified third and were in a good spot against Brittany Force, who you never expect to face after qualifying third. In the first round, we were within a couple thousandths of the quickest pass in the round. In the second round, everything was on the line with Dougie (Kalitta). The track was the hottest it’s been all weekend and we just got a little bit too aggressive on the starting line. Doug just made it farther down the track. We would have liked to have won that round to be fifth in the points and have a shot at moving up to third in the points, but with that said, they’ll be reset. Now we go to Reading and the Countdown is on. That’s where the focus is.”