Brown, Hight, Alund, Hines Four-Wide Winners
Jimmy Alund scored the biggest win of his drag racing career on Sunday, as the 46-year old fill-in driver from Norrkoping, Sweden beat out three other drivers to win the Pro Stock final at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway.
Antron Brown won out in the Top Fuel division, Robert Hight took the top spot in the Funny Car division and Andrew Hines took the win in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Alund, an eight-time European Pro Stock champion, picked up his first-career NHRA victory in just his 12th-career start, running his fifth race of 2014 filling in for two-time Four-Wide winner Greg Anderson while the Summit Racing Camaro driver sits out the first six races while he recovers from heart surgery.
"To be able to outrun nine cars in one day and against drivers and teams that I've been looking up to racing in Europe is pretty awesome,"¯ said Alund. "It really hasn't sunk in yet, let's put it that way. I have a lot of wins in Europe but this is something special. The people in the drag racing world in the US are going to have to tell me what it means to win."¯
In the final, Nobile hit a .006 light to move out to an early lead, but Alund and Gray chased him down with Alund getting to the line by .0452 over Gray, going 6.562 at 211.59 mph over Gray's 6.563, 211.69. Nobile finished third with a 6.667, 209.46. Enders-Stevens got into the tire shake right off the line and clicked it off, ending up fourth with a 11.719, 79.19.
Antron Brown notched his first Four-Wide victory in the Top Fuel final which featured a rare double hole shot as Brown won over reigning World Champion Shawn Langdon, and the two Kalitta Motorsports entries of J.R. Todd and Doug Kalitta to take home his 43rd-career Wally and his second of the season.
Brown was quickest of the line in the final with a .042 light and never trailed, going 3.800 at 317.42 mph to beat out Langdon, who beat out J.R. Todd in a hole-shot going 3.800 at 322.11 over Todd's quicker "but losing“ 3.799, 318.32. Kalitta went up in smoke early and finished a distant fourth.
"Just an incredible day,"¯ said Brown. "When you go into a final and there's two Kalitta cars and an Al-Anabi car, it's pretty much stacked against you because the Kalitta team and Alan [Johnson]'s team work together. It's like running three teammates car against one, so they definitely had the advantage, but you go out there and do what you do. We just keep our head down and keep it to the grind, and we put our best foot forward today, and we were able to edge out and become the victors."
In Funny Car, Robert Hight, bested his boss and father-in-law John Force, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson to win his second Four-Wide Nationals event in a matchup featuring the winners of all four events so far this season.
Force took the early lead in the final with a .040 light, but Hight was out in front by the 60-foot mark and drove away from the field for the win, coming in at 4074 at 311.34 mph. Force finished second in a hole shot over DeJoria, running 4.132, 307.51 to 4.098, 301.67. Wilkerson was up in smoke at the half-way point, coming home fourth.
Hight's victory was the 31st of his career and second of the season.
"This has been a great weekend,"¯ Hight said. "We love coming to zMax Dragway. What a better place to bring potential sponsors than this facility. John (Force) and I getting to the final made it that much more special. It's my fourth final in a row and we've only missed two rounds in Pomona to start the season."
"This format is a dangerous format for (crew chief) Mike Neff. Losing twice to Alexis (DeJoria) in finals earlier this year I think that motivated him a little bit to push it. The way he races I guarantee my car was not on the edge in the final. It was tuned up enough to go up there and hopefully get the win."¯
Two-time zMax Dragway winner Andrew Hines collected his first Four-Wide Nationals victory in the Pro Stock Motorcycle division over Eddie Krawiec, Scotty Pollacheck and John Hall.
Hines topped the opening round to advance along with Hector Arana to the second round, which featured teammates Hines and Krawiec taking on Arana and Arana, Jr. The Harley's beat out the Hectors with Hines finishing runner-up to Krawiec to move onto the final round.
In the final, the Harley's trailed right at the start as Hall and Pollacheck had great lights, but Pollacheck fell behind early and Hall cut the throttle just past the 660-foot mark.
Hines and Krawiec, although slow out of the gate, powered past for a great drag race to the finish with Hines besting his teammate by a bike length, running 6.859 at 196.10 mph over Krawiec's 6.874, 196.13.
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