Hometown favorite Antron Brown raced to his third victory of the season with a win over Brittany Force in the Top Fuel finals in Sunday’s NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Matt Hagan was also a third-time winner on the year with a win in the Funny Car final, while Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson picked up his second victory of the season. Jerry Savoie collected his first victory of the season in the Pro Stock Motorcycle division.
New Jersey native Antron Brown scored a weekend sweep at Englishtown after taking top qualifying honors and then going onto wire each of the opening three rounds against Jenna Haddock, Doug Kalitta and Dave Connolly – posting low ET in both the quarter-final and semi-final rounds.
Moving onto face Force for their third-career final-round faceoff, Brown was slower off the line but moved ahead of Force as her Monster Energy dragster went into tire shake and she had to click it off, giving Brown his 50th-career NHRA National Event win with a run of 3.843 seconds at 318.47 mph.
The victory was the 34th for Brown in Top Fuel competition and his first Top Fuel victory at Englishtown, where he has two prior competing in Pro Stock Motorcycle
“We knew (my 50th win) was at stake when we came in here, but I put everything of what this race means to the side, and that’s what our team did," Brown said. “We came in here and treated it like a race. Every race we come in, we put in all the hard work and put in our all. We had to remind ourselves that each and every round. To do it in the hometown and in front of family means the world to me."
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Brown padded his points in the Top Fuel standings, adding 65 points to his lead to give him a 118-point advantage over Schumacher.
In Funny Car, defending series champion Matt Hagan ran up his season winning streak to 3-0 with a photo finish over Alexis DeJoria in the final round to earn his 17th-career victory.
Hagan’s run to the finals took him past four-time Englishtown winner John Force, 2007 winner Tommy Johnson, Jr. and 2006 winner Ron Capps before advancing to the finals to face DeJoria.
In the final round, Hagan and DeJoria left the line with nearly identical lights with Hagan holding a .005 second edge. DeJoria rallied back to hold the lead at the 330-foot mark before Hagan managed to nose ahead at 660 feet, making it to the finish line by .0114 seconds with a time of 4.132 seconds at 299.53 mph over DeJoria’s 4.138, 298.40.
Hagan’s victory was his second-career win at Englishtown and helped propel him past Capps to the top of the points standings, now 39 points ahead of Capps.
“It’s nice to be able to go out here and run so strong and defend the title that we won last year," Hagan said. “Everything started clicking here this weekend. (Crew chief) Dickie (Venables) put a great car underneath me. We were able to beat a lot of tough, tough race cars out there and really good drivers. It just gets tougher and tougher each weekend."
Just one day after scoring his first no. 1 qualifier since 2010, Greg Anderson finished off the weekend with his second victory of the season with a win over Allen Johnson for his 76th-career NHRA victory.
Anderson picked up early-round victories over Val Smeland, Bo Butner and V. Gaines to earn his third-straight final-round appearance of the season and his sixth-career money round matchup versus Johnson. At the start of the final, Anderson grabbed the lead at the start with a .01-second advantage and never trailed the rest of the way, clocking in with a 6.504 at 214.31 mph to beat out Johnson, who ran 6.537, 213.87.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]“I had a great weekend," Anderson said. “When I got here, the car ran great right off the trailer. I made eight runs in a row. It was awesome. We got the victory. It’s been a while. It’s good to be back. It’s a neat feeling to have a racecar that can win a race if you just pilot it down the race track and don’t do anything wrong. That’s all a driver can ask for."
With the victory, Anderson earns his sixth Englishtown victory and moves up from third in the standings to first with a 22-point edge over Enders-Stevens.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Jerry Savoie grabbed his first National Event win since 2014 with a victory over Jim Underdahl in the finals. Savoie cruised to the final round with red-light victories over Joe DeSantis and Hector Arana Jr. – his only real challenge coming against Eddie Krawiec in the quarter-finals where he beat out the series points leader with a career-best low ET of 6.798. Coming into the final round for his first-career finals matchup against Underdahl, the lights again went Savoie’s way as Underdahl red-lighted by .051 seconds to give Savoie his second-career NHRA victory and his first since winning at St. Louis in September of last year.
“The driver goes from zero-to-hero but I’m not a selfish person, this goes to my crew," Savoie said. “Those guys worked really hard. The biggest thing is Vance and Hines. You’re running against a group of guys that want to win really bad, like I do, and to give you the power and tell you, ‘You have to find it, but it’s there,’ and you have to compete with them? Great company." Despite his early-round loss, Krawiec continues to lead the points standings by 53 points over Andrew Hines.