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Leah Pritchett has quickest run in NHRA history at 3.640 seconds

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BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) Leah Pritchett had the quickest run in NHRA history with 3.640-second pass at 330.63 mph Friday night at Brainerd International Speedway in Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals qualifying.

She broke her own Top Fuel record of 3.658 set in Arizona in February.

“We’ve looked forward to this night session for a long time,” Pritchett said. “Knowing that Brainerd, this track, this surface, the conditions and what NHRA is able to do to it, lays down the ground work for us to pull out the most power possible. That’s what this team did. They have been working tirelessly at finding small amounts of power here, there and everywhere and to be able to put it on the track tonight was incredible.”

Robert Hight broke the Funny Car time record with a 3.793 at 338.00 in a Chevrolet Camaro SS, the first run in the 3.7s in Funny Car history. He set the speed record of 339.87 last month at Sonoma Raceway.

“I could tell it was running fast and I saw the 3.79 on the scoreboard,” Hight said. “It’s just something you dream about. There are so many things that have to happen and work together for it all to come together. It’s not that easy. This is a big milestone. To be part of a milestone as a driver, this was big for me.”

Tanner Gray topped the Pro Stock field, and Hector Arana Jr. was the fastest in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Gray had a 6.607 at 208.617 in a Chevrolet Camaro, and Arana had a 6.879 at 194.24 on a Buell.

John Andretti begins new round of chemotherapy treatment

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John Andretti has started another round of chemotherapy.

The former NASCAR and IndyCar driver used Twitter on Monday to provide an update on his fight against colon cancer: “Same cocktail with an added twist. Only 3 months to go.”

The 54-year-old Andretti made his diagnosis public in early May and has relied on social media to keep fans abreast of his condition.

In late June, he Tweeted that doctors found that his spleen and gall bladder were cancer free. Andretti continues to encourage others to get preventative screenings.

Andretti started 49 consecutive IndyCar races from 1990-92 before moving to NASCAR, where he made 29 or more starts every year from 1994-2003. He was the first driver to attempt the Memorial Day double.

More AP auto racing: http://www.racing.ap.org

Larson’s busy weekend includes Knoxville Nationals, Cup race

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BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) Kyle Larson is set to race in Saturday’s Knoxville Nationals, squeezing in the prestigious sprint car event before returning to Michigan to compete in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.

Larson says Chip Ganassi, his team owner on the Cup circuit, gave him permission to race Saturday in Knoxville, Iowa. Larson says he’s not supposed to race a sprint car the night before he’s on the track on the Cup Series, but Ganassi is making an exception this weekend.

The 25-year-old Larson is one of racing’s rising stars. He has two Cup victories this year – including in June at Michigan – and is third in the standings. He also won at Michigan last August.

More AP auto racing: http://www.racing.ap.org .

NHRA: Brown, Hight, Skillman score big in Seattle

Robert Hight. Photo: Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery
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SEATTLE (AP) Antron Brown raced to his fourth Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

Brown beat Terry McMillen in the final round with a 3.776-second pass at 326.48 mph. It was his second win in three events and moved hime into the Top Fuel points lead.

“My team gave me a great car to allow me to go some rounds against tough competition,” Brown said, “but this sets up some real interesting scenarios with only two races to go before the Countdown.”

Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) also won their categories.

Hight beat Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final to pick up his second victory of the season after a 3.890-second pass at 328.62 mph.

In Pro Stock, Skillman beat Erica Enders in the final with a 6.604 at 209.33 for his third win of the season – all in the last four events.

NHRA: J.R. Todd breaks through in Funny Car in Sonoma

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SONOMA, Calif. (AP) J.R. Todd became the first black winner in NHRA Funny Car history Sunday, beating Tim Wilkerson in the Sonoma Nationals.

The 35-year-old Todd, from Lawrenceburg, Indiana also joined Don Prudhomme as the only NHRA drivers to win at Sonoma Raceway in both nitro categories. Todd won nine times in Top Fuel.

Todd beat Wilkerson with a 4.049-second pass at 323.27 mph in a Toyota Camry.

“Our car showed us a lot of promise in Denver which gave us hope coming into here,” Todd said. “We’ve been struggling so bad this season. I’m just happy to win a Funny Car. I was able to win here last year in Top Fuel and to be able to come back and do it again in Funny Car is pretty special.”

Wilkerson’s Ford Shelby Mustang went up in smoke in a 6.823 at 100.26.

Steve Torrence raced to his sixth Top Fuel victory of the season, Tanner Gray topped the Pro Stock field for his third win in his rookie season, and LE Tonglet took his fifth Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the year.

Torrence beat Antron Brown in the final with a 3.784 at 329.42. Gray had a 6.572 at 210.05 in a Chevrolet Camaro to edge points leader Bo Butner. Tonglet beat Matt Smith with a 6.783 at 197.02 on a Suzuki. Tonglet won the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle on Saturday.