Martin Truex Jr.

NHRA Englishtown winners: Brown (TF), Hagan (FC), Anderson (PS), Savoie (PSM)

Sunday’s NHRA winners at Englishtown: from left: Antron Brown, Matt Hagan, Jerry Savoie, and Greg Anderson.. (Photo courtesy NHRA)

The only thing better than winning a race is winning at home in front of your family and friends.

And when you reach a significant milestone in the process, the end result is all the more sweeter.

That was the case in Sunday’s Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

Much like another Jersey boy, Martin Truex Jr., won the NASCAR race at Pocono also on Sunday, NHRA Top Fuel driver and Chesterfield, N.J., native Antron Brown won his 50th career race in front of family and friends and on his home track.

Brown (3.843 seconds at 318.47 mph) earned his 50th career NHRA victory: his 34th in Top Fuel along with 16 others when he competed in Pro Stock Motorcycle from 1998-2007 before shifting to the four-wheeled dragster.

Brown, the 2012 Top Fuel world champion, defeated Brittany Force, who lost traction (5.398 seconds at 150.16 mph), in the final round of eliminations.

“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 in an NHRA media release. “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.”

Brown very likely could now be the driver to beat for the championship this season. Sunday was his third win in the first nine races, and since the start of 2009, he’s won 32 races, 10 more than teammate and closest competitor Tony Schumacher.

In Funny Car, defending series champ Matt Hagan (4.132 seconds at 299.53 mph) also earned his third win of the season, defeating Alexis DeJoria in Sunday’s final round.

It was Hagan’s 17th career Funny Car win and his second at Englishtown. He also took over the lead in the Funny Car point standings from teammate Ron Capps, who Hagan defeated in Sunday’s semifinal round.

“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.”

In Pro Stock, veteran Greg Anderson (6.504 seconds at 214.31 mph) did a quadruple-dip of sorts, defeating Allen Johnson in Sunday’s final round. Not only did he earn his 76th career win, his second triumph of 2015 and his sixth career win at Englishtown, Anderson also took over the Pro Stock points lead.

“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.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Louisiana alligator farmer Jerry Savoie (6.974 seconds at 197.71 mph earned his second career win, defeating Jim Underdahl, who was disqualified after red-lighting at the starting line.

“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.”

The next NHRA national event is next weekend, June 12-14, in the NHRA New England Nationals at Epping, N.H.


TOP FUEL: 1.  Antron Brown; 2.  Brittany Force; 3.  Dave Connolly; 4.  Terry McMillen; 5.  Doug Kalitta; 6. Tony Schumacher; 7.  Spencer Massey; 8.  Shawn Langdon; 9.  Steve Torrence; 10.  J.R. Todd; 11. Jenna Haddock; 12.  Larry Dixon; 13.  Leah Pritchett; 14.  Morgan Lucas; 15.  Richie Crampton; 16. Clay Millican.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Matt Hagan; 2.  Alexis DeJoria; 3.  Del Worsham; 4.  Ron Capps; 5.  Cruz Pedregon; 6.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 7.  Dom Lagana; 8.  Tony Pedregon; 9.  John Force; 10.  Tim Wilkerson; 11.  Jeff Diehl; 12.  Jack Beckman; 13.  Courtney Force; 14.  Robert Hight; 15.  Chad Head; 16.  John Hale.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Greg Anderson; 2.  Allen Johnson; 3.  V. Gaines; 4.  Shane Gray; 5.  Drew Skillman; 6.  Bo Butner; 7.  Kenny Delco; 8.  Alan Prusiensky; 9.  Jason Line; 10.  Larry Morgan; 11.  John Gaydosh Jr; 12.  Jonathan Gray; 13.  Vincent Nobile; 14.  Chris McGaha; 15.  Val Smeland; 16.  Erica Enders.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Jerry Savoie; 2.  Jim Underdahl; 3.  Andrew Hines; 4.  Hector Arana Jr; 5.  Hector Arana; 6. Matt Smith; 7.  Eddie Krawiec; 8.  Chip Ellis; 9.  Karen Stoffer; 10.  LE Tonglet; 11.  Scotty Pollacheck; 12.  Shawn Gann; 13.  Angie Smith; 14.  Joe DeSantis; 15.  Steve Johnson; 16.  Angelle Sampey.


Top Fuel: Antron Brown, 3.843 seconds, 318.47 mph  def. Brittany Force, 5.398 seconds, 150.16 mph.

Funny Car: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.132, 299.53  def. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.138, 298.40.

Pro Stock: Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.504, 214.31  def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.537, 213.87.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.794, 197.71  def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, foul.


TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Spencer Massey, 3.809, 318.02 def. Clay Millican, 10.945, 74.58; Shawn Langdon, 3.809, 316.23 def. Larry Dixon, 4.267, 196.73; Dave Connolly, 3.843, 316.60 def. Leah Pritchett, 6.911, 93.42; Tony Schumacher, 3.802, 318.99 def. Morgan Lucas, 8.739, 85.43; Antron Brown, 3.803, 316.82 def. Jenna Haddock, 3.913, 302.82; Terry McMillen, 3.887, 306.40 def. J.R. Todd, 3.902, 282.01; Brittany Force, 3.848, 316.01 def. Richie Crampton, 9.477, 75.71; Doug Kalitta, 3.821, 313.58 def. Steve Torrence, 3.804, 317.34; QUARTERFINALS — Connolly, 3.848, 312.71 def. Langdon, 6.647, 111.11; McMillen, 5.016, 195.34 def. Massey, 6.462, 129.00; Brown, 3.799, 318.32 def. Kalitta, 3.826, 311.85; Force, 3.838, 314.02 def. Schumacher, 6.216, 117.65; SEMIFINALS — Force, 3.899, 314.09 def. McMillen, 5.079, 146.80; Brown, 3.820, 317.12 def. Connolly, 4.740, 160.50; FINAL — Brown, 3.843, 318.47 def. Force, 5.398, 150.16.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.035, 308.43 def. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.131, 306.12; Dom Lagana, Toyota Solara, 4.969, 157.74 def. Chad Head, Toyota Camry, 5.348, 270.00; Del Worsham, Camry, 4.114, 299.26 def. Jeff Diehl, Solara, foul; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.101, 303.03 def. John Hale, Charger, broke; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.077, 304.94 def. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.723, 174.73; Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.160, 300.66 def. Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.651, 195.11; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.089, 302.96 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.458, 206.39; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.083, 300.93 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.313, 231.56; QUARTERFINALS — Worsham, 4.116, 300.66 def. T. Pedregon, 7.046, 121.64; Capps, 9.807, 86.18 def. C. Pedregon, foul; Hagan, 4.124, 302.01 def. Johnson Jr., 5.911, 146.96; DeJoria, 4.168, 296.89 def. Lagana, 6.863, 93.35; SEMIFINALS — Hagan, 4.124, 300.20 def. Capps, 4.191, 282.07; DeJoria, 4.120, 297.09 def. Worsham, 4.138, 301.00; FINAL — Hagan, 4.132, 299.53 def. DeJoria, 4.138, 298.40.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.549, 212.63 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.657, 212.23; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.544, 212.13 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, foul; Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.519, 213.87 def. Larry Morgan, Camaro, foul; V. Gaines, Dart, 6.538, 212.36 def. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.510, 215.17; Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.541, 211.76 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 8.301, 117.66; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.493, 214.28 def. Val Smeland, Chevy Cobalt, 8.725, 108.60; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.502, 212.96 def. John Gaydosh Jr, Pontiac GXP, 6.562, 211.53; Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Avenger, 6.643, 209.95 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 10.306, 87.32; QUARTERFINALS — Gaines, 8.080, 199.14 def. Delco, 10.345, 100.23; Johnson, 6.871, 211.20 def. Prusiensky, 14.931, 56.23; S. Gray, 6.545, 212.49 def. Skillman, 6.523, 212.90; Anderson, 6.503, 214.11 def. Butner, 6.549, 213.43; SEMIFINALS — Johnson, 6.570, 213.77 def. S. Gray, 6.555, 212.79; Anderson, 6.499, 214.14 def. Gaines, 6.531, 213.43; FINAL — Anderson, 6.504, 214.31 def. Johnson, 6.537, 213.87.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.825, 197.48 def. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, foul; Matt Smith, 6.883, 192.96 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.832, 196.19; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.849, 196.04 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.896, 194.80; Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.871, 191.10 def. Angie Smith, 6.971, 189.02; Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.833, 196.10 def. Angelle Sampey, Buell, DQ; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.852, 198.38 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.233, 158.28; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.858, 192.60 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, foul; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.862, 192.91 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.882, 194.63; QUARTERFINALS — Savoie, 6.798, 197.62 def. Krawiec, 6.938, 190.35; Hines, 6.894, 192.69 def. Ellis, broke; Underdahl, 6.860, 195.05 def. M. Smith, 6.928, 191.02; Arana Jr, 6.833, 197.08 def. Arana, 6.841, 197.08; SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.785, 197.71 def. Arana Jr, foul; Underdahl, 6.886, 193.10 def. Hines, 6.906, 190.94; FINAL — Savoie, 6.794, 197.71 def. Underdahl, foul.


Top Fuel: 1.  Antron Brown, 751; 2.  Tony Schumacher, 633; 3.  Spencer Massey, 588; 4.  Richie Crampton, 579; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 554; 6.  Shawn Langdon, 530; 7.  Larry Dixon, 508; 8.  Brittany Force, 479; 9. J.R. Todd, 456; 10.  Clay Millican, 427.

Funny Car: 1.  Matt Hagan, 692; 2.  Ron Capps, 653; 3.  Del Worsham, 587; 4.  Jack Beckman, 567; 5.  John Force, 533; 6.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 513; 7.  Robert Hight, 492; 8.  Alexis DeJoria, 487; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 480; 10.  Cruz Pedregon, 458.

Pro Stock: 1.  Greg Anderson, 781; 2.  Erica Enders, 759; 3.  Jason Line, 698; 4.  Chris McGaha, 578; 5. Rodger Brogdon, 493; 6.  Drew Skillman, 488; 7.  Larry Morgan, 486; 8.  Shane Gray, 474; 9.  Allen Johnson, 461; 10.  Vincent Nobile, 453.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 339; 2.  Andrew Hines, 286; 3.  Hector Arana Jr, 273; 4.  Hector Arana, 259; 5. Karen Stoffer, 238; 6.  Jim Underdahl, 224; 7.  Scotty Pollacheck, 207; 8.  (tie) Jerry Savoie, 198; LE Tonglet, 198; 10.  Angelle Sampey, 193.

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NASCAR: Entry list set for Sprint Unlimited; David Gilliland out, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in


Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is the fourth driver to be added to Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited to fill the 25-car field.

Stenhouse is in the race after David Gilliland’s team withdrew. A spokesperson for Front Row Motorsports said the team did not have sponsorship for the event and elected to skip it.

Others who were eligible to compete in the 75-lap exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway but won’t are Brian Scott, Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger.

Replacing them are Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Casey Mears and Stenhouse.

NASCAR announced in December it was expanding the Sprint Unlimited field to 25 teams. The event is open to all 16 Chase teams from the previous season along with pole winners from last year, former Unlimited winners and former Daytona 500 winners. Any remaining spots go to the highest remaining drivers in points.


Entry List

1-Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing/McDonalds)
2-Brad Keselowski (Team Penske/Miller Lite)
3-Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing/Dow Chemical)
4-Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing/Jimmy John’s + Budweiser)
5-Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports/Great Clips)
10-Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas Racing/GoDaddy)
11-Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing/FedEx Express)
13-Casey Mears (Germain Racing/GEICO)
14-Tony Stewart (Stewart-Haas Racing/Mobil 1 + Bass Pro Shops)
15-Clint Bowyer (Michael Waltrip Racing/5-Hour Energy)
16-Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing/Ortho)
17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing/Fastenal)
18-Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing/M&Ms)
19-Carl Edwards (Joe Gibbs Racing/Arris)
20-Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing/Dollar General)
22-Joey Logano (Team Penske/Shell-Pennzoil)
24-Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports/AARP Drive to End Hunger)
27-Paul Menard (Richard Childress Racing/Peak-Menards)
31-Ryan Newman (Richard Childress Racing/Caterpillar)
41-Kurt Busch (Stewart-Haas Racing/Haas Automation)
42-Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing/Target)
43-Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports/Smithfield)
48-Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports/Lowe’s)
78-Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing/Furniture Row)
88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Hendrick Motorsports/Nationwide Insurance)

Ryan Truex glad for brother Martin’s support while looking for next move in NASCAR


Ryan Truex’s rookie Sprint Cup campaign last season was, in a word, rough.

The younger brother of Sprint Cup veteran Martin Truex Jr. netted just one Top-20 finish, sustained a concussion, and had eight DNFs in 23 races before being released in September by BK Racing.

Ryan Truex seeks a solid ride as the 2015 season looms. In an interview with the Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), he said he was still working to attain funding for a program in either Cup or the Xfinity Series.

But if anyone can teach him how to deal with obstacles, it’s his older sibling.

In 2013, Martin was caught up in Michael Waltrip Racing’s race manipulation scandal at Richmond International Raceway, which ultimately led to his departure from that team. Last year, his fortunes didn’t get better at Furniture Row Racing – but that paled in comparison to having to watch his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, battle ovarian cancer.

Still, Martin has soldiered on, and Ryan is learning by his example.

“He knows a lot about overcoming adversity and getting through the up-and-down times,” Ryan said of his brother. “I think that’s something he’s really helped me get through, and he’s been by my side the whole time and believes in me. He’s done all he can to help my career.

“It’s good to have that in your back pocket, and having that last name doesn’t hurt either.”

In the meantime, Ryan hopes he’ll land somewhere – and is happy that a miserable 2014 is done with.

“I felt like we had so many opportunities to capitalize on some strong runs and just had a lot of bad luck,” Ryan said. “Michigan, for example, that kind of hurt having the [concussion] and having to sit out for a week.

“For sure, the most up-and-down year of my career, by far. I’m glad I can put it behind me and move on.”

NASCAR: Kevin “Bono” Manion named crew chief for Alex Bowman, No. 7 team

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On the heels of announcing second-year Sprint Cup driver Alex Bowman as driver of its No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing has confirmed that Kevin “Bono” Manion will stay with the team as Bowman’s crew chief.

Manion was crew chief on the No. 7 last year when it was driven by Michael Annett. This past week, Annett was announced to drive a second car for HScott Motorsports.

Now, Manion will be guiding another young driver in Bowman, whose best finish for the BK Racing team last year was a 13th place finish at Daytona in July.

“With Bono leading the No. 7 team again this year, Alex Bowman driving and all the changes put in place at the shop, we looking forward to the drop of the green flag at Daytona,” said owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. in a release. “As always, we are happy to be a part of Team Chevy for another year.”

Manion won the 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 with Chip Ganassi Racing as crew chief for driver Jamie McMurray. He is also a two-time championship winning crew chief in the Xfinity Series (2004 and 2005, with current Furniture Row Racing Cup driver Martin Truex Jr.).

Today’s release from TBR also mentioned several other personnel changes within the team, including the promotion of Mark Gutekunst to lead engineer on the No. 7 and Doug Campbell coming on as the car’s spotter.

Truex’s girlfriend passes milestone in cancer recovery

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Martin Truex Jr. enters this season with a new perspective that has little to do with what happens on the track.

Sherry Pollex, Truex’s longtime girlfriend, tweeted Monday that she had completed a round of chemotherapy as she recovers from her bout with Stage III ovarian cancer. She has a year’s worth of what Truex calls “maintenance” chemotherapy, but those sessions will not be as frequent.

“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders, obviously hers,’’ Truex said Thursday at the NASCAR Sprint Cup media tour. “It will certainly be a lot easier to be at the racetrack and not be worried about her and what’s going on.’’

Pollex had surgery Aug. 15, a week after her diagnosis. Doctors removed her appendix, spleen, ovaries, fallopian tubes and part of her stomach. Truex missed qualifying at Michigan to be with her for that surgery. He didn’t miss a race although car owner Barney Visser said he could if he needed to do so.

“There were days it sucked to be at the racetrack, especially at the end of the season when she was going through her thing, but there was never a time where I didn’t want to be there or didn’t feel that I should be there,’’ said Truex, who finished 24th in the points with five top-10 finishes in 36 starts. “Honestly, there were times last year when I felt like when Thursday came around it was time to go to the racetrack. I really enjoyed that. I needed that getaway. I needed to get to the racetrack and take out some frustration and get with the guys and be a part of the team even though it wasn’t going good. At times it was therapeutic for me to be there and be doing my thing.’’

With Pollex passing a milestone in her recovery this week, Truex admits he has a new attitude.

“We all get inspired by people at some point, but when you see somebody go through something like that and it’s the person you love more than anyone in the world it takes it to a new level,’’ he said.