NHRA: Arana, Wilkerson wins a long time coming at Atlanta

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Hector Arana won his first Pro Stock Motorcycle national event since 2009, while Tim Wilkerson won his first Funny Car national event since 2011 to highlight Sunday’s final eliminations of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga.

Also winning in their respective classes at Atlanta Dragway in the seventh stop on the 24-race NHRA national event tour were Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock).

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Arana earned his first victory in six years and his seventh career victory. Arana (7.236 seconds, 196.30 mph) defeated Eddie Krawiec in the final round.

“I knew I could keep winning, but I had to believe in myself,” Arana said. “In the final, the bike jumped like a bronco,” Arana said. “It pulled to the right, but I was not giving up unless he was way in front of me. As long as I had control of the bike, I was staying with it.”

In Funny Car, Wilkerson (4.318 seconds, 260.31 mph) defeated Ron Capps (5.781 seconds, 125.90 mph) as both drivers lost traction early in the run. It is Wilkerson’s 18th career win and first ever at Atlanta.

“As the track got hotter, I did a good job until the finals,” Wilkerson said. “I’m really unhappy about what it did in the final. I was trying to go about a .14, and the thing broke the tires loose.”

The win boosts Wilkerson to 8th in the Funny Car standings. And even with the loss, Capps remains No. 1 in the Funny Car standings.

In Top Fuel, Brown capped off a stellar weekend, capturing his 49th career NHRA win, with a final round run of 3.887 seconds at 310.48 mph to defeat Leah Pritchett (4.202 seconds, 260.41 mph). It was Pritchett’s first career final round appearance in three years on the Top Fuel circuit.

As for Brown, it was his fourth win at Atlanta, tying him with Larry Dixon for most wins by a single Top Fuel driver there.

Brown not only remains the Top Fuel points leader, he is also the only driver in the category to win two races thus far this season.

“It wasn’t just a good day, but a good weekend,” Brown said. “(Crew chiefs) Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald, and all the Matco boys have been putting the work in together. It definitely showed this weekend.”

In Pro Stock, Line (6.606 seconds, 211.33 mph) defeated teammate Greg Anderson (8.628 seconds, 114.39 mph) in the final round for his 37th career win and second at Atlanta.

“This is the way that you normally dream about it, but it usually doesn’t work out that way,” Line said. “Today, it did. I really thought the final was going to go the other way. I got a bit of luck. I wasn’t fast today. I was maybe mediocre.

“Greg had the car to beat. He was driving better than everyone else, and he should have won it. He wants to win more than anyone I’ve ever met, and that’s what makes him the best.”

Anderson defeated Line earlier this year at Gainesville. With Sunday’s win, Line closes the gap in all-time final round meetings between the two teammates to 14-10 in Anderson’s favor.

The next NHRA event is next weekend, with the NHRA Kansas Nationals on May 22-24 in Topeka, Kan.

 

FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

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

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

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

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

 

FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Antron Brown, 3.887 seconds, 310.48 mph  def. Leah Pritchett, 4.202 seconds, 260.41 mph.

Funny Car: Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.318, 260.31  def. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 5.781, 125.90.

Pro Stock: Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.606, 211.33  def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 8.628, 114.39.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Hector Arana, Buell, 7.236, 162.47  def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 10.107, 85.28.

 

FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS: 

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Richie Crampton, 3.784, 324.98 def. Brittany Force, 3.839, 322.27; Terry McMillen, 3.932, 316.45 def. Dave Connolly, 3.981, 282.36; Leah Pritchett, 3.805, 317.64 def. Chris Karamesines, 3.998, 305.15; Larry Dixon, 3.779, 325.45 def. Tony Schumacher, 3.790, 323.58; Antron Brown, 3.787, 318.32 def. Shawn Langdon, 3.936, 303.71; Clay Millican, 3.958, 317.64 def. Steve Torrence, 4.801, 184.57; J.R. Todd, 3.911, 326.32 def. Morgan Lucas, 4.224, 196.87; Doug Kalitta, 3.805, 317.12 def. Spencer Massey, 3.815, 326.48; QUARTERFINALS — McMillen, 3.915, 319.07 def. Millican, 4.883, 158.87; Pritchett, 3.813, 319.29 def. Todd, 5.433, 132.19; Dixon, 6.836, 96.76 def. Crampton, foul; Brown, 3.856, 315.56 def. Kalitta, 4.024, 272.89; SEMIFINALS — Brown, 3.915, 309.56 def. McMillen, 10.174, 67.45; Pritchett, 3.936, 298.47 def. Dixon, 8.977, 76.60; FINAL — Brown, 3.887, 310.48 def. Pritchett, 4.202, 260.41.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.108, 309.84 def. Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 7.867, 104.09; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.084, 314.61 def. Dave Richards, Toyota Solara, 4.399, 236.88; John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.128, 314.31 def. Jeff Diehl, Solara, foul; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.074, 313.00 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.933, 163.47; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.066, 313.07 def. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.573, 188.25; Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.035, 317.79 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.106, 311.77; Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.163, 294.37 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.569, 193.54; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.081, 311.99 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.091, 311.92; QUARTERFINALS — J. Force, 4.146, 311.92 def. C. Force, 4.330, 249.21; Capps, 4.168, 267.00 def. C. Pedregon, 6.466, 100.57; Wilkerson, 4.085, 309.42 def. Beckman, 4.285, 242.58; Hagan, 4.302, 263.15 def. Johnson Jr., 8.045, 88.17; SEMIFINALS — Capps, 4.179, 300.73 def. Hagan, 7.379, 107.73; Wilkerson, 4.163, 300.00 def. J. Force, 4.265, 298.54; FINAL — Wilkerson, 4.318, 260.31 def. Capps, 5.781, 125.90.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Larry Morgan, Chevy Camaro, 6.588, 211.66 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 7.072, 152.23; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.584, 210.41 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.626, 210.37; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.541, 211.76 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 12.593, 68.94; Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.588, 210.57 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.614, 210.01; Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.586, 210.28 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.579, 210.70; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.576, 210.50 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Avenger, broke; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.543, 211.49 def. John Gaydosh Jr, Pontiac GXP, 6.739, 206.92; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.566, 211.10 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 7.287, 141.86; QUARTERFINALS — Brogdon, 6.601, 210.87 def. Johnson, 11.448, 77.50; Line, 6.573, 210.64 def. Morgan, 6.565, 212.29; Enders, 6.561, 210.97 def. S. Gray, 6.571, 210.90; Anderson, 6.560, 211.73 def. Skillman, 6.573, 211.30; SEMIFINALS — Line, 6.585, 211.39 def. Brogdon, 6.635, 211.33; Anderson, 6.562, 211.59 def. Enders, 6.582, 210.83; FINAL — Line, 6.606, 211.33 def. Anderson, 8.628, 114.39.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.962, 191.51 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.030, 187.08; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.948, 192.99 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, foul; Angie Smith, 7.199, 162.98 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, foul; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.944, 192.71 def. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.969, 195.05; Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.979, 192.11 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.945, 192.44; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.895, 194.66 def. Matt Smith, 7.055, 187.91; Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.962, 192.33 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, broke; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.915, 195.70 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.979, 184.27; QUARTERFINALS — Krawiec, 6.933, 193.21 def. A. Smith, foul; Pollacheck, 7.007, 191.51 def. Sampey, foul; Arana, 6.915, 195.96 def. Underdahl, 7.022, 192.52; Arana Jr, 6.963, 195.00 def. Gann, DQ; SEMIFINALS — Krawiec, 6.901, 195.03 def. Pollacheck, foul; Arana, 6.930, 195.22 def. Arana Jr, 7.146, 168.14; FINAL — Arana, 7.236, 162.47 def. Krawiec, 10.107, 85.28.

 

UPDATED POINTS STANDINGS:

Top Fuel: 1.  Antron Brown, 567; 2.  Tony Schumacher, 514; 3.  Spencer Massey, 475; 4.  Doug Kalitta, 445; 5. Shawn Langdon, 437; 6.  Richie Crampton, 427; 7.  Larry Dixon, 389; 8.  Clay Millican, 363; 9. Steve Torrence, 360; 10.  J.R. Todd, 355.

Funny Car: 1.  Ron Capps, 523; 2.  Matt Hagan, 502; 3.  Del Worsham, 435; 4.  Robert Hight, 428; 5.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 424; 6.  Jack Beckman, 413; 7.  John Force, 407; 8.  Tim Wilkerson, 387; 9.  Alexis DeJoria, 361; 10.  (tie) Courtney Force, 356. Cruz Pedregon, 356.

Pro Stock: 1.  Jason Line, 624; 2.  Erica Enders, 592; 3.  Greg Anderson, 555; 4.  Chris McGaha, 464; 5.  Rodger Brogdon, 460; 6.  Drew Skillman, 392; 7.  Larry Morgan, 375; 8.  Vincent Nobile, 369; 9. Shane Gray, 348; 10.  Allen Johnson, 335.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 286; 2.  Andrew Hines, 212; 3.  Hector Arana, 201; 4.  (tie) Hector Arana Jr, 195; Karen Stoffer, 195; 6.  Scotty Pollacheck, 175; 7.  LE Tonglet, 165; 8.  Angelle Sampey, 161; 9.  Shawn Gann, 155; 10.  Jim Underdahl, 128.

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Sports imitates art with Tyler Bereman’s Red Bull Imagination course

Red Bull Imagination Bereman
Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool
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This past weekend riders took on the Red Bull Imagination, a one-of-a-kind event conceived by Tyler Bereman – an event that blended art, imagination, and sports.

In its third year, Red Bull Imagination opened to the public for the first-time, inviting fans to experience a more personal and creative side of the riders up close and personal.

As the event elevates its stature, the course gets tougher. The jumps get higher and the competition stouter. This year’s course took inspiration from a skatepark, honoring other adrenaline-laced pastimes and competitions.

“There’s a ton of inspiration from other action sports,” Bereman said told Red Bull writer Eric Shirk as he geared up for the event.

MORE: Trystan Hart wins Red Bull Tennessee Knockout 

Bereman was the leading force in the creation of this event and the winner of its inaugural running. In 2022, Bereman had to settle for second with Axell Hodges claiming victory on the largest freeride course created uniquely for the Red Bull Imagination.

Unlike other courses, Bereman gave designer Jason Baker the liberty to create obstacles and jumps as he went. And this was one of the components that helped the course imitate art.

Baker’s background in track design comes from Supercross. In that sport, he had to follow strict guidelines and build the course to a specific length and distance. From the building of the course through the final event, Bereman’s philosophy was to give every person involved, from creators to riders, fans and beyond, the chance to express themselves.

He wanted the sport to bridge the valley between racing and art.

Tyler Bereman uses one of Red Bull Imagination’s unique jumps. Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Hodges scored a 98 on the course and edged Bereman by two points. Both riders used the vast variety of jumps to spend a maximum amount of time airborne. Hodges’s first run included nearly every available obstacle including a 180-foot jump before backflipping over the main road.

The riders were able to secure high point totals on their first runs. Then, the wind picked up ahead of Round 2. Christian Dresser and Guillem Navas were able to improve their scores on the second run by creating new lines on the course and displaying tricks that did not need the amount of hangtime as earlier runs. They were the only riders to improve from run one to run two.

With first and second secured with their early runs, Hodge and Bereman teamed up to use their time jointly to race parallel lines and create tandem hits. The two competitors met at the center of the course atop the Fasthouse feature and revved their engines in an embrace.

Julien Vanstippen rounded out the podium with a final score of 92; his run included a landing of a 130-foot super flip.