NHRA: Brown (TF), Pedregon (FC), Anderson (PS), Ellis (PSM) all No. 1 at Englishtown


When you’re hot, you’re hot – and Antron Brown has been burning of late.

The 2012 Top Fuel champion earned his third consecutive No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday’s final eliminations of the Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

A native of nearby Chesterfield, N.J., Brown earned the top spot with a run of 3.725 seconds at 317.57 mph. The current Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader is the first driver to earn three consecutive No. 1 qualifying positions since Shawn Langdon did so in 2012.

Not only is it Brown’s 40th career No. 1, it sets up a potential monumental day for him on Sunday. If he wins the event, it would be Brown’s 50th career triumph in the NHRA ranks.

“We’re very excited, especially being back here at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals here in Englishtown,” Brown said in a NHRA media release. “It feels good to be back in front of all of our family and all of our friends and right now our car has been running exceptionally well.

“We’re getting the bugs worked out of it and we’re still growing with our combinations. We’re looking forward to tomorrow and we’re ready to get after it.”

J.R. Todd was the No. 2 qualifier (3.727 seconds, 319.52 mph), while Tony Schumacher will start No. 3 (3.736, 323.66).

In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon jumped to the top of the charts, earning his 60th No. 1 spot and sixth in his career at Raceway Park with a run of 3.967 seconds at 306.53 mph.

The two-time champ is also seeking to repeat last year’s win at Englishtown.

“It never ceases to amaze me how much you have to change the set-up of the car when the sun’s out on the track and there’s not as much grip,” Pedregon said. “It’s a double-edged sword to have a car that runs a 3.96. It takes a lot to do that and on the other hand, it takes a lot to slow it down. We have to find it tomorrow because tomorrow is the real deal.”

Chad Head is the No. 2 qualifier (3.996 seconds at 308.78 mph), while last year’s Englishtown runner-up, Del Worsham, qualified No. 3 (3.998, 314.53).

In Pro Stock, veteran driver Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) somewhat went back in time, earned his 76th career No. 1 qualifying spot – but his first since August 2010 (Seattle) – with a run of 6.479 seconds at 214.76 mph.

Anderson is looking to extend his Englishtown track record of five wins to six in Sunday’s eliminations. If victorious, it would be his second win this season.

“I’m just thrilled,” Anderson said. “It’s been four years since I’ve had a No. 1 qualifying spot. My car just keeps getting better every race we go to.”

Drew Skillman is the No. 2 qualifier (6.486 seconds at 214.38 mph), while defending champion and points leader Erica Enders (6.500 seconds at 213.60 mph) will start Sunday No. 3.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Chip Ellis (6.801 seconds, 197.16 mph) will start eliminations from the No. 1 spot for the 14th time in his career – and his first No. 1 since 2008 (Memphis).

“From the very first run I made on the bike I knew it had a lot of horsepower,” Ellis said. “The competition is so tough out here, if you look at what you have to run to even qualify this weekend, it’s crazy. It’s tough.

“We were just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that PiranaZ bike pulled us through and it did. So we’re ecstatic.”

Jerry Savoie qualified No. 2 (6.804 seconds, 197.13 mph), while Hector Arana Sr., who won two weeks ago at Atlanta, qualified No. 4.


Top Fuel: 1. Antron Brown, 3.725 seconds, 319.52 mph  vs. 16. Jenna Haddock, 4.200, 307.02; 2. J.R. Todd, 3.727, 324.05  vs. 15. Terry McMillen, 3.956, 311.49; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.736, 323.66 vs. 14. Morgan Lucas, 3.857, 303.30; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.736, 321.04  vs. 13. Dave Connolly, 3.813, 313.80; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.737, 324.12  vs. 12. Larry Dixon, 3.805, 313.07; 6. Brittany Force, 3.747, 322.50  vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.784, 320.89; 7. Spencer Massey, 3.751, 321.88  vs. 10. Clay Millican, 3.769, 320.36; 8. Steve Torrence, 3.765, 318.92  vs. 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.766, 322.73.

Funny Car: 1. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 3.967, 309.98  vs. 16. John Hale, Dodge Charger, 5.556, 303.09; 2. Chad Head, Camry, 3.996, 308.78  vs. 15. Dom Lagana, Toyota Solara, 5.049, 263.62; 3. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.998, 314.53  vs. 14. Jeff Diehl, Solara, 4.321, 266.85; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.999, 315.05  vs. 13. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.086, 305.49; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.003, 315.27  vs. 12. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.081, 307.37; 6. Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.003, 310.63  vs. 11. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.070, 312.13; 7. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.004, 313.73  vs. 10. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.046, 302.75; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.005, 305.84  vs. 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.015, 313.58.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 10.104, 119.32.

Pro Stock: 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.479, 214.76  vs. 16. Val Smeland, Chevy Cobalt, 6.744, 206.39; 2. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.486, 214.38  vs. 15. John Gaydosh Jr, Pontiac GXP, 6.642, 209.79; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.500, 213.60  vs. 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Avenger, 6.615, 210.50; 4. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.502, 213.91  vs. 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.566, 211.10; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.504, 214.04  vs. 12. V. Gaines, Dodge Dart, 6.554, 212.76; 6. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.512, 214.14  vs. 11. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.534, 212.69; 7. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.521, 213.23  vs. 10. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.525, 212.83; 8. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.521, 212.23 vs. 9. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.524, 213.27.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Randy Peters, 6.821, 201.52.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.801, 197.16  vs. 16. Angie Smith, Victory, 6.946, 189.47; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.804, 197.13  vs. 15. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 6.930, 194.83; 3. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.815, 199.35  vs. 14. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.908, 195.45; 4. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.820, 196.36  vs. 13. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.906, 193.60; 5. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.835, 198.41  vs. 12. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.891, 195.62; 6. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.846, 199.37  vs. 11. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.877, 196.44; 7. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.856, 194.07  vs. 10. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.871, 195.00; 8. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.862, 197.05  vs. 9. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.864, 193.63.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Chaz Kennedy, 7.013, 188.81; 18. Lance Bonham, 7.611, 180.91.

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Kyle Larson wins third consecutive High Limit Sprint race at Eagle Raceway, Rico Abreu second again

Larson High Limit Eagle
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It took four attempts for Kyle Larson to win his first High Limit Sprint Car Series race in the series he co-owns with brother-in-law Brad Sweet, but once he found victory lane, he has been undefeated with his win at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway. For the second week, Abreu led early only to fall prey to Larson.

The win was Larson’s third straight victory and the fifth consecutive top-five, giving him a perfect sweep of the season after finishing 10th in last year’s inaugural race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana.

Larson started third behind Abreu and Brent Marks but was embroiled in a fierce battle with Anthony Macri for third during the first dozen laps. Larson slipped by Macri in traffic until a red flag waved for a flip by Lachlan McHugh.

Meanwhile at the front of the pack, Marks retook the lead from Abreu on Lap 18. Larson followed one lap later and then caution waved again. Tyler Courtney lost power and fell to 24th after starting eighth.

Marks scooted away on the restart but tragedy struck in Lap 26. Leading the race, Marks hit a pothole in Turn 1, bicycled and then flipped, handing the lead to Larson.

Abreu caught Larson again during the final laps and in a reprise of their battle at Tri-City Speedway, the two threw sliders at one another for several laps until Larson built some separation and ran away to the checkers.

“I didn’t feel like my pace in [Turns] 1 & 2 slowed down a ton,” Larson said from victory lane. “I missed it once there and then I saw his nose in 3 & 4. I didn’t know if he nailed the bottom that well behind me and I think he might have slid me in the next corner, so he was definitely on the top.

“I was nervous to move up there because my car was really pogoing up in the entry of 1. I got up just in time, made a few mistakes and he threw a couple more sliders at me but he was just a little too far back and I was able to squirt around him. Then I really had to commit to hitting my marks – back my effort down a bit to avoid mistakes.”

After leading early, Abreu fell back as far as sixth, but faith in his car kept hope alive.

“I just needed to do a few things a few laps before I did and fix some angles, then my car got a whole lot better,” Abreu said. “I’m thankful for this team; they do an amazing job. They don’t give up on me. I know my car is going to be there right at the end of these races, so it’s just the discipline of being patient.”

For Abreu, it was his third near-miss this season. He was leading at Lakeside in the 2023 opener until a tire went flat in the closing laps and he lost the lead to Larson late in the Tri-City Speedway race. Abreu has finished sixth or better in his last three High Limit races with each result being progressively better until his pair of runner-up results.

Third-place finisher Scelzi was the hard charger, advancing from 17th.

“I had a very specific plan; don’t go near [the hole in Turn 1],” Scelzi said. “It worked out. No one wanted to start on the top. I think I gained a couple of rows there on the choose cone and ran the middle, which seemed to be better than right around the bottom.”

Michael “Buddy” Kofoid in fourth and Macri rounded out the top five.

World of Outlaws star and former NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne was one of 41 entrants, but he was not among the 26 starters. He failed to advance to the Main after finishing eighth in the B Main and seventh in his heat.

Feature Results

A Feature (40 Laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson[4]; 2. 24-Rico Abreu[1]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[17]; 4. 71-Michael Kofoid[5]; 5. 39M-Anthony Macri[3]; 6. 9-Chase Randall[9]; 7. 26-Zeb Wise[14]; 8. 1X-Jake Bubak[15]; 9. 8-Aaron Reutzel[10]; 10. 14D-Corey Day[18]; 11. 11-Cory Eliason[12]; 12. 5T-Ryan Timms[11]; 13. 88-Austin McCarl[13]; 14. 21H-Brady Bacon[22]; 15. 48-Danny Dietrich[16]; 16. 7S-Robbie Price[19]; 17. 21-Brian Brown[23]; 18. 22-Riley Goodno[26]; 19. 52-Blake Hahn[25]; 20. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[21]; 21. 3J-Dusty Zomer[6]; 22. 14-Cole Macedo[7]; 23. 19-Brent Marks[2]; 24. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[8]; 25. 25-Lachlan McHugh[20]; 26. 53-Jack Dover[24]

2023 High Limit Sprint Car Series

Race 1: Giovanni Scelzi wins at Lakeside Speedway
Race2: Anthony Macri wins at 34 Raceway
Race 3: Kyle Larson wins at Wayne County Speedway
Race 4: Kyle Larson wins at Tri-City Speedway