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NHRA: Brown closes in on Top Fuel title; other Texas winners — Hagan, Skillman, Krawiec

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Antron Brown moved a big step closer to capturing his second consecutive Top Fuel championship and third in the last five seasons with a win in Sunday’s AAA Texas FallNationals.

Others capturing wins Sunday were Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) in the 22nd event of 24 on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Brown essentially won from start to finish, taking his No. 1 qualifying position and riding it all the way to victory lane. Brown (3.744 seconds at 321.12 mph) defeated Steve Torrence (3.750 at 323.12) in the final round to take home his 61st career win, seventh this season and third at Texas Motorplex.

“We had a great drag race out there,” Brown said. “It could’ve went either way. We were both close on the tree, but we snuck one out there.

“Nobody is blowing people out anymore. The only way you win is by inches. To win that final was monumental for our team. We needed to do that. We’re still not done working yet.”

Even though he says nobody is blowing people out anymore, Brown is doing just that: he now has a 150-point lead over second-ranked Doug Kalitta with just two races remaining (Oct. 27-30 in Las Vegas, and the season finale, Nov. 10-13 in Pomona, California).

And with a maximum of 260 points remaining to be earned in the last two races, Brown also saw two (Richie Crampton and Clay Millican) of the nine drivers chasing him eliminated from further advancement in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.

In Funny Car, former two-time champion Hagan won Sunday’s final round, but points leader Ron Capps remains in charge as he closes in on his first career championship.

Hagan (3.913 seconds at 327.03 mph) held off Capps (3.906 at 322.19) by getting the advantage at the starting line and rode it all the way to the finish line.

It was Hagan’s fourth win of the season, the 22nd of his career and second at Dallas (also won in 2010). While Hagan moved into third in the standings, he’s still 88 points behind Capps, who also increased his edge over second-ranked Tommy Johnson Jr. from 24 to 64 points.

“That was a huge round,” Hagan said. “It’s just unfortunate that we’re facing [Capps] so late in rounds. In Reading I had him in the semi’s and he spanked me on the tree, and this time I was able to get a little payback.”

Capps, who became the 15th driver in NHRA history to reach 100 final rounds in his career, has not finished any lower than the semifinals in each of the first four races of the six-race Countdown.

And while it would seem Capps is in the driver’s seat for the championship, Hagan isn’t giving up.

“I actually try to minimize everything out of my control and just focus on leaving on time, keeping it in the groove, and turning on the win light, and let the rest take care of itself,” Hagan said. “We can’t worry about who might mess up or how many rounds someone might go; we just need to do the best job we can and turn on as many win lights as we can.”

Alexis DeJoria, who upset John Force in the first round Sunday, was officially eliminated from the Countdown.

In Pro Stock, Skillman (6.661 seconds at 209.36 mph) defeated non-Countdown driver Alex Laughlin (6.708 at 208.30) to earn his second win of the season and third of his career.

“We have struggled so badly with this race car,” Skillman said. “We were lost, and going into the Countdown that’s the worst time of the year to be lost.

“We had some luck on our side this weekend. I drove decent, and the car at least went. We’re going the right direction, I think. We need to test again. We’re going to get back out there. We’re going to hit these last two races hard, so that’s where we’re going to go.”

While Jason Line and teammate Greg Anderson remain 1-2 in the Pro Stock standings heading to Las Vegas, two drivers were eliminated from further advancement in the Countdown: five-time champion Jeg Coughlin and two-time defending Pro Stock Erica Enders.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec not only won, he took over the points lead from teammate, defending PSM champ and five-time champion Andrew Hines.

Krawiec (6.880 seconds at 196.36 mph) defeated Louisiana alligator farmer Jerry Savoie (6.856 at 196.76) in the final round. It was Krawiec’s fifth win of the season, 36th of his career and second at Texas Motorplex.

“Anytime you’ve got to race [Savoie], you’ve got to be focused,” said Krawiec, who is chasing his fourth career PSM championship. “As a matter of fact, you have to be focused for just about anybody out there.

“When you look at this category as a whole right now, it’s some of the best racing that there could be. You see LE (Tonglet) came up from nowhere and took Andrew out, then I’ve got to run him, and we run almost neck and neck with each other.

“You have to be on your game every single round here, no matter who you’re racing and who’s in that other lane.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle is the only class that has not seen any Countdown contestants eliminated yet.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

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

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

PRO STOCK: 1.  Drew Skillman; 2.  Alex Laughlin; 3.  Greg Anderson; 4.  Shane Gray; 5.  Jason Line; 6.  Bo Butner; 7.  Shane Tucker; 8.  Allen Johnson; 9.  Jeg Coughlin; 10.  Deric Kramer; 11.  Aaron Strong; 12.  Vincent Nobile; 13.  Erica Enders; 14.  Kenny Delco; 15.  Chris McGaha; 16.  Alan Prusiensky.

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

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FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Antron Brown, 3.744 seconds, 321.12 mph  def. Steve Torrence, 3.750 seconds, 323.12 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.913, 327.03  def. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.906, 322.19.

PRO STOCK: Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.661, 209.36  def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.708, 208.30.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.880, 196.36  def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.856, 196.76.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Doug Kalitta, 3.715, 325.30 def. Richie Crampton, 4.815, 166.31; Brittany Force, 3.721, 325.69 def. Terry McMillen, 3.919, 307.16; Tony Schumacher, 3.720, 327.11 def. Kebin Kinsley, 3.963, 249.12; Antron Brown, 3.709, 325.53 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.705, 162.25; Leah Pritchett, 3.955, 232.55 def. Scott Palmer, 3.967, 307.44; Shawn Langdon, 3.725, 327.98 def. Larry Dixon, 3.786, 319.60; J.R. Todd, 3.723, 324.36 def. Troy Buff, 3.849, 313.58; Steve Torrence, 3.713, 327.43 def. Clay Millican, 6.269, 100.24; QUARTERFINALS — Todd, 3.724, 323.12 def. Force, 4.181, 245.00; Langdon, 3.756, 322.65 def. Schumacher, 3.751, 322.73; Torrence, 3.736, 314.61 def. Pritchett, 4.173, 246.93; Brown, 3.729, 320.74 def. Kalitta, 3.765, 327.19; SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.737, 325.92 def. Langdon, 3.765, 324.90; Brown, 3.731, 319.52 def. Todd, 3.849, 279.90; FINAL — Brown, 3.744, 321.12 def. Torrence, 3.750, 323.12.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.866, 329.99 def. Brandon Welch, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.451, 133.33; Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.908, 325.92 def. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.020, 308.21; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.932, 312.57 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.070, 308.64; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.888, 330.63 def. John Bojec, Toyota Camry, 4.023, 288.95; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.894, 324.20 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.959, 322.81; Del Worsham, Camry, 3.909, 328.14 def. Chad Head, Camry, 3.924, 323.74; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.859, 325.92 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 5.278, 147.04; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.922, 324.36 def. John Force, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; QUARTERFINALS — Worsham, 3.907, 324.75 def. Johnson Jr., 4.036, 291.82; Capps, 3.964, 300.26 def. Beckman, 3.938, 320.51; Hight, 3.885, 329.83 def. DeJoria, 3.918, 326.00; Hagan, 3.896, 329.34 def. C. Force, Foul – Red Light; SEMIFINALS — Capps, 3.904, 321.35 def. Worsham, 3.900, 327.11; Hagan, 3.899, 327.19 def. Hight, 4.686, 171.38; FINAL — Hagan, 3.913, 327.03 def. Capps, 3.906, 322.19.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.630, 209.10 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.743, 204.63; Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.648, 207.66 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.683, 207.08; Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.675, 207.53 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.669, 208.81; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.608, 209.56 def. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.668, 206.80; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.607, 209.46 def. Erica Enders, Dart, Foul – Red Light; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.620, 209.01 def. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.658, 207.21; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.602, 209.17 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, Foul – Red Light; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.622, 208.33 def. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.658, 208.10; QUARTERFINALS — Laughlin, 6.668, 208.39 def. Tucker, 6.709, 207.69; Gray, 6.626, 209.10 def. Butner, 6.691, 207.56; Anderson, 6.623, 208.91 def. Johnson, 7.762, 124.48; Skillman, 6.647, 208.91 def. Line, 6.632, 208.84; SEMIFINALS — Skillman, 6.670, 209.04 def. Gray, 6.681, 209.33; Laughlin, 6.637, 208.59 def. Anderson, 6.659, 209.14; FINAL — Skillman, 6.661, 209.36 def. Laughlin, 6.708, 208.30.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.854, 194.91 def. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.879, 194.94 def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.958, 193.85; Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.163, 162.06 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, Foul – Red Light; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.897, 193.93 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.944, 193.10; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.843, 196.30 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.924, 193.46; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.810, 196.36 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Matt Smith, 6.893, 194.35 def. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.926, 190.43; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.847, 195.70 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.898, 194.02; QUARTERFINALS — Savoie, 6.853, 195.36 def. M. Smith, 6.958, 191.05; Sampey, 6.923, 193.18 def. Ellis, Foul – Red Light; Krawiec, 6.873, 195.62 def. Arana, 6.976, 194.16; Tonglet, 6.877, 195.39 def. Hines, 6.864, 195.59; SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.892, 195.48 def. Sampey, 6.946, 192.00; Krawiec, 6.905, 194.60 def. Tonglet, 6.944, 192.33; FINAL — Krawiec, 6.880, 196.36 def. Savoie, 6.856, 196.76.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Antron Brown, 2,504; 2.  Doug Kalitta, 2,354; 3.  Shawn Langdon, 2,332; 4.  Brittany Force, 2,313; 5.  Steve Torrence, 2,307; 6.  Tony Schumacher, 2,295; 7.  J.R. Todd, 2,260; 8.  Leah Pritchett, 2,250; 9.  Richie Crampton, 2,195; 10.  Clay Millican, 2,168.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Ron Capps, 2,465; 2.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,401; 3.  Matt Hagan, 2,377; 4.  Jack Beckman, 2,334; 5.  Del Worsham, 2,320; 6.  Robert Hight, 2,278; 7.  John Force, 2,267; 8.  Courtney Force, 2,238; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 2,228; 10.  Alexis DeJoria, 2,151.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Jason Line, 2,454; 2.  Greg Anderson, 2,428; 3.  Vincent Nobile, 2,340; 4.  Shane Gray, 2,320; 5.  Bo Butner, 2,314; 6.  Drew Skillman, 2,269; 7.  Chris McGaha, 2,222; 8.  Allen Johnson, 2,213; 9.  Jeg Coughlin, 2,146; 10.  Erica Enders, 2,135.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 2,425; 2.  Andrew Hines, 2,408; 3.  Jerry Savoie, 2,376; 4.  Angelle Sampey, 2,365; 5.  Chip Ellis, 2,328; 6.  LE Tonglet, 2,288; 7.  Cory Reed, 2,229; 8.  Hector Arana, 2,211; 9.  Matt Smith, 2,202; 10.  Hector Arana Jr, 2,183.

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IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold