Photo: Ron Lewis/John Force Racing. Videos courtesy NHRA

NHRA: Brown, Hight, Line and Hines are No. 1 qualifiers for Sunday’s finals at Texas

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If conditions remain the same as Saturday’s final two rounds of qualifying, Sunday’s eliminations of the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex could see one of the quickest race days this season.

And the end result at the track south of Dallas could also go a long way towards potentially determining some of this season’s eventual champions.

Defending and two-time champion Antron Brown qualified No. 1 in Top Fuel Saturday, along with Robert Hight (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

In Top Fuel, Brown set a track record during Friday’s qualifying (3.682 seconds at 330.55 mph) that held up during Saturday’s two rounds. It’s the 47th time Brown has qualified No. 1, his third of the season and the first of his career at Texas Motorplex. He also remains No. 1 in the Top Fuel standings.

“We’ve been racing good in the Countdown but we haven’t been getting those qualifying points like we need to,” said Brown, who will face 84-year-old racer Chris Karamasines in the first round of eliminations Sunday.

“A lot of these teams have been racking up on us,” Brown said. “To come here and to qualify the way we have has been phenomenal. We just hope that can carry over to race day. That’s where all the points are at. Right now, I couldn’t be happier for my whole team.”

Leah Pritchett (3.698 seconds at 327.43 mph) qualified No. 2, while eight-time Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher (3.705 at 326.71) qualified No. 3.

In Funny Car, Hight held on to the No. 1 qualifying spot and track record he recorded Friday night (3.839 seconds – the third-quickest pass in Funny Car history – at a stout 332.02 mph).

Hight will face Brandon Welch in Sunday’s first round.

“To come out here to Texas, my sponsor’s race, and make four runs in the 3.80s, that shows we’ve got it going on,” said Hight, a two-time past winner at Texas. “My teammates are running 3.80s and we’re right at the top. It’s exciting to have a qualifying like this, but tomorrow is a new day. We’ve been having problems with sealing the deal on Sunday. It’ll be a tough match tomorrow.”

Jack Beckman qualified No. 2 (3.483 seconds at a track record speed of 333.66 mph), while Tommy Johnson Jr. qualified No. 3 (3.847 at 325.06).

In Pro Stock, two-time world champion Line earned his No. 1 qualifying spot this season and 48th of his career with a Saturday run of 6.568 seconds at 210.34 mph.

Line comes into Sunday’s first round match against Alan Prusiensky seeking a ninth win (he also has five runner-up finishes).

“Everybody is close,” Line said. “It really comes down to just making the best decision. It’s like a big chess match. I think we had a good day using all three (Ken Black Racing) cars, and we used them wisely today. We learned some things and hopefully all three cars are good for tomorrow.”

Teammate Greg Anderson qualified No. 2 (6.579 at 210.11), while Alex Laughlin qualified No. 3.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Savoie earned his first No. 1 spot of the season and sixth of the season with a run of 6.805 seconds at 197.31 mph.

It’s also the second time he’s qualified No. 1 in his career at Texas Motorplex, where he is the defending winner of this event last year. He’ll open Sunday’s eliminations facing Joe DeSantis.

“At this point in the game it is really important to get as many points as you can,” said Savoie, who makes his full-time living as an alligator farmer in Louisiana. “I don’t know if I’m more excited about being No. 1 or to win a race.

“It’s a good weekend and Dallas is my home track now since we don’t run in Houston. After our showing last year, hopefully we can repeat it and have some fun.”

Five-time and defending PSM champ Andrew Hines, who won at Texas in 2014, qualified No. 2 (6.811 at 195.90), while teammate Eddie Krawiec qualified No. 3.

Sunday’s eliminations begin at Noon ET.

SUNDAY’S FIRST ROUND OF ELIMINATIONS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Antron Brown, 3.682 seconds, 330.55 mph  vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, 4.213, 232.31; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.698, 327.82  vs. 15. Scott Palmer, 3.929, 311.41; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.705, 326.71  vs. 14. Kebin Kinsley, 3.921, 311.85; 4. J.R. Todd, 3.723, 324.90  vs. 13. Troy Buff, 3.911, 314.02; 5. Brittany Force, 3.727, 325.37  vs. 12. Terry McMillen, 3.835, 309.84; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.729, 324.67  vs. 11. Larry Dixon, 3.767, 320.81; 7. Steve Torrence, 3.737, 327.43  vs. 10. Clay Millican, 3.746, 321.04; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.741, 322.42  vs. 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.745, 326.00.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 6.365, 184.98.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.839, 332.02  vs. 16. Brandon Welch, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.040, 158.39; 2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.843, 333.66  vs. 15. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 4.035, 298.54; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.847, 325.06  vs. 14. John Hale, Charger, 4.032, 308.78; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.851, 331.85  vs. 13. John Bojec, Toyota Camry, 3.988, 315.49; 5. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.854, 324.05  vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.952, 284.99; 6. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.857, 327.98  vs. 11. Chad Head, Camry, 3.923, 328.06; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.864, 323.81  vs. 10. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.919, 322.19; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.867, 330.39 vs. 9. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.911, 322.65.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Todd Simpson, broke.

PRO STOCK: 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.568, 210.34  vs. 16. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.775, 205.54; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.579, 210.11  vs. 15. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.748, 207.75; 3. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.586, 210.73  vs. 14. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.686, 207.24; 4. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.591, 209.98  vs. 13. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.684, 207.72; 5. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 209.39  vs. 12. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.648, 207.98; 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.594, 210.34  vs. 11. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.641, 208.36; 7. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.610, 209.49  vs. 10. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.631, 208.46; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.612, 209.26  vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.614, 210.67.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.805, 197.31  vs. 16. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 6.961, 192.69; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.811, 195.90  vs. 15. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.947, 192.19; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.821, 195.76  vs. 14. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.935, 194.35; 4. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.853, 195.39  vs. 13. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.916, 194.91; 5. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.863, 194.60  vs. 12. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.914, 191.02; 6. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.863, 195.79  vs. 11. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.905, 194.77; 7. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.868, 194.24  vs. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.889, 193.99; 8. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.872, 192.96  vs. 9. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.879, 194.46.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Angie Smith, 6.986, 191.19; 18. John Hall, 7.011, 189.39; 19. Mike Berry, 7.044, 187.11; 20. David Hope, 7.113, 183.79; 21. Lance Bonham, 7.222, 183.49; 22. Gunner Courtney, 7.264, 184.95.

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INDYCAR: How to watch the Bommarito 500

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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The NTT IndyCar Series is racing just outside of St. Louis this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway Gateway.

The last oval race of the season, tonight’s  Bommarito Auto Motive Group promises to bring plenty of high-speed, high-stakes racing action under the lights.

Series point leader Josef Newgarden will start tonight’s race from the pole position, with Sebastian Bourdais starting alongside him in row one.

By winning the pole, Newgarden gained an additional championship point, which extends his lead over Alexander Rossi to 36 points.

Rossi start’s tonight’s race from the 11th position after an uncharacteristically poor qualifying run for the No. 27 team, while Simon Pagenaud (third in the standings, 41 points behind) will start from the fourth position and Scott Dixon (fourth in the standings, 53 points behind) will start from eighth.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 8/24, 4:20 p.m. ET, Indy Lights race, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 8/24, 8 p.m. ET, Bommarito Automotive Group 500, NBCSN and streaming live 

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