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Brown Wins All-Toyota Top Fuel Final In St. Louis

<img src=”/content/img/article/2013/Articles/09-29-2013-nhra.jpg” alt=”photo”>


Antron Brown defeated Khalid alBalooshi to win an all-Toyota Top Fuel final in today’s NHRA AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis.
Brown defeated Billy Torrence, Clay Millican and Tony Schumacher before knocking off alBalooshi in the finals to win for the second year in a row at Gateway. The victory is the third of the season for the 2012 Top Fuel world champion and his first since winning at Atlanta in May.

“It’s been tough, but we’re starting to get back in the zone,” said Brown, who drove a special Toyota-liveried racer. “We kept getting better every round out here. It’s really been a struggle, but we just kept pushing hard. There is still a lot of racing left – 3 races – and we just need to go out and knock a round or two off every race and we can still get back in this championship. This series is just so competitive. The top four all went out in the first two rounds today. There are no givens. You either bring your ‘A’ game or you go home.”
AlBalooshi advanced to the finals just a week after failing to qualify at Dallas. The Al-Anabi Racing Toyota driver beat Bob Vandergriff, Brittany Force and David Grubnic to reach the finals.
Shawn Langdon and Morgan Lucas both advanced to the second round today before falling – Lucas red-lighting in a match-up with Schumacher, while Langdon smoked the tires against David Grubnic after coming in as the number one qualifier. Brandon Bernstein lost in the first-round.

In Funny Cars, Del Worsham led the way for Toyota by advancing to the semi-finals for the second time in the last four races. The DHL Toyota driver defeated Johnny Gray and Courtney Force before losing a pedal-fest to Jack Beckman in the semi-finals. Alexis DeJoria, Cruz Pedregon, Tony Pedregon and Chad Head all lost in their opening round passes.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will conclude a four races in four weeks portion of the schedule next weekend in Reading, Penn., as Maple Grove Raceway plays host to the Auto-Plus Nationals, the fourth round of the Countdown to the Championship.

2013 Toyota Wins (15)
Top Fuel: Langdon (5), Pomona, Topeka, Englishtown, Sonoma, Indianapolis; Brown (3), Gainesville, Atlanta, St. Louis; AlBalooshi (1), Norwalk; Lucas (2), Seattle, Charlotte2;
Funny Car: C. Pedregon (4), LV1, Houston, Denver, Dallas

2013 Toyota #1 Qualifiers (14)
Top Fuel: Brown (2), LV1, Indy; Langdon (6), Charlotte1, Atlanta, Topeka, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis; Lucas (2) Chicago, Charlotte2;
Funny Car: C. Pedregon (3), Gainesville, Houston, Denver; Worsham (1), Bristol

Toyota Drivers Toyota St. Louis Results
Top Fuel Car Qual/Fin.
Antron Brown Toyota Matco Toyota Top Fuel Dragster 6/Winner
Khalid alBalooshi Al-Anabi Toyota Top Fuel Dragster 4/Finals
Shawn Langdon Al-Anabi Racing Toyota TF Dragster 1/Rd. 2
Morgan Lucas GEICO/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster 7/Rd. 2
Brandon Bernstein Toyota TF Dragster 12/Rd. 1
Funny Car Car Qual./Fin.
Del Worsham DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car 5/Semi
Alexis DeJoria Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car 9/Rd. 1
Cruz Pedregon Snap-on Toyota Camry Funny Car 10/Rd. 1
Tony Pedregon American Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car 13/Rd. 1

– Today’s win is the 40th of Antron Brown’s career – 24 of those coming in Top Fuel, 16 in Pro Stock Motorcycles. It’s his third of the season with the others coming at Gainesville and Atlanta. He also advanced to the finals at Las Vegas.

– Khalid alBalooshi has now advanced to the semi-finals or finals seven times this season with one win and two runner-up finishes to go with four semi-finals.

– Del Worsham advanced to the semi-finals today, marking the fifth time this season that he’s advanced to either the finals or semi-finals.

Top Fuel Drivers Championship POINTS POINTS BEHIND LEADER
1. Shawn Langdon 2317 0
4. Morgan Lucas 2272 -45
6. Antron Brown 2215 -102
8. Khalid alBalooshi 2192 -125
12. Brandon Bernstein 758 NA
Funny Car Drivers Championship
5. Cruz Pedregon 2253 -83
9. Del Worsham 2142 -194
12. Alexis DeJoria 834 NA
14. Tony Pedregon 650 NA
15. Chad Head 509 NA

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