Mopar Desert Domination  

The Mopar racing brand enjoyed tremendous success during NHRA’s Arizona Nationals near Phoenix as both the fuel Funny Car and Pro Stock final rounds featured nothing but brand cars….. 

Jack Beckman (Dodge Charger Funny Car) and Vincent Nobile (Dodge Avenger Pro Stock) earned huge victories while Full Throttle Championship contenders Larry Dixon (Top Fuel) and Hector Arana III (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also emerged as winners.

Beckman raced to his third Firebird International Raceway win and took over the Funny Car points lead as racing came to a close Sunday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.  Beckman powered his Aaron’s / Valvoline Dodge Charger to a 4.354-second run at 278.29 mph in the final round to get the victory over fellow Don Schumacher Racing teammate Johnny Gray. The win, his second consecutive in Phoenix and 12th of his career, moved Beckman into the points lead for the first time in his career.  

A very timely win has put Jack Beckman into the overall FC points lead -- with two NHRA events remaining this season

“It’s hard to digest everything that happened here today,” said Beckman. “I’ve always said I want to control our destiny on the racetrack, but being three rounds behind with 12 left, (Mike) Neff and (Matt) Hagan had to lose relatively early to put us back in the hunt, and you can never bet on that because those are two phenomenal teams. For everything to happen the way it happened today, I’m not so gratified that I’m the points leader, I’m gratified that we got ourselves back into the championship hunt. It’s going to be interesting.”  

Beckman’s teammate and points leader entering this event, Hagan, moved into the second spot in the standings with his second round finish, five points out of the lead. Regular season points leader Neff moved to the third spot in the standings with his first round loss to John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight. 

Defending Top Fuel world champion Dixon held off Antron Brown in the final round to collect his second win of the season. Dixon drove his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to a 3.955 at 307.37 run en route to his third win in five final round appearances at Firebird International Raceway. The win also moved Dixon to the second spot in the standings, 20 points behind the leader.

Larry Dixon won for the 2nd time this year in Top Fuel

“It’s been a long time since we won,” said Dixon. “You never know when you’re going to get the next one. Antron does such a great job in the car, and (his crew chiefs) Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) had their car running really well. Obviously, (my crew chiefs) Jason (McCulloch) and Ronnie (Thompson) didn’t take them lightly. We made our best run in the final round; we needed every bit of it. It was really nice to go some rounds today and get back in this points deal. It’s nice to win, but to have a shot at a championship is a big deal, a really big deal.”

Though Brown was unable to hold on for the race win, his final round appearance moved him into the points lead while teammate Spencer Massey dropped to third in the standings after he failed to qualify for the event. Regular season points leader Del Worsham sits fourth in the standings after his second round appearance.

In Pro Stock, rookie driver Nobile held off fellow Dodge driver and teammate Allen Johnson in the final round to secure his third race win of the season. Nobile powered his Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger to a 6.678 at 208.30 and posted a reaction time of .009 to beat Johnson on a holeshot. The win moved Nobile up to the third spot in the point standings.

For the rookie sensation, who has been lauded this year for his lightning-quick reaction times, it was his third win of the 2011 season.  

“This is amazing,” said Nobile. “We’ve struggled at the last couple of races and coming here, we knew we needed to pull together and get ourselves back on track. I knew we could do it, and we proved it today. [The team] supplied me with a fast car, and I did my job. It just proves that if you keep your head up that you can win races.”

Rookie Pro Stock sensation Vincent Nobile -- earned the 4th Pro Stock win of the season for Mopar in Pro Stock

“I owe so much to [team owners] Nick and Irene Mitsos, to my parents, and the entire Mountain View team for all they’ve done for me this year.”

With the win, Nobile has leaped from fifth to third in the Full Throttle standings and now trails second-place Greg Anderson by just five points with two races remaining this season.

Hector Arana III is now near the top in PSM Championship points

In Pro Stock Motorcycle Arana Jr. raced to his second consecutive win and third of the season after he posted a perfect reaction time of .000 in the final round of the race. Arana powered his Lucas Oil Buell to a 6.884 at 194.30 past points leader Eddie Krawiec to collect the win in his third straight final round appearance. With the win, Arana Jr. sits 10 points behind leader Krawiec.

“I’m living a dream,” said Arana Jr., who along with Nobile is one of the candidates for theAuto Club Roadto the Future Award. “This is amazing. I couldn’t have thought of or imagined this. I really feel like I perform well when it comes down to the wire and the pressure is on me. And I feel like it gives me that extra edge, the energy and the drive to win.”

The next stop in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series  — is the 2nd to last race of the season – the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Oct. 27-30 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Pro Results courtesy of:  NHRA Communications — DragRaceCanada File photos by:  Bruce Biegler


EVENT ESSENTIALS:   NHRA Arizona Nationals – Oct. 14-16th, 2011 — Chandler, AZ            


TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Larry Dixon 3.955 307.37 62nd
R/UP: Antron Brown 3.967 302.08  
Low ET: Larry Dixon 3.919    
Top Speed: Larry Dixon   307.37  
Bump Spot:   4.131    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Jack Beckman 4.354 278.29 12th
R/UP: Johnny Gray 5.870 120.67  
Low ET: Cruz Pedregon 4.215    
Top Speed: Cruz Pedregon   296.37  
Bump Spot:   4.411    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Vincent Nobile 6.678 208.30 3rd
R/UP: Allen Johnson 6.655 209.49  
Low ET: Mike Edwards 6.612    
Top Speed: Mike Edwards   210.28  
Bump Spot:   6.714    
Winner: Hector Arana III 6.884 194.30 3rd
R/UP: Eddie Krawiec 6.944 194.27  
Low ET: Hector Arana III 6.883    
Top Speed: Hector Arana III   195.79  
Bump Spot:   7.115    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Class Winners: Name ET MPH  
Top Dragster Tony Jardino 6.829 196.39  
Top Sportsman Ray Martin 8.346 113.30  
Super Stock Ryan McClanahan 9.905 100.51  
Stock Randi Lyn Shipp 10.80 119.78  
Super Comp Steve Williams 8.898 185.38  
Super Gas Steve Casner 9.918 164.39  
Super Street Chris DePascale 10.94 128.36