Intensity at Indy!

Call it what you want – NHRA’s Mac Tools U.S. Nationals — remains the single most demanding and sought after title in all of drag racing.  The 2011 edition (57th annual version) was another hard fought affair with only the true titans of the sport surviving…..

EVENT ESSENTIALS:   57th Annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals – Aug. 31st > Sept. 5th 2011 

Antron Brown won for the 3rd time at Indy -- but the 1st time in Top Fuel

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Antron Brown 3.813 321.73 30th
R/UP: Del Worsham 3.830 320.43  
Low ET: Larry Dixon 3.813    
Top Speed: Del Worsham   323.04  
Bump Spot:   3.936    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Mike Neff 4.068 314.61 5th
R/UP: Bob Tasca III 4.147 278.00  
Low ET: Cruz Pedregon 4.026    
Top Speed: Jack Beckman   315.19  
Bump Spot:   4.195    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Greg Anderson 6.552 210.50 70th
R/UP: Jason Line 6.538 210.83  
Low ET: Jason Line 6.538    
Top Speed: Greg Anderson   211.03  
Bump Spot:   6.674    
Winner: Hector Arana III 6.867 192.60 1st
R/UP: Gerald Savoie 7.005 189.36  
Low ET: Hector Arana III 6.867    
Top Speed: Andrew Hines   193.90  
Bump Spot:        
GSA PRO MOD Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Eric Dillard 5.830 253.99 1st
R/UP: Mike Castellana 6.004 239.65  
Low ET: Eric Dillard 5.830    
Top Speed: Eric Dillard   253.99  
Bump Spot:   6.078    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Class Winners: Name ET MPH  
TA Dragster Bill Reichert 5.322 266.59  
TA Funny Car Frank Manzo 5.494 264.55  
Competition Jirka Kaplan 6.951 211.63  
Super Stock Shane Carr 8.542 155.29  
Stock Jeff Teuton 11.05 107.71  
Super Comp Brian Folk 8.945 161.40  
Super Gas Ryan Herem 9.902 149.03  


 NHRA Pro Racing Summary

 (Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

Antron Brown raced to his third Lucas Oil Raceway win Monday as racing came to an end at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.  

Mike Neff, Greg Anderson and Hector Arana Jr. were also winners in their respective categories at the final race of the regular season before the start of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, the six-race playoffs to determine the world championships.

Force & Neff on ESPN Pre-Race Program

Brown became the first driver to win the historic event in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle when he powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.813-second run at 321.73 mph. The final round performance was enough to get past Del Worsham and secure his fifth win of the season and 30th of his career.

“Words cannot describe how this feels,” said Brown. “To come here and win at Indy, the biggest stage in drag racing, means so much. It just goes back to my childhood dream and sitting under those grandstands as a kid and saying ‘I want to do that one day.’ It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.”

With the final regular season race complete, the Top Fuel field is set for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. Worsham secured his No. 1 spot in the point standings during qualifying, while Kalitta Racing driver David Grubnic locked down the 10th and final spot after both Terry McMillen and Bob Vandergriff lost in the second round.

In Funny Car, Mike Neff drove his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang past Bob Tasca to secure his first Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win. Neff posted a run of 4.068 at 314.61 in the final round to take his fifth win of the season and sixth of his career. It was also John Force Racing’s fifth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win in the past six seasons.

FC points leader Mike Neff won for the 5th time this season

“This is the big one, the one you dream about,” said Neff. “It’s huge to win here. I’ve never won here as a driver or a crew chief so to be able to do it here as both was great. It probably hasn’t even sunk in yet.”

Neff secured his top spot in the Funny Car standings for the Countdown to the Championship during qualifying, while runner-up Tasca clinched the 10th and final spot after Johnny Gray lost in the first round to Daniel Wilkerson.

Pro Stock points leader Anderson continued his domination at Lucas Oil Raceway when he held off teammate Jason Line to earn his sixth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win. Anderson and his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP posted a final-round run of 6.552 at 210.50 to get his fifth win of the season and 70th of his career. It was also his fourth win in the past six races.

“I feel like it’s my first and biggest win ever,” said Anderson. “Every time it happens up here it’s just special; it’s just magic. I love this place. I think some of the other racers might miss out on how important it is and what it means to race here. There’s so much history here. It’s just everything about drag racing.”

Greg Anderson (far lane) and his teammate Jason Line dominated Pro Stock at Indy

While Anderson locked up his No. 1 spot in the Countdown to the Championship, Ron Krisher secured the 10th and final spot when 11th-place driver Ronnie Humphrey lost to Allen Johnson in the second round.

Arana Jr. raced to his first career win in Pro Stock Motorcycle when he held off Jerry Savoie in the final round. Arana Jr. rode his Lucas Oil Buell to a 6.867 at 192.60 to take the win in his second consecutive final round appearance for the season.

Hector Arana III won for the first time in PSM

“It has not sunk in on me yet,” said Arana Jr. “This is the biggest race of the year and I won it in my rookie year. For all my family, this is a hometown event and it just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Arana III, who qualified #4 had defeated Angie Smith, LE Tonglet and Chip Ellis while advancing to the final round. 

His final round ET of 6.867 secs was also Low of the event.

Darkhorse Dillard Wins in GSA Pro Mod

Posted by:  Bruce Biegler

The NHRA’s Get Screened America Pro Mod Series produced some amazing results at Indianapolis – not the least of which was its victor.

Eric Dillard, from Georgia and who was racing in his first career start in the class – was an unexpected winner on Monday.  

GSA Pro Mod winner Eric Dillard with car owner Roger Burgess

Dillard was driving a spectacular new turbocharged R2B2 Race Cars built ’12 Mustang which was debuted for this event.  In the championship final he charged past the nitrous-injected Camaro driven by Mike Castellana to a 5.830-second run at 253.99 mph to earn the victory.  

“It’s really hard to take it all in,” said Dillard. “I did some testing for Roger Burgess early in the year and he told me then that sometime this year I was going to get to race. He picked the U.S. Nationals, which you can’t do any better than that.”

Dillard, who qualified #5 rolled past Canada’s Kenny Lang, Rickie Smith’s all new ’12 Camaro and his teammate (and low qualifier) Melanie Troxel while enroute to the final round. 

His times were consistently impressive driving the Steve Petty tuned car while winning all those rounds.   He had consecutive laps of 5.863 – 5.845 and 5.847 secs. His final round time of 5.830 secs and 253.99 mph was in fact low ET and top speed of the event.

Kahlid Balooshi, from Doha, Qatar did keep his top spot in the point standings with a  second round event finish.  

Westcott(s) Prevail in Mopar Hemi Challenge

(Posted by:  Darren Jacobs)

Charlie Westcott Jr. continued his family’s dominance of the Mopar® HEMI® Challenge event at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, powering to his fourth career victory at the Indy race and banking the record $15,000 winner’s purse in a final-round fight with his father, Charlie Westcott Sr., at Lucas Oil Raceway during Friday’s event schedule.

Westcott Jr. swept the Mopar HEMI Challenge, which features Super Stock A/HEMI (SS/AH) 1968 Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas in head-to head-battle, also claiming the $1,000 bonus for seizing the No. 1 Qualifier spot in the 20-car field. He drove his 1968 “Warfish” Plymouth Barracuda to victories over Steve Kent, Chuck Comella and Gary Wolkwitz to set up a father-and-son battle with Westcott Sr., who dispatched of Rick Houser, Stephen Herbert and Wendell Howes on his road to the final.

The elder Westcott, winner of the 2009 Mopar HEMI Challenge U.S. Nationals event, gave his son a lesson off the starting line in the final, recording a 0.010 reaction time to Jr.’s tardier 0.103 mark. However, youth would win out at the finish line, as Westcott Jr. pulled away in the battle of ’68 Plymouth Barracudas with an 8.441-second run at 158.50 mph to his father’s 8.549/157.65 effort. Including Westcott Sr.’s $2,000 runner-up purse, the Westcott clan will take $18,000 and the Mopar HEMI Challenge trophy back to their home in Parma, Mich.

Charlie Westcott Jr (near lane) defeated his father during Friday's prestigous Mopar Hemi Challenge

“The heat has been killer, and we fought some issues with both our cars, but it ended up with me and my dad in the final,” said Westcott Jr., who also triumphed at the Mopar HEMI Challenge U.S. Nationals event in 2005-2006 and 2008. “We’ve got a good rivalry going; the last two times I ran him in a final he beat me and we race wide open.”

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler and Steve Embling

To view DragRaceCanada’s extensive U.S. Nationals event Photo Gallery click:  HERE