GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Antron Brown raced to the Top Fuel victory at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals Sunday at historic Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, giving Don Schumacher Racing its 200th team win.
Johnny Gray (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the tradition-rich NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
One month after walking away from a spectacular high-speed crash at the season-opening race at Pomona, Calif., Brown powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.761 second run at 318.77 mph to finish in front of Clay Millican, who posted a 3.813 at 319.67 in his Parts-Plus dragster. It was defending world champion Brown’s 38th career victory and his first of the season.
“It’s a great team effort,” Brown said. “It felt good to bring that win home and hopefully we can put Pomona behind us and keep moving forward.”
Brown outran Larry Dixon, Steve Torrence and Spencer Massey in the first three rounds to advance to the final. He moved into the points lead, four up on second place Tony Schumacher, who lost in the opening round.
“To win you have to have every piece of the pie,” Brown said. “It was important to be consistent and as fast and quick as you can be. Every round was tough. It’s a great win for this team. It gives you great confidence as a driver to see the car running like this and come out and win after what happened in Pomona.”
Schumacher earned five of his victories as a driver and 195 have come over the years from a variety of drivers in all four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories. Only John Force Racing has more team victories in NHRA history, with 218, all earned in the Funny Car category.
“It’s incredible,” Don Schumacher said. “It started in 1970 in Indianapolis when I won the U.S. Nationals. I am not someone who ever counts things like that. I never thought it would happen or even considered it. Thanks to all of my drivers. They do an incredible job day in and day out.”