COMMERCE, Ga. – Antron Brown raced to the Top Fuel victory Saturday at the weather-delayed Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Johnny Gray (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also were winners at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event, which was delayed for one week due to persistent rain showers.
Brown claimed his second victory of the season and his fifth win at the Georgia dragstrip, powering past Brandon Bernstein in the final round. Brown covered the distance in 3.801 seconds at 321.25 mph in his Matco Tools dragster, while Bernstein’s ProtectTheHarvest.com dragster lost traction at the start and finished in 7.105 at 90.64.
“It’s big to win down here at the Southern Nationals,” said defending world champion Brown, who also defeated Pat Dakin, Spencer Massey and Doug Kalitta in earlier rounds to secure his 39th career victory.
“This track’s been real special to me,” Brown continued. “It reminds me of going to a racetrack in my hometown. It’s been around forever, and it has that special atmosphere with great fans that pump you up. You get that aura of the passion for the sport that they have. Everybody was running so strong this weekend that it was monumental for us to get the job done.”
With the win, Brown moved to second place in the points order, within five points of series leader Tony Schumacher.
“Every team gets in a groove, and our car can run what the track will hold when we’re in our groove,” Brown said. “People probably know that, if they want to take that win from us, they’re going to have to step up because we’re not going to leave any scraps on the table. We threw some good numbers out there.”
In Funny Car, Gray earned his second win of the season by defeating event No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan in the final round. Gray’s Pitch Energy Dodge Charger led the entire way down the track with a performance of 4.077 at 314.17 and Hagan trailed in his Magneti Marelli/Rocky Footwear Charger with a 4.160 at 309.49.
The victory pulled Gray out of bit of a mini-slump, which he had been in since winning in Gainesville, Fla. in March and included a DNQ at the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte and a pair of second round losses at Las Vegas and Houston.