Brown, Enders win NHRA championships in Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 1, 2015) – Antron Brown and Erica Enders clinched NHRA World Championships a race early during the NHRA’s Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It was the second title for both drivers and the second straight in Pro Stock for Enders.
Goodyear-shod cars won seven times during the final round of the event, more than all other tiremakers combined. Enders won the Pro Stock final after clinching the title. The other Goodyear-equipped winners included Doug Kalitta (in Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Enders in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for professional teams.
Garrett Bateman (Top Alcohol Dragster), Chad Langdon (Super Comp), Scott Burton (Stock Eliminator) and Troy Grant (Super Gas) won with Goodyear in the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsman teams.
The sportsman teams in all Lucas Oil categories have their choice of tiremakers.
“I stayed focused on what we had to do in that race car,” Brown said of his day.
Brown admitted that he was concerned about teammate Tony Schumacher, who started the day with a mathematical chance to wrest the title from Brown over the final two races. Brown clinched the title before he lost to Doug Kalitta in the semifinal round. Brown said his second championship was sweeter because it was harder to win.
“The second is sweeter because the competition is quadruple what it was,” Brown said. “I lost to Doug Kalitta by five ten thousandths of a second. That’s probably the closest race of the year.”
Enders remains the only woman to win a race, let alone a championship, in Pro Stock. She clinched the title when teammate Vincent Nobile beat Greg Anderson in the second round. She was the top qualifier at The Strip and the victory was her fourth straight in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.
“It was a great day, a long day, a difficult day,” Enders said. “To be able to top off the second championship with a race win is crazy.”
Enders still has a goal remaining for 2015. She said she wants to win her 10th race of the season in two weeks at Pomona, Calif.
Hight’s win was his fifth at The Strip. The 2009 Funny Car champ won his second victory of the season. “We had a tough matchup, Tommy Johnson Jr., the number one qualifier,” Hight said. “John beat me here in the spring and that bugged me.”
Kalitta beat Larry Dixon in the Top Fuel final, the sixth time Kalitta has at least reached the final round at this track. Both Dixon and Kalitta’s cars had mechanical trouble during the final round but Kalitta won.
“It was a lucky win for us, really,” Kalitta said. “It’s Vegas and anything can happen.”
Goodyear employs about 69,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 nations. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.