Brown, Enders win NHRA championships in Vegas

Erica Enders (left) wrapped up the NHRA Pro Stock championship and Antron Brown (right) scored his second NHRA Top Fuel title Sunday at Las Vegas. Photos: Courtesy NHRA Media
Erica Enders (left) wrapped up the NHRA Pro Stock championship and Antron Brown (right) scored his second NHRA Top Fuel title Sunday at Las Vegas.
Photos: Courtesy NHRA Media

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.

“Fast Jack Beckman” wins at Indy again!

Photo: Courtesy NHRA Media
Photo: Courtesy NHRA Media

Beckman wins twice at Indy: Sweeps Shootout and US Nationals

CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 7, 2015) – Jack Beckman checked an item off his list of goals when he won the final round of Funny Car in drag racing’s biggest race, the NHRA’s Chevrolet Performance US Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway at Indianapolis.
It was the kind of weekend most drivers dream of but few accomplish. Beckman also won the NHRA’s Traxxas Nitro Shootout, a $100,000 competition among all-stars.
The former Funny Car world champion beat another former champ, Robert Hight, in the final. Beckman’s win was his first at Indy.
Beckman was one of four drivers to race to victory on Goodyear tires. The others included Mello Yello Drag Racing Series winners Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) in the professional categories as well as Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series sportsman driver Joey Severance (Top Alcohol Dragster).
“I am so worn out,” Beckman said. “I guess it’s about like getting to the top of Everest. You really don’t get to celebrate until you get down, get back home and into a cozy area. I don’t know when it will sink in.”
Beckman has won six times this season. He set tracks records for elapsed time (3.936 seconds) and speed (323.74) during the weekend. Beckman also beat Hight in the Shootout.
Antron Brown beat Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel Shootout. Lucas has been a part-time campaigner in 2015. He beat Dave Connolly in the final round.
Enders-Stevens, the defending Pro Stock champion, beat Drew Skillman in the finals and collected her first Indy title.
Severance also won his first Indy victory.
The US Nationals was the last race of the regular season for the NHRA’s pro teams. They start the Countdown to the Championship, drag racing’s playoff system, in two weeks at Charlotte, N.C. Beckman. Enders-Stevens and Tony Schumacher lead the standings of their respective categories as they head into the Countdown.
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.