The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series made its way to the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 17th annual Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals over the weekend.
In Top Fuel Antron Brown took home his second win at this event and his 55th overall career victory. Brown qualified third with a 3.760 at 319 mph, matching him up against the 14th qualifier Scott Palmer. Brown made quick work of Palmer posting a 3.840 at 313 mph to a 4.121 at 249 mph. In round two he would take on the Phoenix winner Leah Pritchett and the Fireaide 2000/Quaker State team. Brown got off the starting line first and never looked back running a 3.846 at 313 mph to a 3.878 at 322 mph. In the semifinal round he would then take on Dave Connelly and the C&J Energy team. Both drivers left the starting line together but Brown pulled away with a 3.826 at 316 mph to a 3.865 at 297 mph. In the final round Brown would face off against Troy Buff and the Bill Miller Engineering team. This was Buff’s first ever top fuel final round appearance. Buff made his way through the field and took down many of the heavy hitters in the class. In round one he took down Richie Crampton and the Lucas Oil team, followed by Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Team, and JR Todd and the Seal Master team. In the final round Buff took a shot at the starting line and cut a .012 reaction time to a .053. Buff held the lead until just past halftrack then Brown and the Matco Tools dragster surged past to capture the victory.
In Funny Car the Tequila Patron team with Alexis Dejoria driving conquered the field to capture her fourth career win and second at this event. In the opening round she took down the Make-A-Wish Dodge of Tommy Johnson Jr. with a 4.006 at 313 mph to a 4.073 at 308 mph. In round two she took on the Auto Club Camaro of Robert Hight. Dejoria won on a hole shot when she got off the starting line first with a .073 to a .076. She then posted a 4.005 at 315 mph to a quicker but losing 4.004 at 320 mph. In the semifinal round she would take on 16-time champion John Force and his Peak Antifreeze Camaro. Force left the starting line first but Dejoria made up the difference and drove around him with a 4.012 at 316 mph to a 4.053 at 319 mph. This would match her up with her Kalitta motorsports teammate Del Worsham and his DHL Toyota. Both drivers left the starting line together but Dejoria pulled away with a 3.968 at 315 mph to a 3.988 at 323 mph.
In Pro Stock the Summit Racing team dominated the class all weekend long. The team qualified number #1 with Jason Line, #2 Greg Anderson and #3 Bo Buntner. All three advanced to the semifinal round. Buntner took down Anderson with a 6.703 at 205 mph to a 6.755 at 205 mph. On the opposite side of the ladder Line took on two time champion and reigning event winner Erica Enders-Stevens. Line made short work of Enders with a 6.737 at 205 mph to a 6.801 at 204 mph. In the final round Line got the win light when Buntner left the starting line too soon and red lighted, thus disqualifying him. Buntner ran a 6.709 at 205 mph to Line’s winning 6.712 at 206 mph. This was Line’s 39th career victory and second at this event.
The next stop on the 24 race tour is the seventh annual 4-wide NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina April 22-24.