The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota saw everything from rain to national ET records.
Brittany Force collected her third win of the season after taking down points leader, Antron Brown. This is Force’s second straight final round appearance at Brainerd International Raceway. Her road to the final today had Brittany racing Terry Haddock, Doug Kalitta, and Shawn Langdon. Force’s 4.169 pass was her worst of the day by nearly four-tenths of a second but it proved to be better than Brown’s 6.566 tire-shaking run. Force retains her fourth position in the points heading in the next event. The most surprising run napped in the first round when Terry McMillen bested Steve Torrence; keeping McMillen’s dream alive of making the top ten in the Countdown to the championship. He and Leah Pritchett are locked in a tight battle for the final spot going into the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in two weeks.
Del Worsham managed to get the win over new national ET record holder, Matt Hagan in the final round. Matt had a less than perfect run that ended in tire smoke while Del made a 3.908 @ 327.27 mph run. Worsham and the DHL crew have been on a tear the last handful of events and keep adding to their win column. Bob Bode, Tim Wilkerson, and Courtney Force tried to put up a fight against Del but all came up short this weekend. Worsham will slide up in the points standings to third. John Force suffered a shocking loss to Tim Wilkerson in round one of eliminations. Force is sitting somewhat comfortably in the seventh spot, while Wilkerson is loosely in ninth.
Drew Skillman walked away victorious after defeating heavy-hitter, Jason Line. This is Skillman’s first win of the year and second of his career. The 6.648 pass helped earn him the win. It’s worth mentioning that he bought the car the Erica Enders won her second championship in last year. There was some controversy surrounding Skillman earlier this year after he made the switch from Elite Motorsports to Gray Motorsports. The move seems to have payed dividends. This is just the second time this year in seventeen races that a KB Racing car hasn’t won a race. This first being in Denver with Allen Johnson as the victor. Drew saw the stripe before Dave River, Bo Butner, and Vincent Nobile before he got to the final round. Also notable, Erica Enders had one of the best days she’s had all year when she reached the semifinals. This gave her a little bit of breathing room going into the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the final race before the Countdown the the championship. She currently sits tenth in the points but Alex Laughlin still has the ability to regain that final spot.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Andrew Hines got his fourth Wally of the season with a 6.866 run. This is the 7th win for Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson on the season. The motorcycles run a shorter series than the rest of the professional classes. There have only been two races the Harley’s didn’t win. Those were won by Angelle Sampey and LE Tonglet. Hines matched up against Steve Johnson, Corey Reed, Hector Arana Jr., and Jerry Savoie in today’s final eliminations. Hines is catching up to his teammate, Andrew Krawiec, in the points standings. The pair currently sit one and two in the motorcycle rankings.