DALLAS, TX (Oct. 16, 2016) Officially past the halfway point in the Countdown, the AAA Fall Nationals was action packed and full of insight into who might be hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello season.
Not surprisingly, Antron Brown dominated the entire race weekend from start to finish by picking up the number one qualifier as well as the race win. Brown took down Steve Torrence in the final round in a close matchup. Torrence’s 3.750 @ 323.12 mph pass was not enough to stop Brown’s 3.744 @ 321.12 mph run. Brown extends his points lead by a huge margin in part because his main points competition, Doug Kalitta, went out first round.
For the second race in a row, points-leader Ron Capps has lost in the final round to his own teammate. Last weekend it was Tommy Johnson Jr. and this weekend it was Matt Hagan. Ron lost on a holeshot to Hagan who had the better reaction time. Capps ran an impressive 3.906 @ 322.19 mph while Hagan had the slower but winning 3.913 @ 327.03 run. Capps loss won’t eat into his points lead too much going into the next race.
Defying all odds, KB Racing was not found in the winners circle this weekend. Instead the Wally went to Gray Motorsports driver, Drew Skillman. Skillman took out the hometown favorite, Alex Laughlin, in the final round. A 6.661 @ 209.36 mph lap was all that Skillman needed to get past Laughlin’s 6.708 @ 208.30 mph pass. While Laughlin didn’t make the Countdown and Skillman isn’t mathematically a contender in the championship, it goes to show how spoilers can play in interesting role at the end of the season.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Eddie Krawiec took the points lead after he beat Jerry Savoie in the final round. Krawiec had the slower but winning bike thanks to a holeshot advantage he picked up on the starting line. Krawiec ran a 6.880 @ 196.36 mph while Savoie had a 6.856 @ 196.76 mph pass. Despite not winning the race, it’s great to see an underdog be able to perform with the best of them.