Antron Brown leads Top Fuel field

Updated: September 3, 2011, 10:20 PM ET
Associated Press

CLERMONT, Ind. -- Antron Brown raced to the provisional No. 1 position in Top Fuel qualifying Saturday night in the U.S. Nationals.

Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) stayed in the provisional top spots in their categories in the final regular season event before the six-race NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Brown powered his dragster to the top of the field with a 3.818 second run at 322.96 mph on the final pass of the Top Fuel session. If it stands, it would be his second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 28th of his career and second No. 1 qualifier at Lucas Oil Raceway, a track where he has two Pro Stock Motorcycle wins but has yet to collect a Top Fuel win at the prestigious race.

Larry Dixon, the defending event winner and four-time U.S. Nationals champion, was fifth after three qualifying sessions, while points leader Del Worsham was fourth with two qualifying sessions remaining.

In Funny Car, Pedregon and his Toyota Camry stayed in the provisional No. 1 spot with a Saturday night run of 4.071 at 301.54. If it stands, it would be his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season, 43rd of his career and first at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Seattle winner Tim Wilkerson was second. John Force, the four-time U.S. Nationals winner and defending world champion, was in the provisional seventh spot.

In Pro Stock, Anderson kept his Pontiac GXP at the top of the class with a 6.629 at 208.01 during the third qualifying session. If it stands, it would be his third No. 1 qualifier of the season and 76th of his career.

Smith kept his Buell at the top of the field in Pro Stock Motorcycle with his Friday night run of 6.954 at 190.97. If it stands, it would be Smith's first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 19th of his career.

The final eliminations are Monday.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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