Brown, Enders in position to wrap up NHRA season titles
LAS VEGAS (AP) Top Fuel driver Antron Brown and Pro Stock racer Erica Enders moved into position to wrap up season championships, taking the No. 1 qualifying positions Saturday night at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Tommy Johnson Jr. topped the Funny Car field, and Jerry Savoie was the fastest in Pro Stock Motorcycle in the fifth of six events in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Brown raced to his sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the 43rd of his career with a track-record time of 3.722 seconds at 326.95 mph. He has a 142-point lead over second-place Tony Schumacher and needs to win one more round than Schumacher to take the title.
''We did what we needed to do in qualifying and now we're just focused on winning that first round,'' Brown said. ''We have to be flawless tomorrow. We know we're in a good spot for the championship, but we're not going to worry about that and just keep racing hard until we see that big trophy come our way.''
Brown swept the first three Countdown events and has six victories this season.
Enders earned her sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 18th of her career with her track- record performance of 6.559 at 210.28 in a Chevy Camaro. She increased her points lead to 162 over Greg Anderson. Enders has eight victories this year, a record for female drivers.
''We made two really good passes so we were just trying to get ready for tomorrow,'' Enders said. ''It was good to make more consistent passes. I am pumped going into tomorrow and we'll see what happens. Tomorrow is going to take consistency. Every round is tough and there are no gimmies in Pro Stock. Las Vegas has been really good to me in the past and I want to continue that trend tomorrow. I want to win the race and that's my first goal tomorrow.''
Johnson had a track-record time of 3.931 at 320.43. Series leader Del Worsham qualified sixth.
Savoie had a track-record time of 6.852 at 196.30.