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Home > LATEST STORIES > Antron Brown Grabs First Win of 2018; Ron Capps and Tanner Gray Win the Pro Categories | Presented by Nitto Tire

Antron Brown Grabs First Win of 2018; Ron Capps and Tanner Gray Win the Pro Categories | Presented by Nitto Tire

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Text and Photos Courtesy of NHRA/National Dragster

Antron Brown, three-time Top Fuel world champion, was able to lock down his first victory of the season Sunday as he emerged victorious at the 31st annual CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals Sunday afternoon at Pacific Raceways.

Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective categories at the 16th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Brown piloted to the winner’s circle with a run of 3.835–seconds at 322.84 mph in his Matco Tools dragster to take down teammate Leah Pritchett in the finals. This was Brown’s third consecutive victory at Pacific Raceways and his first victory since the 2017 event. Brown became the fourth driver in NHRA history to earn 50 career Top Fuel event wins.

“It is no secret that we struggled at the beginning of the year,” Brown stated. “Our main focus was one run at a time and to get better each time. But today all of the win lights turned on for our team and I couldn’t be so proud of all my guys for how persistent that they have been. It had been so long that I hadn’t even thought about winning 50 (races) but now that we got that win it is just a true blessing.”

Brown took down Shawn Reed, teammate Tony Schumacher and points leader Steve Torrence as he entered his 120th career final round. Prichett was the No. 6 qualifier and defeated Troy Buff, Clay Millican and Mike Salinas on her way to her second final round appearance on the Western Swing.

The 2016 Funny Car world champion Capps used a 4.033 at 314.90 in his Pennzoil Synthetics / NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T to beat points leader Courtney Force in the finals to eliminate John Force Racing’s hopes of sweeping the Western Swing. Capps secured his second win of the season and fourth event victory at Pacific Raceways.

“There’s a lot of good solid competition out there,” Capps said. “The main thing going through my head was to not let John Force sweep the swing in Funny Car so we put a stop to that. This was Rahn Tobler (crew chief) and I’s 24th event victory together since 2012 which is just crazy and I think we’re going to have a lot of success the rest of the season.”

Capps qualified ninth and took down Jonnie Lindberg, teammate Matt Hagan and Tim Wilkerson on his path to his fifth final round this season. Force defeated Jim Campbell, Shawn Langdon and Tommy Johnson Jr. on her way to her category-best sixth final round of the season.

In Pro Stock, Gray drove to a 6.632 at 210.05 in his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro to defeat Deric Kramer in the final round as he became the lone driver in the Pro Stock class with four victories on the year. The 2017 Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner secured his fifth final round appearance on the 2018 season and first at Pacific Raceways.

“It is definitely my team that has gotten me to where I am today,” Gray stated. “It was tough day up on the start line and reaction times were a little bit slower here. My team worked with me through the mistakes that I’ve made but all in all it was a great day and I couldn’t be happier.

Gray qualified fourth and was able to take down Fernando Cuadra, Jason Line and Vincent Nobile on his path to victory as he locked in his position in the Countdown playoffs. Erica Enders, Nobile and No. 1 qualifier Jeg. Coughlin Jr. each joined Greg Anderson by locking in their spot in the 2018 Countdown.

The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn. from August 16-19.

KENT, Wash. — Final finish order (1-16) at the 31st annual CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals at

Pacific Raceways. The race is the 16th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

  1. Antron Brown; 2. Leah Pritchett; 3. Steve Torrence; 4. Mike Salinas; 5. Richie Crampton; 6.

Clay Millican; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Tony Schumacher; 9. Troy Buff; 10. Scott Palmer; 11. Shawn

Reed; 12. Bill Litton; 13. Brittany Force; 14. Jim Maroney; 15. Terry McMillen; 16. Ron Smith.

FUNNY CAR:

  1. Ron Capps; 2. Courtney Force; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4. Tim Wilkerson; 5. Matt Hagan; 6.

Shawn Langdon; 7. J.R. Todd; 8. Robert Hight; 9. Jack Beckman; 10. Jonnie Lindberg; 11. Bob

Tasca III; 12. Cruz Pedregon; 13. Gary Densham; 14. John Force; 15. Richard Townsend; 16. Jim

Campbell.

PRO STOCK:

  1. Tanner Gray; 2. Deric Kramer; 3. Vincent Nobile; 4. Bo Butner; 5. Erica Enders; 6. Jason

Line; 7. Jeg Coughlin; 8. Greg Anderson; 9. Matt Hartford; 10. Drew Skillman; 11. Fernando

Cuadra; 12. Chris McGaha; 13. Alex Laughlin; 14. Steve Graham; 15. Alan Prusiensky; 16. Joey

Grose.

KENT, Wash. — Sunday’s final results from the 31st annual CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals at

Pacific Raceways. The race is the 16th of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Antron Brown, 3.835 seconds, 322.88 mph def. Leah Pritchett, 3.849 seconds, 320.13

mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.033, 314.90 def. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.115, 255.63.

Pro Stock — Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.632, 210.05 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Top Fuel Harley — Tii Tharpe, JTR, 6.318, 225.30 def. Mike Scott, Weekend, 6.453, 209.07.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Shawn Cowie, 5.230, 277.26 def. Joey Severance, 5.278, 274.16.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Chris Marshall, Chevy Camaro, 5.455, 269.19 def. Shane Westerfield,

Camaro, 5.510, 269.78.

Competition Eliminator — Brian Hyerstay, Dragster, 8.825, 137.13 def. Ralph Van Paepeghem, Bantam

Roadster, 7.322, 180.43.

Super Stock — Justin Lamb, Chevy Cobalt, 8.519, 158.82 def. Kory Alby, Chevelle, 11.266, 110.95.

Stock Eliminator — Ryan Warter, Pontiac Firebird, 11.763, 109.28 def. Randi Lyn Shipp, Firebird,

10.636, 121.29.

Super Comp — Greg Krause, Dragster, 8.937, 173.81 def. Steve Williams, Dragster, 8.918, 185.97.

Super Gas — Gene Kelly, Chevy Camaro, 9.909, 161.05 def. Robert Naber, Chevy Corvette, 9.905,

162.57.

Super Street — Francesca Giroux, Chevy Camaro, 10.891, 143.09 def. Steve Beggerly, Pontiac

Firebird, 10.870, 147.62.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Bryan LaFlam, Ford Mustang, 6.342, 224.47 def. James

Rutherford, Ford Probe, 7.559, 180.65.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Steve Casner, Dragster, 6.699, 198.99 def. Andy

Spiegel, Dragster, 6.723, 198.41.

KENT, Wash. — Final round-by-round results from the 31st annual CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways, the 16th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Mike Salinas, 3.745, 324.59 def. Scott Palmer, 3.840, 323.89; Tony Schumacher, 4.137, 258.47 def. Terry McMillen, 6.626, 91.90; Clay Millican, 3.777, 329.34 def. Jim Maroney, 5.406,124.10; Doug Kalitta, 3.790, 328.78 def. Bill Litton, 3.994, 285.29; Steve Torrence, 3.801, 326.16 def. Ron Smith, Broke; Antron Brown, 3.796, 327.03 def. Shawn Reed, 3.887, 322.58; Leah Pritchett, 3.809, 325.53 def. Troy Buff, 3.798, 315.71; Richie Crampton, 4.308, 274.94 def. Brittany Force, 4.429, 238.72;

QUARTERFINALS — Torrence, 3.813, 325.30 def. Crampton, 3.863, 318.69; Salinas, 3.792, 326.08 def. Kalitta, 4.565, 170.60; Pritchett, 3.823, 319.60 def. Millican, 3.957, 266.79; Brown, 4.137, 301.74 def. Schumacher, 4.718, 213.00;

SEMIFINALS — Brown, 3.811, 323.97 def. Torrence, 3.800, 325.85; Pritchett, 3.838, 304.74 def.

Salinas, 4.045, 237.63;

FINAL — Brown, 3.835, 322.88 def. Pritchett, 3.849, 320.13.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.037, 319.75 def. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.057,

314.46; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.045, 316.52 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.854, 166.11; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.950, 320.36 def. Gary Densham, Mustang, 5.189, 147.13; Courtney Force,

Camaro, 4.060, 317.79 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, Foul – Red Light; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.001, 313.15 def. Richard Townsend, Camry, 6.373, 106.37; Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.017, 318.69 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.026, 315.56; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.177, 301.74 def. John Force, Camaro, 5.598, 138.27; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.989, 321.04 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 4.049, 317.79;

QUARTERFINALS — Wilkerson, 4.037, 316.52 def. Todd, 4.049, 316.23; Johnson Jr., 4.074, 318.09 def. Hight, 4.551, 215.37; Capps, 3.998, 320.43 def. Hagan, 4.032, 311.27; C. Force, 4.023, 322.11 def. Langdon, 4.036, 318.02;

SEMIFINALS — C. Force, 4.011, 320.20 def. Johnson Jr., 4.062, 316.08; Capps, 4.002, 315.49 def.

Wilkerson, Broke;

FINAL — Capps, 4.033, 314.90 def. C. Force, 4.115, 255.63.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 6.594, 210.08 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.601, 210.14 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.593, 209.17; Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.552, 210.87 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.577, 210.11; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.548, 210.31 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.575, 211.00; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.546, 210.73 def. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.584, 209.56; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.548, 211.30 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.665, 207.46; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.543, 210.11 def. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.637, 208.84; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.549, 211.23 def. Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.723, 206.35;

QUARTERFINALS — Nobile, 6.579, 209.33 def. Coughlin, 6.589, 210.64; Kramer, 6.544, 209.92 def. Enders, 6.566, 210.47; Gray, 6.570, 210.60 def. Line, 6.573, 210.37; Butner, 6.573, 211.13 def.

Anderson, 8.996, 108.14;

SEMIFINALS — Gray, 6.574, 210.77 def. Nobile, 6.606, 209.75; Kramer, 6.565, 209.88 def. Butner, Foul – Red Light;

FINAL — Gray, 6.632, 210.05 def. Kramer, Foul – Red Light.

KENT, Wash. — Point standings (top 10) following the 31st annual CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals

at Pacific Raceways, the 16th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

  1. Steve Torrence, 1,251*; 2. Tony Schumacher, 1,090*; 3. Clay Millican, 1,084*; 4. Leah

Pritchett, 1,083*; 5. Doug Kalitta, 995*; 6. Antron Brown, 927; 7. Terry McMillen, 759; 8.

Brittany Force, 731; 9. Richie Crampton, 660; 10. Scott Palmer, 649; 11. Mike Salinas, 619; 12.

Blake Alexander, 522.

Funny Car

  1. Courtney Force, 1,300*; 2. Ron Capps, 1,146*; 3. Robert Hight, 1,085*; 4. Matt Hagan,

1,064*; 5. Jack Beckman, 999; 6. J.R. Todd, 914; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., 892; 8. John Force, 824;

  1. Shawn Langdon, 736; 10. Bob Tasca III, 691; 11. Tim Wilkerson, 688; 12. Cruz Pedregon, 641;
  2. Jonnie Lindberg, 598; 14. Jim Campbell, 451; 15. Del Worsham, 380.

Pro Stock

  1. Greg Anderson, 1,189*; 2. Tanner Gray, 1,147*; 3. Erica Enders, 1,082*; 4. Vincent Nobile,

1,052*; 5. Jeg Coughlin, 1,020*; 6. Chris McGaha, 939; 7. Deric Kramer, 928; 8. Drew Skillman,

927; 9. Jason Line, 913; 10. Bo Butner, 895; 11. Alex Laughlin, 681.

* Clinched berth in NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship

 


Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.
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