Antron Brown, Robert Hight and Andrew Hines were quickest in their respective categories Wednesday during the first of two days of open testing at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series teams are utilizing the two-day test session to prepare for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, the world's most prestigious drag race, which will be held Sept. 1-6 at the historic multipurpose motorsports facility. The event, which will be showcased during 10 hours of coverage by ESPN2 HD, is the first of six races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.
Brown, who finished fifth in the regular season point standings, powered his Matco Tools dragster to a Top Fuel best performance of 3.911sec at 300.20mph.
“Bar none this is the biggest race of the year,” Brown said. “This is the racing capitol of the world and to be out here and have the Countdown start here you have to be ready because it is the super bowl of all of our races. It is going to be really key to get as many laps down the racetrack and try to be perfect on what we have going on and make our program better. In Top Fuel, there are 10 teams that are in the Countdown that can win the championship and we want to be there at the end to have a run for the championship in that final race. To do it you have to start here at the U. S. Nationals and give it all you've got.”
Rod Fuller was the only other Top Fuel driver who made a run and he posted a 4.027 at 233.60 in his Yas Marina Circuit dragster.
In Funny Car, defending series champion Hight turned in the best run of the day with a 4.092 at 303.23 in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Hight has advanced to the last four final rounds at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, posting wins in 2006 and 2008.
“It is going pretty good,” Hight said. “We are just working on our clutch setup. So far so good. The NHRA has done a great job on this racetrack and we can get out there and learn a whole lot, so we're looking forward to the next two days. This is the NHRA's premier event and we have had great success here. It is always a hectic week, but I'm looking forward to it and all three of our Ford Mustangs are running well."
Two other Funny Car drivers made laps as well, including Del Worsham in the Al-Anabi Toyota and Melanie Troxel (4.270, 244.03) in the In-N-Out Dodge.
Countdown top seed Hines posted a 6.898 at 191.51 on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to lead all four Pro Stock Motorcycle participants who attended the first day of the test. Eddie Krawiec ran a 6.948 at 189.44 on his Harley-Davidson, while Chip Ellis finished in 7.016 at 187.83 on his motorcycle and two-time Indy winner Steve Johnson had a best run of 7.113 at 182.95 on a Suzuki.