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Brown, Hagan And Glen Win Four-Wide In Vegas
NHRA Races
A final round quad of Antron Brown, Brittany Force, Steve Torrence and Josh Hart was featured in Top Fuel at the recent NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, with Brown taking the win with a 3.760 at 319.75 mph effort. Photo By Mike Burghardt


Racing Correspondent

Action was fast paced throughout the weekend, as the NHRA rolled in to Las Vegas for the Four-Wide Nationals.

In Top Fuel, Brittany Force has stumbled this season, as her crew chief (David Grubnic) has worked on a new tuning combination. In Vegas, she looked to be back in championship form as she qualified number one with a 3.697 at 335.73 mph (low elapse time and top speed of the event). The reigning Top Fuel champion won every round on the way to the final round. She took out Tony Schumacher, Rob Passey, Leah Pruett and Antron Brown along the way. But this is four-wide racing. Instead of four elimination rounds (including the final round), there are only three. Each round consists of a quad of four cars competing, with the first two getting to the finish line, advancing to the next round. That led to a final round quad of Antron Brown, Brittany Force, Steve Torrence and Josh Hart. In the final, Brown left first (0.053). Torrence second (0.054), Force third (0.064) and Hart fourth (0.067) with Brown taking the win with a 3.760 at 319.75 mph effort. Torrence was runner-up with a 3.774 at 331.04 mph run. Force ended up as a semi-final round loser, along with Hart. She ran a strong 3.769 at 331.69 mph with Hart stopping the clocks with a 3.791 at 324.90 mph. Due to the unique elimination process of four-wide racing, Force beat Brown in two out of three quads, but Brown won the most important quad, the final round quad, for the event title.

Funny Car, as with all the Camping World Series categories, also raced in the four-wide format. The final round quad consisted of Matt Hagan, John Force, Tim Wilkerson and Chad Green. Matt Hagan came in having won every quad he was in, during eliminations. Then he watched his team owner, Tony Stewart, win his first NHRA event in the Top Alcohol Dragster (Lucas Oil Pro Sportsman series). With Stewart cheering him on, Hagan easily won the final quad 3.943 at 326.79 mph. Tim Wilkerson runner-upped with a 3.969 at 3129.45 mph. For John Force, it was a pretty good weekend, following the disastrous outing he had two weeks earlier, at the Winter Nationals. He and his team appear to have found many of the handling problems he had with the car, as he had the car running straight, clean and true nearly every time down the track. But for J.R. Todd and the DHL team, it was another weekend they would like to forget. After his team worked continuously for the past two weeks to repair and rebuild his damaged race cars, from Pomona, he failed to qualify for the four-wide Nationals event, as they were unable to make a good qualifying run, ending up 19th out of 19 cars, vying for one of the 16 qualifying spots.

In Pro Stock, Erica Enders and her Elite Motorsports Team continued to struggle with the race tune up and she went out in the second round of eliminations. The final round quad featured Troy Coughlin Jr, Christian Cuadra, Dallas Glen and Deric Kramer. Coughlin won the season opener in Gainesville and Glen had just won at the Winter Nationals, two weeks earlier, but Cuadra and Kramer were both going after their first wins of the season. For Cuadra, who captured his first career number one qualifier in Phoenix, he was shooting for his first career win. Cuadra got away first with a 0.016 reaction time but his 6.693 at 205.70 mph performance would not hold off Glen’s 6.649 at 206.29 mph. Coughlin had a better performance than everyone in the quad at 6.646 at 206.35 mph, but he could not get around Glen’s 0.039 to (his) 0.051 reaction time advantage, giving Glen the hole shot win. Coughlin ended up as the runner-up. This win was Glen’s second consecutive win this season.

A special highlight of the event was Tony Stewart winning his first NHRA National event in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. Stewart advanced to the final quad and won the event in his Mobil 1 A-Fuel Dragster (un-supercharged nitro dragster) to double up with his team’s Funny Car driver, Matt Hagan. Stewart, who lost in the final round at this same track last October by 0.0002 seconds, won this event by 0.0003-seconds with a 5.324 at 269.62 mph. He showed great driving skills and very good reaction times throughout the event. His future goals are said to be to move up to Top Fuel next season, once he feels comfortable, where his wife, Leah Pruett, also competes.

Taking the victory in Pro Stock, Dallas Glenn continued his winning ways from the last event at Pomona, two weeks earlier. In the final round quad at the NHRA Four-Wide in Las Vegas, consisting of Troy Coughlin Jr., Deric Kamer and Christian Cuadra, Glenn collected the win with a 6.649 at 206.29 mph starting line advantage.
Collecting his first career NHRA national event win in Las Vegas in the Top Alcohol Dragster category, Tony Stewart topped the final round quad consisting of Mike Coughlin, Todd Bruce and Chris Demke. Stewart has now won at every track at the Las Vegas Speedway facility.