Share this:

" />

Don Schumacher Racing drivers Brown, Hagan sweep NHRA Nitro races at AAA Texas FallNationals

by Mike Haag | Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2016
Antron Brown talks to the media after winning the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Top Fuel race on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Antron Brown talks to the media after winning the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Top Fuel race on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

ENNIS, Texas – It was a big day on Sunday for the Don Schumacher Racing hot rods.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel driver Antron Brown, along with his teammate and Funny Car pilot Matt Hagan, both combined to give DSR its third straight sweep of the Nitro Wally trophies at the AAA Texas FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex.

Brown, who drives the Matco Tools for the Cause/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster, defeated Texas’ Steve Torrence in the Capco Contractors dragster by recording a winning pass of 3.744 seconds at 321.12 mph.  Torrence crossed the stripe with a 3.750, 323.12 mph run.

“We had a great drag race out there,” Brown said.  “It could’ve went either way. We were both close on the tree, but we snuck one out there. Nobody is blowing people out anymore. The only way you win is by inches. To win that final was monumental for our team. We needed to do that. We’re still not done working yet.”

Brown has now won three of four Countdown races this season and he’s won six of the last 10 Top Fuel playoff races.  The victory was his seventh this season and 61st career win.

Antron Brown faced Steve Torrence in the Top Fuel final round at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Antron Brown faced Steve Torrence in the Top Fuel final round at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

“The dream is coming true today – it’s happening one round at a time,” Brown said. “I am truly blessed to be on this team with Brian (Corradi), Mark (Oswald) and all these Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota boys. We work hard and it’s a team effort. We made some things happen and it’s paying big dividends right now.”

With two races remaining on the scheduled (Las Vegas and Ponoma), Brown will carry a 150-point lead into the next race with eight rounds remaining. He can clinch the title at the next race in Las Vegas and if he does, it will mark his third Top Fuel world championship in the last five years.

“We are going into Vegas, we have a little bit of a points lead but it’s anybody’s game,” Brown said.  “Our main focus is to stay humble, keep our heads down and continue the hard work that’s got us here. That is a crucial moment for us right now. We’re still not done working.”

Funny Car driver Matt Hagan prepares to talk with the media after winning the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Funny Car race on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Funny Car driver Matt Hagan prepares to talk with the media after winning the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Funny Car race on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

In the Funny Car class, two-time champion Matt Hagan scored his fourth victory in six final round appearances this season with a holeshot victory over points leader Ron Capps in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T.

Behind the wheel of his bright yellow Pennzoil/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, Hagan made a winning pass clocked at 3.913 seconds at 327.03 mph.  Capps went the distance in 3.906 seconds at 322.19 mph.

“That’s a huge (final) round,” Hagan said. “Unfortunately we faced him (Capps) late in the race. In Reading, we had him in the semis and he left on me and spanked me on the tree. This time I got to leave on him and get a little payback. He’s a great guy, great individual and one of those guys that took me under his wing when I first came out here. I have lots of respect for him and I know he’s digging deep and working hard but we have a job to do for Pennzoil, Mopar, Freightliner, Rocky and all those folks that support us.”

Hagan, who last won at the Texas Motorplex in 2010, advanced to the finals by defeating John Bojec in the first round, Courtney Force in the second round and Robert Hight in the semifinals.

“We race heads up and that’s the way it’s going to be,” Hagan said.  “When you earn a championship that’s what makes you feel good, that you earned it. We’re just keeping the old boy honest. I love him (Capps) to death and it was cool to see him in the final but I was glad to see that win light come on in our lane. We’ve had to get through some pretty tough cars today and had a little bit of luck go our way.”

Matt Hagan faced his teammate Ron Capps in the final round. Hagan defeated Capps on a holeshot to win the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Funny Car race on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Matt Hagan faced his teammate Ron Capps in the final round. Hagan defeated Capps on a holeshot to win the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Funny Car race on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

The victory, which was the 22nd of his Funny Car career, helped move Hagan to third in Funny Car points standings.  He pulled within 88 points of points leader Capps and 22 of DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr., who resides in second.

“It’s a great race track,” Hagan said. “I’ve had a lot of success out here. This track has shown me some love, I love all these Texas folks. Hopefully we can keep this ball rolling in the Countdown. It’s the fiercest competition that I’ve ever seen out here. You have to bring it every time. It takes everybody to do what we’re supposed to do. We are very, very blessed to be out here. You don’t take it for granted and you work hard for it every day.”

Click here to see more photos of the racing action.

Antron Brown (left) and Steve Torrrence (right) race to the finish line at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Antron Brown (left) and Steve Torrence (right) race to the finish line at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

 

Antron Brown, driving the Matco Tools for the Cause / U.S. Army Dragster, defeated Steve Torrence and claimed his seventh victory of the season on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals held at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Antron Brown, driving the Matco Tools for the Cause / U.S. Army Dragster, defeated Steve Torrence and claimed his seventh victory of the season on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals held at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

 

Matt Hagan (left) races Ron Capps (right) to the finish line and won the Funny Car race on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals held at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Matt Hagan (left) races Ron Capps (right) to the finish line in the Funny Car final round on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals held at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

 

Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) celebration in Winner's Circle after winning Sunday at the AAA Texas FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) celebrate in Winner’s Circle after winning Sunday at the AAA Texas FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex. Photo by Mark Broughton / bam photo

 

 

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 30 years. In addition to working for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 15 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike also teaches English at Floresville High School.