A review of NHRA’s 2012 champions for the four professional classes reveals points races that were moribund at best, while others went down to the last day and last hours of the season such as Antron Browns championship. Here’s a quick look at the fastest of all motorsports divisions: Top Fuel.
Three car battle
These ground-thumping beasts are the fastest racecars in the world, with 10,000 horsepower launching them 1,000 feet to the finish line in three seconds at 330 miles per hour. And this season, from just the point of sheer anticipatory thrill, offered a battle to the end of the final round of the final event of the year which made this the best clash of all four title fights. However, when you add the historical perspective with the first black American to ever win a world championship in motorsports, this encounter between three cars from the same team was history personified.
Antron Brown almost won the championship in 2011, coming in a close third with a hard charge near the end of the season. So his appearance at the top of the standings this past year wasn’t unusual. With the help of co-crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, Brown held off his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates, Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey, to win the 2012 title by a mere seven points – less than one round of racing.
At the World Finals at Pomona, Antron Brown and his team had to watch and wait until the last round to find out if they would be victorious. Brown had been beaten in the first round by his teammate Massey and then hung around agonizingly, waiting the entire day and evening to be crowned NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series champion in Top Fuel.
Brown won a total of seven meets in 2012 including: Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, Sonoma, Brainerd, Dallas and St. Louis. By the way, the event at Chicago may go down in the history books with extra significance. While Brown was standing on stage after winning Top Fuel honors, he was joined by the first Pro Stock female to win: Erica Enders. They were joined by both Canadian Jeff Arend who won Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle winner, Andrew Hines (source: NHRA). No sport can come close to this kind of diversity.
Other teams that battled included Morgan Lucas Racing’s two cars who looked strong early, slumped and then were rebounding at the end with Brandon Bernstein ending up fourth behind the DSR cars. One of Al Anabi Racing’s Top Fuel drivers Shawn Langdon, also finished fourth and may be the car to beat in 2013 … if Brown doesn’t win again.
It was announced a couple weeks ago, Antron Brown will have MATCO Tools backing him once again as a primary sponsor next season. Adding plenty of backing from his team, 36 year old New Jerseyan Brown will certainly be a front runner heading into 2013 and although he’ll have plenty of company, the always personable Brown should be fun to watch when the schedule starts February 14-17 with the Winternationals at the famed Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.