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NHRA: Antron Brown earns 2nd Top Fuel victory of the season

NHRA Carolinas Nationals - Day 2

CONCORD, NC - SEPTEMBER 19: Antron Brown, driver of the Matco Tools top fuel dragster prepares to drive during qualifying for the NHRA Carolinas Nationals on September 19, 2009 at Zmax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)

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EPPING, N.H. (AP) Antron Brown raced to his second Top Fuel victory of the season Monday at the rain-delayed NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway.

Brown closed the gap on series points leader Doug Kalitta with a convincing victory over rival Steve Torrence in the final round. Brown powered his dragster to a winning performance of 3.769 seconds at 314.61 mph to hold off Torrence’s machine, which trailed with a 3.778 at 325.30, in a close finish.

It was Brown’s 56th win and his first at New England Dragway. He earned an opening-round bye as the No. 1 qualifier and then defeated Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher to advance to his fourth final round appearance of the season.

With the victory, Brown cut Kalitta’s lead from 95 to 46 points.

“The car ran great all weekend,” said Brown, who is 18-1 in head-to-head meetings against Torrence.

“We were fortunate to get the win. That Capco team over there is no joke. Steve is a real tough competitor and we like racing against those guys because you know they are going to give you a great race every time. We’re going home to Englishtown this weekend and we are ready for it. We’ve got to keep pushing.”

Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) also were winners of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near Boston.

Capps scored his second win of the season, second at this event and 47th of his career by outrunning Tommy Johnson Jr. in the Funny Car final. In a matchup of Dodge Chargers, Capps finished in 3.923 at 325.61, just ahead of Johnson’s 3.947 at 322.11. With the win, Capps moved from sixth to third in the series points standings.

In Pro Stock, Anderson earned his fourth win of the season and second straight at this event when he powered past final round opponent Allen Johnson. Anderson covered the distance in 6.598 at 210.44 in a Chevy Camaro to hold off Johnson’s charging Dodge Dart, which left the starting line first but finished second with a 6.673 at 208.71. It is the ninth straight final round appearance of the season for Anderson and series leader Jason Line’s KB Racing team and Anderson’s 82nd victory.