The three Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing victors on Sunday in the 30th annual Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways should come to no surprise. All three entered this weekend with a ton of momentum.
In Top Fuel competition, top qualifier Antron Brown bested 10th seeded Terry McMillen with a 3.776-second pass at 326.48 mph during the final round en route to his 65th career NHRA victory. It was his fourth victory of the season and second in three events. With the victory, he takes over the Top Fuel points lead as a result.
Brown, has made it to the finals in seven of his last nine races this season. That’s why his win isn’t much of a surprise. He knocked off Ron Smith, Mike Salinas and Clay Millican en route to his final round matchup with McMillen.
McMillen, upset seventh seeded Steve Torrence then second qualifier Doug Kalitta in the first two rounds. Then he beat third qualified Leah Pritchett in his ladder to the finals.
For the eighth time over the last nine races, Tony Schumacher failed to make it past the second round as he was eliminated by Leah Pritchett.
On the Funny Car side, Robert Hight won for the second time of the last three races. He bested Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round for his third final round appearance in the last four events. It was also his second win of the season and 39th of his career. Sunday’s Funny Car final round matchup was a repeat of the final at Denver that also saw Hight best Johnson Jr.
Like Brown, Hight was also the top qualifier in his division, as he beat Jeff Diehl, John Force and Courtney Force en route to his fourth final round appearance of the 2017 season.
Johnson Jr., knocked off Jim Campbell in the first round, then faced Ron Capps in the second round. Johnson and Capps faced off the last four races prior to this weekend, with Johnson eliminating the defending series champion 3-1 in those events. This week, was the same with Johnson coming out on top.
The Funny Car ladder went chalk, with the exception of third qualifier Johnson knocking off second qualifier Matt Hagan in the semifinals.
In Pro Stock, Skillman took the victory after driving to a 6.604 at 209.33 to defeat Erica Enders in the final round for his third win, all in the last four weeks and sixth of his career.
Unlike the other two divisions, Skillman wasn’t the top qualifier in his group. He was second overall. Tanner Gray was the quick driver this weekend, but Enders knocked him off in the semifinals. That was the only upset in Pro Stock competition.
The next race weekend is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota from Aug. 18-20.