Brown takes No. 1 spot in Top Fuel

CLERMONT, Ind. (AP) — Antron Brown raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel on Sunday in the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, taking the top spot for the seventh time this season with a run of 3.835 seconds at 319.22 mph.

A two-time event winner in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Brown will try to win it for the first time in Top Fuel on Monday at O’Reilly Raceway Park when he faces rookie Spencer Massey in the opening round.

Robert Hight, Mike Edwards and Matt Smith also will lead their categories into the eliminations in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

Hight took his first top qualifying award at this race and the second of the season with his run of 4.082 at 309.20 in a Ford Mustang. Hight, who has won the event two of the last three years, will face Grant Downing in the first round.

Hight is one of three drivers, including defending series champ Cruz Pedregon and rookie Matt Hagan, who are locked in a tight battle to make the Countdown to 1, NHRA’s playoffs. Following this event, the top 10 in each pro category will compete in the six-race championship playoffs, which begin Sept. 18 at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

In Pro Stock, Edwards earned his 10th No. 1 effort of the season and first in the event with his run of 6.581 at 209.01 in a Pontiac GXP. Edwards, the 1998 will, will face Rickie Jones in the first round.

Smith claimed his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 16th overall in Pro Stock Motorcycle, covering the quarter-mile distance in 6.918 at 192.38 on his Suzuki. Smith, a three-time Indy finalist and 2006 winner, will face Junior Pippin in the opening round.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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