Antron Brown posted his third consecutive title in Top Fuel competition at Gateway Motorsports Park by going 315.42 mph in 3.844 seconds.
MADISON – Antron Brown and Courtney Force led the parade of winners Sunday in the NHRA Midwest National at Gateway Motorsports Park. It was a repeat performance for Brown and something new for Force.
Brown posted his third consecutive title in Top Fuel competition at Gateway by going 315.42 mph in 3.844 seconds. And Force, daughter of racing legend John Force, scored a Funny Car class victory in front of an estimated crowd of 20,000.
Courtney Force won the previous week at Dallas, marking the first time in her career that she logged back-to-back victories. The Yorba Linda, Calif., resident is the first female in that class to score successive weekend wins.
“It’s pretty awesome, that’s for sure,” said Force, getting her first Gateway win. Her winning time was 4.094 seconds at a speed at 315.42 mph. Sister Brittany lost to Brown in Sunday’s first round of Top Fuel action.
She added, “The guys gave me a good race car and this is a huge win for us. I’ll definitely savor the moment where dad and I are 1-2 in the points standings.”
The 65-year-old John Force has accumulated 2,344 points, tops so far in this year’s Funny Car points chase. Courtney is second with 2,344 points.
Force, defeating her dad in the semifinals, then beat Matt Hagan to the finish line in the finals. John Force prevailed in the Funny Car class at the 2013 Midwest Nationals.
“It’s usually kind of fun beating up on dad,” Courtney said, “but I saw the look on his face after I beat him today and I felt bad about it.”
Dave Connolly registered his 26th career win by finishing first in Pro Stock. He outdid Jason Line in the finals. Jerry Savoie, 55, of Cut Off, La., secured his first career Pro Stock Motorcycle win by defeating Jason Line in the finals. Savoie has been competing in the cycle class since 2011.
“I always said if I won a race, I’d retire – but I lied,” Savoie quipped afterward.
Connolly said, “It was a huge win for me, especially beating Jason in the finals.”
As for Brown, he extended his winning ways to 12 in the finals here by besting Shawn Langdon. Brown of Brownsburg, Ind., also won at Gateway in 2009. Since there wasn’t any NHRA competition at the track in 2011, he has won four of the last five races here.
“This was a big day for us because our backs were against the wall,” Brown said. “But we got it back.”
He figured Gateway was the perfect place to do it.
“St. Louis has always been a good turning point for us,” Brown said. “We did what we needed to do to get it done.”
He added, “I like this track and racing in St. Louis. It seems like we are in a good zone here and it fits our style.”
Two-time defending Pro Stock champ Erica Enders-Stevens reached the semifinals before bowing to eventual champ Connolly. Enders-Stevens had won 10 consecutive Sunday rounds here.