Brown won his 49th career Top Fuel title and Hight went unbeaten to grab his first Funny Car title at Pacific Raceways, and 39th of his career. Drew Skillman edged Erica Enders for the Pro Stock title.
KENT — It was another perfect weekend for Antron Brown at the 30th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals.
Brown, the two-time defending and three-time world Top Fuel champion, ran the table after being the top qualifier, moving into the national points lead.
It was the 49th Top Fuel win of Brown’s storied career and moves him 18 points ahead of Steve Torrence in his quest to win three world titles in a row and the fourth of his career.
“We’re in the position we want to be in at the right time,” Brown said. “It’s still anybody’s ballgame, but now we’re not making points up. We just want to hang on and ride this wave.”
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Brown beat unheralded Terry McMillen in the final to add to his 2009 and 2016 victories at this event.
McMillen, who will be 63 later this month and has been racing since 2007, qualified 10th and made it to a final for only the second time in his career. He had little chance against Brown, who was in his 86th final, his fourth in a row and seventh in his last nine races.
“We’ve done that good and we just now got the points lead?” Brown said with a smile. “That shows you how tough this field is. I would never have imagined you could have 12 cars that could win, but that time is now. It’s anybody’s race and it’s just a blessing to get this win.”
Last year, Brown had to wait the 14 days to win the final (in Minnesota) when rain ended the competition prematurely. This year, with perfect racing weather, the result was exactly the same.
The win, Brown’s 34th in the last five years, moved him three wins behind Joe Amato, who is third all-time in Top Fuel wins.
Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, who leads the way with 83 career wins, won his opening race against Troy Coughlin, Jr. but lost to Leah Pritchett in the quarterfinals.
Larry Dixon is second on the all-time list with 62 wins with Amato third at 52.
“I’m just speechless,” Brown said. “Joe Amato was always one of my big heroes. He won and he won with style.”
Robert Hight also had a perfect weekend, being the top Funny Car qualifier and then winning four straight races to grab the 250th win for the John Force Racing team.
Force, who won the first race for the team, lost in the second round to Hight, who also beat teammate Courtney Force on the way to his first win here and 39th of his career.
Hight, beat Tommy Johnson, Jr. for the title.
“This is a weekend you dream about,” Hight said after winning for the first time at Pacific Raceways. “These cars are hard to run. They are finicky and lots of things can happen. It’s just amazing to have that kind of dominating performance.”
In honor of the 30th anniversary, Pacific Raceways gave winners a special silver trophy with their name on the front and a listing of the previous 29 winners.
Aaron Strong, the surprise Pro Stock champion here last year, was in attendance at the race and joked he was undefeated this season. Having lost his sponsor, Strong, who is from Auburn, sold his car and it is now a backup for Erica Enders.
Enders finished second, losing to Drew Skillman by less than one-thousandth of a second in the Pro Stock final. Stillman picked up his third win of the season and sixth of his career.