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Brown Tops NHRA Qualifying at St. Louis

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The NHRA Miodwest Nationals are taking place September 28-10 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill. (photo courtesy: Facebook/Gateway Motorsports Park)

The NHRA Miodwest Nationals are taking place September 28-10 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill. (photo courtesy: Facebook/Gateway Motorsports Park)

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MADISON, Ill. (AP) - Antron Brown raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel on Saturday, capping a record-setting two days at the NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Brown will go for his second consecutive playoff victory and his sixth win of the season from the top spot. He holds a one-point lead in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship standings over playoff rival Spencer Massey, who was second in qualifying.

Brown took his third No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 32nd of his career with his Friday track-record performance of 3.737 seconds at 326.79 mph.

“Tomorrow is going to be where all the marbles are counted,” Brown said. “We have a tough first round matchup. We struggled a little bit today getting our car slowed down when it got a little hotter, so we have our work cut out for us. The track has been really good, so tomorrow is going to be a good race day.”

Jack Beckman topped the Funny Car field, Jason Line led Pro Stock qualifying, and Hector Arana Jr. was the fasted in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Beckman secured his third No. 1 qualifying position of the season in Funny Car with a track-record time of 4.049 at 308.85. He will race Alexis DeJoria in the first round. Funny Car points leader Ron Capps will start sixth and meet teammate Johnny Gray in the opening round.

Line earned his sixth No. 1 of the season and 30th of his career in Pro Stock, powering to a track-record run of 6.496 at 213.47 in a Chevy Camaro. He will meet Jeg Coughlin in the opening
round. Series leader Allen Johnson was second in his Dodge Avenger and will face Greg Stanfield in the first round.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Arana Jr. took his third No. 1 of the season and second in a row with a track- record time of 6.809 at 196.50 on a Buell. He will face John Hall in the first round. Series
leader and defending world champ Eddie Krawiec qualified third and will open against Steve Johnson.

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