2014 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Sunday photo gallery
Sunday, August 17, 2014

News and views from the 
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals

Last update: 10:15 p.m.
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Brainerd mayor James Wallin presented Brainerd Int’l Raceway track owner Jed Copham with the city’s prestigious Tower Award.

The National Dragster Backstage Pass winners for the event got to interact with their favorite drivers in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with whom they received autographs and posed for photographs. NHRA Members can sign up to try to earn a similar experience at future NHRA Mello Yello events by visiting NationalDragster.net and clicking on the Member Benefits link.

Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel driver Terry McMillen had a spectacular explosion going through the lights during the first round of Top Fuel.

Rain put the action on hold several times during the day, starting after the first pair of Funny Car eliminations. The NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA worked hard throughout the day to provide racers with a dry, safe racetrack.

“Fast Jack” Beckman inched closer to the No. 10 position in the Funny Car standings currently occupied by Tim Wilkerson by defeating Cruz Pedregon in the first round with a 4.11 e.t.

American Ethanol Pro Stock Dodge Avenger driver Deric Kramer pulled off an upset over Greg Anderson in one of the closest races of the day. Kramer had a .004 reaction time to defeat Anderson’s quicker 6.57 with his 6.64 by a .006-second margin.

Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta unloaded the sixth-quickest run in NHRA history at 3.72 seconds in the second round to defeat Spencer Massey’s holeshot-aided 3.75.

Alexis DeJoria (above) earned big cheers from the crowd when the Patron XO Café Toyota Camry made the first three-second Funny Car run in Brainerd Int’l Raceway history with a 3.99 (below) while she defeated Matt Hagan in the second round.


NHRA Members and site subscribers can get in-depth coverage, notes, and more on NationalDragster.net.

The Cinderella story of Iowa racer Dave River, who had never won a round before this event, continued after his first-round defeat of Erica Enders-Stevens when he went 6.71 to advance past a traction-plagued Dave Connolly in round two. Pro Stock action was postponed after the second round and will be concluded during qualifying at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.

Duane Shields is one of four Top Alcohol Dragster drivers to advance to the semifinals. With darkness and impending weather concluding Sportsman action in Brained, his class will be completed during qualifying at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. The Top Alcohol Funny Car final will be completed at the West Region event in Earlville, Iowa. The remainder of the Sportsman categories will finish at next week’s NHRA Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Heartland Park Topeka.

Defending event winner Ron Capps, right, and 11-time Brainerd winner John Force advanced to the Funny Car final which will now be staged at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis during qualifying in two weeks. Both drivers will have a shot at a Triple Crown of sorts that weekend by competing to win at both events in addition to the Traxxas NHRA Funny Car Shootout special event.

(Above) Morgan Lucas, far lane, upset points leader Doug Kalitta in a spectacular pedalfest in the Top Fuel final. Lucas crossed the finish line sideways with the engine in a ball of fire in a 4.88 to 4.98 decision.

(Left) Lucas' mother, Charlotte, awaited Lucas at the top end holding his 10th career Wally and third as a Professional at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals where he made his Top Fuel debut 10 years ago.