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Brown, Capps, Anderson, Krawiec lead Tricky Tipster's Atlanta rankings

A quartet of former world champions -- Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Greg Anderson, and Eddie Krawiec -- are the NHRA National Dragster Tricky Tipster's top picks to claim Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals wins.
04 May 2017
NHRA National Dragster staff
News
Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Greg Anderson, and Eddie Krawiec

For more than five decades, NHRA National Dragster's famed Tricky Tipster has tested his prognosticating skills prior to each national event, putting odds on the top eight racers he thinks have the best shot at victory in Tricky Tipster. This week, Tricky Tipster handicaps the Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals.

TOP FUEL
Funny Car | Pro Stock | Pro Stock Motorcycle | Pro Mod
Antron Brown
Antron Brown • Matco Tools
He didn’t reach the Four-Wide final, but Brown continues to have a very fast dragster, and he loves Atlanta. He first won the Southern Nationals in 2008, then won in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Odd-year magic?
ODDS: 3-1
Leah Pritchett
Leah Pritchett • Papa John’s Pizza
She came close to capturing her fourth Wally of the season in the sixth race. Yeah, she’s a good bet in Atlanta.
ODDS: 7-2
Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta • Mac Tools
Can’t go wrong with the defending champ, right? Kalitta beat J.R. Todd in the Southern Nationals last year and has been the model of consistency, as always, this season. One more win puts him into a tie with Brown for the most in Atlanta.
ODDS: 4-1
Steve Torrence
Steve Torrence • Capco Contractors
After coming close in Houston, Torrence got his first win of the season by finally getting past a Don Schumacher Racing car. He has one win in Atlanta (2012) and has run well this season. Now we’ll see if he can get something consistent going.
ODDS: 5-1
Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher • U.S. Army
One of three Don Schumacher Racing cars in the top three (he’s in second, right behind Pritchett), Schumacher is looking to get his first win since Gainesville. He reached the final in both Las Vegas and Charlotte, but he’s never won in Atlanta.
ODDS: 11-2
Clay Millican
Clay Millican • Parts Plus/Great Clips
Millican has two-straight No. 1 qualifier caps and two-straight earlier-than-he-would-have-liked exits on Sunday to show for it. He’s still looking for his first career victory in Top Fuel; maybe this is the race where he gets it done.
ODDS: 7-1
Brittany Force
Brittany Force • Monster Energy
Force couldn’t repeat in Charlotte, bowing out early in eliminations, but she’s had a consistent car all year. If she can take her qualifying times into Sunday, watch out.
ODDS: 9-1
Shawn Langdon
Shawn Langdon • Global Electronic Technology
The former world champion is getting more comfortable in his new driver’s seat, but another first-round exit puts a little more pressure on Langdon entering the Southern Nationals. We know he’s got the talent, and the car, to go rounds on Sunday.
ODDS: 13-1

FUNNY CAR
Ron Capps
Ron Capps • NAPA Dodge
Beginning a little earlier in the year, but this is starting to feel like the summer of ’16 when Capps really began his championship run with back-to-back wins. Sure looks like Rahn Tobler is back to the form we saw last June.
ODDS: 5-2
Robert Hight
Robert Hight • Auto Club Chevy
This car has shown real potential to win — he had low e.t. of eliminations in Charlotte — but it’s just not happening for some reason. What better place for that to change than Atlanta, where John Force Racing has dominated in the past?
ODDS: 4-1
Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan • Mopar Express Lane Dodge
Lost points lead after a fourth-place finish in Charlotte, but he did win his first two quads there and was the highest non-JFR car on the ladder. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him around late Sunday and back in the No. 1 spot at weekend’s end.
ODDS: 5-1
Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman • Infinite Hero Dodge
Beckman’s three most recent results: second round, semifinal, runner-up. Next logical step is a win, right? Well, he has done pretty well here in the past, including a runner-up last year.
ODDS: 6-1
John Force
John Force • Peak Chevy
It’s been a while since ol’ Force won in Atlanta (2005 to be exact), but he does have seven wins here. Add in how strong his car has looked since Gainesville, and it’s not a stretch to think event win No. 8 could come this weekend.
ODDS: 7-1
Courtney Force
Courtney Force • Advance Auto Chevy
Man, oh man, does she look good in qualifying — three straight No. 1s proves that. Too bad those strong qualifying efforts aren’t carrying over to Sunday. Still, that has to change at some point, right?
ODDS: 9-1
Tommy Johnson Jr.
Tommy Johnson Jr. • Make-A-Wish Dodge
This car is probably better than a seventh-place ranking here, but after back-to-back first-round losses and the fact this is the ultra-competitive Funny Car class, that’s where Johnson lands — for now.
ODDS: 10-1
Jonnie Lindberg
Jonnie Lindberg • Head Racing Toyota
OK, so some of his success can be chalked up to luck, but giving credit where credit is due, Lindberg Treed and outran everyone in his first-round quad in Charlotte. Plus, luck is what you make of it, and Lindberg and Jim Head have put themselves in position to benefit from others’ miscues.
ODDS: 12-1

PRO STOCK
Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson • Summit Camaro
Four wins in 11 final rounds. What does that tell you about his affinity for Atlanta Dragway. Good bet that he’s the first repeat winner in Pro Stock.
ODDS: 3-1
Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. • JEGS.com Camaro
A bit of a hunch here, but he’s qualified No. 1 at the last two races and his driving ability speaks for itself. Honestly, he should already have a win or two this season.
ODDS: 4-1
Chris McGaha
Chris McGaha • Harlow Sammons Camaro
So what do you get when you win the Four-Wide? Apparently, an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta. He wasn’t coming to this event but had a last-minute change of heart. Chances are he won’t be disappointed.
ODDS: 6-1
Jason Line
Jason Line • Summit Camaro
Back-to-back winner of this event and he’s ranked fourth? Tipster might be making apologies for this one come Monday, but for now, he is where he is.
ODDS: 8-1
Tanner Gray
Tanner Gray • Gray Manufacturing Technologies Camaro
Definitely not happy about his red-light in Charlotte, but that’s all part of the learning curve. It will be a surprise if he doesn’t at least reach the semifinals this weekend.
ODDS: 9-1
Erica Enders
Erica Enders • Elite Motorsports Camaro
Red-lighted in Houston and got timed out in Charlotte with a car that could easily have won both. Result: Two-time champ is on the war path and will be very focused in Atlanta. She’s likely to start hurting some feelings very soon.
ODDS: 10-1
Bo Butner
Bo Butner • Butner Auto Camaro
Was within .02-second of the pole in Charlotte. That means he’s got enough race car to get the job done. As his driving continues to improve, so will results.
ODDS: 12-1
Drew Skillman
Drew Skillman • Skillman Auto Group Camaro
Red-light in the final ended what would have at least been a runner-up finish at the Four-Wide. He’s also coming back to Atlanta, the site of his memorable double in 2012.
ODDS: 15-1

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Eddie Krawiec
Eddie Krawiec • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
The sign out front says Atlanta Dragway, but Krawiec pretty much owns the place after reaching the final round five times and banking four wins since 2009.
ODDS: 5-2
Andrew Hines
Andrew Hines • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
The Harley team will be out for blood after both riders got caught flat-footed in the Four-Wide final. There is a really live possibility this will be the first 200-mph bike as well.
ODDS: 3-1
LE Tonglet
LE Tonglet • Nitro Fish Suzuki
You didn’t need a crystal ball to know that Tonglet would be a handful when teamed with Jerry Savoie. His win in Charlotte was likely the first of many.
ODDS: 4-1
Jerry Savoie
Jerry Savoie • White Alligator Suzuki
He’s been the low qualifier at the last five events, dating back to last season. No reason to think that trend won’t continue and that he won’t start a win streak here.
ODDS: 6-1
Joey Gladstone
Joey Gladstone • San Marino Excavating Suzuki
He’s probably going to need to win a race or two in order to be the rookie of the year, but if you’ve been watching, you’d know there is a very real chance of that happening.
ODDS: 8-1
Hector Arana Sr.
Hector Arana Sr. • Lucas Oil Buell
At the risk of being redundant, both of the Arana bikes are quick and both riders are solid, but consistency is a rare commodity right now.
ODDS: 10-1
Chip Ellis
Chip Ellis • Pippin Trucking Buell
The last few months have been a nightmare, but his fortunes have improved dramatically lately. A win here would mean the world to Georgia-based team owner Junior Pippin.
ODDS: 12-1
Scotty Pollacheck
Scotty Pollacheck • Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki
Anyone else notice this bike ran 6.817 in the first round of the Four-Wide race? Don’t be surprised if this is NHRA’s next first-time Pro winner.
ODDS: 14-1

PRO MOD
Mike Castellana
Mike Castellana • Al-Anabi Performance Camaro
Never driven a blown car before? Could have fooled us. After three races, he looks like a natural. This is easily the best car/driver combo in the class right now.
ODDS: 3-1
Troy Coughlin Sr.
Troy Coughlin • JEGS.com Corvette
Scored a bit of an emotional victory by qualifying No. 1 in Charlotte. His driving is also steady enough to get the job done.
ODDS: 4-1
Steve Matusek
Steve Matusek • Aeromotive Camaro
Houston champ lost in the first round of the Four-Wide, but that was little more than a bump in the road. He’s got everything necessary for a championship run, including confidence.
ODDS: 6-1
Michael Biehle
Michael Biehle • Biehle Racing Mustang
Welcome back, Michael Biehle. Ran 5.82 and 256 mph at zMAX, and there is a good chance he’ll be quicker and faster this weekend. Long overdue for an NHRA Pro Mod victory.
ODDS: 7-1
Jonathan Gray
Jonathan Gray • Vallen Camaro
At times, this can be the quickest car in the class, and Gray has quickly made the transition from Pro Stock to Pro Mod. Car owner Rickie Smith has owned Atlanta, and that trend could easily continue.
ODDS: 9-1
Shane Molinari
Shane Molinari • S&T Truck Repair Firebird
Another turbo car that is capable of putting up big numbers. Only made one good qualifying run in Charlotte, but it was a 5.818.
ODDS: 11-1
Steve Jackson
Steve Jackson • Bahrain1 Camaro
Admittedly, he’s tailed off a bit since impressive Gainesville debut, but the potential is certainly there for a big statement race. He’s also from Georgia, if that counts for anything.
ODDS: 13-1
Steven Whiteley
Steven Whiteley • J&A Services Cadillac
An almost sure-fire qualifier who is holding steady in third place in the points standings. He’s got a real strong chance of challenging for the title this year.
ODDS: 15-1