Schu­macher Rac­ing roars in top fuel too

Pow­er­house funny car team con­trols an­other di­vi­sion at Bandimere

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Ben­jamin Arthur

MOR­RI­SON» Don Schu­macher Rac­ing has dom­i­nated funny car this year, but the team dis­played a com­mand of top fuel at Bandimere Speed­way.

An­tron Brown won his third race of the sea­son at the 38th an­nual Mopar Mile-High Na­tion­als on Sun­day over DSR team­mate Leah Pritch­ett. Three of the four fi­nal­ists at Bandimere rep­re­sented Don Schu­macher Rac­ing.

“(DSR) teams have al­ways been at the top of the pack,” Brown said. “We have all-star crew chiefs down to crew mem­bers. Ev­ery­one wants

to work to­gether to beat each other. When you mo­ti­vate each other to beat each other, you raise (the stan­dard) to a dif­fer­ent bar.”

This year, DSR has mo­nop­o­lized funny car com­pe­ti­tion in a way not seen since John Force Rac­ing dom­i­nated be­fore the turn of the cen­tury. DSR’s four­car team in funny car has won 12-of- 14 races. And be­fore Tommy John­son Jr.’s loss to Robert Hight in Sun­day’s fi­nal, DSR had 10 con­sec­u­tive wins.

But the all-DSR fi­nal in top fuel was the big story Sun­day. Brown de­feated Pritch­ett with a 3.792sec­ond elapsed time, high­lighted by a 0.047 re­ac­tion time, at 319.82 mph.

Brown has now won at Bandimere three times in his ca­reer, ty­ing him with Scott Kalitta and Tony Schu­macher for third-most all time. He has com­peted in a Sun­day fi­nal in five of the last seven races.

“We were patch­ing some­thing up ev­ery round,” Brown said. “We’re al­ready at the high el­e­va­tion. But the thing about it is, when that light comes on on that score­board in that fi­nal … our game just kept on step­ping up, and that’s just a tes­ta­ment to our team.”

Be­fore the fi­nal, Pritch­ett came to Brown and gave him a fist bump — like they do ev­ery race week­end. See­ing how amped Pritch­ett was, Brown said, boosted his en­ergy too. In the fi­nal, only 0.024 of a sec­ond sep­a­rated them.

Brown em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of DSR stay­ing fo­cused head­ing to the Sonoma Na­tion­als, July 2830 in Cal­i­for­nia.

“All the other teams have el­e­vated them­selves to the same level,” Brown said. “It’s any­body’s race. You’ve got cars out here that could win and set world records and run ETs that’s faster than any­one out here, ev­ery week­end.”

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