NHRA drivers tests for U.S. Nationals

Antron Brown gets his top fuel dragster ready for a test run at Lucas Oil Raceway ahead of next week's U.S. Nationals. (WXIN August 24, 2017)

BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Two days of test and tune have wrapped up at Lucas Oil Raceway and teams and drivers are more than ready for their biggest event of the season.

“This is the big daddy of them all,” said top fuel  points leader Antron Brown.  “We’re out here with so much on the table, double points, big money, last race to get into the countdown, that’s why we’re all here this week. “

Brown has three U.S National titles to his name, but it’s been a few years since someone broke through and knocked off Tony Schumacher, a ten-time champion.

“We have the number one seed,” said Brown.  “We want to keep it.  It starts in qualifying.  Need a great lap.  It’s crucial to get off to a great start, then hopefully it all falls into place Labor Day weekend.”

Funny car driver Courtney Force agrees.  She has yet to win an event this year, but if it all comes together at the U.S. Nationals, the season-long drought will be worth it.

“We expected more,” said Force, who will compete with her dad John and sister Brittany.  “We hoped to have a win already, but it’s just a matter of time.  Feeling confident in the tests here, we hope to end on a high note.”

No matter how it ends up, these drivers love the build-up and the event itself.

“It’s so much fun, the fans, the atmosphere here in the heart of racing country.  We love it.  I grew up watching my dad run here and it’s great to compete with him now,” said Force.

“I’m a Hoosier now!” added Brown.  “It’s amazing.  I’ve lived since since 2003 and I’m even recognized at the grocery store.  There’s no better place to compete.”

The U.S. Nationals run from Aug. 31st thru Labor Day, Sept. 4th.