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Antron Brown led qualifying with a monster 3.785, the sixth-quickest time since the nitro cars began racing to 1,000 feet, which resulted in a huge gap between him and No. 2 qualifier Doug Kalitta's 3.849. 22nd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX, May 21-23, Topeka Round One Dixon-Grubnic Dixon doesn't have lane choice after qualifying in the bottom half for the first time in 41 races, but it doesn't matter.

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									       22nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX, May 21-23, Topeka
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Above) Seven-time and defending
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 world champ Tony Schumacher,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 near lane, picked up his first win in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Topeka, third of the season, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 64th of his Top Fuel career with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 holeshot final-round victory against
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 teammate Cory McClenathan. (Left)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Shawn Langdon equaled his season-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 best qualifying effort with a No. 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 3.887 and picked up his first round-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 win in more than a month.




                                                                                                           (Above) Brandon Bernstein was understandably dejected after red-
                                                                                                           lighting in the semifinals for the second straight race. The good news
                                                                                                           for him is that his Copart/Lucas Oil team is going rounds. (Right) Shawn
                                                                                                           Langdon, far lane, was .040 on the Tree in round two against Tony
                                                                                                           Schumacher, but Schumacher was right there with a .065 and won by
                                                                                                           eight-thousandths, 3.88 to 3.91.

                                                                                                             NOTEBOOK                                              especially strong Saturday with the quickest
                                                                                                                                                                   times in both qualifying sessions but lost a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  monster 3.785, the sixth-quickest time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  since the nitro cars began racing to 1,000
                                                                                                                                                                   close 3.89 to 3.92 semifinal contest to        feet, which resulted in a huge gap between
                                                                                                            Reaching the final was a battle for Cory               defending Top Fuel world champ Tony            him and No. 2 qualifier Doug Kalitta’s
                                                                                                            McClenathan, who thought that his                      Schumacher. Dixon’s crew chief, Jason          3.849. Unfortunately for Brown, he was a
                                                                                                            team’s accomplishments were well-                      McCulloch, said, “We had some ignition         second-round victim of a -.037 red-light
                                                                                                            earned. “Even though we’ve had success                 issues on that run, and it might have been     against Dixon. Several drivers expressed
                                                                                                            here in the past with a couple of wins                 related to the required implementation of      concerns about a “long Tree” during the
                                                                                                            [1994 and 1998], we seemed to be                       the automatic-shutoff procedure, which we      event, but Brown refused to use it as an
                                                                                                            struggling this weekend. But the guys                  hadn’t used since Pomona. We had similar       excuse. “Yes, the timing on the Tree seemed
                                                                                                            made some major changes in the second                  problems at the Winternationals and also       a bit longer here, but it was my fault. I just
                                                                                        
								
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