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Antron Brown tops NHRA qualifying at Brainerd

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BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) — Top Fuel driver Antron Brown raced to his third No. 1 qualifying position of the season Saturday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.

John Force topped the Funny Car field, and Allen Johnson led in Pro Stock.

Brown, a five-time winner this year, had a 3.810-second run at 318.77 mph in his Don Schumacher Racing dragster.

“We were pushing to run better,” Brown said. “The cloud cover came in, and we were trying to run quicker. My guys did an incredible job. We’ll take that No. 1. Those are three more bonus points for the run and a couple points for qualifying No. 1.”

Force powered to his fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 151st of his career in Funny Car after an afternoon rain shower cooled off the track and set the stage for his Ford Mustang to sprint to a performance of 4.060 at 315.27. The 11-time Brainerd winner will face Bob Bode in the opening round.

In Pro Stock, Johnson claimed his fifth No. 1 of the season and 36th of his career with his Friday run of 6.614 at 207.98 in his Dodge Dart.