The two Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) drivers met in the opening round with Schumacher prevailing over Brown, but the seven-time Top Fuel champion wasn't able to repeat his Father's Day performance of last year when he won the Top Fuel final. Schumacher lost in the second round by three thousandths-of-a-second to Morgan Lucas.
Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster, defeated Brown by making it down the track in 3.848 seconds at 323.12 mph. "The Sarge", a five-time winner of the Thunder Valley Nationals, came back with a run of 3.882 seconds at 323.66 mph versus Lucas, who posted a pass of 3.864 seconds at 314.61 mph.
"We really wanted to win this weekend and celebrate the U.S. Army's birthday with another Bristol win," said Schumacher, who regained the top spot in championship standings. "This is not an easy sport. There are great people out here that do great things. Just look at the top-10 and how close the whole division is. There are so many good cars you really have to be on your game every run. We left a little on the table and when you do that someone's going to take it. Morgan did today. I really want to congratulate him and his team. They ran a 3.86 with the sun out. Despite getting beat in the second round, we're leaving here leading the points and that's a good thing. We'll see if we can add to the lead next week at a new track in New Hampshire."
Brown's run of 4.607 seconds at 184.95 mph aboard the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Dragster wasn't fast enough to derail Schumacher. The reigning Top Fuel champion was looking to advance past the opening round for the first time in three events.
"We just have to keep staying on our plan and keep our focus," said Brown, following his fourth loss of the season to Schumacher. "We just need to beat this resistance with persistence. We'll take it one step at a time, and that starts tomorrow. We're going to stick around and do some testing. You have to keep your same mindset. We learn from every experience that we have in this sport. I've been in it for 16 years now. When you go through the down times, you can't let it keep pulling you down. You have to keep picking at it. I'm confident it will turn around. We have the team to make it better and just as every Soldier is vital to the success of the mission, every member of this team will keep working at it until we get right back where we need to be."
Steve Torrence earned his first Top Fuel event victory of the season by defeating Spencer Massey of DSR in the Top Fuel final.
Schumacher is one point ahead of Shawn Langdon (802-801) and 142 ahead of Brown (660), who ranks fourth.
The next event is the inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals next weekend (June 21-23) at New England Dragway in Epping, N. H.