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Antron Brown races to 1st NHRA victory as team owner

In this photo provided by the NHRA, Bob Tasca drives in Funny Car qualifying for the Menards NHRA Nationals drag races Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kan. (Jerry Foss/NHRA via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Three-time season champion Antron Brown raced to his first victory as a team owner Sunday in the Menards NHRA Nationals.

Brown broke a 30-event drought, beating four-time defending series champion Steve Torrence in the final round for his 69th victory and first since the third race of the 2021 season. The 46-year-old Brown had a 3.902-second run at 309.49 mph at Heartland Motorsports Park.

“We kept our heads down,” Brown said. “We faced a lot of resistance, but this AB Motorsports team, we’re all one unit. I wouldn’t want to do this with anybody else. All the people that have been behind us and supported us, this means so much. It felt so good to get this win. I love it and here we come, baby.”

Bob Tasca III won in Funny Car, Troy Coughlin Jr. in Pro Stock and Joey Gladstone in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Tasca beat 73-year-old John Force in the final with a 3.999 at 316.82 in a Ford Mustang for his second victory of the season and 11th in his career.

Coughlin raced to his second straight victory, topping defending series champion Greg Anderson with a 6.680 at 206.54 in a Chevrolet Camaro.

Gladstone also raced to his second straight victory, beating Eddie Krawiec with a 6.876 at 195.59 on a Suzuki to take the points lead.