POMONA, Calif. (AP) — Top Fuel points leader Shawn Langdon moved a step closer to his first season title, leading qualifying Thursday in the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Langdon, 103 points ahead of second-place Antron Brown, needs to win in the first round of eliminations Sunday to claim the championship. Langdon had a run of 3.772 seconds at 322.27 mph. Brown was second at 3.787 and 323.74.
"That run was critical to start off the weekend," Langdon said. "It puts a little pressure on Antron. It's an A-plus effort by the Al-Anabi team. There was nothing too tricky about it. We just made a good, clean run, and it was quicker than everybody else."
Jack Beckman topped Funny Car qualifying, Mike Edwards paced the Pro Stock field, and Adam Arana had the Pro Stock Motorcycle lead. John Force wrapped up his 16th Funny Car season title on Oct. 27 in Las Vegas, and Matt Smith also secured his second Pro Stock Motorcycle championship.
Beckman had a 4.077 at 309.20 in a Dodge Avenger, Edwards finished in 6.553 at 212.23 in a Chevrolet Camaro, and Arana had a 6.888 at 195.28 on a Buell.