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2014 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals: Who to watch

Antron Brown is the defending Top Fuel winner at Atlanta
Antron Brown is the defending Top Fuel winner at Atlanta
NHRA Media

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series visits Atlanta Dragway for the 34th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, Friday through Sunday, May 16th through 18th. The event will feature the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle divisions, as well as the NHRA Pro Mod Series and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series action.

Once again, there will be a focus on the women of the NHRA, as win No. 100 looms for females in the Mello Yello Series. Seven women will be competing across the four categories this weekend: Brittany Force in Top Fuel; Courtney Force and Alexis DeJoria in Funny Car; Erica Enders-Stevens in Pro Stock; and Angie Smith, Katie Sullivan and Elvira Karlsson in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Enders-Stevens, who has two wins this season, took win No. 99 at Houston; DeJoria also has two wins in 2014.

2013 Top Fuel winner Antron Brown returns to Atlanta to defend his title, with wins in the last two events (Charlotte and Houston) and final-round appearances in four of the last five events. The points leader has five victories in six final-round appearances at Atlanta Dragway dating back to his PSM days; three of those wins came in Top Fuel (2008, 2011 and 2013).

“It’s always been a good race track for me,” said Brown. “I distinctly remember winning there on the U.S. Army bike when I beat Andrew Hines in the final (in 2006). I remember getting my second Top Fuel Wally when I beat Tony Schumacher on a holeshot (in 2008). That was a huge deal because that was the era when no one was beating Tony.”

2012 PSM winner Eddie Krawiec, who also won the race in 2009, and points leader Andrew Hines, winner at Atlanta in 2008 and 2010, bring their Harleys back to the track. They’ll have plenty of competition for the Wally, however, as 26 bikes are on the entry list, vying for just 16 spots on the ladder.

“It’s so cool to see where the class is now,” said PSM rider Michael Ray. “To be in the mix of it is really awesome. The depth of the field is incredible and is just stacked with power. I’m excited for what Star Racing has in store and I think we’re really going to shine.”

Pro qualifying gets underway Friday, May 16th at 4:15 and 6:30 p.m. ET and continues on Saturday, May 17th at 12:30 and 3:15 p.m. ET. Eliminations get underway on Sunday, May 18th at 11 a.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.

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