NHRA Power Rankings: Brainerd

Before every event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, ESPN analyst Mike Dunn will rank the top three drivers -- and riders on weekends the Pro Stock Motorcycle crew competes -- in each category. Up this week? The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.


With eight races left in the season, the event in Brainerd, Minnesota, sometimes gets lost in the equation. But I believe it is important because most teams are done testing new parts and will start the race with the combination they plan on running for the championship. This is an important fact, as we will start to see who has the goods to really start contending.

Top Fuel

1. Doug Kalitta
2. Tony Schumacher
3. Antron Brown

I went with my three-race formula (leaving out Denver), and this is what comes up. Not a big surprise. Ones to watch would be the Al-Anabi team and the Morgan Lucas team. Both Shawn Langdon and Khalid alBalooshi have been running some good numbers, and the consistency is coming around. Morgan Lucas will be running a car, along with Richie Crampton, and that team always does well at this event.

Funny Car

1. John Force
2. Ron Capps
3. Matt Hagan

The two winningest drivers in Brainerd history are 1-2. The battle for the top 10 is the best in this class, so it will be great to watch how Tim Wilkerson, Jack Beckman and Del Worsham run for the Countdown. My numbers show it is Worsham who has the best car of the three, then Beckman and Wilkerson. Of those three, Wilkerson is the only one who has shown improvement the past few races. It should be a great battle!

Pro Stock

1. Erica Enders-Stevens
2. Jason Line
3. Greg Anderson

Enders-Stevens has had the best car all season, and two races off won't change that. What has changed since she last raced in Denver is the KB racing team of Line and Anderson. They keep getting better, and if that trend continues, they will peak just at the right time. One to watch would be Jeg Coughlin Jr. He has not had a great car lately, but he does have four wins at this track, the most of any active driver.

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