ANTRON BROWN QUALIFIES MATCO TOOLS/U.S. ARMY DRAGSTER FOURTH AT PHOENIX
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 20, 2010) - Antron Brown powered his Don Schumacher-owned Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster to the No. 4 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix. Brown's quickest qualifying lap came on his final attempt at 3.838-seconds.
A day after racing to the provisional No. 7 qualifying position at 3.884-seconds, the NHRA pros played the waiting game as Mother Nature halted racing action due to morning rain showers. After the brief storm blew through the Valley of the Sun, the nitro action heated up with Top Fuel and Funny Car. With just one qualifying session on Saturday at the 26th annual Arizona Nationals, Brown made the most of his only effort on the Firebird track. Racing in the right lane, the Matco Tools flagship driver used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to race to the second quickest pass of the day. Brown powered the Matco/Valvoline rail to a pass of 3.838 seconds at 315.35 mph to move to fourth in the 16-car order. The Matco Tools/U.S. Army team earned five bonus points during qualifying. Brown's U.S. Army teammate Tony Schumacher earned his 59th career pole on Saturday with a pass of 3.81 seconds, while FRAM driver Cory McClenathan finished fifth at 3.84-seconds. Brown qualified third at F.I.R. last February at 3.830-seconds.
"That was a really good lap; this Matco Tools/U.S. Army car is really coming around," Brown said. "Our car has gotten better every run and there's a lot left in the tune-up. Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) are happy with the way things are progressing and this Matco Tools team is going to be strong. We have a lot of Matco distributors here at Phoenix and we'll to try and win this race again for them and all the Army soldiers supporting us."
Brown will face off against No. 13 qualifier Troy Buff in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations at 11 a.m. (MT) on Sunday. Brown is 4-0 in his career against Buff. Brown defeated Brandon Bernstein in the final round of the Phoenix race last February.