BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Antron Brown hasn't competed in his Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster since he was at Pomona, Calif., last November, but that hasn't kept him from winning trophies. But instead of spinning his giant Goodyear slicks, he's been spinning propellers on his several radio-controlled racing boats.
"We had a lot of fun with a lot of friends and to be able to kick back. It gets you sharp and your mind focused for the Mello Yello season. It helps with hand-eye coordination that makes a big difference.
I'm leading the points in the series but won't make all five races. "Now it's time to turn my head to my bread and butter and get ready for Pomona. I'm feeling real good, sharp and back on my feet. I feel really light and I'm ready to rock."
Antron and the Matco Tools team, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champions, were the second quickest Top Fueler during the Jan. 17-18 PRO Winter Warm-up test sessions at Palm Beach International Raceway at Jupiter, Fla. But they were the most consistent with all four runs in the 3.7-second range including 3.735 seconds (325.85 mph) and 3.737 (325.85).
"Our Matco Tools team feels great. We had a great test session and we got a lot accomplished. I'm real proud of our whole team. We're definitely on point right now and all of our guys are doing a fantastic job. We're real excited to go to Pomona. We're ready to go out there and have some fun and get the season kicked off. 2014 is here, the competition is going to be steep but we are definitely ready to contend."
NO REPEAT OF '13 WINTERNATIONALS
Antron had a harrowing experience at last year's Winternationals when a part broke, cut a rear tire just past the finish line that sent him sliding on his side into the guardwall and to the end of the track. Thanks to his DSR-developed enclosed safety canopy the popular driver did not suffer any serious injuries and he returned to the next race two weeks later and won the Top Fuel title two events later at Gainesville, Fla.
Although he advanced to the semifinals, his dragster was destroyed and was not able to race in that round.
He's not expecting an encore performance. "Absolutely not. We don't even want think about that. We only want to think about what's ahead for us and there's a lot of opportunity in front of us.
"We're going to hit every round hard like we did in the last events of last year's Countdown when we won two of the last four races. We'll treat every race like that this year.
"I have a great feeling we'll contend for the championship again this year and Pomona starts it.
Don Schumacher Racing