ANTRON BROWN BLASTS MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO QUICKEST ELAPSED TIME OF NATIONAL TIMES TRIALS - 3.781-SECONDS CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 25, 2009) - Antron Brown and his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools team proved they can run with the best cars in NHRA's...
ANTRON BROWN BLASTS MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO QUICKEST ELAPSED TIME OF NATIONAL TIMES TRIALS - 3.781-SECONDS
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 25, 2009) - Antron Brown and his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools team proved they can run with the best cars in NHRA's Top Fuel division Sunday at the National Time Trials at Firebird International Raceway. The 18-time NHRA winner clocked the quickest elapsed time of the preseason open test session as he powered the Matco Tools car to a performance of 3.781 seconds at 316.45 mph.
"I'm just really ecstatic about our race team," Brown said. "Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) are doing a phenomenal job with this Matco Tools dragster, and my guys are doing awesome. We jell more and more each time we go down the race track. I have a really good feeling about our car going into Pomona (Calif.). We're going to have a really good team this season."
Brown and the Matco crew made six passes over the last two days at the ultra-quick Phoenix track with five runs under four seconds. The team aborted its first run on Friday after a malfunction during the burnout. On his first pass of the 2009 season on Saturday, Brown powered the bright blue Matco-backed rail to a lap of 3.884 at 306.12. Later that day, the New Jersey native raced to a run of 3.870 at 310.63.
On the final official day of the National Time Trials, Brown used a tune-up from Corradi and Oswald to clock a performance of 3.829 at 301.47 on Sunday's second attempt. On his final test lap, Corradi and Oswald showed they can tune a Top Fuel dragster as the former college track star powered to the quickest pass of the weekend at 3.781 at 316.45. It was the second fastest speed of the National Time Trials. The Matco Tools team will do a tire test for Goodyear on Monday at F.I.R.
"We're not surprised, but we are very pleased with the performance of the car," Corradi said. "The car is responding to everything we're asking it to do. We came out here to get used to running the dragster and it's showing a lot of promise. Everyone out here is trying to do the same thing and that's make the car run the best it can. We're running the dragster the same way we ran the Funny Car motor-wise and applying the clutch a little sooner and this is what we got. We're going to make two more laps on Monday."
"I'm so proud of this team and their outstanding results at testing," Ashley added. "After all of the off season changes, this is a true testament to the character of the entire Matco team."
The quickest 1,000-foot pass Brown posted last season was 3.803-seconds in the first round at Virginia Motorsports Park in October. The quickest 1,000-foot E.T. was posted by six-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher at 3.771-seconds. Only Schumacher, Hillary Will and Doug Herbert ran in the 3.7-second range last season. Schumacher and the U.S. Army/Matco Tools team posted the second quickest testing lap at 3.795-seconds on Sunday.
"I also want to thank my Matco family here in Phoenix this weekend," Brown said. "It's great to have such awesome support from the local Matco group with district manager Kent (Holladay) and the Phoenix group. We had a lot of Matco distributors hanging out with us this weekend here at testing, and we love the support for our race team here at MAR."