Antron Brown Phoenix test preview

ANTRON BROWN TO KICK-OFF 2009 NHRA SEASON AT NATIONAL TIME TRIALS CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 21, 2009) - Following an active off season that included trips to New York and Orlando, nasal surgery, and a recent ownership change, sophomore Top Fuel ...

ANTRON BROWN TO KICK-OFF 2009 NHRA SEASON AT NATIONAL TIME TRIALS

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 21, 2009) - Following an active off season that included trips to New York and Orlando, nasal surgery, and a recent ownership change, sophomore Top Fuel sensation Antron Brown is certainly ready to go drag racing. Brown and his Mike Ashley Racing/Matco Tools Top Fuel team will prepare for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series at the National Time Trails at Firebird International Raceway Jan. 23-25.

"I'm thrilled to finally get to the race track and fire up this Matco Tools dragster," Brown said. "I'm so ready to get out of the midwest and the cold weather, and get to some warm weather and see the sun, and put the off season behind and start 2009 on the right track.

"Testing is very important to our race team because we want to start strong this season. I'm really looking forward to working with my new crew chiefs, Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald), and learning how they run the car and getting to know their personalities. Having good chemistry with the crew and crew chiefs is very important to me, so I really want to get to know my guys and get this Matco dragster down the track at Phoenix with some quick E.T.s."

The Matco Tools dragster will sport a slightly different look in 2009 with the team's marketing goal to target new Matco franchisees. The bright blue pin-striped rail will feature the popular Iron Eagle on the sides of the Matco Tools car. The team also will debut a new Brad Hadman chassis during the National Time Trials.

"We're just looking to pick up where Lee (Beard) left off," Corradi said. "Our goal is to gel as a race team. The car performs already, we know that. We want to give Antron (Brown) a safe car and keep running they way they did last season. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. We know consistency wins races."

Last season, Brown became the first driver in NHRA history to earn wins in both the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories. The 18-time NHRA winner scored two wins in five final round appearances and posted three No. 1 qualifiers en route to a top five finish in the NHRA Top Fuel standings. The 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series begins at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Feb. 5-8, with the 49th annual Kragen O'Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals. Brown earned the pole at the Winternationals last season (4.495-seconds).

"The Winternationals is such a cool race," Brown said. "For the fans, they get to see all the new cars and paint schemes and the racers get to reunite and catch up with all our friends we haven't seen for three months. It's going to be a good event with some tough competition. The Top Fuel class is going to be strong all season with Tony (Schumacher) and Larry (Dixon) and the Budweiser and FRAM cars and Snake's team too. Whoever wins races will definitely earn them."

-credit: mar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Mike Ashley