Antron Brown on Charlotte "I'm excited to go the first race of the Countdown to 1. It's the first Countdown race of my career, I didn't qualify last year. I think our Matco Tools team is peaking at the right time to make the final push towards...
Antron Brown on Charlotte
"I'm excited to go the first race of the Countdown to 1. It's the first Countdown race of my career, I didn't qualify last year. I think our Matco Tools team is peaking at the right time to make the final push towards the championship. We're going to do our best Usain Bolt impression and try and outrun all the favorites."
Lee Beard (crew chief) on Charlotte
"As far as the race track goes, it's going to be exciting. Every track that Bruton Smith has built have all been state-of-the-art facilities. Qualifying for the Countdown is over, now we're in round one of running for the championship. We feel the performance of our Matco dragster is right near the top. We have the team and driver to make a serious run at this championship."
Antron Brown Charlotte NHRA Notebook
Two weeks ago at the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Brown qualified his Matco Tools dragster eighth at 3.878-seconds. The Matco Tools team posted its fourth semifinal finish of the 2008 season and secured the No. 2 seed in the Countdown to 1. Brown earned his 250th career elimination round win in a second-round victory over two-time champion Larry Dixon. Brown has 29 round wins this season.
The first-year Top Fuel driver has impressed since transitioning from Pro Stock Motorcycle to Top Fuel. Brown has driven the Matco Tools dragster to four final-round appearances, with wins at Houston and Atlanta. He also has carded three poles, including the season-opening Winternationals in February. He has ranked second in the points since winning the Atlanta race in April. Brown and points-leader Tony Schumacher are the only drivers to win multiple races this season.
Brown has qualified for 163 consecutive NHRA events and hasn't missed the cut since the Gainesville race in 1998. It is the second longest qualifying streak in the professional ranks (Angelle Sampey--178). He has an average qualifying position of 4.88 this season with three poles. Brown has qualified in the top half of the 16-car order at 16 of 18 races.
Brown became the eighth different driver that crew chief Lee Beard has tuned to the pole and 10th different racer Beard has tuned to a win in Top Fuel or Funny Car. Beard has 53 wins and 60 poles.