BROWN EARNS THIRD WIN OF '09 SEASON, WINS FIRST IN FIVE TRIES AT BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY
MORRISON, Colo (July 12, 2009) - The fifth time was the charm for 21-time NHRA winner Antron Brown as the second-year Top Fuel racer earned his third win of the season Sunday at Bandimere Speedway near Denver. Brown drove his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to his first win on "Thunder Mountain" after four runner-up finishes at the Denver race.
One day after earning his fifth No. 1 qualifying award of the season and 19th career pole at 3.862-seconds, Brown knocked off Rob Passey, Morgan Lucas, Spencer Massey and Doug Kalitta to earn his third win of the season, fifth in Top Fuel and 21st in his career. Brown extended his points lead and holds a 116-point margin over two-time series champion Larry Dixon after 13 of 24 races on the 2009 NHRA schedule. Bandimere Speedway is the 12th different track that Brown has won at.
Squaring off against the part-time race from Salt Lake City, Brown advanced passed the opening round of eliminations for the 13th time this season. Brown used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to score the wire-to-wire win in the right lane at Bandimere Speedway. The former college track star sped the bright blue Matco Tools/GoFast! car to a lap of 4.096 seconds at 268.01 mph to earn his 27th round win of the season. Brown remains the only Top Fuel driver to not have lost in the first round this year.
Brown earned his 285th career round win by edging Lucas in one of the closest races of the day. Brown got the slight jump out of the starting gate in the Matco Tools/DirecTV car and made it hold to score the holdshot win over the Geico/Lucas Oil car. The 16-time Pro Stock Motorcycle winner posted a lap of 4.042 at 296.70 to hold off Lucas' hard-charging lap of 4.034 at 292.52. Brown is now 3-0 against the 2009 Atlanta Top Fuel winner this season.
Brown advanced to his sixth final round of the season by edging the 2009 Rookie of the Year frontrunner in the semifinals. Two of the better leavers in Top Fuel used nearly identical reaction times as Brown powered the Matco Tools/Lend America rail to a lap of 4.003 at 292.71 to advance to the money round for the 44th time in his career. Massey's Don Prudhomme-owned car dropped a cylinder and clocked a pass of 4.159 at 259.71. Brown is now 1-1 against Massey.
Following a brief afternoon rain shower, Brown used Corradi and Oswald horsepower to score his first career win at Bandimere Speedway. Brown, who posted a runner-up finish to Tony Schumacher at the Denver race last July, used a lap of 3.944 at 295.21 to earn the win light in the left lane at Bandimere in the Matco Tools/Toyota rail. Kalitta's black dragster broke and coasted to a run of 11.363-seconds. Brown is now three for six in final rounds this season. The win avenged a season-opening final round loss to Kalitta at Pomona, Calif. in February. Brown is now 5-3 in eight races against Kalitta.
"I'm just glad to get this monkey of my back," Brown said. "It's awesome to win here at Denver. It's a great track and the Bandimere's are great people. It wasn't a dominating day, but a good day. We didn't have lane choice after first round. This is such a tough track to tame. It throws you so many curveballs. The sun is in, then it's out. There's cloud cover, then the clouds go away. The crew chiefs really have their work cut out racing here and Mark (Oswald) and Brian (Corradi) did a fantastic job. It was a tough day racing guys who can cut down the tree like Spencer Massey and Morgan Lucas. I'm just glad to get the monkey off our backs and win a race from the No. 1 qualifying spot. It feels great."
The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the 22nd annual Northwest NHRA Nationals, July 17-19, at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash near Seattle. Brown made his Seattle Top Fuel debut last July as the Pro Stock Motorcycle class doesn't compete at the Seattle race.