Gainesville: Antron Brown Saturday notes

BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO NO. 7 SPOT AT GATORNATIONALS GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Antron Brown, a 19-time NHRA winner, powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the No. 7 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at...

BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO NO. 7 SPOT AT GATORNATIONALS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Antron Brown, a 19-time NHRA winner, powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the No. 7 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at Gainesville Raceway with an elapsed time of 3.943-seconds. He has qualified in the top half of the field at?each race this season.

Brown, who won three weeks ago at Phoenix, entered the final day of qualifying for the 40th annual ACDelco Gatornationals in the No. 6 qualifying position after clocking an elapsed time of 3.946-seconds on Friday afternoon. The 19-time NHRA winner coasted to a pass of 6.520 seconds at 92.57 mph after his Matco Tools dragster shook the tires on Saturday's first qualifying attempt. The former college track star made his best qualifying effort on his final lap using a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to power the bright blue Matco-backed rail to a performance of 3.943 at 305.77 to finish seventh in the 16-car order. Brown now has an average qualifying position of 3.7 this year.

"It was tough out there this weekend, but we made a really good run on that last pass," Brown said. "We like this warm weather here at Gainesville, but it makes the track very tricky. That 3.94 on the last run gives us a lot of confidence heading into race day on Sunday. I'm confident this Matco Tools team is going to go out and make it happen."

"Getting down on that last run really helps our confidence," Corradi added. "We haven't been on a track with these conditions yet. We're catching up on it and have an idea of where we need to be for Sunday."

Brown will face off against No. 10 qualifier Clay Millican in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations at 11 a.m. (ET) on Sunday. They have yet to meet during eliminations. Brown has a round record of 7-1 in two races this season. Oswald, Brown's co-crew chief, won the Funny Car title at the 1991 Gatornationals behind the wheel of his In-N-Out Burger flopper.

"It was important to get down the track on that last pass," Ashley said. "We're confident that Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) have a good handle on the tune-up of this Matco dragster."

Headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., Mike Ashley Racing fields the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Antron Brown. MAR proudly represents racing partners Matco Tools, Lend America, Toyota, DataDot USA, Ringer's Gloves, Go Fast Sports, Goodyear, FRAM, Autolite, Suzuki, Connexions Sports and Entertainment, and Forward Sports Marketing.

Mike Ashley Racing supports Autism Awareness through their support of the Hyperbaric Therapy Center. A 2007 Centers for Disease Control report found that one in 150 children in America today have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and an estimated 1.5 million Americans and their families are now affected. Autism is a national health crisis, and Mike Ashley Racing is working to help educate the public about ways they can get involved. Visit the Heal Autism Now website for more information about how you can get involved at www.healautismnow.org.

-credit: mar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Antron Brown , Mike Ashley