ANTRON BROWN PACES FIELD AT U.S. NATIONALS, EARNS SEVENTH POLE OF '09 SEASON IN MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER Clocks second fastest run at 1,000-feet, 319.22 mph CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2009) - Antron Brown saved his best run of qualifying for last as...
ANTRON BROWN PACES FIELD AT U.S. NATIONALS,
EARNS SEVENTH POLE OF '09 SEASON IN MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER
Clocks second fastest run at 1,000-feet, 319.22 mph
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2009) - Antron Brown saved his best run of qualifying for last as the 23-time NHRA winner powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the No. 1 qualifying position Saturday evening at O'Reilly Raceway Park. The Top Fuel point's leader used a blast of 3.835-seconds to drive the Matco-backed rail to its seventh pole award of the 2009 season.
The two-time U.S. Nationals winner (2000, '04), entered the final day of qualifying for the 55th annual U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil in the provisional No. 3 position after racing to a pass of 3.852 seconds at 314.39 mph on Saturday evening at the historic Indianapolis-area drag strip. Sunday's racing action was cut short due to morning and early afternoon rain showers. That didn't bother the first-place team as they raced to the top of the pack on their final qualifying attempt. Brown used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, who tuned team owner Mike Ashley to the Funny Car title at the 2007 U.S. Nationals, to blister the O.R.P. track in 3.835 at 319.22, the second fastest speed in 1,000-foot racing. Brown is the only driver to exceed 319-mph (319.75 mph). Brown's run nipped seven-time U.S. Nationals Top Fuel winner Tony Schumacher by one thousanth of-a-second (3.836-seconds). It was the 21st No. 1 qualifying award for Brown and a category-best seventh in '09. It is the second time he has earned consecutive poles this year (Topeka, Kan. and Joliet, Ill.).
"This just feels great," Brown said. "This track here at O.R.P. has been unbelievable all weekend long and we were blessed to have some cloud cover. If it's overcast, I think some cars can go even quicker in the first round. Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) looked at our 60-foot time and said we can go even quicker. I just loving working along side those two jokers. Being part of this Matco Tools team here at MAR is just something special. We've all just jelled so well and we're peaking at the right time. Our Matco Tools car just seems to be getting faster and more consistent making solid back-to-back runs, and that's what we need going into the Countdown (to 1).
"To win here at Indy would be such a big deal. You know for a kid that grew up in New Jersey in the sport racing with my family and going to places like Atco (Dragway) and Englishtown (N.J.) and Maple Grove Raceway, this is the race we all want to win. It's our biggest race of the year and we really want to get in done in Top Fuel after winning a few times on the bikes."
Brown will face off against No. 16 qualifier Spencer Massey in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations at 11 a.m. (ET) on Monday at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Brown is 2-2 against the Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned car this season. Brown has a mark of 42-12 with eight final-round appearances and a category-best five wins in 17 races this year.