Las Vegas: Antron Brown final report

BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT LAS VEGAS LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2008) -- Antron Brown raced his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a second straight final round Sunday afternoon at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor ...

BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2008) -- Antron Brown raced his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a second straight final round Sunday afternoon at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Brown earned a runner-up finish and now sits just seven points from second place in the Top Fuel standings.

After racing the Matco Tools rail to the No. 6 qualifying position with a pass of 4.600 seconds on Friday evening, Brown knocked off veteran racer Bob Vandergriff, Jr., Top Fuel starlet Hillary Will, and perennial title contender Doug Kalitta before being eeked out by 30-time winner Cory McClenathan in the final round.

Two weeks after his historic win at Houston Raceway Park, Brown cruised to the opening round victory over the Georgia racer when Vandergriff fouled at the start in his UPS dragster. Brown used a tune-up from crew chief Lee Beard to clock a pass of 4.684 seconds at 307.30 mph in the Matco Tools/Valvoline dragster to earn the win light in the left lane at The Strip at LVMS. Brown recorded the third quickest pass of the first round of eliminations.

In round two, Brown was again competing out of the chosen left lane after earning lane choice over Will and the KB Racing team. Brown got the jump at the start and scored the wire-to-wire win with a time of 5.115 at 200.83 in the Matco/iLocate car. Brown posted the quickest half-track elapsed time of the round (3.176 seconds). Will's black dragster lost traction and slowed to a pass of 5.850 seconds.

Facing off against Kalitta in the semifinals for the second consecutive event, two of the better leavers in the class used nearly identical reaction times, but Kalitta's red dragster lost traction and Brown and the Matco Tools rail labored to the final round. The bright blue Matco-backed car posted a run of 5.007 at 260.97 to score the win over Kalitta's run of 5.613 at 212.63. Brown advanced to his 35th career final round with the win.

Racing in consecutive final rounds for the first time since the summer of 2006, Brown used a slight starting line advantage in the Matco Tools/Toyota car to jump to the early lead. Brown drove to a run of 4.703 at 315.93 in the challenging right lane, but was narrowly edged by McClenathan, who posted a run of 4.654 seconds in the FRAM dragster to win his first race of the season.

"We went to our second final round in a row this weekend and just fell a little short," Brown said. "It was still a good weekend for our Matco Tools team. It was a tricky all weekend long, especially in that right lane today.

"In that semifinal against Doug (Kalitta) that's the first time I heard a motor pop like that. Lee (Beard) told me if it spins the tires to keep my foot in it, so I did. We came back after that and made a great drag race in the final round and Cory (McClenathan) just nipped us with that 4.65. We ran that 4.70 in the right lane and that was a fantastic number. I'm happy. We just need to keep going rounds."

-credit: dpm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Doug Kalitta , Bob Vandergriff , Hillary Will