ANTRON BROWN’S GRABS POLE ON HISTORIC RUN FOR SUNDAY’S AUTO-PLUS® NHRA NATIONALS
MOHNTON, Pa., October 1, 2011 – On the wings of a potential record run in today’s final qualifying session, Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster pilot Antron Brown rocketed onto the pole for Sunday’s 27th annual Auto-Plus® NHRA Nationals here at Maple Grove Raceway.
Running just one pair after Larry Dixon had apparently broken the national elapsed-time mark, the 35-year-old Brown’s 3.771-second lap at 325.30 miles per hour grabbed the record out from under his rival and earned his third number-one qualifier of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
“Watching the cars go down the track in front of us we knew the record was out there,” said the Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel pilot who has won four of the last six races, including three consecutively. “We felt confident in our ability to get it; the conditions were great.”
Similar conditions marked the other three qualifying rounds which resulted in passes of 3.825, 3.797 and 4.988.
In addition to earning him a first-round match against 16th-qualifier Bruce Litton in the final eliminations (which begin at 11 a.m. EDT), the record will earn him 20 valuable bonus points should it remain unchallenged through the end of this weekend’s race.
“Of course I’m excited about the record – and the bonus points that go with it,” said the New Jersey native who is in a tight battle for the lead in the Countdown to the Championship. “Tomorrow, we’ll go after the best numbers we can, but we have to stay poised and be strategic – the most important thing is to go rounds.
“I’m glad we have the record, but we have to pick up more points from round wins.”
Brown heads into Sunday trailing DSR teammate and current Countdown leader Spencer Massey by five points (the record points are not considered until the race concludes), less than one round of racing and is 74 points – less than four rounds – ahead of Dixon.