By Don Schumacher Racing
Antron Brown Places Matco Tools Dragster In Show At Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Antron Brown, aboard his Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, collected the ninth starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow’s fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
After Friday’s qualifying sessions were taken off the board because of rain, Brown used a 3.907-second pass at 287.78 mph to climb into the 16-car field and earn him a match with eighth-place qualifier Doug Kalitta. It is only the third time in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season Brown has qualified outside the top half of the order.
“We certainly wanted to qualify a lot better, but we’ll just have to deal with where we’re at,” said Brown, who was a finalist in Norwalk last year. We got behind the eight ball a little bit when we smoked the tires in the first session. But, we came back for round two and did what we needed to do. The guys responded well.”
Brown will not have lane choice in what should be the opening pair of cars in the first round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. ET.
“I don’t believe that is much of a factor here at this place,” said the New Jersey native. “The lanes are pretty equal in my opinion. It’s on us to go out and get the job done no matter what lane we are in.”
After losing to Larry Dixon in the finals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway last weekend, Brown is focused on taking care of business in the Buckeye State.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “I have all the faith in the world my Matco Tools/U.S. Army team will come out firing tomorrow.”
Brown arrived in Norwalk holding fourth-place in the standings, 84 points removed from Del Worsham in first-place.
“The competition is real tight right now,” he said. “One good race and any one of the top five can quickly end up challenging Del.”