ANTRON BROWN QUALIFIES SIXTH FOR SUNDAY’S NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS

Antron Brown, Matco Tools/ Aaron;s
Antron Brown, Matco Tools/ Aaron;s

Photo by: Ted Rossino

CHANDLER, Ariz., October 15, 2011 – Antron Brown overcame a disqualified run Friday with the two quickest passes today, thus putting the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster into the top-half of the field and gaining what might be a crucial lane choice in the opening round of Sunday’s 27th-annual NHRA Arizona Nationals here at Firebird International Raceway.

The points earned by qualifying sixth, with today’s 3.998 and 3.991-second passes, narrowed the gap between Brown and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. When he lines up for his first-round final-eliminations race against 11th-qualifier David Grubnic, Brown will be within 35 points of Countdown leader Massey, who did not qualify for the event.

“We’re not thinking about the points,” said the 35-year-old New Jersey native. “Our focus is going rounds (each one worth 20 points). We are going to keep on doing what we’ve done all year long – dig in and keep working. Mark and Brian (Oswald and Corradi, co-crew chiefs) and the Matco Tools guys are going after the first round win and then we’ll worry about what’s next.

“We just have to stay poised and focused, like we did after Friday’s second-session results were disqualified due to us being under weight. The guys put that behind them, came out today and made a statement in both rounds.”

Brown refused to discuss the points race with Massey and the other Countdown leaders, reflecting back to the team’s 2009 season where they entered the playoffs in the top spot, but ended it third.

“I think we learned a lot in ’09 about not getting ahead of ourselves and looking ahead,” said the Matco Tools/U.S. Army driver. “And the most important thing might just be staying within ourselves.”