TITLE PUSH FOR ANTRON BROWN IN THIS WEEKEND’S NHRA FINALS
POMONA, Calif., November 7, 2011 – The focus throughout the season for Antron Brown has been on winning the NHRA Full Throttle championship and on the eve of this weekend’s 47th-annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals here the driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster finds himself less than a round out of first place.
“The last two seasons we came to the Auto Club Raceway here in Pomona for the season finale out of the title hunt,” recalled Brown. “We won both times, but they were bittersweet victories; victories which hinted at what might have been.
“From the very beginning, this year we have had our sights set on being in a position to win the championship when the final race came around and we are there now. Obviously, we like racing here at this time of the season. Mark and Brian (Oswald and Corradi, co-crew chiefs) have proven they understand this track (in addition to the two wins, he has a runner up and two number-one qualifiers in seven Top Fuel appearances here) and they have the Matco Tools dragster ready for this race.
“When I started driving 21 years ago, I just wanted to get down the track. I never thought about winning a race or a championship. But after my first season, it looked like it was something that was possible, and I thought maybe it was something I could do. I've been trying to do it for the last 20 years, and I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, I definitely feel I'm excited. I'm more excited this year than I have been ever in my drag racing career.”
Brown, a six-time winner in eight final-round appearances this year, trails NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship points-leader and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey by 14 points and second-place driver Del Worsham by 12.
“We were disappointed losing to Del in the semifinals at Las Vegas (the last race), but that was just a bump in the road,” said the former Pro Stock Motorcycle rider and only driver to win in that category (16 times) and Top Fuel. “I’ve been close (to a title) before and that makes me hungry. We just have to do what we’ve done all year – work hard and dig deep to get this job done.
“The problem is with this category, there are a million ways to lose, and only one way to win. We always go in the last race in Pomona with nothing to lose. When we go out this year and we'll go out and have some fun. The winner's going to have some low scores out there.
“I'm really amped up. I'm pumped. This NHRA Nationals, just to be there at the game to have a chance to win a championship. That is the incentive. We all go in there with our heads held high and give it our best shot and see where we end up.”