Don Schumacher Racing press release
ANTRON BROWN REACHES QUARTERFINALS OF AUTO-PLUS® NHRA NATIONALS
MOHNTON, Pa., October 3, 2011 – Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster pilot Antron Brown’s wild weekend here at the 27th-annual Auto-Plus® NHRA Nationals included recording one of the quickest laps in history during qualifying before dropping a second-round race on Sunday prior to suspension of the event at Maple Grove Raceway due to the rain and cold weather.
Brown captured his third pole of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season in Saturday’s final qualifying session with a lap of 3.766-seconds to break the previous record, but it was short-lived as Del Worsham bettered the mark with a 3.760 during Sunday’s opening round of final eliminations.
The six-time 2011 winner began Sunday’s race with a solid 3.773-second pass at 321.58 miles per hour to defeat 16th-qualifier Bruce Litton. However, he was slowed by a mechanical issue during his quarterfinal match, resulting in a loss to David Grubnic.
"Up until the issue against Grubnic, the car was running flawlessly," said the 35-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver. "Sometimes things just happen that you don't expect. The good news is that we're still very much in the thick of the Countdown to the Championship.
“We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year. We’ve got to work hard and the races will take care of themselves.”
When the first of the final-three Countdown races commence in less than two weeks at Firebird International Raceway outside Phoenix, Brown, holding second place, will trail DSR teammate Spencer Massey by 65 points or just over three race rounds.
“We have three more races in the season, in the Countdown,” said the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster pilot. “As long as we keep to our strategy and not try to do crazy things, we’ll be okay.
“We didn’t pick up the 20 bonus points for the record, but look what happened to Del (Worsham actually set the elapsed-time mark of 3.735 while losing the final round in today’s finish to the race). Every point is important, but winning rounds and races is a better plan than going for it all on one run.
“We’ll go to Arizona looking to get back on track, back to the winner’s circle. There’ll be a new track surface and we might get hot conditions, but I have immense confidence in Mark and Brian’s (Oswald and Corradi, co-crew chiefs) ability to deal with any and all conditions. They just keep giving me a great hot rod!”