Norwalk: Antron Brown Saturday notes

BROWN QUALFIES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER FIFTH AT NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2009) - Antron Brown, the current NHRA Top Fuel points leader, drove his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the No. 5 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at...

BROWN QUALFIES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER FIFTH AT NORWALK

NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2009) - Antron Brown, the current NHRA Top Fuel points leader, drove his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the No. 5 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Now the four-time Top Fuel winner looks to join Ashley as a winner at the Norwalk NHRA race. Ashley earned the Funny Car title at the inaugural Norwalk race in 2007.

Brown, who has claimed four No. 1 qualifying awards this season, entered the final day of qualifying in the provisional No. 5 position. The 20-time NHRA winner posted two solid laps on Friday, the opening day of qualifying for the third annual Norwalk NHRA race. Brown cruised the Matco Tools/Lend America dragster to a run of 4.011 seconds at 289.94 mph on Friday's first attempt and then improved with a lap of 3.933 at 305.01, the fastest speed of the day. Brown, a former college track star, has the three fastest speeds this season, including the fastest 1,000-foot pass at 319.75 mph (Bristol, Tenn.).

On Saturday, all team's were faced with a very hot Norwalk drag strip. Brown's Matco Tools/Toyota rail lost traction early on the day's first qualifying lap, coasting to a pass of 6.465 at 95.90. He remained fifth in the 16-car order. Brown posted the quickest 330-foot time on his final qualifying lap and clocked a pass of 4.652 at 165.05 after the Matco Tools/Lucas Oil car struck the tires down track to remain fifth in the field. It is the third time that Brown has qualified fifth this season; his average qualifying position is now 3.75. Brown, who has five final round appearances this season, has 24 round wins in 11 races, the most in Top Fuel.

"The last run was really good for us," Brown said. "It's tricky out there here at Norwalk with the hot track temperatures. It's not just us, but a lot of cars struggled to get down the track. We were quick early on that last run to the 330 (foot) and we can fix where it spun the tires. I'm very confident with this Matco Tools team and we're going to go out and go some rounds on Sunday."

Brown will face off against Joe Hartley, the No. 12 qualifier, when final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Brown is 2-0 against Hartley, including a first-round win over the Omaha, Neb. runner two weeks ago in New Jersey.

-credit: mar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Mike Ashley , Joe Hartley