BROWN RACES MATCO DRAGSTER TO SEMIFINALS AT READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 17, 2008) -- Antron Brown drove his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to his third semifinal finish of the 2008 NHRA season Sunday afternoon at Maple Grove Raceway. The...
BROWN RACES MATCO DRAGSTER TO SEMIFINALS AT READING
MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 17, 2008) -- Antron Brown drove his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to his third semifinal finish of the 2008 NHRA season Sunday afternoon at Maple Grove Raceway. The two-time Top Fuel winner continues to rank second in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel standings with one race remaining until the Countdown to the Championship begins at Concord, N.C. next month.
A day after qualifying his Matco Tools dragster in the top half of the field (No. 7) for the 15th time in 17 races this season, Brown narrowly edged 30-time Top Fuel winner Cory McClenathan, and outran teammate Hot Rod Fuller, before falling to two-time series champion Larry Dixon in the semifinals. Brown was matched up against the No. 10 qualifier and driver of the FRAM dragster for the sixth time this season. The drivers used lightning-quick reaction times and great tune-ups to compete in one of the closest races of the day. Brown drove his Lee Beard-tuned Matco Tools rail to a run of 3.909 seconds at 309.06 mph to score the slim victory at the 1,000-foot finish line. McClenathan, who carded a near perfect reaction time, raced to a pass of 3.922 at 305.56. Brown is now 4-2 against the veteran Top Fuel racer this year.
Facing off against his DPM teammate for the second time this season, Brown and the Matco Tools team advanced to the semifinals after carding a run of 3.943 at 305.49. Fuller used a slight starting line advantage in the Caterpillar car, but the yellow-and-black dragster overpowered the Maple Grove Raceway track and slowed to a pass of 4.308 at 247.38. Brown is now 2-0 against Fuller this season.
Squaring off against Dixon for the fourth time this season, Brown raced the Matco Tools rail to the slight advantage, but the bright blue dragster suffered an early engine explosion due to a broken rocker arm. Brown coasted to an elapsed time of 5.761-seconds, while Dixon cruised to a pass of 4.007 at 258.02 to advance to the final round. Brown is now 2-2 against the Don Prudhomme-owned dragster this season. He has 27 elimination round wins in 42 rounds. Brown now has 248 career round wins.
"That was a tough race to lose," Brown said. "I really felt we had the car to beat. We struggled in qualifying a little bit, but Lee (Beard) and my Matco guys are awesome and we found the problem last night and ran really well today. I knew something was wrong before that race against Larry (Dixon) because the motor didn't sound right. That's just a tough break, but we're positive because we're still second in the points and our Matco Tools car is running great going into Indy."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the 54th annual U.S. Nationals, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Brown is a two-time winner of the prestigious U.S. Nationals.