Richmond: Antron Brown Saturday notes

BROWN RACES TO NO. 5 SPOT AT RICHMOND, SETS NHRA SPEED RECORD AT 319.60 MPH PETERSBURG, Va. (Oct. 9, 2009) - Antron Brown drove his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the second fastest speed in NHRA 1,000-foot racing history en route to...

BROWN RACES TO NO. 5 SPOT AT RICHMOND, SETS NHRA SPEED RECORD AT 319.60 MPH

PETERSBURG, Va. (Oct. 9, 2009) - Antron Brown drove his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the second fastest speed in NHRA 1,000-foot racing history en route to the No. 5 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at Virginia Motorsports Park. The seven-time Top Fuel winner used a lap of 3.797 seconds at 319.60 mph to finish fifth in the Top Fuel qualifying order.

After racing the bright blue Matco Tools/Toyota dragster to the provisional No. 4 qualifying position on Friday with a lap of 3.856 seconds at 315.49 mph, the Matco Tools team took advantage of the ideal conditions on Saturday. The 23-time NHRA winner used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to power the Matco-backed rail to its second quickest and fastest lap of the year. The former college track star drove the Matco/DirecTV car to a run of 3.797 at 319.60 to remain fourth in the order. Four drivers clocked runs in the 3.7-second range during the third qualifying session. Only Brown's lap of 319.75 mph at Bristol, Tenn. in May was faster at 1,000-feet.

On Brown's final qualifying attempt, the 16-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle winner powered to a run of 3.820 at 316.45 to finish in the No. 5 qualifying position. The 316.45 mph speed was enough to back-up the 319.60 burst for the NHRA national speed mark. Brown owned the speed record at 319.22 mph set during the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis this September. Brown's average qualifying position in 22 races this season is 3.5 with seven No. 1 qualifying awards. The Matco Tools team earned three bonus points during qualifying and now trails points-leader Tony Schumacher by 121 points entering Sunday's eliminations.

"Today was a good day," Brown said. "The rain held off and there was some great racing for all of our fans here at Richmond. The fans were great and they saw some awesome drag racing. Our MAR Matco Tools team put that awesome 3.79 at 319 on the board and we re-set the speed record again. That's great. Our Matco Tools car continues to run well and we should see some more great numbers during race day on Sunday. We're fired up and ready to go some rounds and get back to another final round."

Brown will face off against No. 12 qualifier and racing legend Chris "the Greek" Karamesines at 11 a.m. (ET) on Sunday at VMP. The have yet to meet during eliminations. Brown has a mark of 43-16 with five wins in 21 races this season. Brown qualified eighth at the Richmond race last year at 3.823-seconds.

-credit: mar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Mike Ashley