BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO WIN AT SEATTLE, IS NOW JUST ONE WIN AWAY FROM SWEEPING WESTERN SWING KENT, Wash. (July 19, 2009) - Antron Brown took another step towards becoming just the fifth Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to sweep ...
BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO WIN AT SEATTLE, IS NOW JUST ONE WIN AWAY FROM SWEEPING WESTERN SWING
KENT, Wash. (July 19, 2009) - Antron Brown took another step towards becoming just the fifth Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to sweep the grueling Western Swing by winning his fourth race of the season Sunday at Pacific Raceways near Seattle. The win is the 22nd of Brown's career and he extended his points lead to 137 following 14 of 24 races on the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule.
On Saturday at Pacific Raceways, Brown qualified the bright blue Matco Tools/Lend America dragster in the No. 10 position with a qualifying-best lap of 3.952 seconds at 305.84 mph. It was the fastest speed of qualifying. On race day, Brown bested fellow Matco Tools Racing driver Clay Millican, fan-favorite Morgan Lucas, 2009 Rookie of the Year frontrunner Spencer Massey, and six-time series champion Tony Schumacher in the final round to earn his sixth career Top Fuel win. Brown has advanced to the final round at half of the races this year.
Squaring off against Millican for the fourth time this season, Brown used the starting line advantage to race his Matco Tools/Toyota rail to the wire-to-wire win. The Brian Corradi/Mark Oswald-tuned car posted a lap of 4.073 seconds at 261.52 mph to advance to the quarterfinals at Pacific Raceways. The Matco-backed car dropped two cylinders on the run causing the slower elapsed time. Millican's Lifelock Racing/Matco Tools dragster trailed with a pass of 4.104 at 268.60. Brown is now 4-0 against the six-time IHRA champion this season and has won at least one round of racing at each track on the NHRA tour.
Facing off against the Geico/Lucas Oil car in the quarterfinals for the second straight race, Brown sailed on to the semifinals when Lucas' car lost traction early. The former college track star sped the Matco Tools/SpongeTech rail to a pass of 3.987 at 282.54 to earn a trip to the semifinals for the ninth time in 14 races. Brown's elasped time was the second quickest of the round. Lucas slowed to a pass of 8.399 at 93.16 in the right lane at Pacific Raceways. Brown is now 4-0 against Lucas this season.
Matched-up against Massey in the semifinals for the second straight week, Brown was out of the gate first and drove the Matco Tools/Toyota car to its seventh final round appearance of the season. Massey's Don Prudhomme-owned dragster lost traction at the hit of the throttle as Brown cruised into his 45th career final round and 12th in Top Fuel. The Matco-backed rail carded a performance of 4.000 at 295.79 to earn lane choice in the final round against Schumacher. It was Brown's 290th elimination round win and is 3-1 against Schumacher.
Competing against Schumacher for the fourth time this season, the top two drivers in the points standings put on a great show for the fans at Pacific Raceways. Brown got a slight jump out of the starting gate and used a Corradi and Oswald tune-up of 3.985 at 301.07 to score the narrow victory over the U.S. Army rail. The Mike Green-tuned car posted a run of 3.990 at 300.00 in a photo-finish race. Brown now has a record of 34-10 this season.
"We didn't really run that bad in qualifying here this weekend; in Denver we were the quickest and fastest of qualifying, but the sun came out on race day and that's been our achilles heal," Brown said. "It was hard to stay hooked up out there this weekend. We ran 4.00 on our last qualifying pass and that was a really good run and gave us a lot of confidence going into race day.
"We just want to race to the best of our ability and take it one round at a time. That race against Clay (Millican) was close. We still spun the tires there, but after that our car was on point all day long. Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) made great calls today. That race against Tony (Schumacher) was awesome. To win by eight thousandths (of-a-second) just shows what a great drag race it really was. It felt so good to get the win light against those guys because we were the bridesmaid against them so many times last year. It really felt great to be on the winning end. We'll go to Sonoma (Calif.) and take it one round at a time just like we did here this weekend and all season long."
The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the 22nd annual FRAM-Autolite Nationals, July 24-26, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Last July at the Sonoma race, Brown earned his third career Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying award with an elapsed time of 3.805-seconds. It was his quickest pass of the 2008 NHRA season. He raced to a semifinal finish before falling to Hillary Will. Brown also is a two-time Pro Stock Motorcycle finalist at Infineon Raceway (2004, '06).