Sonoma: Kevin Brown wrap up

SONOMA, Calif. - After loading his A/Fuel Dragster for bear, NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Kevin Brown came up short in his second round matchup with Brandon Bernstein during this past weekend's NHRA Division 7 Federal Mogul Drag Racing...

SONOMA, Calif. - After loading his A/Fuel Dragster for bear, NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Kevin Brown came up short in his second round matchup with Brandon Bernstein during this past weekend's NHRA Division 7 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Brown was neck and neck with the 'Bud Prince' until a blown head gasket caused his 'Joker's Wild' entry to slow, and Bernstein slipped by for the win, with an elapsed time of 5.757 seconds at 255.11 mph to Brown's slowing 5.869 at 227.69 mph.

Brown, from Clearfield, Utah, feels that had it not been for the dropped cylinders and blown head gasket, he might have been able to pull off the upset. He also cites that a different motor combination than what he ran earlier in the year has given him problems at his past two races.

"We loaded the car with a lot of clutch," said Brown. "We were trying to keep the cylinders lit. We're definitely fighting this new 426 motor combination we have. Jerry Darien [Bernstein's owner] and his group are really good friends of mine, and I've gotten to know Brandon a little bit better over the course of the year, both being rookies in the A/Fuel cars. They had the performance, and we really knew we needed to step it up."

"Looking at the incrementals, we actually had him going down the racetrack," continued Brown. "Apparently he had hazed the tires, and I didn't see him until roughly 1000 ft. My car nosed over, and dropped a cylinder, and torched the head. That's when Brandon drove around me. We just struggled all weekend. It was just pretty much a continuation of our struggles from Mission."

To help get out of his two race slump, Brown plans to change his motor back to the 421 cubic inch combination that he found success earlier in the year. The 426 combination he has now uses a different bore/stroke combination that has thrown him off in the fuel system area. Brown plans to have a new motor ready for his next race in Seattle in three weeks.

"I'm smart enough as an owner/driver to see that at two races in a row with this combination I'm going backwards," stated Brown. "So, I have to do what I need to do to get back to the old combination that we ran that .31 with. We'll have the 'baby' motor back in it for Seattle. We plan to finish the year out with the small motor. The 421 motor seems to like the way I tune better than the 426. I'm just like an old dog, I can't be taught new tricks."

-JokersWildRacing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Brandon Bernstein