Antron Brown became the first African American racer of a four-wheel vehicle to earn a major American-based championship. The 2012 NHRA Top Fuel champion was selected by our staff to hold the #6 top moment spot.
Antron Brown's top moment this year had to wait until the final round of the final race of the year. That's what it took to discover he'd be the first African American NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel champion.
Although he came into the World Finals on the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona dragstrip with a healthy, 65-point lead over persistent teammates Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey (-70) and a six-win record for the season, Brown had a fire in the first round that not only took him out of the competition, it singed his hands.
A high school track star and former Pro Stock Motorcycle standout (also with DSR in the later stages of his bike career), Antron Brown and his Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald-led crew had been in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs since the six-race format first began.
Brown came close to winning it all before, in 2006 and in 2001 on motorcycles, but never sealed the deal until this year. In fact, his 2011 record was nearly the same as this year's but he finished third after not being able to produce the season-closing thrust he needed.
It wasn't until 2012 that Brown put it all together and he did so in the most dramatic fashion, holding the trophy high late into Sunday night with gloves covering his tender hands.