BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS CAR TO QUARTERFINALS AT HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Matco Tools dragster to a quarterfinal finish Sunday afternoon at Houston Raceway Park one day after earning the pole for the 22nd...
BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS CAR TO QUARTERFINALS AT HOUSTON
BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Matco Tools dragster to a quarterfinal finish Sunday afternoon at Houston Raceway Park one day after earning the pole for the 22nd annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals. Brown and the MAR Matco Tools team continue to lead the NHRA Top Fuel standings.
After earning his 16th career No. 1 qualifying award and fifth in Top Fuel, Brown defeated Todd Simpson in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations before falling to veteran Top Fuel pilot Cory McClenathan in the second round. The former Mercer (N.J.) College track star now has a record of 9-3 (.750) in four races this season. He leads second-place racer Brandon Bernstein by 21 points in the Top Fuel standings.
The New Jersey native was handed a free trip into the second round when Simpson was forced to shut off his red dragster at the starting line and abort the run. The No. 1 qualifier used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to clock low elapsed time of the opening round with a lap of 3.840 seconds at 313.88 mph. Brown's speed was the second fastest of the round (Bernstein 315.49 mph). The win was Brown's 45th round win in Top Fuel competition.
Squaring off against the 30-time Top Fuel winner for the eighth time, the Matco Tools and FRAM dragsters were the only two cars to make clean runs in round two. Brown again powered to the quickest pass of the round at 3.883 at 310.63, but McClenathan earned the win light in the right lane as a result of his .022 of-a-second reaction time. He posted a run of 3.909 at 303.23 to advance to the semifinals. It was Brown's first hole shot loss in 27 Top Fuel starts. He has four holeshot wins in Top Fuel competition.
"We had a great weekend here at Houston," Brown said. "Our Matco car was really consistent all weekend long and Mark (Oswald) and Brian (Corradi) continue to do an awesome job tuning it. You win some and you lose some; that's just racing. To lose like that is tough to swallow, but we're going to just suck it up and go to (Las) Vegas next weekend. We've got a great team here at MAR (Mike Ashley Racing) and I know our Matco Tools dragster will run great."
The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the 10th annual Summitracing.com Nationals, April 2-5, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.