The NHRA circus heads to Phoenix
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Feb. 18, 2014) - Antron Brown's physical fitness routine is one of the most demanding of any professional race car driver, and the past few weeks he's upped his workout to suit the record-breaking winter near his home in Pittsboro, Ind., outside Indianapolis.
Those in his community hope any further snowfall waits for Antron's return from this weekend's NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event outside Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, formerly Firebird International Raceway.
"I've seen on the Internet where it's supposed to be in the low 80s in Phoenix while we're there but it's going to warm up to the 50s here at home," Antron said. "I'm sure my snow blower will get used again before winter's over."
This weekend his only focus will be operating Don Schumacher Racing's 10,000-horsepower Top Fueler in his quest for a second NHRA world championship in three years.
He returns to the track outside Chandler, Ariz., where he won Top Fuel event titles in 2009 and 2012, his championship season. He was runner-up in 2011.
"Phoenix has been a good track for us," he said. "The weather usually is beautiful and the fans are great, but we're not sure what to expect on the race track."
The facility will host its 30th annual NHRA national event but under new management for the first time. The track, which had been plagued with some bumps the past few years has mostly been repaved. About 600 feet of the dragstrip was removed and replaced with concrete.
"We've heard a lot about good changes to the race track and can't wait to get out there for the first qualifying session on Friday," he said of runs scheduled for 2 and 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday leading to Sunday's championship eliminations.
Antron and the Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald started the season two weeks ago with a solid No. 3 qualifying position before being upset in the opening round of the Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.
"We went out there with our heads down, working hard to get off to a good start.
"We were going good down the track, but it just couldn't hold what we put down. The car was marching.
"We'll have our game faces on when we get to Phoenix and give it all we've got. We'll regroup and be ready."
Don Schumacher Racing