NHRA Top Fuel champion Antron Brown says his Don Schumacher Racing crew is “one of the best teams in history” after scoring his third title in five years.
Brown scored seven wins so far this season, including three of the five in the Countdown to the Championship, with the sixth and final round to be held next week in Pomona, Calif.
He has 61 NHRA victories to his credit now, 45 of which have come in Top Fuel, the other 16 on Pro Stock Motorcycles.
Speaking to the media a few days after clinching his third Top Fuel crown in five years, Brown declared: “Everybody always hears me say ‘We,’ ‘us,’ ‘the Matco Tools team.’ You never hear me say ‘me’ because it's not me. I'm just the last one who gets to step on the pedal. I'm just the one who gets to tear it all up or blow it up – or turn the win light on at the end!
“The guys never get the credit that they're due. They work so hard, not just at the racetrack. All the hard work that goes on back in the race shop, preparing, making sure everything is flawless… There's just so much that has to happen.
“That's why I tell them I'm always blessed to drive this car because I'm fortunate to be on a team that has this much talent. It’s truly an all-star cast and is going to go down as being one of the best teams in NHRA history, I can tell you that for sure.
“Don [Schumacher] knows the magic formula for sure, trust me. He knows it takes not good people but great people, because ‘good’ doesn't get it cut in NHRA drag racing because there's no do-overs, there's no mulligans, you don't get second chances. Your second chance is when you go to the next race and you have a chance to redeem yourself to get back in the game.”
One of the defining characteristics of his team, said Brown, is the way it’s able to tailor the car to changing track conditions.
“I always say that I have one of the best race teams in the business because we're able to adapt to so many different situations,” he observed. “If we go to races where the track can be stellar at nighttime but then be the hottest, slimiest, tire-spinning track during the day, our team is able to adapt to those situations.
“When we have those types of races, that's where we really shine. When a track gets really good, we can throw down and when the track gets really tricky, we can [still] go down the racetrack and run some exceptional laps. That's what it takes now in this era to compete and to win championships.”
The New Jersey native insisted that earning three titles wouldn’t blunt the team’s challenge in 2017, stating: “Our main focus is to come out and be able to compete for a championship… That's our goal each and every year, and that goal is not changing.
“And we're driven even more because once you have a taste of it, it's like somebody gave you this juicy steak dinner that you ain't never had before. We've had three bites of it [but] there's still a lot of bites left on that steak, and now they're pulling that plate away, what they do every year at the end of the season.
“But we want another bite, so we're going to go after it just as hard as we did the last three that we've won.”