Charlotte: Antron Brown final report

ANTRON BROWN AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM SUFFER RARE EARLY LOSS AT CHARLOTTE Makes history as Brown and Matco Tools car compete in modern-day four-lane drag race CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2009) - Antron Brown, a five-time Top Fuel winner this season,...

ANTRON BROWN AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM SUFFER RARE EARLY LOSS AT CHARLOTTE
Makes history as Brown and Matco Tools car compete in modern-day four-lane drag race

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2009) - Antron Brown, a five-time Top Fuel winner this season, had another surprising early-round exit behind the wheel of his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster Sunday at zMax Dragway at Concord. The Matco Tools flagship driver now ranks second in the Countdown to 1 standings trailing Cory McClenathan by 10 points.

A day after racing the bright blue Matco Tools dragster to the No. 2 qualifying position for the second time this season (Las Vegas 1) with a run of 3.847 seconds at 317.87 mph, Brown was paired up against No. 15 qualifier Terry McMillen. The drivers used nearly identical reaction times as the Matco Tools/Toyota car uncharacteristically smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle. That allowed McMillen to pedal his way to the win with a pass of 5.223 at 167.51. Brown couldn't get the Matco-backed rail to regain traction and slowed to a lap of 6.849 at 115.05. It was the second straight opening-round loss for the Matco Tools/Lucas Oil dragster. Brown now has a record of 42-14 in 19 races this season with five wins in eight final-round appearances.

"This was a tough day for our Matco Tools team here at MAR," Brown said. "We had a mechanical malfunction with the throttle stop that messed up our burnout. We're positive moving forward and we're excited to get to Dallas next week. We're glad that we don't have to wait two weeks to race again and I know this Matco Tools team will come back strong."

As a result of the first-round loss, the Matco Tools team was invited to participate in the four-lane exhibition race on Sunday afternoon at zMax Dragway. The Bruton Smith-owned facility is the only track on the professional NHRA circuit that has four all-concrete quarter mile lanes as opposed to the traditional two lanes. Brown, along with Morgan Lucas, Brandon Bernstein and Spencer Massey, competed in the exhibition race before the final round at the second annual Carolinas Nationals. Brown posted the quickest Top Fuel pass at 3.864 seconds at 315 mph.

"It's exciting to be part of this four-lane race here at zMax (Dragway)," Brown said. "It's cool to be part of history with the NHRA too. This just could be the future of our sport. We never know. We made the quickest run in a green lane, so that was all good for our Matco Tools team."

The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the 24th annual O'Reilly Super Start Fall Nationals, Sept. 24-27, at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas near Dallas. Last year, Brown qualified the Matco Tools dragster 10th at 3.897-seconds and posted a quarterfinal finish to Brandon Bernstein. Brown earned his first career NHRA victory at the Dallas race in 1999 on his Suzuki when he defeated Angelle Sampey in the final round.

-credit: mar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Cory McClenathan , Brandon Bernstein , Morgan Lucas , Mike Ashley , Angelle Sampey , Spencer Massey , Terry McMillen