Charlotte: Antron Brown final report

BROWN CARDS RUNNER-UP FINISH SUNDAY AT ZMAX DRAGWAY CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2008) -- Antron Brown raced his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a runner-up finish Sunday afternoon at zMax Dragway at Concord during the inaugural Carolina...

BROWN CARDS RUNNER-UP FINISH SUNDAY AT ZMAX DRAGWAY

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2008) -- Antron Brown raced his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a runner-up finish Sunday afternoon at zMax Dragway at Concord during the inaugural Carolina NHRA Nationals. He remains second in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel standings.

After qualifying his bright blue Matco Tools dragster third for the second time this season with a lap of 3.865 at 311.20 on Friday evening at zMax Dragway, Brown bested young Top Fuel racer Troy Buff, teammate and seven-time Top Fuel winner Hot Rod Fuller, and 30-time Top Fuel winner Cory McClenathan, before losing a close race to five-time series champion Tony Schumacher in the final round. Brown trails Schumacher by 46 points with five races remaining in the Countdown to 1.

Brown squared off against the Bill Miller-owned car for the first time this season. The former Pro Stock Motorcycle star used a solid .053 of-a-second reaction time to card the wire-to-wire victory. Brown used a tune-up from crew chief Lee Beard to race the Matco Tools rail to a run of 3.915 seconds at 302.28 to advance to the second round and a match against teammate Fuller. Buff's black dragster lost traction and slowed to a run of 5.903-seconds. It was Brown's 30th round win of the season.

Facing off against his teammate for the third time this season, Brown got the jump and the start and drove the Matco rail to the win with a lap of 4.071 at 274.00. The Matco Tools car left first, but hazed the tires down track causing the slower elapsed time. Fuller's Caterpillar car smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle. Brown is now 3-0 against Fuller this season.

Brown was matched-up against the veteran nitro pilot for the seventh time this season. Brown raced the Matco Tools car to the early lead and in an ugly drag race, the first-year Top Fuel standout legged out the win in the Matco-backed rail. The Matco Tools car posted a lap of 4.243 at 247.43 mph to win the pedal-fest against the FRAM dragster, which clocked a lap of 4.258 at 246.03 mph. Brown is now 5-2 against McClenathan this season.

Racing in his fifth final round of the 2008 season, the 18-time NHRA winner posted a solid a lap in the Matco-backed rail at 3.923 at 309.42, but it wasn't enough as Schumacher was slightly quicker in the Alan Johnson-tuned dragster at 3.882 at 317.64, the fastest speed in NHRA's 1,000-foot racing. It was Schumacher's 53rd career Top Fuel win, the most in NHRA history. Brown is now 1-5 against the U.S. Army team this season.

"I love the way we started the Countdown (to 1)," Brown said. "We're gonna be there the entire time. This Matco Tools team has what it takes to run for the championship. I really believe in my team. The Army guys just did a great job again."

"We had a good weekend with the Matco Tools car qualifying third at 3.86 and going to the final round," Beard added. "We ran good in the first round, but struggled in the middle of the track in rounds two and three. That's where they got us in the final round. We were quicker to 330-feet, but they ran 277-mph to half track and that 317-mph speed. That's the best dragster on the planet and we're glad we didn't give it away."

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 23rd annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Sept. 18-21, at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas near Dallas. Brown won his first professional NHRA race at Texas Motorplex in 1999 defeating Angelle Sampey in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Rod Fuller , Troy Buff , Angelle Sampey