BROWN RACES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT HOME TRACK IN NEW JERSEY ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14, 2009) - Antron Brown, a native of Chesterfield, N.J., drove his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to his second straight final...
BROWN RACES MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT HOME TRACK IN NEW JERSEY
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14, 2009) - Antron Brown, a native of Chesterfield, N.J., drove his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to his second straight final round Sunday afternoon at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Brown also extended his lead in the NHRA Top Fuel standings after posting a runner-up finish to Larry Dixon.
After racing his Matco Tools dragter to the No. 5 qualifying position for the second time this season with an elapsed time 3.871-seconds on Friday evening at Raceway Park, Brown bested Joe Hartley, Morgan Lucas, and Tony Schumacher, before fouling in the final round against Dixon, a two-time series champion. Brown now leads Schumacher by 34 points with 13 races remaining on the 2009 NHRA schedule. The Matco Tools team has a round-record of 24-9 this season.
Brown advanced beyond the first round of eliminations for the 11th straight race by powering the Matco Tools/Lend America car by the Omaha, Neb. runner. Brown used Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald horsepower to clock a lap of 3.850 seconds at 314.53 mph to advance to the second round at Raceway Park. Hartley's red and black dragster lost traction early in the race and slowed to an elapsed time of 10.006-seconds. Brown remains the only Top Fuel racer to have not lost in the first round of eliminations this season. He is now 2-0 against Hartley in his Top Fuel career.
Brown carded his 280th career elimination round win by edging Lucas in a pedal-fest. As the first pair of dragsters to battle in round two, both cars lost traction on the Raceway Park strip as Brown's Matco Tools/JoinAPS.com car regained traction to clock a pass of 4.373 at 229.20 to advance to the semifinals for the sixth time in 11 races this season. The Geico/Lucas Oil car trailed with a lap of 4.589 at 272.56. The race track was 35 degress hotter (105-degrees) than in the opening round. Brown is now 3-1 in his career against Lucas.
Brown scored his 60th career Top Fuel round win by earning the wire-to-wire win over the six-time Top Fuel champion. Brown used the best reaction time of the round (.059 of-a-second) to power the bright blue Matco Tools dragster to a lap of 3.878 at 311.20 to advance to his 10th career Top Fuel final round. The Mike Green-tuned dragster trailed slightly after posting a pass of 3.905 at 296.89. Brown is now 3-7 in 10 career races against Top Fuel's winningest driver. The win extended Brown's lead over Schumacher in the NHRA Top Fuel standings. Had Schumacher won the match, he would have regained the top spot in the standings by six points.
"That was a huge round for our team," Brown said. "Mike Green and that U.S. Army team put down that great (3).90 and our team with Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) ran that 3.87. That was low of the round. It was an awesome race. I was very confident going into the final round."
Facing off against the daunting Al-Anabi Racing team for the first time this season, Brown earned a runner-up finish in the Matco Tools/Lend America car after the 20-time NHRA winner fouled at the start. It was Brown's first career Top Fuel red light. Dixon drove his Jason McCulloch-tuned dragster to a pass of 4.553 seconds - no speed was recorded on the pass for Dixon - to claim his 46th career win and fifth at Raceway Park. Brown is now 3-4 in seven career races against Dixon. It is Brown's 23rd career runner-up finish.
"My whole MAR Matco Tools team did a phenomenal job this weekend, as always," Brown said. "We really wanted to put our car in the winner's circle this weekend. I didn't do what I always do. I had a brain fade. I just wanted it so badly with all my family and friends here and our guests from Matco and Lend America. I just did something stupid. I held back from going in to stage and should have just went in.
"It is what it is. It's just going to make me work harder. I'll just be more consistent, that's it. I'll never do that again. I know we had something for them, but it just wasn't meant to be today. I know we'll get some more wins this season. I just threw myself off this time. The delay didn't do anything to me. I just tried two hard; I wanted it so bad. I just need to let it happen and not want so much. That taught me a lesson."
The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the third annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, June 25-28, at Summit Racing Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Brown qualified the Matco Tools dragster sixth at Norwalk last June with a pass of 4.652 seconds at 291.51 mph. He raced to a quarterfinal finish falling to Brandon Bernstein.