Indy ORP: Antron Brown preview

Antron Brown on Indy "I'm ready to rock for Indy. This is going to be the big showdown of the year. This is like winning the championship if you win the U.S. Nationals and I feel that our Matco Tools team is up for the...

Antron Brown on Indy

"I'm ready to rock for Indy. This is going to be the big showdown of the year. This is like winning the championship if you win the U.S. Nationals and I feel that our Matco Tools team is up for the tremendous challenge."

Lee Beard (crew chief) on Indy

"There are two things that people remember at the end of the year, that's who wins the championship and who wins Indy. I'd like nothing better than to go there with a rookie Top Fuel driver and to win the U.S. Nationals. To do that with Antron (Brown) would be great and having momentum going into the Countdown (to the Championship) is necessary."

Antron Brown Indy NHRA Notebook

At the last race in Reading, Pa., Brown qualified his Matco Tools dragster in the top half of the field for the 15th time in 17 races this season. He qualified seventh at 3.892-seconds at Maple Grove Raceway. He advanced to the semifinals for the third time this season before falling to Larry Dixon after a rocker arm broke in the motor of the Matco Tools dragster.

Brown made an immediate impact since making the move from Pro Stock Motorcycle to Top Fuel. The New Jersey native earned the pole at the 2008 NHRA season-opening event at Pomona, Calif. and hasn't looked back. He won in just his fourth start and has two wins in four final-round appearances in the Matco Tools dragster. Brown also has three poles this season. He has been in second place in the standings since winning the Atlanta race in April.

Last year at the U.S. Nationals, Brown qualified ninth on his U.S. Army Suzuki at 7.012 seconds at 190.19 mph. He advanced to the second round before falling to Chip Ellis. Brown is a two-time winner of the prestigious U. S. Nationals. He defeated John Smith in the final round at ORP to capture his first U.S. Nationals "Wally" in 2000 and knocked off Shawn Gann to earn his second U.S. Nationals victory four years later.

Brown has qualified for 162 consecutive NHRA events and hasn't missed the cut since the Gainesville race in 1998. It is the second longest qualifying streak in the professional ranks (Angelle Sampey--177). In 10 races at ORP, Brown has an average starting position of 5.4. His average qualifying position in 17 races this season is 4.7.

Brown became the eighth different driver that crew chief Lee Beard has tuned to the pole and 10th different racer Beard has tuned to a win in Top Fuel or Funny Car. Beard has three career wins (1992, '96, '01) and four poles (1987, '90, '01, '02) at the U.S. Nationals.

-credit: dpm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Shawn Gann , Chip Ellis , Angelle Sampey