Memphis: Antron Brown Monday final report

BROWN FALLS EARLY MONDAY AT MEMPHIS MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Oct. 5, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Mike Ashley-owned Toyota/Matco Tools dragster to a first-round finish Monday at Memphis Motorsports Park to complete the rain-delayed 22nd annual ...

BROWN FALLS EARLY MONDAY AT MEMPHIS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Oct. 5, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Mike Ashley-owned Toyota/Matco Tools dragster to a first-round finish Monday at Memphis Motorsports Park to complete the rain-delayed 22nd annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals. The 23-time NHRA winner remains fourth in the NHRA Top Fuel standing with three races remaining on the 2009 schedule.

Two days ago, Brown qualified his red and white Toyota/Matco Tools car in the No. 2 position at 3.836 seconds at 318.99 mph, the third fastest 1,000-foot speed. Brown owns the two fastest speeds at 319.75 and 319.22 mph (NHRA national record). It was the third time the former college track star qualified second this season. A day of rain showers forced NHRA officials to postpone Sunday's final eliminations until Monday morning at 10 a.m. (CT).

After NHRA's Safety Safari dried the Memphis track, Brown was paired up against No. 15 qualifier and part-time racer Tim Cullinan. Brown used an excellent .067 of-a-second reaction time to race the Toyota/Matco dragster to the early lead, but it was a short day for the seven-time Top Fuel winner when his car lost traction and smoked the tires. Cullinan's blue dragster also lost traction, but the Illinois driver's pass of 4.614 seconds at 270.97 mph was enough to score the round win in the left lane at the Memphis track. The Toyota/Matco rail labored to a run of 5.708 at 139.88 mph. After leading the standings and posting a mark of 42-13 in the 18-race regular season, that included five wins in eight final-round appearances, the Matco Tools flagship driver has a record of 1-3 in four rounds in the Countdown to 1. Brown trails Tony Schumacher by 120 points with three races remaining in the Countdown to 1.

"That was a tough pill to swallow," Brown said. "We qualified great, but just seem to have the Countdown monkey on our back. I don't know what it is. We qualified great for Toyota and Matco and this is tough for our MAR team. We'll leave here with our heads held high and go to Richmond and do our best and try to get things back on track for Matco and all the distributors."

The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the fourth annual Virginia Nationals, Oct. 9-11, at Virginia Motorsports Park near Richmond, Va. Last fall at the Richmond race, Brown qualified eighth and advanced to the quarterfinals. He posted his quickest pass of the 2008 NHRA season at 3.803-seconds at Richmond.

-credit: mar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , Mike Ashley , Tim Cullinan