By Don Schumacher Racing
Antron Brown Reaches Quarterfinals Of Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Antron Brown drove the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster into the quarterfinals of today’s fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals here at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Coming out of the ninth starting spot, the Don Schumacher Racing driver delivered a mild upset over Doug Kalitta in the first round of final eliminations. His 3.865-second lap at 313.95 miles per hour (Kalitta went 4.377 at 231.28) earned him lane choice for the next round against NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel leader and eventual-race winner Del Worsham.
Brown and Worsham put on a good show for the Ohio spectators, with number-one qualifier Worsham’s 3.894 at 295.75 holding off Brown who ran 3.922 at 296.37.
“We had a monster match in the first round,” said the 35-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver. “It was Matco Tools versus Mac Tools, so it was a big win for us – especially with a strong Matco Tools contingent in the house at this, their ‘home-town’ race.
“And then we lost a good drag race to Del in the second round; that’s racing.”
The Matco Tools team would have liked to qualify better, but rain washed out Friday’s two rounds, thus limiting the opportunities to move up in the field.
“We turned around our qualifying deficit,” he said, “We won from the less-desirable left lane as Doug had lane choice, which just shows how good the Matco team is at their jobs.”
The New Jersey native will remain in fourth place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel standings as the traveling drag-racing ensemble heads to Joliet, Ill., for the July 7-10 14th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
“We’re going to head back to the shop in Indy, go back to work and get ready for Chicago,” Brown said. “I hate getting beat, but we got beat. Now, we have to prepare for Joliet and work hard so we don’t get beat there.
“Of course, I have all the faith in the world in Mark and Brian (Oswald and Corradi, co-crew chiefs) and the rest of the Matco team. These guys have given me a great race car for years and continue to do so. We’ve tasted the fruits of victory earlier in the season and expect to do so again – and soon!”