By Don Schumacher Racing
Antron Brown Aims For Winner’s Circle At This Weekend’s Ohio NHRA Event
After coming within .002 of a second during last year’s race, Antron Brown, driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, wants to experience the winner’s circle here at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in the fifth-annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
His nemesis in 2010 was the same one Brown faced in the final round last week at the Bristol, Tenn. race, with the same results – last season’s Top Fuel champion, Larry Dixon.
“I’m tired of losing to Larry,” said the 35-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver. “Actually, I don’t like losing to anyone, anywhere and I don’t care who they are or what team they drive for.
“I want to get back to the finals in this race like last year – but this time seal the deal! The Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, thanks to Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald (co-crew chiefs) and all my guys, has been running great all season, so I want to do my part and get the checkered flag.”
The New Jersey native has two wins to his credit during the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season which has helped propel him into fourth place in the Top Fuel standings. He trails Dixon and points’ leader Del Worsham while sitting between DSR teammates Spencer Massey and Tony Schumacher.
“It’s a short turn-a-round between Bristol and Norwalk, but Brian and Mark will get after it and we’ll be ready come Friday,” Brown said, identifying this week’s opening qualifying round which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET. “Usually, we have a week between races, but we are now getting to the more crowded part of the schedule which challenges crews, crew chiefs and drivers. But our guys are the best and I know they can overcome these challenges, as they’ve proven in the past.”
Brown and the Matco Tools team swept the 2009 Western Swing, three consecutive weeks of racing far from the team’s Indianapolis home.
In Bristol, the team overcame a rough Saturday of qualifying (a loss of traction on a hot track in round three and a broken part in round four) , which meant little relevant data for use in Sunday’s eliminations to gain the final round during eliminations.
Sunday’s run included round victories against Bob Vandergriff, Chris Karamesines and, in the semifinals, Schumacher, the seven-time world champion.
“Obviously, it wasn’t easy reaching the finals Sunday, but nothing in this sport is easy – and that’s the way it should be,” explained Brown. “Top Fuel is competitive, which means it’s fun for us and for the fans.”