BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS RAIL TO SEMIFINALS AT NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (June 28, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. The 20-time...
BROWN DRIVES MATCO TOOLS RAIL TO SEMIFINALS AT NORWALK
NORWALK, Ohio (June 28, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. The 20-time NHRA winner extended his lead in the Top Fuel standings to 53 points. He now leads two-time series champion Larry Dixon following 12 of 24 races on the 2009 NHRA schedule.
After qualifying in the No. 5 position for the second straight race and third time this season, Brown defeated No. 12 qualifier Joe Hartley, and 30-time Top Fuel winner Cory McClenathan before smoking the tires against Dixon, who won his 47th career race, in the semifinals.
Squaring off against the Omaha, Neb. racer in the opening round for the second straight race, Brown ran his record to 3-0 against Hartley. Brown powered the Matco Tools/Lend America dragster to low elapsed time of the round with a lap of 3.945 seconds at 295.50 mph. Hartley's red and black car trailed with a lap of 4.122 at 284.75. It was Brown's 25th round win of the season.
In round two, Brown faced off against the veteran Top Fuel pilot for the third time this season. Brown used a starting-line advantage to cruise the Matco Tools/Toyota rail to low elapsed time of the round and a wire-to-wire win at 3.982 at 291.45. It was the quickest and fastest pass of the round. The FRAM car turn in a lap of 4.066 at 278.00. Brown is now 7-3 in 10 career races against McClenathan and 2-1 this season.
Brown then was matched up against Dixon for the second straight race. After losing a tough final-round race to the Al-Anabi Racing driver two weeks ago in New Jersey, Brown got the slight jump at the start, but the Matco Tools/SpongeTech dragster lost traction and slowed to a lap of 6.966 at 74.16. Dixon sped on to a run of 4.117 at 256.16. Both cars with lane choice, Brown and Spencer Massey, lost traction in the right lane in the semifinals. Brown is now 3-5 in eight races against Dixon.
"It was a good day," Brown said. "We extended our lead and we're in first place at the halfway point of the season. We just have to keep it going. It's been a great first half of the season, but we can't let up. We need to continue to qualify well and go rounds on race day.
"This was a fun weekend for all our great Matco Tools folks. We did OTC (Ohio Technical College), visited Stow (Ohio) at Matco's headquarters, had all the people like President Tom Willis here rooting us on and we ran well. I don't know what happened in the semis. Maybe the lane just went away because the same thing happened to Spencer (Massey) in that right lane. We want to wish everyone a very happy July Fourth weekend and we'll be ready to hit it hard for the Western Swing at Denver in a few weeks."
The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the 30th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals, July 10-12, at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. near Denver. Brown posted a runner-up finish last summer at the Denver race and is a four-time finalist at Bandimere Speedway. He earned the Pro Stock Motorcycle pole there in 2001.