BROWN DRIVES MATCO RAIL TO QUARTERFINALS AT PHOENIX CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 24, 2008) -- Antron Brown drove his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a quarterfinal finish Sunday afternoon at Firebird International Raceway. After two of 24 ...
BROWN DRIVES MATCO RAIL TO QUARTERFINALS AT PHOENIX
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 24, 2008) -- Antron Brown drove his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a quarterfinal finish Sunday afternoon at Firebird International Raceway. After two of 24 races, Brown and the Matco Tools team rank sixth in the POWERade Top Fuel standings.
Facing off against Doug Herbert and the rival tool car for the first time this season, Brown and the Matco Tools team scored the win. The Top Fuel rookie used Lee Beard horsepower to clock the second quickest pass of the round. Brown drove his bright blue dragster to a pass of 4.536 seconds at 329.18 mph to hold off Herbert, who carded a run of 4.598 at 323.27. It was his first career round win at the Phoenix-area track.
In round two, the 16-time NHRA winner was matched up against five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumuacher, a Matco Tools/Valvoline driver. Brown got the jump at the start but the Matco dragster lost traction early. The U.S. Army/Matco Tools dragster also lost traction, but Brown ran out of real estate and could not catch the Alan Johnson-tuned rail before the 1,320-foot finish line. Schumacher scored the win with a run of 5.257 to Brown's 5.916 in the Matco-backed rail.
"All and all, the first round of eliminations was right where we wanted to be at," Brown said. "I got the first-round jitters out of the way. Our Matco Tools team knew that we had to race the U.S. Army car and it would be a tough race. We put our best foot forward and things just didn't go our way. We're just going to pick ourselves up and go to Gainesville and try and go a few more rounds farther than at Pomona and Phoenix."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the 39th annual ACDelco Gatornationals, March 13-16, at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway. A 10-year veteran of the Pro Stock Motorcycle category, Brown is very familiar with the Gainesville track. He made his professional debut at the 1998 Gatornationals, earned the pole at Gainesville Raceway in 2001 on his Suzuki, and posted a runner-up finish to then teammate Angelle Sampey in '06.
"I'm looking forward to going to Gainesville," Brown said. "It's always awesome to go to the Gatornationals with the race having so much prestige. I'm used to racing there as it was always the first race of Pro Stock Motorcycles. Being my first race there in a Top Fuel car, we hope to put on a great show for all the Matco folks that will be cheering us on."