Phoenix: Antron Brown Saturday notes

BROWN FINISHES IN NO. 3 QUALIFYING POSITION AT PHOENIX CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 21, 2009) - Antron Brown powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the No. 3 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at Firebird International Raceway with...

BROWN FINISHES IN NO. 3 QUALIFYING POSITION AT PHOENIX

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 21, 2009) - Antron Brown powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the No. 3 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at Firebird International Raceway with an elapsed time of 3.830-seconds. The Top Fuel star has opened the season in the Nos. 1 and 3 qualifying positions at the first two races on the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule.

After racing the bright blue Matco Tools dragster to the provisional No. 2 qualifying position on Friday evening at F.I.R., the 18-time NHRA winner crusied to the second quickest pass of Saturday's opening qualifying session. Brown used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to clock a lap of 3.873 seconds at 305.36 mph in the right lane at the Firebird strip. Brown trailed only two-time champion Larry Dixon at 3.82-seconds. On his final qualifying pass, Brown's car spun the tires after the 330-foot mark and slowed to a lap of 4.595 at 164.55 mph. That placed the Matco Tools team third in the 16-car order. It is the 25th time in his career that Brown has qualified third, more than any other position in the field. Larry Dixon earned his 32nd career pole in his Alan Johnson-owned dragster on Saturday.

Yesterday, Brown carded two consistent passes en route to the provisional No. 2 qualifying spot. The two-time Top Fuel winner clocked in at 3.863 at 310.55 on his opening effort, before bursting to a pass of 3.830 at 313.80 on Friday's second qualifying attempt. Brown qualified the Matco rail fifth at the Lucas Slick Mist Nationals last February.

"It's been a good weekend for our Matco team so far and we're going to keep it going on race day," Brown said. "We ran great in qualifying. Only Larry (Dixon) and Tony (Schumacher) on that last run nipped us, but it's all good. We were on a good run on that last pass, but the track wasn't all there. We'll be fine on Sunday and this Matco car will be going some rounds here at Phoenix. We've got a great shot. I like our chances. "

Brown will face off against No. 14 qualifier Del Cox, Jr. in the first round of Top Fuel eliminations at 11 a.m. (MT) Sunday at the Phoenix track. Brown has yet to face the rookie driver who earned his NHRA Top Fuel license at preseason testing at Firebird International Raceway last month. ESPN2 will televise three hours of final eliminations coverage from the 25th annual Lucas Slick Mist Nationals at 7 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 22.

-credit: mar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon