BROWN EARNS WINTERNATIONALS POLE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON IN MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2009) - After playing the waiting game for more than two days at the 2009 NHRA season-opening Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals, Antron...
BROWN EARNS WINTERNATIONALS POLE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON IN MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2009) - After playing the waiting game for more than two days at the 2009 NHRA season-opening Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals, Antron Brown and the Mike Ashley Racing Matco Tools Top Fuel team clocked the quickest pass of the day at 3.708-seconds at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. It was the quickest 1,000-foot pass ever recorded.
After losing the first two days of qualifying due to rain showers in the Southern California area, the rain subsided for a few hours on Saturday afternoon allowing one professional qualifying session to be completed at the historic Pomona track. As the next to last pair of dragsters to qualify, Brown used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to blast the bright blue Matco Tools dragster to an elapsed time of 3.708 seconds. No speed was recorded on the pass. Brown earned the No. 1 qualifying award at the season-opening event for the second straight season. It was his 15th career pole and fourth in Top Fuel. Two weeks ago at preseason testing near Phoenix, Brown raced to the quickest run of the National Time Trials at 3.781 seconds at 316.45 mph.
"It was a phenomenal run," Brown said. "We were the quickest to half track and it would have run like a high 3.83 or a low 3.84 and that would have been good enough for No. 1. It was nice for the fans to see that 3.70 pop up on the board. We know it wasn't that quick, but we do have the satisfaction of knowing we would have been No. 1.
"After the off season we went through and our DNQ here at Pomona last November, it's great to get the pole again here at the Winternationals. I was very optimistic coming into this race with Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald tuning this Matco dragster. After testing with that great 3.78 we had very high hopes coming into this race. Our goal was to go from A to B and just get qualified so we can race. That DNQ last fall really haunted me all off season because we should have finished second last year. We're excited about getting to race on Sunday." Brown will face off against No. 16 qualifier Steve Faria in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations at 11 a.m. (PT) on Sunday morning at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Faria, a former Top Alcohol dragster competitor, is making his first career Top Fuel start. Brown raced to a quarterfinal finish last February at the Winternationals.
"Our goal was to get down the race track and we ran really well," Oswald, the 1984 NHRA Funny Car champion said. "Knowing we'd have only one run, we needed to make it down the track. We were trying to run a low 3.80 and we know we did that."