BROWN EARNS SIXTH POLE OF '09 SEASON, RUNS 3.85 SATURDAY AT MAPLE GROVE MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 22, 2009) - Antron Brown powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the top of the pack Saturday afternoon at Maple Grove Raceway as the ...
BROWN EARNS SIXTH POLE OF '09 SEASON, RUNS 3.85 SATURDAY AT MAPLE GROVE
MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 22, 2009) - Antron Brown powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the top of the pack Saturday afternoon at Maple Grove Raceway as the seven-time Top Fuel winner earned his sixth No. 1 qualifying award of the season. Brown's 20th career pole award came on an elapsed time of 3.854-seconds on Saturday's only qualifying lap.
After fighting afternoon rain showers on Friday, the 23-time NHRA winner raced his bright blue Matco Tools/Lend America dragster to the provisional No. 3 qualifying position with a lap of 3.895 seconds at 313.07 mph. It was the fastest run of the opening day of qualifying for the 25th annual Toyo Tires Nationals.
On Saturday, the rain stayed away from Maple Grove Raceway and the sun even peaked out of the clouds a few times, but water seeping up from under the track caused a near three-hour delay. When Top Fuel qualifying resumed, Brown and the Matco Tools/Toyota car were the second to last pair of 8,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragsters to speed down the strip at "the Grove." Top Fuel's new "King of Speed" used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to race the Matco-backed rail to the quickest run of the session as Brown paced the field with a lap of 3.854 at 315.71. It was again the fastest run of the session.
Saturday's final qualifying attempt was canceled due to a late rain shower. Brown's six No. 1 qualifiers are a Top Fuel-best this season. His average qualifying position is 3.59 in 17 races this year. It is Brown's second career pole at Maple Grove Raceway (2004). He now has earned multiple No. 1 qualifying awards at seven current NHRA tracks.
"That was an awesome run and we didn't change a lot from last night," Brown said. "We made a few minor tweaks to the motor and this MAR Matco Tools car hauled on through there with that 3.85. It's awesome to get the pole here at Maple Grove (Raceway) in front of all the great fans and my family and friends. Grandma (Brown) was in rare form again and we're having an awesome time here despite all the weather issues.
"Tomorrow will be tough. To qualify first and get Brandon (Bernstein) and Rob Flynn and that Budwesier team is no prize, let me tell you. We faced them a bunch this year and I know they're hungry. We have to make a good lap and get down the race track and can't slip up."
Brown will face off against 17-time NHRA winner and second generation star Brandon Bernstein in the first round of elimination at 11 a.m. (ET) on Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway. Brown is 3-2 in five races against Bernstein this season and 5-4 in nine career races against the Budweiser car. Brown is 2-0 in final rounds against Bernstein this season (Phoenix and St. Louis).