BROWN RACES MATCO TOOLS CAR TO RUNNER-UP FINISH SUNDAY AT RICHMOND PETERSBURG, Va. (Oct. 11, 2009) - Antron Brown scored a get-healthy weekend as the 23-time NHRA winner powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to a runner-up finish ...
BROWN RACES MATCO TOOLS CAR TO RUNNER-UP FINISH SUNDAY AT RICHMOND
PETERSBURG, Va. (Oct. 11, 2009) - Antron Brown scored a get-healthy weekend as the 23-time NHRA winner powered his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to a runner-up finish Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park. Brown remains fourth in the NHRA Countdown to 1 standings.
A day after setting the NHRA national speed record at 319.60 mph, after qualifying fifth at 3.797-seconds, Brown bested No. 12 qualifier Chris "the Greek" Karamesines, six-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, and 31-time winner Doug Kalitta before smoking the tires in the final round against Bernstein. The Matco Tools team now trails Schumacher by 81 points with two races remaining on the 2009 NHRA schedule.
Squaring off against the 80-year-old drag racing icon for the first time, Brown got the jump at the start in the Matco-backed rail to score the wire-to-wire win. Brown's Brian Corradi/Mark Oswald-tuned Matco Tools/Toyota car cruised to a run of 3.827 seconds at 316.01 mph to score the win in the right lane at Virginia Motorsports Park. Karamesines' white dragster posted a solid run of 3.994 at 297.61 in a losing effort. It was Brown's 301st career round win and 80th in Top Fuel.
Facing off against the point's leader for the seventh time this season, Brown scored his third holeshot win of 2009. The 16-time Pro Stock Motorcycle winner used a reaction time of .072 of-a-second and a pass of 3.833 at 313.88 to score the narrow win over Top Fuel racing's winningest driver. The U.S. Army/Matco Tools rail posted a quicker, but losing lap of 3.827 at 317.64. Brown is now 5-2 against Schumacher this season. It was Brown's 45th round win this year.
Racing in the semifinals for the first time in the Countdown to 1, Brown advanced to his ninth final round of the season by carding the wire-to-wire win over Kalitta. The Matco Tools flagship driver used a starting line advantage and a lap of 3.846 at 318.47 to hold off Kalitta's pass of 3.886 at 310.70. Brown is now 3-1 against Kalitta this season.
Competing in his 47th career final round, Brown was defeated by the Budweiser car when the Matco Tools/SpongeTech car smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle. Bernstein sped to a lap of 3.844 at 307.09 to win his first race in more than two years. Racing in his ninth final round of the season, Brown's bright blue car turned in a lap of 9.009 at 75.99. The Matco Tools team now has a mark of 46-17 in 22 races.
"This was a good rebound weekend for our MAR Matco Tools team," Brown said. "We qualified well and our car ran great all weekend. We got the speed record again at 319.60 and we gained two rounds on Tony (Schumacher). That final round was a bummer, but it's just one of those deals. That happens in racing. It's all good though. We're back in the race and we're going to race hard at (Las) Vegas and Pomona and try and win this thing."
The next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the ninth annual Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. Brown qualified second at the spring Las Vegas race at 3.878-seconds and raced to a semifinal finish.