Topeka: Antron Brown final report

BROWN RACES TO SEMIFINAL FINISH IN FIRST TOPEKA START TOPEKA, Kan. (June 1, 2008) -- Antron Brown powered his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Heartland Park Topeka. The two-time Top Fuel winner...

BROWN RACES TO SEMIFINAL FINISH IN FIRST TOPEKA START

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 1, 2008) -- Antron Brown powered his David Powers-owned Matco Tools dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Heartland Park Topeka. The two-time Top Fuel winner still ranks second in the NHRA Top Fuel standings after nine of 24 races.

A day after qualifying the Matco Tools/iLocate GPS rail in the No. 4 position for the fourth time this season with an elapsed time of 4.584 seconds, Brown defeated Australian driver David Grubnic, and last year's top qualifier at Topeka Joe Hartley, before falling to two-time champion Larry Dixon in the semifinals.

In the opening round as the sixth pair of dragster to face off on the Heartland Park quarter mile, Brown used a stout .048 of-a-second reaction time to score the wire-to-wire win in the Matco Tools/Valvoline dragster. Brown drove the Lee Beard-tuned rail to a performance of 4.612 seconds at 294.50 mph to score the win. Grubnic's yellow dragster struck the tires and slowed to a run of 8.328 seconds. Brown and Tony Schumacher remain the only two Top Fuel drivers to have not lost in the opening round this season.

Competing against Hartley for the first time, Brown carded his fourth trip to the semifinals this season. The New Jersey native used Beard horsepower to clock low elapsed time of the round. The Matco Tools/GoFast car raced to a run of 4.617 at 318.99 to earn the trip to the semifinals. Hartley's red dragster lost traction and slowed to a run of 12.117 seconds. It marked the first time Brown has advanced passed the second round of racing when qualifying fourth.

In the semifinals, two of the best leavers in the sport used nearly identical reaction times and the Matco Tools/Valvoline dragster raced to the early lead before spinning the tires down track. That allowed Dixon to drive around and win the round with a run of 4.787 at 302.01. Brown carded a run of 5.079 at 236.01 in the left lane at Heartland Park. It is the first time he was defeated in four semifinals appearances this season.

"Overall, it was a good day and weekend for our Matco Tools team," Brown said. "We had two really strong runs, including low E.T. of the second round. That gave us the confidence to go out there and race Larry Dixon. The track just got slicker in the semifinals and that got us. We were on a good pass, but the track wouldn't hold it. We'll pick up our momentum and go to Chicago and try to bring home a win for all our great Matco distributors in the Chicagoland area."

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , David Grubnic , Joe Hartley