BROWN AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM EARN PROVISIONAL POLE FRIDAY AT TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 29, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position Friday evening at Heartland Park Topeka...
BROWN AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM EARN PROVISIONAL POLE FRIDAY AT TOPEKA
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 29, 2009) - Antron Brown raced his Mike Ashley-owned Matco Tools dragster to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position Friday evening at Heartland Park Topeka with a 1,000-foot blast of 3.841-seconds. The Matco Tools car also clocked the fastest speed of the day at 315.71 mph.
Brown enters the ninth of 24 races on the 2009 NHRA schedule ranked second in the NHRA Top Fuel standings. The Matco Tools flagship driver trails six-time series champion Tony Schumacher by 45 points. Brown, a two-time winner this season, opened qualifying at the 21st annual O'Reilly Summer Nationals with a lap of 4.353 seconds at 223.21 mph. That placed him 10th in the order after the first of four qualiying sessions. The track temperature was 116-degrees for the first qualifying attempt.
Friday evening under the lights at the ultra-fast Topeka track, Brown, the fastest 1,000-foot driver, continued to post blistering speeds in the bright blue Matco Tools rail. Brown, a former college sprinter, used a tune-up from crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to power the Matco-backed car to a lap of 3.841 at 315.71 to pace the Top Fuel field on Friday at Heartland Park. Two weeks ago at Bristol, Tenn., Brown carded the fastest 1,000-foot pass at 319.75 mph. He's the only driver to surpass 319 mph. Brown has earned top speed of the meet honors three times this year.
"That was almost a perfect run," Brown said. "Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) and all our guys put our heads together and made the right changes for the night run. The track temperature dropped like 20-degrees and the conditions were really good. Ashley (Force Hood) ran that 4.10 and we wanted to go for a top three spot. That showed us the track was really good. That's a good position, being in the top three.
"The car was on the edge, but we motored on through there. It got real tight and bowed up and I knew it was on a good run. I didn't think it was that good. I thought maybe a 3.85 or .86, but not a 3.84 at 315. That was a great run. Our entire MAR Matco team did an awesome job, as always. Now we've got to get on point for the rest of the weekend because it's going to be even hotter than today. The track will be really slick and gooey like bubble gum the rest of the weekend. Tomrrow, if you see a run in the low 3.90s, that'll be really good. If someone runs a 3.89, that will be an awesome run."
Professional nitro qualifying is scheduled for Noon and 2:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday afternoon at Heartland Park. Top Fuel will run first followed by Funny Car. Brown qualified fourth last May at Topeka at 4.584 seconds at 292.77 mph. He posted a semifinal finish, falling to two-time series champion Larry Dixon in the round of four.
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., Mike Ashley Racing fields the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Antron Brown. MAR proudly represents racing partners Matco Tools, Lend America, DirecTV, BeepBeep.com, Toyota, DataDot USA, Ringer's Gloves, Go Fast Sports, Goodyear, FRAM, Autolite, Suzuki, Connexions Sports and Entertainment, and Forward Sports Marketing.
Mike Ashley Racing supports Autism Awareness through their support of the Hyperbaric Therapy Center. A 2007 Centers for Disease Control report found that 1 in 150 children in America today have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and an estimated 1.5 million Americans and their families are now affected. Autism is a national health crisis, and Mike Ashley Racing is working to help educate the public about ways they can get involved. Visit the Heal Autism Now website for more information about how you can get involved at www.healautismnow.org.