BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Antron Brown is amped for the start of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season in Pomona, Calif., thanks to the Super Bowl fans in Indianapolis.
“We went to downtown Indianapolis on Thursday to check out the NFL Experience and I was recognized by the fans down there,” Brown said. “That gets you amped up to start racing again.”
Brown thought he was going to be incognito but instead some fans recognized him and started giving him well wishes for the NHRA Winternationals that will kick off Thursday in Southern California.
“With all of the celebrities and football players roaming around down there, I didn’t really expect to be noticed,” said Brown.
“People were coming up to me and telling me that they will keep an eye on me this season and to tear it up in Pomona. That was pretty cool for me and it says a lot for the sport of NHRA Drag Racing.”
Brown and the Matco Tools team have had strong starts in Pomona and he hopes to continue that streak.
“Years past, the Matco Tools dragster has always had good starts and been the car to beat,” said the 35-year-old. “I’d like to go to Pomona and start the season off right and get some momentum going.”
That momentum has already started for Brown. He notched a Winternationals victory earlier this year – in the RC boat category. After a successful pre-season test session in his Top Fuel dragster in South Florida, he stuck around to relax and head to Tampa to race his RC boats in their version of the Winternationals.
“We had a great week of testing down in South Florida,” said Brown. “We just kept getting stronger as the testing went on. Then I went RC boat racing and got a win with one of my boats. That has me relaxed and ready to go for Pomona.”
Brown also celebrated his 11th wedding anniversary with wife Billie Jo on Friday.
The Winternationals kicks off at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on Thursday with one qualifying session followed by one more on Friday – scheduled for 2 p.m. – before the last two sessions are held Saturday afternoon leading to Sunday’s championship eliminations. (See full schedule below.)
Antron Brown Fast Facts
At Pomona in 2011:
NHRA Winternationals (Feb. 27, 2011): The Matco Tools dragster qualified second at the opening race in 2011. Brown defeated Mike Strasburg and Doug Kalitta before the engine let go in the semifinal round and ended his day against Shawn Langdon.
NHRA Auto Club of Southern California Finals (Nov. 13, 2011): Brown entered the final race of the 2011 season in championship contention. He qualified the Matco Tools dragster in the seventh position and took out Vandergriff in the opening round. He fell to Larry Dixon by inches in the second round, ending his championship hopes.
About Matco Tools
Matco Tools manufactures, distributes and services premium quality automotive equipment, tools, and tool storage for the professional technician. The company has more than 60 years of national brand experience in the automotive equipment industry and a vast product line of more than 13,000 of the highest quality, innovative tools and accessories. The company’s franchise offering has no franchise, royalty, or advertising fees. Initial corporate and ongoing local training create and build outstanding value for the franchisee’s business. For more information on Matco Tools products or franchise opportunities, visit www.matcotools.com.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., consists of seven professional NHRA teams: in Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the FRAM/Prestone dragster of Spencer Massey and the Matco Tools dragster of Antron Brown; and in Funny Car, 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan in the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, Valvoline NextGen Dodge piloted by Jack Beckman, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Service Central Dodge of Johnny Gray. DSR has won 174 NHRA national event titles and nine world championships.