LAS VEGAS – Antron Brown didn’t go home with the souvenir he wanted after nearly a week in Las Vegas, but becoming the Top Fuel championship points leader with a pair of track records is a nice haul back to his home in Brownsburg, Ind.

For the 20th time in Don Schumacher Racing history, a pair of Top Fuel teammates met for the championship of an NHRA Full Throttle Series event.

After Brown’s Aaron’s Dream Machine/Matco Tools dragster won in the semifinals round, the New Jersey native took over the series points lead for his team and crew chiefs Mark Oswald and Brian Corradi.

“We want to win at every race we go to. We came out to Vegas and we did whatever we had to. We have to knuckle up and get ready for the next race. But we can’t just go back feeling good; we have to go back and work hard because everybody else is getting hungrier.”

Like his DSR teammate, Spencer Massey, and his FRAM/Prestone dragster car chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler.

Brown lost in the championship round to Massey and missed earning the
33rd title of his career. But Brown was able to set Las Vegas track records with the fastest (326.08 mph) and quickest (3.779 seconds) runs ever at the track.

And Brown’s team did it a race car that made its first run down a dragstrip on Friday.

“It’s just the kind of team we have. You have to have confidence in the guys at the track and back at the shop in Brownsburg. We’re just one group.”

The team had its worse qualifying performance of the year and waited until the fourth and final session to post a time good enough to earn the No. 12 spot for Sunday’s 16-car championship eliminations.

“It might be a new chassis but we’ve run these cars before. It wasn’t the car giving us trouble in qualifying it was a problem with one part and Mark and Brian figured it out and fixed it.

“I wouldn’t want to be with a different group of guys then the ones I have on race day. Come race day, especially the first round, we had a car that I was very confident in.

“I just had to go out there and do what I do, and I knew everything would fall into place.”

What Brown did as a driver was use exceptional quickness on the starting line to leave ahead of Shawn Langdon by a large enough margin (0.021 seconds) to overcome Langdon’s better elapsed time and win with a “holeshot.”

Then in the semifinals against Morgan Lucas, who won the last NHRA event and Las Vegas pole, Brown was able to outdrive Lucas when each dragster’s rear tires began to lose traction. Brown was able to recover first and advance to the final round.

He did everything a driver could do to win races.

“After Gainesville when (teammate Tony Schumacher) beat me with a holeshot, we just went back to work and I focused on what I had to do to be quicker off the starting line,” said Brown.

“If you want to win races out here you can’t expect that you are going to win with a subpar effort as a driver.”

The next Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event is the April 13-15 Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s zMAX Dragway.

Event winner: Spencer Massey
Antron Brown, Aaron’s Dream Machine/ Matco Tools dragster
Qualified: No. 12
Round 1: BROWN (3.829 sec., 321.27) def. Shawn Langdon (3.808, 320.51)
Round 2: BROWN (3.779*, 326.08* def. Tony Schumacher (3.816, 324.98)
* Las Vegas track time and speed records
Semifinals: BROWN (4.699, 213.54) def. Morgan Lucas (5.097, 182.11)
Final: Spencer Massey (3.830, 323.89) def. BROWN (3.849, 315.86)

Top Fuel points standings  Unofficial, following four of 23 events)  1. Antron Brown, 357  2. Morgan Lucas, 353  3. Spencer Massey, 349  4. Tony Schumacher, 344  5. Shawn Langdon, 259  6. Doug Kalitta, 209  7. Steve Torrence, 199  8. Clay Millican, 195  9. Bob Vandergriff, 175  10. Brandon Bernstein, 153


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