BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 15, 2012) – It had been about 18 months since the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster team had a Sunday afternoon when it didn’t have to worry about a second-round opponent in an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
For the first time in 33 consecutive events, Antron Brown and crew chiefs Mark Oswald and Brian Corradi were not preparing for a second-round run after the streak ended on May 6 at Atlanta Dragway after the team lost in its first round of eliminations.
“We sure weren’t expecting that,” Brown said of his upset loss to Doug Kalitta, who went on to take out Brown’s DSR teammate Spencer Massey in the second round before DSR’s Tony Schumacher beat Kalitta in the semifinals.
“Heck, Doug almost took out our whole DSR team,” Brown said.
For Brown, who is third in Top Fuel points, it was a rare subpar performance by the Matco dragster.
“In drag racing things can happen, sometimes good and sometimes bad. But to win the first round in 33 straight events just shows how well prepared our Matco team is when Sunday comes around.”
Brown is ready to start a new streak beginning with this weekend’s Dollar General NHRA SummerNationals at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas.
“It’s been a good track for us. We’ve run well there but we haven’t gotten passed the semifinals,” said Brown, who was the No. 1 qualifier there in 2009 and 2010.
ANTRON AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA
In 2011: Qualified No. 9; lost in second round to Tony Schumacher
Career: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 2 (2009, 2010)
(Updated through Southern Nationals near Atlanta; 7th of 23 events)
2012 Pts W Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
3rd 1 3 0 0 16-6
2011 Pts W Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
3rd 6 2 3 0 50-16
Career Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
32* 34 29 2 410-212