TOPEKA, Kan. – Antron Brown won’t complain if he never again is paired against Doug Kalitta, or for that matter, wins another pole at Heartland Park Topeka.
Two weeks ago, Kalitta eliminated Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster in the first round. That ended Brown’s streak of winning in the opening round of 33 consecutive NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events.
Then on Sunday, Kalitta beat Brown in the second round when Brown was disqualified with a redlight start after he left the starting line too early in the Dollar General NHRA SummerNationals at Topeka. He remains third in the NHRA Top Fuel standings and is now 16-8 in his career against Kalitta.
“It’s not who you race it’s what you do. I never worry about who I’m going to race. I just go up and do what I do,” Brown said. He was taking a brief break from signing autographs while Kalitta’s crew was preparing for the semifinals.
It was a replay of two years ago when Brown lost with a redlight in the second round at the track against Larry Dixon. He also won the pole that year.
“We always qualify well here. I just pushed the envelope too much,” he said. “It taught me a lesson. Sometime you have to be reminded not to push so hard. This is a racetrack that we just want to win at real bad.
“I just hate losing, it doesn’t matter how. I didn’t need to go up there and push it like I did. I have all the confidence in our team that all I have to do is my job. Just trying to press too hard. I know better.
“All our Matco guys work real hard, and that’s the biggest bummer of throwing a race away at the starting line like I did. It’s something I hate doing.
“But I guess it’s not drag racing if you’re not pushing yourself, and I wanted to win real bad.”
Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
Qualified: No. 1
Round 1: BROWN (3.802 sec., 328.22 mph) def. Cory McClenathan (6.348, 95.31)
Round 2: Doug Kalitta (3.813, 323.37) def. BROWN (DQ, redlight)
Session 1: 3.865 sec., 316.01 mph
Session 2: 3.797, 324.98
Session 3: 3.848, 319.67
Session 4: 4.234, 313.58
May 27: Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown, pre-race burnouts before start of Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
May 31-June 3: Toyota NHRA SuperNationals, Englishtown, N.J.