ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. – For only the second time this season, Antron Brown and his Matco Tools team will not get to select its lane for the first round of eliminations in the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals.
The top-eight qualified drivers in the 16-car eliminations get to pick which lane they want for the opening round on Sunday. Brown with crew chiefs Mark Oswald and Brian Corradi are qualified ninth at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
“We got in the show, we feel really good for tomorrow,” Brown said Saturday after his fourth and final qualifying run of 3.807 seconds that was his second best of the weekend.
“We feel really confident with that final qualifying run that we made. Our Matco Tools car actually responded like we wanted it to. It left the starting line well, had a good 60-foot time and we are just going to build off of that and just make it better.”
Brown, who lives in Pittsboro, Ind., is a native of New Jersey and grew up watching his father and uncle race at the Englishtown track. He was successful there, winning NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle titles in 2002 and 2005 and runner-up in Top Fuel in 2009 and 2010.
“(Sunday) it’s going to be a little bit hotter. The track isn’t going to be as good as we’ve seen here during qualifying,” he said. “We’re going to be in our element though.
“We’ve got a really tough first round match-up with Doug Kalitta, and we can’t take it lightly. We’re going to go out there poised and be hungry and just do what we do.”
Brown is ranked third in points with one title this year.
“I’ve been blessed to have won as many times as I have but it would be hard to top winning in Top Fuel here and having my family on the stage with me,” said Brown, 36, who has won 32 NHRA titles including 16 in Top Fuel.
The following are qualifying results and other notes:
Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
Qualifying position: No. 9
First round opponent: Doug Kalitta
Session 1: 6.604 sec., 94.95 mph
Session 2: 3.798, 322.34
Session 3: 3.862, 320.28
Session 4: 3.807, 322.73
Sunday: High 77, mostly sunny with 10 percent chance of rain
FULL THROTTLE NITRO SCHEDULE
Sunday: 11 a.m., eliminations
ON ESPN (ET)
Sunday: 4:30-7 p.m., eliminations
ANTRON BROWN AT ENGLISHTOWN
In 2011: Lost in second round to Larry Dixon
Career: Wins 2 (2002 and 2005, Pro Stock Motorcycle; runner-ups 2 (2009, 2010, Top Fuel); poles 3 (2008, Top Fuel; 2001 and 2005, PSM)