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Semifinals loss to Kalitta at Thunder Valley doesn’t deter Brown from seeing progress with Aaron’s/Matco team

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Doug Kalitta ended the day for Antron Brown and his Aaron’s Dream Machine/Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster for the fourth consecutive event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

You read that correctly.

The most recent was Sunday in the semifinals of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Kalitta has sent the team home early twice in the first round, once in the second round and once in the semi-finals.

“Doug’s on a roll right now,” Brown said of his semifinals loss. “I’ve beaten him more times than he’s beaten me, but he’s got the upper hand right now. His car is running great. We just needed a little bit more.”

Brown remains third in points but the standings were juggled after Bristol. The top three spots remain with Don Schumacher Racing, but Bristol event winner Tony Schumacher took over first place and dropped Spencer Massey to second.

Brown gained 20 points on Massey and now trails by 50.

“All in all, it was a great weekend and we will just keep building and getting stronger for the Countdown,” Brown said. “We qualified well, we were going rounds. The main thing is we made up some points.”

The highlight for the team at Bristol was winning the No. 1 qualifying position for the second time in the past three events. Right on his heels was Schumacher throughout qualifying. It appeared it would be a Brown-Schumacher final round until Kalitta got in the way.

“I would’ve liked for it to be an all DSR final. I’m at least glad that Tony won and ended that streak of his, ” Brown said of Schumacher’s 68th career title and first since Fall of 2010.

Brown’s next race is the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in two weeks at Joliet, Ill.

TOP FUEL
Event winner: Tony Schumacher of Don Schumacher Racing

ANTRON BROWN, Aaron’s Dream Machine/Matco Tools dragster Qualified: No. 1
First round: BROWN (3.939 sec., 311.49 mph) def. Scott Palmer (broke, no time)
Second round: BROWN (3.825, 323.35) def. Shawn Langdon (3.847, 320.43)
Semifinals: Doug Kalitta (3.8321, 320.51) def. BROWN (3.842, 322.88)
FRIDAY QUALIFYING
Session 1: 3.892 sec., 319.75 mph
Session 2: 3.814, 323.12
SATURDAY QUALIFYING
Session 3: 4.182, 213.91
Session 4: 3.843, 319.45

FULL THROTTLE TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Unofficial through Bristol; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER, WINS, POINTS
1. TONY SCHUMACHER (1), 846
2. SPENCER MASSEY (3), 806
3. ANTRON BROWN (1), 756
4. Steve Torrence (2), 679
5. Morgan Lucas (2), 667
6. Doug Kalitta, 604
7. Shawn Langdon, 534
8. Brandon Bernstein, 503
9. David Grubnic (1), 469
10. Clay Millican, 455

NEXT EVENT:
June 28-July 1, Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Joliet, Ill.

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