BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Antron Brown wants to prove that he remembers how to find the winner’s circle at Route 66 Raceway.
It’s been 11 years since he visited the celebratory stage after winning an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event title at Joliet, Ill., and then it was with two wheels.
Brown won Pro Stock Motorcycle titles at the track near Chicago in 2000 and 2001. Since moving to Top Fuel in 2007, he has only come close to winning. Two years ago he was runner-up in his Matco Tools dragster and was the No. 1 qualifier.
“Man, it was a long time ago when I won there,” Brown said. “Heck, my three kids weren’t even born yet!”
Brown’s wife Billie Jo, however, was pregnant with daughter Arianna who was born that year on Nov. 14.
He was reminded of how much time has lapsed as he watched his daughter run around DSR headquarters on Monday.
He promises a Chicago title is close but and guarantees that if he and crew chiefs Mark Oswald and Brian Corradi win for the second time this season that a fourth Brown offspring should not be expected near the end of this year.
Brown qualified No. 3 a year ago and advanced to the semifinals.
Brown, 37, who lives in Pittsboro, Ind., not far from DSR headquarters could not be more upbeat about his team despite disappointing endings at three of the past four NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events.
The Matco team produced its second No. 1 qualifying effort of the year two weeks ago at Bristol, Tenn., and advanced to the semifinals before being knocked out by Doug Kalitta.
Kalitta has been somewhat of an Achilles heel to the one-time track star by ending his day at the last four events including twice in the first round.
“Doug’s just had our number lately, but we’re happy with how our Matco Tools dragster is running. I know Mark and Brian have been working on some things that will help us down the road.”
Brown is ranked third in Full Throttle points behind teammates Tony Schumacher, who is first, and Spencer Massey.
2012 Pts W Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
3rd 1 3 1 0 19-9
2011 Pts W Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
3rd 6 2 3 0 50-16
Career Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
32* 34 31 2 413-215
Brown in 2011 at Route 66:
Qualified No. 3; lost to Del Worsham in semifinals
Brown’s career at Route 66:
Wins 2* (2000-01); runner-ups 2 (2002*, 2009); poles 1 (2009)
* Pro Stock Motorcycle
FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING STANDINGS
(Through 10 of 23 events; 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
2011 ROUTE 66 WINNERS
Top Fuel: Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle)
ROUTE 66 NATIONALS NITRO SCHEDULE
Friday: 5 p.m., 8 p.m. qualifying
Saturday: 5 p.m., 8 p.m. qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
Saturday: 6-7:30 p.m. (ET), delayed
Sunday: 6-9 p.m. (ET), delayed
Friday: High 91; 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms
Saturday: High 92; cloudy with 10 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 92; sunny, 0 percent chance of rain