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Brown slows after stellar opening round in Matco Top Fueler as loss helps teammate Massey win NHRA title at Norwalk

NORWALK, Ohio – Antron Brown faced Spencer Massey on Sunday for the fifth time this year during championship eliminations.

Prior to Sunday of the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in northern Ohio, the Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel Dragster teammates had split their first four encounters; both of Massey’s wins were in the championship rounds while each of Brown’s were in second-round competition.

Massey turned the tables this time by beating Brown in the second round and then went the distance to win his series-best fourth title of the year and regain first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series standings. Brown dropped two spots to third after briefly holding the points lead after Saturday qualifying.

While Brown was pleased that if he didn’t win the title that one of his teammates did, he was disappointed after crew chiefs Mark Oswald and Brian Corradi tuned his Matco Tools dragster to the first round’s best run at 3.831 seconds and 320.58 mph.

In the second round, Massey went 3.923 seconds at 306.40 mph to beat Brown when he lost traction and slowed to a 4.038 (273.00).

“We were ahead of him until 330 feet, then we lost a little traction,” Brown said. “We wanted to run a 3.86 or 3.87, but it just didn’t hold. We raced our teammate, and we didn’t want to leave anything on the table.

“We had a great run in the first round then the track wouldn’t hold what we tried to put down the next time.

“It was a good weekend. We looked at all the runs and the team did an exceptional job during qualifying and we got some crucial bonus points. We’ll just lick our wounds and get ready for the ‘Western Swing’ and go after it again.”

The Western Swing begins in two weeks and consists of three successive weekends withe events at Denver, near San Francisco and Seattle. Brown won all three of the events on the Western Swing in 2009.

NORWALK RESULTS
TOP FUEL
Event winner: Spencer Massey

Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
Qualified: No. 2

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: BROWN (3.831 sec., 320.58 mph) def. Morgan Lucas (4.167, 244.25)
Second round: Spencer Massey (3.923, 306.40) def. BROWN (4.038, 273.00)

QUALIFYING
FRIDAY
Session 1: 3.947 sec., 305.42 mph
Session 2: 3.832, 321.27
SATURDAY
Session 3: 4.097, 237.25
Session 4: 3.978, 298.27

FULL THROTTLE TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Unofficial; DSR drivers in capital letters)
1. SPENCER MASSEY, 984
2. TONY SCHUMACHER, 955
3. ANTRON BROWN, 941
4. Steve Torrence, 877
5. Morgan Lucas, 729
6. Doug Kalitta, 684
7. Shawn Langdon, 650
8. David Grubnic, 593
9. Brandon Bernstein, 567
10. Clay Millican, 514
11. Bob Vandergriff Jr., 514

NEXT FULL THROTTLE EVENT:
July 20-25, Mopar Mile High Nationals, Denver

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