SONOMA, Calif. – The raceway in Sonoma nestled in the Napa Valley of Northern California, has been good to Antron Brown. The driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster hopes that doesn’t change Sunday.
Brown, who won Top Fuel titles at the track 2009 and 2011, will race out of the sixth qualifying spot and face tough opponent Steve Torrence in the opening round of the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in the 14th event of the 23-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
“We always like coming out here to Sonoma,” Brown said. “It has always been good to us, and I hope that it stays that way.”
Brown’s Matco Tools dragster will face Steve Torrence in the opening round of eliminations. Brown, who won his third title of the year a week ago, is ranked second in points while two-time winner Torrence is fourth.
“Tomorrow it’s going to be tough round match-ups,” said Brown, who could face Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the second round. “But that’s just how this NHRA Top Fuel field is this season. We definitely have our work cut out for us tomorrow.
“We’re ready to go out there and get into our mode where we focus on one round at a time. My Matco boys are so good at focusing on the task at hand and putting their heads down and doing what they need to do.”
The Matco team debuted a new DSR-built dragster built last weekend at Denver and won the Top Fuel title.
“Now we are back to sea level,” Brown said contrasting atmospheric conditions to the mile-high altitude of Denver. “Our Top Fuel cars are making tons of horsepower. This has been a good test for us to see how this dragster is performing and to get a hold on it.
“We’ve been going out there and hitting the track as hard as we can. Our car is looking good and showing promise. I’m looking forward to getting to it tomorrow.”
Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
Qualified: No. 4
First round opponent: Steve Torrence
Session 1: 4.487 sec., 175.52 mph
Session 2: 3.799, 322.27
Session 3: 5.021, 143.98
Session 4: 3.871, 315.12
SONOMA NITRO SCHEDULE
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
Sunday: 7-10 p.m. (ET), ESPN2, championship eliminations (delayed)
Sunday: High of 86; 0 percent chance of rain