Madison, Ill. – Antron Brown and the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Matco Tools team are riding a wave of momentum and it got better Friday night at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.

Crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald helped Brown produce the third quickest run in NHRA Top Fuel history at 3.737 seconds at 326.79 mph that set both track records that enabled the team to take the provisional pole in the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals with the last two sessions set for Saturday.

“We’ve never ran that quick before,” Brown said. “It feels really good so hats off to Brian, Mark and all of our Aaron’s/Matco Tools boys. They are just doing a bang up job. I’m pretty stoked about it, and I’m very blessed to be on this team.”

“We had the third quickest run in Top Fuel history on a track that hasn’t been run on in two years,” Brown said about Gateway that was closed during the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Season and this weekend is the tour’s first visit back since May of 2010.

The record comes less than a week after Brown won the NHRA event title last Sunday near Texas.

Brown also was thrilled that the performance helped Aaron’s celebrate opening a new store in Bronx, N.Y., which is its 2000th.

“Man, we had the Lucky Dog flying,” he said of Aaron’s popular mascot.

“It’s the way you want to start. After we saw our teammate Spencer Massey go out there in Prestone/FRAM car and lay down a 3.752 we knew the track was really good.”

Brown outscored Massey 4-2 in qualifying bonus points that gives Brown a two-point lead in the Countdown to the Championship playoff after the day started with them tied for the lead.

It didn’t take very long for Brown to realize his last of two runs Friday was going to be something special.

“When I stepped on the gas that time, it picked up and it took off,” he said.

“There was no hesitation. I felt instant wheel speed and the back of the car went up and the car was moving forward. The car never stopped accelerating the whole way down the racetrack.

“The boys have been working so hard. After Charlotte we just kept on believing. We’re just beside ourselves and we are just riding that wave.”

Provisional No. 1: Antron Brown, DSR, 3.737, 326.79 mph

Antron Brown, Aaron’s Dream Machine/Matco Tools dragster
Session 1: 3.817 sec., 321.04 mph
Session 2: 3.737, 326.79

Saturday: 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., eliminations

ESPN2 SCHEDULE (All times ET, subject to change)
Sunday: 2:30 a.m., 1 p.m., qualifying
Sunday: 8-11 p.m., eliminations

Saturday: high 74, 0 percent chance of rain
Sunday: high 78, 0 percent chance of rain

Oct. 4-7, NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa. (Philadelphia area)
Oct. 25-28, Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 8-11, Auto Club of Southern California Finals, Pomona, Calif. (finale)