Brown, Aaron’s/Matco team ‘slams’ the field near St. Louis by winning second straight title, extending Countdown lead
MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 30, 2012) – Antron Brown came up with a creative way to help sponsor Aaron’s celebrate the opening of its 2,000th store and to kickoff Matco Tool’s “Tools for the Cause” campaign for breast cancer awareness Monday at Stow, Ohio.
And it didn’t cost him a penny.
Brown and the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Matco Tools team won the Top Fuel title Sunday in the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals near St. Louis to record their second consecutive event title.
Brown faced Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey in the championship round and recorded Sunday’s best elapsed time of 3.766 seconds to complement his No. 1 qualifying time of 3.737 from Friday night that was his personal best and third quickest ever in NHRA.
The title enabled Brown to extend his Countdown to the Championship lead over second-place Massey to 21 points with three events left in the season.
“Our team hit a grand slam here this weekend,” said Brown, who credits the success to crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, assistant Brad Mason and stellar work from their outstanding crew that has won a series-best sixth title this year.
“We qualified No. 1 and then took it one round at a time. It was a great weekend, but it’s always a struggle. This class is very competitive. You have your struggles here and there, and you have to keep on overcoming them. I’m just so happy for our Aaron’s/Matco guys.”
Before Brown’s two-event winning streak – his second of the year (Denver and Sonoma, Calif.) – he lost in the first round in the Countdown to the Championship opener two weeks ago near Charlotte when a part broke.
Nothing broke on Sunday as he beat Bruce Litton, Steve Torrence and Brandon Bernstein before facing Massey for the title.
“It was a stressful day where we matched up against some great competition,” Brown said.
“Matching up against my teammate in the final was big – we’ve been back and forth in the points lead. It’s great to have six wins, but right now, they’re all in the past. We need to go back to the shop and get focused on these last three races. It’s just so competitive out here, and this points race is going to go down to the last race at Pomona.”
Brown now has 37 NHRA career wins, which ties him with Don Schumacher Racing legends Ron Capps and former driver Gary Scelzi on the all-time win list.
The following are Brown’s results from the NHRA Midwest Nationals near St. Louis:
Event winner: Antron Brown (DSR)
No. 1 qualifier: Brown 3.737 sec., 326.79 mph
Antron Brown, Aaron’s Dream Machine/Matco Tools dragster
Qualified: No. 1
Round 1: BROWN (3.839 sec., 320.28 mph) def. Bruce Litton (10.440, 71.61)
Round 2: BROWN (3.787, 321.19) def. Steve Torrence (3.904, 306.74)
Semifinals: BROWN (3.812, 317.94) def. Brandon Bernstein (5.149, 137.48)
Final: BROWN (3.766, 325.22) def. Spencer Massey (3.812, 324.05)
Session 1: 3.814 sec., 321.04 mph
Session 2: 3.737, 326.79
Session 3: 5.143, 137.33
Session 4: 4.999, 141.61
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
After third of six events in the Countdown to the Championship
(Unofficial through Sept. 30, 2012; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. ANTRON BROWN 2,378
2. SPENCER MASSEY 2,357
3. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,295
4. Shawn Langdon 2,274
5. Brandon Bernstein 2,238
6. Morgan Lucas 2,205
7. Steve Torrence 2,180
8. Doug Kalitta 2,168
9. David Grubnic 2,152
10. Bob Vandergriff 2,117
UPCOMING FULL THROTTLE EVENTS
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 NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.