CHANDLER, Ariz. – Antron Brown and crew chief Brian Corradi never sweat about the little things in life.
Their faith in God enables them to put racing into its proper perspective.
Losing the No. 1 qualifying position in the last session on Saturday in the NHRA Arizona Nationals to a record-setting run by Doug Kalitta was just a blip on the radar for them. Kalitta’s time of 3.733 seconds at 329.02 mph set both ends of the Firebird International Raceway record.
“When I saw Doug run that 3.73 I got goose bumps. It was a great run,” Corradi said. “We know we have a great racecar and are just happy to start Sunday No. 2.”
Brown and the Matco Tools team made its best run of the weekend on Friday with a time of 3.765 seconds at 314.83 mph.
That was a remarkable feat considering a week ago in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season-opener at Pomona, Calif., their racecar was destroyed in a violent crash but Brown was uninjured and able to walk away from the mangled racecar.
In Corradi’s eyes and soul, what was learned about the engine malfunction has been shared with other teams in hope that it can be prevented.
“In the Bible it says God is good, it doesn’t mean that everything is good but having that crash opened the eyes of some other people who might have been having the same problem we’ve had.
“I’m hoping good comes from it.”
For Brown, the reigning Top Fuel world champion, just getting back to the track healthy makes this a successful weekend. And after his Friday run it’s time for him to focus on conquering the racetrack and opponents.
“The track’s good out there,” he said. “People were running mid-70s. Doug just nailed one. You get out there, everything lines up, everything’s right, that’s what these cars do. Hats off to him, he did a good job on that run.
“We went down the track A to B again, getting ready for (Sunday). There are going to be some tough round matchups tomorrow. It’s going to be a lot of fun, challenging. Our Matco Tools/U.S. Army team is definitely looking forward to getting out there.”
The following are Brown’s qualifying results and other notes from the NHRA Arizona Nationals:
No. 1 qualifier: Doug Kalitta (Kalitta Motorsports) 3.733 sec., 329.02 mph (track records)
Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
Qualified: No. 2
Sunday’s first-round opponent: Terry McMillen
Session 1: 4.007 sec., 229.90 mph
Session 2: 3.765, 314.83
Session 3: 3.845, 318.77
Session 4: 3.805, 317.57
SUNDAY AT FIREBIRD
WHAT: 29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals
WHERE: Firebird International Raceway, south of Phoenix
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11 a.m.
Sunday: Qualifying, 1 a.m., 8 a.m. (ET)
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 8 p.m. (ET)
Sunday: High 62; sunny, 0 percent chance of rain