TOPEKA, Kan. (May 19, 2013) — Antron Brown knows that you lose a lot of NHRA Mello Yello Series races in a long season, but that doesn’t mean the defending NHRA world champion accepts that.
Brown and his Matco Tools Top Fuel team struggled this weekend at Heartland Park Topeka and fortunately they found the gremlin. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after Brown’s opening round loss to rookie Leah Pruett the team discovered an electrical issue that may have plagued their entire weekend in Kansas.
“That was a tough first round with Leah (Pruett); they ran great all weekend here at Topeka,” Brown said after losing in the first round of eliminations for the third time in eight races this season. “It looks like we have an electrical problem right now. We just have to figure out where and what.”
“The motor parts looked fine, but it just wasn’t hitting on all cylinders, so we have to go back and find out what happened. We’re going to replace some things on the car like the ignition wires and make it all brand new for Englishtown.
“The car just didn’t have the power we’re used to having, if it did it should have ran a 3.79 or an .80. We put it on our .80 pass from Friday night when we ran that 3.803. That run on Friday night, it dropped two (cylinders) well before the finish line. We put it back on that run from Friday and that’s what it should have ran, but it just didn’t get the job done. The curse of Topeka continues.”
The silver lining in Brown’s nightmarish fortunes at Heartland Park is that there is another race in less than two weeks and it’s at Englishtown, N.J., located less than an hour from where the 39-time NHRA winner grew up in the Garden State. Brown, a two-time Pro Stock Motorcycle winner at his home race (2002 and ’05), also is a two-time Top Fuel finalist at the famed New Jersey strip.
“It’s all good. We have a great Matco Tools team here at DSR with Brian (Corradi) and Mark (Oswald) and all the boys and we’ll get it figured out. I’ve never won in Top Fuel at Englishtown and that would be an awesome feeling to take home that Wally from Raceway Park with all my family and friends there to celebrate.”
The following are Brown’s results and other notes:
Event winner: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon, 3.767 sec., 322.50 mph
Antron Brown, Matco Tools
Qualifying position: No. 6
Session 1: 4.624 sec., 166.81 mph
Session 2: 3.803, 316.15
Session 3: 3.883, 312.50
Session 4: 5.047, 140.62
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Unofficial after eight of 24 events)
1. TONY SCHUMACHER, 665
2. Shawn Langdon, 631
3. ANTRON BROWN, 593
4. SPENCER MASSEY, 541
5. Doug Kalitta, 470
6. Khalid alBalooshi, 442
7. Brandon Bernstein, 414
8. Morgan Lucas, 409
9. Bob Vandergriff, 358
10. Clay Millican, 332