ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 1, 2013) – It was bound to happen sooner or later to the most popular driver in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Late Friday afternoon, Antron Brown started to lose his voice.
It’s understandable considering the reigning NHRA Top Fuel world champion’s schedule for the week was more grueling that it normally is. He fielded interview requests for returning as the NHRA world champion to his hometown track in Englishtown, N.J., and he spent Wednesday in Virginia testing a stock car in a regional NASCAR series.
Then he spent much of Friday at the 44th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals visiting with family and friends.
Not only did that take a lot of talking, but he spent considerable time with Matco Tools crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald trying to target gremlins that have that have plagued their dragster since a first-round loss two weeks ago at Topeka, Kan.
The Matco dragster’s rallied Saturday afternoon in the last of four qualifying sessions for their best elapsed time with of 3.877 seconds at 308.50 mph on the second of two days when temperatures were in high 80s to low 90s.
The run was third best of the fourth session.
“That’s what the boys were shooting for,” Brown said. “Brian, Mark they’ve just been plugging away to get our car back the way it was before we had all of those electrical gremlins at the last race (in Topeka). We’re just getting back to square one. That was a good run for that session there. We’re slowly picking away at it and I feel confident like always going into race day. Sunday we won’t have lane choice in the first round but both lanes will be good.”
Before the last session, Brown was going to be paired against DSR teammate Spencer Massey, but Brown was able avoid the matchup by moving up on spot to 11th in the qualifying order.
“That last thing we want to do is race one of our teammates in the first round,” Brown said. “Brian and Mark were able to sort out some problems so we could make the best run we could have made in the heat.”
Brown also has had a pleasant distraction. An NHRA Super Comp dragster owned by his father, Albert Brown, and uncle, Andre Brown, have advanced deep into Sunday’s championship eliminations. Nothing could be better for Brown than to celebrate a pair of family victories on Sunday.
“That would be incredible, but we can’t even think of that right now because there’s so much racing to go. That would definitely be a story. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
The following are Brown’s qualifying results and other notes:
No. 1 qualifier: Clay Millican (Bob Vandergriff Racing), 3.792 sec., 321.27 mph
Antron Brown, Matco Tools
Qualifying position: No. 11
First-round opponent: Bob Vandergriff
Session 1: 4.024 sec., 283.55 mph
Session 2: 3.888, 302.62
Session 3: 3.945, 304.60
Session 4: 3.877, 308.50
SUNDAY AT ENGLISHTOWN, N.J.
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11 a.m. (ET)
Sunday: Eliminations, 4:30-7 p.m., ET, delayed
Sunday: High 87; 20 percent chance of rain
Around the Web
RT @MMAftermarketNA: Congrats to Matt Hagan and DSR on Matt’s 1st place victory at the Toyota Summernationals! @MattHagan_FC @shoeracing ht…
#NHRANote #theSarge E2 win @EtownRaceway was his 650th career #NHRA round win for @ARMYRACING.
Back home again, in Indiana is the DSR front office. Now onward to Brownsburg. #nhra #roadtrip
Greetings from W. Va. Where are you tonight @nhra fans? #NHRA #roadtrip
@shaverfolk @NHRA we do http://t.co/alLQcE3RXs. #checkitout
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