BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 16, 2013) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster has won three consecutive NHRA event titles before, but they are in the midst of a streak that is not enjoyable.
Brown lost in the opening round Sunday for the third consecutive NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event and for the fourth time in the past five races.
A disappointing qualifying effort of 12th in the Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals paired him against Don Schumacher Racing and U.S. Army teammate Tony Schumacher. Brown lost traction and slowed to a 4.607-second run at 184.95 mph to Schumacher’s winning 3.848 at 323.12.
“We just have to keep staying on our plan,” said Brown, the reigning NHRA Top Fuel world champion who has won two titles this year. “We know how tough this sport really is.
“We just have to keep our focus and beat this resistance with persistence. We’ll take it one step at a time and our plan is to test tomorrow to get some good laps in.
“You have to keep your same mindset. We learn from the experience we have in this sport. I’ve been in it for 16 years now. When you go through the down times you can’t let it keep pulling you down. You have to keep on picking at it. It will turn around, and I’m confident. We have the team to make it better. We’re just going to stay after it and we’ll get right back where we need to be.”
The Mello Series moves north next weekend for the inaugural New England NHRA Nationals at Epping, N.H.
The following are Brown’s results from Thunder Valley and other notes:
Event winner: Spencer Massey (DSR)/Steve Torrence
No. 1 qualifier: Spencer Massey, DSR; 3.775 sec., 326.79 mph – both track records
Antron Brown, Matco Tools
Qualifying position: No. 12
SUNDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: Tony Schumacher (3.848 sec., 323.12 mph) def. BROWN (4.607, 184.95)
Session 1: 3.972 sec., 272.83 mph
Session 2: 3.838, 317.05
Session 3: 6.315, 102.91
Session 4: 3.896, 313.73
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
(Unofficial standings after 10 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. TONY SCHUMACHER, 802
2. Shawn Langdon, 801
3. SPENCER MASSEY, 716
4. ANTRON BROWN, 660
6. Khalid alBalooshi, 578
7. Doug Kalitta, 563
5. Morgan Lucas, 515
8. Clay Millican, 473
9. Bob Vandergriff, 448
10. Brandon Bernstein, 445
2013 EVENT WINNERS
TOP FUEL: Langdon, SCHUMACHER, BROWN, SCHUMACHER, MASSEY, Vandergriff, BROWN, Langdon, Langdon, MASSEY/Torrence.
FUNNY CAR: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, Pedregon/J. Force.
NEXT EVENT: Inaugural New England NHRA Nationals, Epping, N.H.