BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 16, 2013) – Antron Brown is a New Jersey native living near Indianapolis who feels very comfortable racing west of the Mississippi.
After a rare weekend off, Brown’s Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster team along with the rest of Don Schumacher Racing head west to Denver this week to begin the traditional NHRA Western Swing that includes races at Bandimere Speedway followed by successive racing weekends near San Francisco and Seattle.
It’s a trifecta in which the reigning NHRA Top Fuel world champion has cashed in on before and came close a year ago.
Brown swept the Swing in 2009, and a year ago won the first two legs by finishing first at Bandimere and a week later at Sonoma Raceway.
“I love our trip out West,” said Brown, who owns two titles this season and is ranked fifth in championship points with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald.
“The scenery is beautiful, the fans know their stuff and we’ve done pretty well out there.”
In addition to winning twice at Bandimere, he has been runner-up four times including three times in Pro Stock Motorcycle. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel twice and once on a motorcycle.
The Matco team has been challenged this season by a series of unusual mechanical gremlins that Corradi and Oswald believe were solved last week during a test session at Lucas Oil Raceway, which is about three miles from DSR headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind.
The team lost in the first round two weeks ago at Norwalk, Ohio, which marked the sixth time in eight races in which the team did not get past the opening round.
“We’re all good,” Brown said. “We’ve just had some odd things happen to us, but our Matco boys never got down; it’s brought us closer as a team. We’d like to have won more races but we’re in great shape for the Swing and then we’ll be ready for the Countdown.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Brian, Mark and all the guys.”
Brown is on schedule to win six titles for the fourth time in the past five seasons; he accomplished that in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Last season he won twice in the first 12 events – this year he won twice in the first 11 events – and then won four of the next eight to lead the Top Fuel category.
Beginning with the Bandimere event, only five NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series remain before standings are reset for the top-10 drivers to compete for the world championship during the six-event Countdown to the Championship.
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Last event (July 7, Norwalk, Ohio): Qualified No. 7; lost in first round to eventual titlist Khalid alBalooshi.
A year ago at Denver: Qualified No. 2; defeated Brandon Bernstein in championship round.
Career at Denver: Wins 2 (2012, 2009); Runner-ups 4 (2008, 2005-bike, 2001-bike, 1999-bike); Poles 3 (2010, 2009, 2001-bike)
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2013 5th 13 2 1 3 1 0 17-11
Career 275 39* 37 57 33 2 460-234
*23 Top Fuel/16 Pro Stock Motorcycle
Best Time, Speed: 3.701*/** (10- 8-12, Reading), 328.78 (10-8-12, Reading); * Quickest ever, ** NHRA record
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(After 13 of 24 events; through Norwalk, Ohio; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon, 1013
2. TONY SCHUMACHER, 1012
3. SPENCER MASSEY, 922
4. Doug Kalitta, 807
5. ANTRON BROWN, 799
6. Khalid alBalooshi, 771
7. Clay Millican, 700
8. Morgan Lucas, 639
9. Steve Torrence, 605
10. Bob Vandergriff, 605
2013 WINNERS: Langdon, SCHUMACHER, BROWN, SCHUMACHER, MASSEY, Vandergriff, BROWN, Langdon, Langdon, Steve Torrence, MASSEY, SCHUMACHER, alBalooshi.
Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Friday: 6 p.m., 8 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
WEATHER.COM FORECAST FOR BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, MORRISON, COLO.
Friday: High 77; 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms
Saturday: High 78; 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms
Sunday: High 83; 10 percent chance of rain
July 26-28, Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.
About Matco Tools
Matco Tools manufactures, distributes and services premium quality automotive equipment, tools, and tool storage for the professional technician. The company has more than 60 years of national brand experience in the automotive equipment industry and a vast product line of more than 13,000 of the highest quality, innovative tools and accessories.
The company’s franchise offering has no initial franchise fee, monthly royalties, or advertising fees. Initial corporate and ongoing local training create and build outstanding value for the franchisee’s business. For more information on Matco Tools products or franchise opportunities, visit www.matcotools.com.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional teams in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In Top Fuel, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown and the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher and the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster driven by Spencer Massey; and in Funny Car, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Valvoline Max Life/MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge Charger R/T, 2011 world champion Matt Hagan in the Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Pitch Energy Dodge of Johnny Gray.
DSR has won 210 NHRA national event titles and 11 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing andFacebook.com/shoeracing.