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Matco Tools’ Brown shoots for third consecutive Sonoma title, will start seventh Sunday in Mello Yello championship eliminations

SONOMA, Calif. (July 27, 2013) – Antron Brown felt more pressure a year ago heading to championship eliminations of the Sonoma Nationals than he will on Sunday.

A year ago he won the first leg of the NHRA three-race Western Swing and followed up by winning at Sonoma Raceway about 60 miles from San Francisco.

But Brown and his Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster team didn’t leave Denver last Sunday with the trophy and they are focused on getting their third title of this season.

The past several events haven’t been easy but Brown’s crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald produced a solid effort in qualifying at Sonoma and will start Sunday from the No. 7 position.

“The car made a good run today, but didn’t make a great run, he said of Saturday’s best time of 3.853 seconds at 319.67 mph. “The car had a great motor, but it just went through the clutch. We can just tune that up a little bit and we’ll be fine. We’re just taking it one step at a time and we’re getting ready for race day. We’re right in the realm where we want to be and now we can go into tomorrow’s first round when the conditions will be really good.

“We know it’s probably going to take a run in the 3.70s to advance and then after that when the sun comes out and the track gets warmer we know it’ll start taking runs in the low 3.80s. We just have to keep on going and stay in that realm.

“We made three great runs down the race track out of four in qualifying. I feel really confident about tomorrow and we’re just going to start on attack mode and see what we can do.”

Brown has won the last two Sonoma titles and believes a third is within reach.

“When we come to this track we know we can make good horsepower, but track conditions change throughout the day and that’s what makes be confident because our team can make great adjustments as the day goes on.

“Brian and Mark are able to analyze the situation and make the right calls. It just feels good to get back up here where we have won a lot rounds and enjoyed success. We have a lot of data that we can fall back on.”

The following are Brown’s qualifying results and notes from Sonoma Raceway:

TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
No. 1 qualifier: David Grubnic (Kalitta Motorsports), 3.765 sec.*, 324.28 mph (* track record)

Antron Brown, Matco Tools
Qualified: No. 7
First-round opponent: Clay Millican

FRIDAY QUALIFYING
Session 1: 3.873 sec., 315.27 mph
Session 2: 3.803, 320.66
SATURDAY QUALIFYING
Session 3: 5.972, 105.54
Session 4: 3.853, 319.67

SONOMA NHRA NATIONALS SCHEDULE
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations

WEATHER.COM FORECAST FOR SONOMA
Sunday: High 81; 10 percent chance of rain

ON ESPN/ESPN2HD
Sunday: 8-11 p.m. (ET), championship eliminations, ESPN2, delayed

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