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Odds of Brown defending Top Fuel world title heightened after not qualifying for Charlotte event ending 110-race streak

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2013) – Antron Brown and his Toyota team produced a time on Friday that was one of the 16th quickest in four qualifying sessions of the Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.

Unfortunately, his best run of the weekend – 3.847 seconds at 317.72 mph – was only 14th quickest after Friday’s two sessions and only the top 12 times carry over to determine the 16 qualifiers for Sunday’s championship eliminations.

Brown and crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald made valiant effort on their last of two runs on Saturday but their time of 3.893 seconds (309.77 mph) fell eight-thousandths of a second short of making the field.

It is the first time Brown has not qualified for eliminations since the NHRA Finals in November 2008. It ended his streak of 110 consecutive appearances in eliminations, which was seventh on the list of active professional drivers.

“You never imagine this kind of thing happening,” said Brown, who dropped from sixth to eighth in the standings.

“We just went out there and were trying to run hard,” he said. “Things just didn’t go our way. That’s how racing can be. You can do all the right things and they still come up wrong. Some days you do all the wrong things and they come up right.”

This weekend’s event is the first in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff.

DSR COUNTDOWN HISTORY
DSR has won 15 Top Fuel titles and 12 Funny Car titles in the Countdown since its inception in 2007. DSR’s Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army Top Fuel team leads NHRA with nine Countdown titles.

TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
No. 1 qualifier: Morgan Lucas (Morgan Lucas Racing), 3.749 sec., 324.51 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Toyota Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying position: Did not qualify
FRIDAY QUALIFYING
Session 1: 3.847 sec., 317.72 mph
Session 2: 4.992, 142.84
SATURDAY QUALIFYING
Session 3: 4.464, 183.52
Session 4: 3.893, 309.77

MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Unofficial through Saturday at Charlotte; DSR drivers in CAPS)

TOP FUEL
1. Shawn Langdon 2,150
2. SPENCER MASSEY 2,114
3. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,112
4. Doug Kalitta 2,091
5. Khalid alBalooshi 2,087
6. Clay Millican 2,064
7. Morgan Lucas 2,064
8. ANTRON BROWN 2,050
9. Steve Torrence 2,044
10. Bob Vandergriff 2,031
2013 TOP FUEL WINNERS: Langdon, SCHUMACHER, BROWN, SCHUMACHER, MASSEY, Vandergriff, BROWN, Langdon, Langdon, Steve Torrence, MASSEY, SCHUMACHER, alBalooshi, MASSEY, Langdon, Lucas, MASSEY, Langdon.

CAROLINA NATIONALS
Sunday: Noon, championship eliminations

ON ESPN (times are ET)
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, ESPN2, delayed

WEATHER.COM FORECAST
Sunday: High 81 degrees; 0 percent chance of rain
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