ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2013) – Reigning NHRA Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown knew he didn’t want his Matco Tools team to take a Sunday off for the second consecutive week on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour.
Brown, who did not qualify last Sunday for championship eliminations near Charlotte, was able to produce a time quick enough (3.895 second at 311.05 mph) with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald to earn the 14th spot in the field of 16 for eliminations, which begin at 11 a.m. (CT) in the AAA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
Adding pressure to Brown and the other Mello Yello series teams was that only two qualifying sessions were left after rain wiped out Friday’s two attempts.
“Our boys just stuck to their guns and kept their heads down,” Brown said. “Our Matco car went down the track from A to B. We slid it down there. That’s what you have to do when you only have two qualifying sessions. That made it even more challenging than Charlotte when we had four chances.
“Charlotte just got away from us. We’re regrouped and are back in action here. All I can say is that tomorrow we’ll be in the race and if you’re in the race you have a chance to win.
We’ll be back at work; another day at the office. We’re ready. We’re hungry.”
Brown has fallen to ninth in the 10-driver Countdown to the Championship and trails Don Schumacher Racing teammate and points leader Spencer Massey by 128 points.
The Fall Nationals is the second of six events in the Countdown playoff.
The following are qualifying summaries for Brown and event notes:
TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing) 3.819 sec., 321.04 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 14
First-round opponent: Brandon Bernstein
Both sessions rained out
Session 1: 4.322 sec., 237.88 mph
Session 2: 3.895, 311.05
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Official through Sept. 21 near Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. SPENCER MASSEY 2,209 (—)
2. Shawn Langdon 2,191 (-18)
3. Morgan Lucas 2,176 (-33)
4. Doug Kalitta 2,171 (-38)
5. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,143 (-66)
6. Clay Millican 2,134 (-69)
7. Khalid alBalooshi 2,117 (-112)
8. Bob Vandergriff 2,083 (-126)
9. ANTRON BROWN 2,081 (- 128)
10. Steve Torrence 2,080 (-129)
2013 REGULAR SEASON WINNERS: Langdon, SCHUMACHER, BROWN, SCHUMACHER, MASSEY, Vandergriff, BROWN, Langdon, Langdon, Steve Torrence, MASSEY, SCHUMACHER, alBalooshi, MASSEY, Langdon, Lucas, MASSEY, Langdon.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Lucas (Charlotte).
(Times are CT)
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
(Times are ET)
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, delayed
Sunday: High 83; 10 percent chance of rain
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Sept. 13-15 -Charlotte, N.C. (Finals: TF/Morgan Lucas def. SPENCER MASSEY; FC/Robert Hight def. MATT HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22 – Texas Motorplex, Dallas
Sept. 27-29 – Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6 – Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 – Auto Club Raceway, Pomona