ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 22, 2013) – There’s no quit in Antron Brown and he insists there’s no quit in his Matco Tools team.
With four events remaining in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, the reigning Top Fuel world champion knew defending the title wasn’t going to be easy. And it didn’t get any easier when he lost in the second round of Sunday’s AAA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
Brown qualified 14th for the second race of the six-event Countdown to the Championship playoff, and won his first race against higher seeded Brandon Bernstein despite not having lane choice.
But in the next round he lost to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey, who started the Texas race with the points lead before relinquishing it after losing in the semifinals.
Brown moved up one spot to eighth but trails co-leaders Shawn Langdon and Doug Kalitta by 150 points. Massy is two points behind Langdon and Kalitta, who won his first title of the season on Sunday.
“We’ve just got to move on to the next race and build upon this,” said Brown, who has won two titles this season. “We’ll just have to qualify better at the next race, not see our teammates in the second round and just win rounds.
“There’s a lot of racing left, a lot of racing left. We’ll just have to stay poised, stay after it and get better every race. We’re going to St. Louis next weekend. The weather out there looks like it’s going to be really good. We won that race last year. So we’re going to go out and try to run hard.”
The following is Brown’s summary of the Fall Nationals and statistics:
TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
Event winner: Doug Kalitta (Kalitta Motorsports)
No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing) 3.819 sec., 321.04 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 14
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: BROWN (3.852 sec., 312.93 mph) def. Brandon Bernstein (4.937, 141.55)
Second round: Spencer Massey (3.832, 317.79) def. BROWN (3.857, 307.37)
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
(Unofficial through Sept. 22 near Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon 2,251 (—)
1. Doug Kalitta 2,251 (—)
3. SPENCER MASSEY 2,249 (-2)
4. Morgan Lucas 2,216 (-35)
5. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,163 (-88)
6. Clay Millican 2,140 (-111)
7. Bob Vandergriff 2,103 (-148)
8. ANTRON BROWN 2,101 (-150)
9. Khalid alBalooshi 2,097 (-154)
10. Steve Torrence 2,080 (-171)
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), Doug Kalitta (Dallas).
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
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 (Finals: TF/Doug Kalitta def. Shawn Langdon; FC/Cruz Pedregon def. John Force).
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