JUPITER, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2014) – Antron Brown is often found flaunting a bright smile and that certainly was the case Saturday at Palm Beach International Raceway as the Matco Tools driver flashed the form that saw the popular racer win the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel crown.
The 41-time NHRA winner made four laps at 3.770-seconds or quicker behind the wheel of his Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald-tuned Matco rail. Brown’s 3.737-second pass was the quickest on Saturday as the Matco Tools car was trucking along at more than 290 mph at half-track. Brown ran 3.735 on Friday evening.
“Our Matco Tools team feels great; we had a great test session here at PBIR,” Brown said. “We got a lot accomplished after Wednesday once the track came around. I’m very proud of our whole team.
“We’re definitely on point right now. We’re real excited to go to Pomona in a few weeks. We’re ready to get the 2014 NHRA season kicked off. The competition is going to be steep as you saw from what those Al-Anabi boys were throwing down this weekend, but this Matco Tools team is ready to contend.”
The other DSR dragsters also looked like championship contenders as seven-time champion Tony Schumacher posted a best lap of 3.765 seconds for the U.S. Army, while 14-time winner Spencer Massey and the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team carded three of four PRO Winter Warm-up laps in the 3.7-second range.
Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T earned the quickest lap of the two-day PRO Winter Warm-up at 4.003 on Friday. DSR’s Matt Hagan, who narrowly missed his second NHRA championship in three years last fall, was next best for the Team DSR Funny Cars at 4.041 at a blistering 321.81 mph flying the Rocky Boots Dodge body. Hagan owns the NHRA national speed mark at 320.66 mph. Jack Beckman and new crew chief Rob Flynn finished testing with a best elapsed time of 4.061, while Tommy Johnson Jr. continued to get reacquainted with a nitro Funny Car and went 4.134 for his testing best.
“Dickie (Venables) and Mike (Knudsen) are making some serious horsepower, 321 is getting it done,” Hagan said after posting the fastest speed of the PRO Winter Warm-up. “It’s great to end on a good note after a real struggle for most of the week. The track and the teams worked their tails off getting it right and we got some data to work off. It’s been pretty productive. We put on a great show for the fans and at the end of the day we’re here to entertain the fans.”
The following are DSR team results and other event information for the PRO Winter Warm-up.
TOP FUEL: Antron Brown, Matco Tools
First session: 3.770 secs., 303.16 mph
Second session: 3.735, 325.37
First session: 3.753 secs., 325.37 mph
Second session: 3.737, 325.85
NEXT EVENT: 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals Nationals, Feb. 7-10, 2014, Pomona, Calif.