LAS VEGAS (March 30, 2014) – The hottest Top Fuel team in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continued its successful streak during Sunday’s championship eliminations in the NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals at Las Vegas.
Antron Brown’s Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald unleashed a track record 3.758-second elapsed time at 322 mph in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The competition ladder was tough for No. 1 qualifier Brown all day, including a matchup between the last two Top Fuel world champions in the quarterfinals.
But the 2012 world championship Matco team prevailed and again posted low elapsed time of the round with a 3.774-second pass at 321 mph to take out reigning Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon.
The Matco Tools team then faced Don Schumacher Racing teammate and seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher in the semifinal on a cool and windy Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.
That’s when the Matco Tools dragster uncharacteristically dropped a cylinder and ended their day.
“It just dropped a hole, that’s all,” Antron said. “It’s part of racing. That’s what these things do sometimes. It’s racing. We took our bumps and bruises and we’re just going to get our heads right for the Four-Wide in two weeks.
“All in all, we still had a very good weekend. We qualified No. 1 and we ran low ET of every round since the final round of qualifying. We just had a little mishap there in the semifinal. Our car was on another great run there but we just had a hole out.”
There is nothing for Brown or the Matco Tools team members to frown upon at the conclusion of the fourth NHRA Mello Yello Series event this season.
“We’re just going to continue to work as hard as we’ve been working. Our car has been very efficient – very, very efficient. I’m really proud of all of my guys and how hard they’ve been working. They’ve been giving me a phenomenal race car. I’m just really excited about the direction and where we’re going with this car.
“I wish we were racing again tomorrow.”
Event winner: Tony Schumacher (DSR)
No. 1 Qualifier: Antron Brown (DSR), 3.768 sec., 325.14 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 1
First Round: BROWN (3.758 sec., 322.19 mph) def. Mike Strasburg (3.996, 305.01); Quarterfinals: BROWN (3.774, 326.48) def. Shawn Langdon (3.873, 300.80); Semifinals: Tony Schumacher (3.812, 327.43) def. BROWN (3.875, 300.46)
FRIDAY: 4.579 sec., 166.39 mph, (Session 1); 3.797, 322.96, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.816, 320.97, (Session 3); 3.768, 325.14 (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Through Las Vegas, fourth of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins), points
1. Doug Kalitta (1), 412
2. ANTRON BROWN (1), 339
3. Steve Torrence (0), 314
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (1), 262
5. SPENCER MASSEY (0), 236
6. Khalid alBalooshi (1), 229
7. Shawn Langdon (0), 223
8. Brittany Force (0), 191
9. Richie Crampton (0), 157
10. Bob Vandergriff (0), 150