Brown ready to check into ‘Bellagio’ and take Matco Tools team to its first NHRA title in Four-Wide Nationals near Charlotte
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 8, 2014) – The only complaint 2012 Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown has about the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals is that he hasn’t won it yet.
Antron, who has won the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title at zMAX Dragway in the fall event of 2011 and was runner-up in 2008, is eager to add the most unique title on the 24-event series to his collection of 42 NHRA Wally trophies including the one he won Feb. 23 near Phoenix in this year’s second event.
The fifth annual Four-Wide at zMAX near Charlotte, the world’s only four-lane dragstrip, features heats of four drivers in two pair of lanes separated by a center dividing wall. Four drivers contend in each of four qualifying sessions to race in Sunday’s 16-car elimination bracket again in four-car heats with the first two crossing the finish line advancing to the next round.
“We’re going to ‘the Bellagio of dragstrips’ so we know we’re going to have a great track to run on,” Antron said. “The track is concrete from the start to the finish line. There are no problems with the lanes. Sometimes when we go to a normal two-wide race it’s hard to get both lanes equal but at the Four-Wide you’re going to race on four great lanes. You’re going to see some extremely good racing.
“It’s like our battle-royal, all-star race of the year. At the end of the day and you can hoist that Wally you did something special. That’s what we’re shooting for.
“We’ve been to the final heat before but never got the job done so we hope to do that this weekend.”
Antron and his Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald will start the event with qualifying Friday ranked second in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points after four events
The world championship team wants to extend a successful streak that dates back to two weeks after the team failed to qualify for last year’s fall event at the track.
Antron ended the past season by winning two of last four events and finished the year ranked second in points.
Through four events this year, Antron has advanced to two championship rounds and advanced to the semifinals two weeks ago at Las Vegas after earning the No. 1 qualifying position. The Matco Tools team went on to post the quickest elapsed time of the Las Vegas event (3.758 seconds) in the first round before being in eliminated in the semis by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher, who went on to claim the event title.
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools dragster
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 2nd 4 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 9-3
CAREER 290 42 39 60 82 65 35 3 485-245
Best Time, Speed: 3.701*/** sec. (10- 8-12, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (10-8-12, Reading)
* Quickest ever/** NHRA record
BY THE NUMBERS
Last event (March 28-30, Las Vegas): Qualified No. 1; lost in semifinals to Tony Schumacher
A year ago at Four-Wide: 7; eliminated in first heat
Last fall at zMAX: Did not qualify
Career at Four-Wide: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0
Career at zMAX: Wins 1 (2011); Runner-ups 1 2008; Poles 0
TOP FUEL STANDINGS
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