TOPEKA, Kan. (May 24, 2014) – None of Don Schumacher Racing’s seven teams needed a break in the rain Saturday in the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka more than Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team.
Evening rained washed out the second of two sessions on Friday and rain throughout Saturday morning delayed the start of qualifying for about 90 minutes. Sunday’s 16-car championship eliminations are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (CT).
Were the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series unable to resume qualifying Saturday it would have relegated Antron to starting in the No. 14 position for Sunday’s 16-car championship eliminations.
Although the Matco Tools team didn’t improve as much as they wanted, it moved up five spots to ninth.
Without the improvement, Antron, who will start the race ranked second in points, would have faced Steve Torrence, who is ranked third in the NHRA Top Fuel standings.
“We don’t have lane choice, but it doesn’t make a difference here,” Antron said. “Both lanes are good. We’ll just have to go up and hit the tree hard and make a great run and take it from there.”
Mother Nature smiled on Antron when the Matco Tools dragster led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald produced a time of 3.798 seconds at 311.56 mph in the first Saturday session to jump to No. 7 but slipped two positions during the second session of the day.
“We went (3.79) earlier when we were just trying to get back on pace,” Antron said. “That last lap, we stepped her up and it went out there and dropped a hole early. That ended that deal, but it was running better. We were trying for a .74, a .75.
“Tomorrow, we’ll just step it up a bit. This track here is a little tricky because you’ve got to make more power. We’ll work on that and get it ready for race day.”
He is seeking his first championship round appearance at Topeka.
The following are Brown’s qualifying results and other event notes for the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
No. 1 Qualifier: Brittany Force (John Force Racing) 3.746 sec., 329.75 mph (track speed record)
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 9
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
FIRST ROUND: BROWN vs. Khalid alBalooshi (No. 8)
FRIDAY: 5.499, 124.41 mph, (Session 1); (Session 2, rained out)
SATURDAY: 3.798, 311.56, (Session 3); 3.960, 243.02, (Session 4)