Rare first-round loss sidelines Brown, Matco Tools at Topeka but will be ranked No. 2 upon arrival in home state on Friday
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 25, 2014) – Heartland Park Topeka remains one of only five NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tracks where Antron Brown hasn’t won an event title. He also hasn’t advanced past the semifinals of the Kansas Nationals.
That unfortunate streak remains after Antron and the Matco Tools team lost in the first round of Sunday’s championship eliminations marking the first time since the season-opening Winternationals that they haven’t advanced to the quarterfinals.
The Matco Tools team started Sunday seeded ninth, which was the first time it qualified worse than fifth this year.
Antron posted the second quickest reaction time at the starting line of the round, but his time of 3.844 seconds at 317.34 mph wasn’t able to catch Al-Anabi Racing’s Khalid alBalooshi’s 3.806 at a slowing 292.71. AlBalooshi’s margin of victory was 0.0015 of-a-second.
“It was just a good drag race here at Topeka again with (Khalid) alBalooshi. You have to race hard against those Al-Anabi guys. The good thing about it is that we learned a lot with some new stuff on the car this weekend after we lost our primary car at Atlanta.”
Antron, who has won three titles this year, was able to maintain the No. 2 position in the standings and trails leader Doug Kalitta by 30 points.
DSR and the NHRA Mello Yello Series heads east and begins racing Friday at Englishtown, N.J., to conclude a stretch of three events in three weeks. After a one week break, teams embark on four races in four weeks with the first on June 13-15 at Bristol, Tenn.
Antron grew up in Chesterfield, N.J.
“It’s important to win every race and Englishtown is my home track so that makes it even more special,” said Antron, who won there in Pro Stock Motorcycle in 2002 and 2005 and was runner-up in Top Fuel in 2009 and 2010.
“We want to be part of history by winning there in Top Fuel at one of the original NHRA national event racks. We’re going in to win. It’s one of those races that we want and we’re going to give it all we got.”
The following are Antron’s results and other event notes for the NHRA Kansas Nationals.
Event winner: Spencer Massey (Don Schumacher Racing)
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: Khalid alBalooshi (.084 3.806 sec., 292.71 mph) def. BROWN (.047 3.844, 317.34)
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)
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
Unofficial, through May 25, 2014, Kansas
driver (wins), points
1. Doug Kalitta (1), 704
2. ANTRON BROWN, (3), 674
3. SPENCER MASSEY, (2), 566
4. Shawn Langdon, 559
5. Steve Torrence, 543
6. Khalid alBalooshi (1), 446
7. TONY SCHUMACHER (1), 442
8. Brittany Force, 407
9. JR Todd, 340
10. Richie Crampton, 309