BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 10, 2014) – Antron Brown and his Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald are ready to turn the next four events in their favor starting with this weekend’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Tennessee.
A year ago during the same stretch that included four events in four weeks, the 2012 Top Fuel champions saw their Sunday’s end after the first round in three of the four races.
When the Thunder Valley Nationals open with qualifying on Friday, the team also will be ready to stop this season’s string of first-round losses at the past two events.
“We’re going to Bristol with some new ‘pipe’ and those streaks will come to an end,” said Antron, who won three of this year’s first six events and ranks second in championship points.
The Matco Tools team plans to have new ‘pipe’ ready for Bristol in the form of a new Don Schumacher Racing dragster after it lost its primary car in a crash in which Antron was not injured on May 16 at Atlanta.
“Our new dragster will be better than the one we started the year with, and that one was pretty fast,” he said.
“We went to the championship round in 2011 at Bristol but haven’t sealed the deal yet, and ‘yet’ is the main word.”
The Mello Yello Series was off last weekend for the first time in a month, and the Matco Tools team needed the break to prepare its new car.
“It wasn’t a weekend off for everybody because we had to get our new car together. That gives us two good cars heading to the meat of the schedule. We needed to get everything back to normal so we can go back to hitting it hard the way we like to.”
FOUR STRAIGHT: This weekend, Bristol, Tenn.; June 19-22, Epping, N.H.; June 26-29, Chicago; July 3-6, Norwalk, Ohio.
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools dragster
Last event Englishtown, N.J. (June 1): Qualified No. 9; lost in first round to Tony Schumacher
A year ago at Bristol: Qualified No. 12; lost in first round to Tony Schumacher
Career at Bristol: Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 (2011); Poles 2 (2012, 2010)
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 2nd 9 3 1 2 0 3 1 0 18-6
CAREER 300 44 39 61 82 67 35 3 494-248
Best Time, Speed: 3.701*/** sec. (10- 8-12, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (10-8-12, Reading)
* Quickest ever/** NHRA record
NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(after nine of 24 events)
driver (wins), points points behind
1. Doug Kalitta (1), 809 —-
2. ANTRON BROWN (3), 706 -103
3. Shawn Langdon, 638 -171
4. SPENCER MASSEY (2), 598 -211
5. Steve Torrence, 580 -229
6. Khalid alBalooshi (1), 503 -306
7. TONY SCHUMACHER (1), 495 -314
8. Brittany Force, 462 -347
9. Richie Crampton (1), 433 -376
10. J.R. Todd, 392 -417