EPPING, N.H. (June 22, 2014) – Antron Brown and his Matco Tools Top Fuel team hope that persistence does indeed pay off.

A day after earning his 36th career No. 1 qualifying award, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel champion saw his day end in the second round to DSR and U.S. Army Racing teammate Tony Schumacher.

After defeating No. 16 qualifier Todd Paton in the opening round, Schumacher used the best reaction time of the day in the nitro ranks at .006 of-a-second and a lap of 3.787-seconds to edge Brown’s 3.794-second run.

Brown, Schumacher and DSR teammate Spencer Massey were the only three Top Fuelers to run in the 3.7-second range in round two.

“We just lost to a good race car over there with the U.S. Army and now we’ll focus on the next race in Joliet,” Brown said after the loss to his DSR teammate. “We’ll suck it up and go to the next race near Chicago and push harder. It’s kind of like a home race for us, so it’s time to get it done.”

Brown maintained his second place ranking in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello standings as the series heads to race 12 of 24 next weekend near Chicago. The 44-time NHRA winner now sits just three round wins shy of 500 in his career.

“We just have to stay persistent with it,” Brown said after the loss. “You keep on pushing and pushing and eventually things will fall your way. Right now it’s going the other direction and we’re going to keep on after it.”

Brown won the Joliet race at Route 66 Raceway in 2012.

The following are Brown’s eliminations results and other notes from the NHRA New England Nationals:

Event winner: Tony Schumacher (DSR)
No. 1 Qualifier: Antron Brown (DSR) 3.770 sec.*, 323.58 mph (*track record)

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 1
First round: BROWN (.062 3.858 secs., 315.12 mph) def. Paton (.108 4.081, 290.88)
Second round: Schumacher (.006 3.787, 324.28) def. BROWN (.107 3.794, 320.66)
FRIDAY: 3.790 sec., 315.34 mph (Session 1), 3.770, 323.58 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.844, 312.71 (Session 3), 4.999, 143.46 (Session 4)

(unofficial, after 11 of 24 events)
Driver (wins) points                       points behind
Top Fuel
1. Doug Kalitta (1) 1001                       —-
2. ANTRON BROWN (3) 844               -157
3. Shawn Langdon (1) 783                  -218
4. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 709           -292
5. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 670        -331
6. Steve Torrence 651                       -350
7. Khalid alBalooshi (1) 587               -417
8. Richie Crampton (1) 546               -455
9. Brittany Force 540                        -461
10. J.R. Todd 485                              -516