NORWALK, Ohio (July 5, 2014) – Crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, both of Ohio, won’t be the only ones on the Matco Tools team facing big adjustments when championship eliminations begin Sunday in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in northern Ohio.
After the four qualifying sessions were held between 5 and 10 p.m. in unseasonably cool temperatures for a Fourth of July weekend on Friday and Saturday, driver Antron Brown also will have a different mindset when he goes to the starting line at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday with the forecast calling for temperatures ranging between the high 70s and low 80s through the afternoon.
“You have to be on your toes at all times in a Top Fuel car,” said Antron, who starts Sunday ranked second in points and leads the category with four titles this season. “You better be ready every lap whether the track is good, bad, hot or nasty. The time you’re not on your toes in a Fuel car is when it will chew you up because it will do different stuff every time.”
Antron will start Sunday as the No. 3 seed with a best run of 3.763 seconds at 327.82 mph that came in Saturday night’s final session.
He notes adjusting to daytime track conditions isn’t the only difference NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams will experience.
“It’s different because you get your body and mind geared up to run at night for two days then you start running late in the morning on Sunday. It’s a little different mindset, but Sunday is our normal starting time. You just have to be ready.
“It will show you who’s on top of their game if they can perform throughout a weekend like this when we’re racing at different times of the day and end up bringing that Wally (trophy) home.
“Our Matco team is fortunate because it’s a challenge and the bigger the challenge the more we gear up. I’m ready. You have to get to bed as early as you can on Saturday night and be an early riser on Sunday.
“It’s a challenge, but I love challenges.”
Antron will be at the track well before the 11 a.m. start time to attend the Racers for Christ chapel service at 8.
The event at Norwalk, which marks the start of the second half of the 24-event season, is the fourth of four straight Mello Yello event racing weekends.
No. 1 Qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing) 3.763 seconds, 323.04 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 3
FIRST ROUND: BROWN vs. Clay Millican
FRIDAY: 3.840 sec., 311.56 mph, (Session 1); 7.046, 87.09, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.801, 321.65, (Session 3); 3.763, 324.12, (Session 4)