SONOMA, Calif. (July 26, 2014) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel team are chipping away at the deficit that is keeping them out of the points lead in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings.

A week ago the second-ranked team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald knocked off leader Doug Kalitta in the opening round and despite losing in the next round they arrived at the Sonoma NHRA Nationals only 25 points behind Kalitta.

When eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m. (PT), Antron will be 26 points out of the lead at the track near San Francisco. One round win on Sunday is worth 20 points.

Antron, who has won a series-leading five event titles through 14 events this year, qualified fourth and two spots behind Kalitta. Antron’s best run of 3.796 seconds at 319.60 mph Friday night earned him the high seed but he was more impressed the team’s 3.858 (315.56) in the heat of Saturday afternoon.

“We made a great run in session four and that’s the kind of track we are going to see tomorrow,” said Antron, a three-time Sonoma winner. “Everyone on this Matco Tools/U.S. Army team is pumped up, amped up… man we’re excited to race tomorrow.

“This has always been a great track for us and we’re ready to go to work. The track has been tricky this weekend. We had a killer session Friday night, but the other three qualifying runs were all in the heat. I know our guys are up to the challenge. The harder it is the more we keep our head down, dig deeper.”

Antron will face Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey in the Sunday’s opening round.

“It’s always a tough first round and you hate to race your teammate first round, but you’ve got to race someone. It just means both teams will come out with their best. I know the fans are going to see an incredible drag race in the first round. We’ve had tough first-round matchups all year, so it’s no surprise that’s the case again this weekend.”

The Sonoma Nationals is the second stop of the annual Western Swing with three races in three weeks. The Swing closes with a stop near Seattle.

No. 1 Qualifier: Brittany Force (John Force Racing), 3.762 sec., 325.53 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 4
FIRST ROUND: BROWN vs. Spencer Massey
FRIDAY: 3.864 sec., 313.22 mph, (Session 1); 3.796, 319.60, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.367, 190.03, (Session 3); 3.858, 315.56, (Session 4)