Antron has 30 big reasons why his Matco Tools team wants to end regular season with Mello Yello points lead
SEATTLE (July 29, 2014) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools have three NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events left to claim the No. 1 spot in the standings, and he can think of 30 good reasons to reach that goal.
When the top-10 in points are finalized upon conclusion of the Mello Yello regular season, which includes this weekend’s race near Seattle and events at Brainerd, Minn., and near Indianapolis, the points totals will be reset for those 10 Top Fuel drivers eligible to win the season title in the Countdown to the Championship.
Whoever leaves Indy with the points lead will start the Countdown with a 30-point lead over the driver ranked second in regular season standings.
Antron, who has won a category-best five events titles in 15 races this year, will arrive Friday at the Northwest NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., ranked second and 46 points behind Doug Kalitta but has missed opportunities at the past two events to overtake the leader.
On Sunday at Sonoma, Calif., Antron’s team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, qualified third but were upset by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey in the first round. Fortunately for the Matco Tools team, Kalitta lost in the second round or the deficit Antron faces would be an even bigger challenge.
(Each round win on Sunday is worth 20 points.)
“Yeah, we had an opportunity there but the competition is so tough out here that those days will happen,” Antron said. “I’m just glad Doug only lasted one round more than we did.
“Brian and Mark and our Matco boys are running every race to win because if you try to play it safe it will bite you. We’re in great shape right now. Our Matco dragster is really good but we hit some real tricky conditions like everyone else these last two weekends.
“If it’s not too hot at Seattle like it’s supposed to be we’ll be ready to fly.
“We want to be No. 1 when the Countdown starts and that 30-point lead would sure be nice.”
RUNNING FOR SANDVIK COROMANT
Antron will run a special yellow Sandvik/Matco Tools dragster at Seattle to honor one of DSR’ major sponsors, Sandvik Coromant, a global leading supplier of cutting tools, tooling solutions and know-how to the metalworking industry.
He and the Sandvik/Matco rail will be at the LeMay America’s Car Museum in Tacoma from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday (July 30). He will tour the 2-year-old museum, which spotlights America’s love affair with the automobile, before signing autographs Noon-1 p.m. The Sandvik dragster will be on display 10 a.m.-2 p.m.at the museum’s main entrance (2702 East D Street, Tacoma; LeMayMuseum.org.com).
“I’m a car lover; I was raised around cars,” he said. “I’m fired up to check out the LeMay Museum and see some of the 300 cars on display. Also, we’ll get to showcase our sport of Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing to a new audience.”
Antron Brown, Sandvik Coromant/Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Last event Sonoma (July 27): Qualified No. 4; lost in first round to Spencer Massey
A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 6; lost in quarterfinals to T.J. Zizzo
Career at Seattle: Wins 1 (2009); Runner-ups 1 (2010); Poles 1 (2011)
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 2nd 15 5 1 3 2 4 0 0 30-10
CAREER 301 46 39 61 84 68 36 3 506-252
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 STANDINGS
(Official after 15 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins) pts behind
1. Doug Kalitta (1) 1,223 —-
2. ANTRON BROWN (5) 1,177 -46
3. Shawn Langdon (1) 1,065 -158
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 911 -312
5. Steve Torrence 867 -356
6. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 862 -361
7. Brittany Force 824 -409
8. Khalid alBalooshi (2) 801 -422
9. Richie Crampton (1) 752 -471
10. J.R. Todd (1) 741 -482