Antron knows St. Louis is right time to start turnaround in Matco Tools dragster during third round of Countdown
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 23, 2014) – The 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world championship Matco Tools racing team believe you make your own luck, but it would be understandable if it joined with driver Antron Brown in chanting “if we didn’t have bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck at all.”
After winning five of this year’s first 13 events in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Antron and the Matco team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason, are mired in a slump that couldn’t have come at a worse time in the 24-race season
After starting the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship ranked second in points, Don Schumacher Racing’s Matco Tools team has qualified between 12th and 16th in the past three events and lost in first round of championship eliminations each time.
The reasons aren’t major maladies just little aggravating ones that have sprung up after another has been corrected.
“We’ve been fighting problems (with the car) and when we got one problem fixed and then something else comes up and bites us,” said Antron who fell from second to eighth over the past two races.
“Well it wasn’t what we wanted in the first round,” he said of Sunday’s first-loss in the NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas. “We had a good handle on it and we ended up smoking a (clutch) disc out of the car and then it dropped a (cylinder).
“We worked real hard … the thing about it is, it just wasn’t our time. It takes a little bit of wind out of you,” said Antron, who will visit Ranken Technical College in St. Louis from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday to speak to students as part of Matco’s TechEd program.
There isn’t a better feel-good track for Antron and his teammates to visit than Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis for this weekend’s AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals and third round of the Countdown.
He and the Matco team have won the Gateway event the past two years and three times since he began competing in Top Fuel at the track in 2007. They hold track records for elapsed time (3.737 seconds) and speed (326.79 mph) set in 2012 when they went on to win the championship.
“I love this track and its close to home,” said the resident of Pittsboro outside of Indianapolis.
“It’s time for us to get back to doing what we do and that’s racing a lot of rounds on Sundays. It’s getting late in the Countdown but it’s not too late for us, it just needs to start happening at St. Louis.
Antron Brown, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Last weekend at Dallas:
Texas FallNationals: Qualified No. 13; lost in first round to Shawn Langdon
Carolina Nationals: Qualified No. 9, lost in first round on Sept. 14 to Spencer Massey
A year ago at St. Louis: Qualified No. 6; defeated Khalid alBalooshi in championship round
Career at St. Louis: Wins 3 (2013, 2012, 2009); Runner-ups 1 (2005-bike); Poles 3 (2012, 2004-bike, 2001-bike)
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 8th 20 5 2 4 2 7 3 0 35-15
CAREER 306 46 40 62 84 71 37 3 511-257
Best Time, Speed: 3.701*/** sec. (10- 8-12, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (10-8-12, Reading)
* Quickest ever/** NHRA record
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Unofficial points through Dallas events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
Driver (wins) points behind
1. TONY SCHUMACHER (4) 2,296 —-
2. Steve Torrence 2,190 -106
3. Doug Kalitta (2) 2,189 -107
4. Shawn Langdon (1) 2,181 -115
5. J.R. Todd (1) 2,168 -128
6. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 2,167 -129
7. Khalid alBalooshi (2) 2,156 -140
8. ANTRON BROWN (5) 2,143 -153
9. Richie Crampton (2) 2,085 -211
10. Brittany Force 2,053 -243