POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2014) – It took a track-record run to keep Antron Brown and the Matco Tools from winning the No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday’s championship eliminations in the NHRA AAA Auto Club Nationals at Pomona, Calif.

Antron’s best run in qualifying was his last when the dragster tuned by Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald produced a time of 3.720 seconds at 319.07 mph. The Matco dragster’s slowest of four attempts was 3.786 seconds.

“We’re very happy,” Antron said. “The thing about it is, you’re coming to the last race of the year and you want to bring home that win for Team Matco, Toyota and all of our Army Soldiers. We’re pushing hard.”

Although the Matco Tools team was eliminated from championship contention two weeks ago in the Countdown to the Championship playoff, Antron’s goal is to win his category-best seventh event title of the season that would be the best of his career. He ended seasons with six titles in 2012, 2011 and 2009.

“We had a couple of mishaps in the Countdown and we just want to make up for it at this last race and end the year on a good note,” he said.

“It’s very important to get that seventh win of the season, but we’re not going to go into tomorrow thinking about that. We’ll think about each and every round to get busy with. Relax and go hard, and hopefully by the end of the day we’ll be in the final and then we can start thinking about that seventh race win.”

“We’re going to hold our heads up going into next year and we’re going to have some energy and we’re going to work hard next year. We plan to come out with our new combination and see what we can do, see how consistent we can be. We know now that you have to plan and build toward the Countdown to the Championship and the first half of the year really means nothing. That’s our goal for next year.”

He was happy when Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher clinched his eighth Top Fuel world championship and was the first to greet after the U.S. Army driver clinched the title.

“The Army team has done a great job doing what’s needed to be done when the Countdown starts. They did a great job and we’re just happy the trophy comes back home to the DSR house.

The following are Antron’s qualifying results:

No. 1 qualifier: Richie Crampton (Morgan Lucas Racing), 3.711 seconds (track record), 325.45 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying position: No. 2
First round: BROWN vs. Clay Millican
FRIDAY: 3.786 sec., 315.34 mph, (Session 1); 3.773, 318.62, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.757, 322.58, (Session 3); 3.720, 319.07, (Session 4)