Brown, Matco Tools team hampered by hot Las Vegas but carry Mello Yello points lead into challenging first round on Sunday
LAS VEGAS (April 11, 2015) – Antron Brown won the last NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series event two weeks ago near Charlotte when weather conditions were in the mid-50s.
This weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Antron and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald seem to have jumped into racing conditions more suitable for summer than spring.
With temperatures in the 80s and a hot track reaching into the 120-degree range, the best of four qualifying runs for the championship points leader was a 3.916 (315.93) produced Saturday afternoon.
“This is the hottest conditions that we’ve ran in this year and as a team, we’re constantly trying to improve and get better,” Antron said. “With these hot conditions, it’s been tricky for everybody. This is the first time that we’ve been on a track this hot with the new six-disc clutch.
“Mark and Brian are working hard, the whole Matco team is working hard, and we’re growing from this weekend here at Vegas. The cool part is that no matter what happens with this Matco team, we have problem solvers. It’s a good thing we’re seeing such hot racetracks this early in the year which is going to help us tremendously later in the year. It’s always good when you get to race on race day and that’s the way we look at it, and it’s anybody’s race tomorrow, especially when it gets hotter.”
In Top Fuel, Brown, the 2012 Top Fuel champion who has one of DSR’s three event titles this year will start from 14th, which is his lowest position of the year for him.
The only other time he has qualified outside the top-eight was at this year’s season-opener when he started 11th and advanced to the championship round when he lost to Shawn Langdon, who he faces in Sunday’s first round.
“Tomorrow is going to be like any other race. We’re going out there and we’re going to throw the best we can throw down and go after it.”
No. 1 qualifier: J.R. Todd (Kalitta Motorsports), 3.758 sec., 324.83 mph, Friday Q2
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 14
First round opponent: Shawn Langdon
SATURDAY: 4.097 sec., 274.66 mph (Session 3); 3.916, 313.22, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 4.748, 161.77, (Session 1); 4.007, 318.02, (Session 2)