BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 16, 2015) – Antron Brown has proven to the world that he’s among the best racing in a straight line and Saturday he gets to show that he’s also good at making right- and left-hand turns.
Instead of taking this weekend off from his full-time job driving Don Schumacher Racing’s Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster and staying at home near Indianapolis, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion heads west today to begin preparing for Saturday’s 39th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race that is a prelude to the following day’s IndyCar race on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, Calif.
Antron already has made a pair of trips to the West Coast to practice for the race that will feature other personalities from sports, film, television, music and fashion including: former NFL and Olympic athlete Willie Gault, Olympian Dara Torres, actors Alfonso Ribeiro, Robert Patrick and Mekhi Phifer, and musicians Mark McGrath and John Rzeznik.
“Toyota has given me a great opportunity to meet so many new people that I’ll race against,” said Antron, who is the current Top Fuel championship points leader in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with one national event title in two final round appearances through the season’s first five races.
“The first time we met a couple weeks ago during our first practice they all wanted to talk about drag racing,” said Antron, who will return to drag racing April 24-26 near Houston. “We’ve had a lot of fun together but Saturday I have to represent our drag racing community and show everybody that drag racers can make turns too.”
Antron and the other 17 participants at Long Beach will race in 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race-prepped cars, navigating high speeds and demanding turns. The winner earns $10,000 for his selected charity, and Antron picked the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Antron is among the “professionals” in the field and his group will give the others a 30-second head start.
This is Antron’s first foray into racing on a street circuit but he brings a variety of motorsports experiences to the circuit. He began racing motocross as a youngster before racing professionally in NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle category where he won 16 event trophies. Since moving to Top Fuel in 2008, Antron has won 32 event titles including six in four of the past six seasons.
Fans can follow Antron throughout the weekend via social media outlets at facebook.com/AntronBrownTF, on Twitter @AntronBrown and Instagram at AntronBrownTF. Follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @ToyotaGPLB (#TGPLB) and Instagram at ToyotaGPLB.
The Pro/Celebrity race will be televised on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, May 10 at 6 p.m., ET and the following Saturday, May 16 at 11:30 a.m. ET.