TOPEKA, Kan. (May 22, 2015) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team is on the cusp of winning their second consecutive No. 1 qualifying position after setting a Heartland Park Topeka track record on his last lap Friday night with a time of 3.727 seconds.
A combination of temperatures in the 60s under cloudy skies and one of the best racing surfaces on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit produced track records in all pro categories to open the 27th annual Kansas Nationals.
The last two qualifying sessions scheduled for 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday will try to dodge thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon before Sunday’s eliminations at noon (ET) in the eighth event of the 24-race Mello Yello season.
For Brown and crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, it is the fifth time in the past six qualifying sessions that their Matco dragster was quickest in the field. That includes all four qualifying runs last weekend near Atlanta where Brown, the current Top Fuel points leader, went on to become the only Top Fuel driver with two Mello Yello titles this year. Brown was fourth quickest in Friday’s opening session in Kansas.
“The track is buttery smooth and the traction was there so we could go out there and run some incredible (elapsed times),” said Brown, who has won the pole three times at Topeka but has never advanced to a championship round in seven previous Top Fuel events at the track.
“The weather held up for us so we could put on a really good show for the fans. This is the racing we like to do when we run at nighttime and run side by side. It feels real good and an honor to be on this Matco Tools/U.S. Army team. I can’t thank the Lord enough for everyone who is involved with our team and help make this happen. They know how to make these Matco Tools work.”
The following are Friday’s qualifying results for Antron Brown:
Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.727 sec.-track record, 313.37 mph, (Session 2)
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Provisional qualifying position: No. 1
FRIDAY: 3.767 sec., 314.68 mph, (Session 1); 3.727-track record, 313.37, (Session 2)