Brown celebrates 50th NHRA win at hometown track in New Jersey as Matco Tools team gives special reason for family celebration
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 7, 2015) – Emotions and reflection seemed to temper the normally excited Antron Brown after he won his 50th NHRA event title on Sunday within 30 miles of his hometown at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., where he was introduced to drag racing when he was a toddler.
Winning the NHRA Toyota SummerNationals trophy with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald along with the entire Matco Tools/U.S. Army team before scores of family members and friends was his first in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ premier Top Fuel class that moved him to 10th on the list of most professional event titles in the sport’s history.
The 39-year-old resident of Pittsboro, Ind., won twice at the track in Pro Stock Motorcycles but adding his first Top Fuel Wally trophy from the New Jersey track to his collection made for quite a happy day.
“To win for the 50th time and at your home track in front of your family, friends….
You couldn’t write a better script. It’s a dream come true for this Chesterfield kid.
“It’s just a true blessing to be out here with your family and show our heritage from my Grandpop who passed away in 1981. He got my dad (Albert) and uncle (Andre) started in all of this. We were sportsman racers. He started this Brown family legacy out here in NHRA drag racing so this is for Grandpop.”
After losing in the first round the last three times he was at the fabled track, Antron and the Matco Tools team dominated this weekend. He started Sunday as the No. 1 qualifier for the third consecutive race and the 40th time in his career.
It is the eighth time in his career when he has won the pole and left with the trophy.
“We just wanted it. We’ve tested the wheels off that Matco car and we’re reaping the benefits of it,” he said.
“To do it near my home town and at the track where I grew up means a lot to me. I won here twice in the bikes, and that was like a dream come true. But the biggest dream – the biggest dream – is, for one I never thought I’d be a professional racer out here but dreamed about it but you’ll never know if you ever will.”
It marked the third win in nine Mello Yello races this year and allowed him to extend his points lead to 118 over Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army team.
“I put everything about what this race means to me aside, and that’s what the team did. We treated it like any other race. Every race we come into we’ve already put our all into it so what can you do different when you do that?
“We had to remind ourselves that every round. Brian and Mark would say to me, ‘AB it’s just another round.’ ”
TV UPDATE: ESPN has changed the start time for Sunday’s telecast on ESPN2. The delayed, three-hour show has been moved back one hour to 11 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
The following are qualifying results and first-round pairings for DSR in the Summernationals:
Winner: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.725 sec.-track record, 317.57 mph (Session 2)
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 1
First round: BROWN (3.803 sec., 316.82) def. Jenna Haddock (3.913, 302.82)
Quarterfinals: BROWN (3.799, 318.32) def. Doug Kalitta (3.826, 311.85)
Semifinals: BROWN (3.820, 317.12) def. Dave Connolly (4.740, 160.50)
Final: BROWN (3.843, 318.47) def. Brittany Force (5.390, 150.16)
SATURDAY: 3.808 sec., 315.93 mph, (Session 3); 3.774, 316.15, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 3.782, 319.52, (Session 1); 3.725-track record, 317.57, (Session 2)
NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Unofficial through Englishtown, 9 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (wins) Points Behind
1. ANTRON BROWN (3) 751 —-
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 633 -118
3. SPENCER MASSEY (1) 588 -163
4. Richie Crampton (2) 579 -172
5. Doug Kalitta (1) 554 -197
6. Shawn Langdon (1) 530 -221
7. Larry Dixon 508 -243
8. Brittany Force 479 -272
9. JR Todd 456 -295
10. Clay Millican 427 -324