BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 17, 2015) – Antron Brown is ready to rediscover the same magic the NHRA Top Fuel points leader found two weeks ago when he won at a track for the first time in his Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster.
He and crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald are ready to check Bristol Dragway off its list of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tracks at which the Matco team has yet to win.
Bristol is one of four tracks remaining on the short list after they conquered the Summernationals on June 7 at his home track in Englishtown, N.J., that gave him a series-best three event titles this year.
It also was the 50th NHRA title of his career (34 in Top Fuel and 16 in Pro Stock Motorcycle) that ranks 10th among pro drivers in the sport’s history.
Antron has won at 17 of the 21 tracks on the schedule and at two others (Memphis and Columbus) that no longer host national events.
The popular driver and 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion has been successful in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway adjacent to Bristol Motor Speedway by advancing to the championship round in 2011 and being the No. 1 qualifier in 2010 and 2012.
“Bristol has always been a special place,” he said. “You’re down there right in the middle of the valley and it’s one of our premier tracks. Bristol has always been good to me, just like Englishtown where we had been to the final before we won at Englishtown and it would be nice to get a win at Bristol. We want to cross that one off our bucket list.”
The focus of the Matco team is to regain the form it had arriving at Epping, N.H., last weekend for the 10th of 24 races. After qualifying sixth, the team was upset in the first round by three-time world champion Larry Dixon.
“The first round at Epping sure didn’t go the way we wanted it to and we’ll just regroup,” said Antron, whose subpar time of 4.149 seconds (236.38 mph) couldn’t overcome Dixon’s time of 3.785 (320.58) that was the second quickest of the day. “Dixon has been a killer out there. We could have raced three other teams and won with that time.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us. Our goal is to get off to a good start in qualifying. It’s going to be hot in Bristol and we’ll go out and put our best step forward and get to where we were before Epping.”
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event Epping, N.H., June 14: Qualified No. 6; lost in first round to Larry Dixon
A year ago at Bristol: Qualified No. 4; lost in semifinals to Doug Kalitta
Career at Bristol: Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 (2011); Poles 2 (2010, 2012)
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2015 1st 10 3 1 2 2 2 3 0 20-7
CAREER 320 50 41 65 85 75 40 3 537-267
Best Time, Speed: 3.701 sec.-NHRA record (2012, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (2012, Reading)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Through Epping, 10 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. ANTRON BROWN (3) 790 —–
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 757 -33
3. SPENCER MASSEY (1) 657 -133
4. Richie Crampton (2) 640 -150
5. Larry Dixon 600 -190
6. Doug Kalitta (1) 587 -203
7. Shawn Langdon (1) 568 -222
8. Brittany Force 551 -239
9. JR Todd 491 -299
10. Clay Millican 479 -311