Antron expects Matco Tools team to defend Norwalk title, increase NHRA Top Fuel points lead on special weekend
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 30, 2015) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army comprise the hottest Top Fuel dragster team this year in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series even if they have been disappointed with their performance at the past two events.
But that does not deter Antron and his team’s quest for a second world championship in the past four years and a second consecutive trip to the winner’s circle at Summit Motorsports Park in northern Ohio this weekend.
“You have to go out and be consistent and grow with each and every run,” said Antron, who will carry a two-point lead over Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher when racing resumes Friday at Norwalk, Ohio, in the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals.
Antron and his Matco team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald won three of this year’s first nine events and after this weekend only six regular season races will remain heading to the Countdown to the Championship playoff over the year’s last six races.
“Our focus all season has been to grow. Even if we’re struggling and don’t get the results we want we learn from that to be better at the next race. For this upcoming series of races our main focus is to grow. You have to grow each and every race, and that has to continue through the Countdown so you keep working to get to a higher level.”
The Mello Yello series has two events over the next two weekends, five over the next six weeks and six over the next eight.
“This time of the year is when you need to be getting on your Ps and Qs so you want to be polishing your combination not trying to find your combination,” said Antron, who won his 50th pro title early this month in New Jersey to put him on the top-10 list of NHRA winners.
“That’s what makes this time so crucial. At Norwalk you get some nighttime qualifying sessions where the track will be good and you get some daytime sessions where it can be hot and humid when you have to work hard to get down the racetrack.
“The first couple races of the Countdown (Charlotte and St. Louis) can be like that. You definitely want to expand your log book and data so you can take more information into the Countdown to help you win the championship.”
Antron looks forward to the Fourth of July Weekend for more than the opportunity to defend the title he won there a year ago.
“I’m always excited to go to Norwalk because out of all our races there is no other show like what the Bader family puts on,” he said of the father-son owners of what many say is the most fan and racer friendly facility on the Mello Yello circuit.
“When you go there you know you’re not just there for the pure excitement our sport brings but you’re going to be entertained from start to finish. The firework shows are just phenomenal for kids and adults of all ages.”
ANTRON IN NORTHERN OHIO
Norwalk is also special to Antron because he will spend Wednesday at Matco Tools headquarters in Stow, Ohio, which is about 65 miles east of the racetrack.
That evening, the public is invited to visit Antron and the Matco Tools dragster at Master Pizza at 2736 Medina Road in Medina, Ohio. Crew chief Brian Corradi and his family own Master Pizza including its newest location in Medina.
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event Bristol, Tenn., June 21: Qualified No. 6; lost in first round to Richie Crampton
A year ago at Norwalk: Qualified No. 3; defeated Shawn Langdon in championship round
Career at Norwalk: Wins 1 (2014); Runner-ups 1 (2010); Poles 0
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2015 1st 11 3 1 2 2 3 3 0 20-8
CAREER 321 50 41 65 85 76 40 3 537-268
Best Time, Speed: 3.701 sec.-NHRA record (2012, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (2012, Reading)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(After Bristol; 11th of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. Antron Brown (3) 826 —-
2. Tony Schumacher (2) 824 -2
3. Richie Crampton (3) 754 -72
4. Larry Dixon 699 -127
5. Spencer Massey (1) 693 -133
6. Doug Kalitta (1) 666 -160
7. Shawn Langdon (1) 626 -200
8. Brittany Force 585 -241
9. JR Todd 563 -269
10. Clay Millican 511 -315