NORWALK, Ohio (July 5, 2015) – Antron Brown and his Matco Tools Top Fuel team, led by Ohio native crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, extended their points lead in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Sunday in the ninth annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
It was another strong weekend for the Top Fuel team that has logged the most category wins since 2009 as Brown qualified the Matco-backed rail in the No. 3 position at 3.739 seconds on Saturday evening under the lights at the Northern Ohio facility.
About 13 hours after the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team completed qualifying at Summit Racing Motorsports Park, Brown bested Terry McMillen, Brittany Force and DSR teammate and eight-time series champion Tony Schumacher before a dropped cylinder in the final round against Doug Kalitta ended Brown’s day with his second runner-up finish of the season.
“All of our Matco guys did such a great job this weekend and especially today with the fast turnarounds for live TV (on ESPN),” Brown said after his 92nd career final round. “Lord knows that’s how it goes sometimes. We went out there and were running good and it just dropped a hole. The car had a great 60-foot time and it didn’t make it to 330 feet before it dropped that cylinder.
“Those Kalitta boys with Doug and Jim O (Oberhofer) ran great and got the win today. They ran some phenomenal numbers this weekend and our hats are off to them. This Matco Tools, U.S. Army, Toyota dragster team is gonna keep on pushing. We’ll keep on plugging and go to Chicago and build on the leaps and bounds we made this weekend at Norwalk. The car was responding the way Brian and Mark wanted it to, which is great. We’ll work on this and be better.”
Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. is the 13th stop on the NHRA schedule and a track where Brown has experienced much success. Brown has four wins – including last year – in six final round appearances at the Chicagoland track, which about three hours from the DSR shop in Brownsburg, Ind., outside of Indianapolis.
Event winner: Doug Kalitta (Kalitta Motorsportrs)
No. 1 qualifier: Kalitta 3.731 sec.-track record, 327.82 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 3
First round: BROWN (3.976 sec., 324.67 mph) def. Terry McMillen (3.859, 319.14)
Second round: BROWN (3.971, 277.49) def. Brittany Force (4.326, 215.93)
Semifinals: BROWN (3.887, 315.86) def. Tony Schumacher (4.044, 265.22)
Final round: Doug Kalitta (3.823, 322.34) def. BROWN (3.887, 315.86)
SATURDAY: 3.773 sec., 318.39 mph, (Session 3); 3.739, 321.58, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 3.841, 319.22, (Session 1), 3.787, 319.75 (Session 2)
NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Unofficial through Norwalk, 12th of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) PTS BEHIND
1. ANTRON BROWN (3) 925 —-
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 905 -20
3. Doug Kalitta (2) 791 -134
4. Richie Crampton (3) 764 -161
5. Larry Dixon 754 -171
6. SPENCER MASSEY (1) 730 -187
7. Shawn Langdon (1) 674 -251
8. Brittany Force 641 -284
9. JR Todd 597 -328
10. Clay Millican 583 -342