Matco team intends to put greater emphasis on early qualifying after Brown falls early, loses ground to teammate for Top Fuel lead
SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2015) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team had a little stumble on Sunday near Denver but he has little concern over the first-round loss at the first stop of the three-race Western Swing that continues this weekend.
“Denver didn’t go the way we wanted to, but we learned a lot,” he said after the race at Bandimere Speedway. “The best thing is that we’ll come back.”
He and crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald lost little time worrying about being upset in the opening round. Instead, they turned the page to get ready for the race at Sonoma Raceway near San Francisco where Antron has won three times (2009, 2011 and 2012) in Top Fuel.
“We’re focused on Sonoma,” he said after racing at 5,800 feet in the Mile-High Nationals. “We’re eager to get back to sea level and running how we know we can.”
The early loss near Denver combined with points leader and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher advancing to the final round enabled Schumacher to pull to 85 points ahead of Antron, who is second in points.
The Sonoma Nationals is the 15th of 24 races in the Mello Yello Series but only three are left in the regular season before the six-race Countdown to the Championship begins at which time the points will be reset.
The Matco teams will begin focusing more on qualifying to move up to a higher seed for the first round of Sunday eliminations.
“We have to go after it starting with that first qualifying session and get our pace going for the rest of the weekend,” Antron, who has four No. 1 qualifying positions this season, said. “When you make a good lap out of the box, then you can really get after it on Friday night and try to go for that No. 1 spot and that’s our goal.”
Antron Brown, Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster
Last event: Denver, (July 26, 2015): Qualified No. 8; lost in first round to J.R. Todd
A year ago at Sonoma: Qualified No. 4; lost in first round to Spencer Massey
Career at Sonoma: Wins 3 (2009, 2011, 2012); Runner-ups 2 (2004*, 2006*); Poles 1 (2008)
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2015 2nd 14 3 2 3 2 4 4 0 25-11
CAREER 324 50 42 66 85 77 41 3 542-271
Best Time, Speed: 3.701 sec.-NHRA record (2012, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (2012, Reading)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Official after Denver; 14 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. TONY SCHUMACHER (3) 1,126 —–
2. ANTRON BROWN (3) 1,041 -85
3. Larry Dixon 920 -205
4. Doug Kalitta (2) 880 -246
5. Richie Crampton (3) 848 -278
6. SPENCER MASSEY (1) 788 -338
7. Brittany Force 762 -364
8. Shawn Langdon (1) 748 -378
9. Steve Torrence (1) 728 -398
10. J.R. Todd 703 -423