SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2015) – As enjoyable it was for Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team to tie for the fourth quickest run in Top Fuel history on Friday night in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, earning the No. 1 seed has a more lasting value.

Antron and the Matco/U.S. Army team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald along with assistant Brad Mason will start from the pole for the fifth time in 15 NHRA Mello Yello events this season and second in the three races.

Under near perfect conditions Friday with cool temperatures at near sea level, the Matco team completed its second qualifying run in 3.707 seconds at 326.95 mph.

In Saturday’s two sessions under conditions more similar than what is expected for championship eliminations, Antron went 3.809 (318.62) that was second best to DSR teammate Tony Schumacher in the early afternoon session and quickest at 3.775 in the late afternoon.

“We were pushing. You have to go out there and run your tail off to get ready for Sunday,” Antron said of his last qualifying run.

“It’s been a really great qualifying for our Matco Tools team and we’re just really blessed to be here at Sonoma,” said Antron, who has won Top Fuel trophies at Sonoma in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

“It’s important to make good laps all four qualifying runs. When you make a good lap, the more you grow and the more data you obtain. We have quality laps in and we just want to carry that over to race day.

“This track has always been good to us. We’ll go into race day with confidence and take it one round at a time. We can’t get ahead of ourselves. We’ll do what we do and hope it takes care of itself. This is nitro racing. Anything can happen.

“I couldn’t be prouder and happier with my guys. Brian and Mark have been plugging away with the tune-up and it’s been paying off.”

No. 1 qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.707 sec.-track record, 326.95 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 1
First round: Steve Chrisman
SATURDAY: 3.809 sec., 318.62 mph, (Session 3); 3.775, 315.78, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 3.753, 324.28, (Session 1); 3.707-track record, 326.95, (Session 2)