Brown, Matco Tools dominate Top Fuel in Sonoma Nationals, look to extend hot streak and close Western Swing at Seattle
KENT, Wash. (Aug. 4, 2015) – The Matco Tools/U.S. Army team showed why it led the NHRA Top Fuel standings for most of the year and are ready to reclaim the No. 1 ranking when racing begins Friday in the Northwest NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle.
The Matco team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with driver Antron Brown won last weekend’s Sonoma Nationals near San Francisco in dominating fashion for its category-best fourth title.
After earning their fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the year with a time of 3.707 seconds, which ties for the fourth quickest ever in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the Matco team waltzed through championship eliminations Sunday with times of 3.769, 3.797, 3.805 and a 3.787 to beat Top Fuel rookie Dave Connolly in the final round.
Antron now ranks sixth in NHRA career Top Fuel wins.
Antron’s dominant weekend started Friday afternoon when the Matco/Toyota team carded the second quickest lap of the first qualifying session at Sonoma Raceway. Later that evening, Antron matched the fourth quickest pass in Top Fuel history at 3.707 seconds for the 42nd pole of his career.
“It was a great race weekend,” he said of his fourth Sonoma win, 51st of his career and 35th in Top Fuel that ties him with “Big Daddy” Don Garlits on the all-time Top Fuel wins list.
“To tie one of the greatest racers in history is just unbelievable,” he said, quickly shifting to this weekend’s event near Seattle that begins Friday with Antron trailing Don Schumacher Racing teammate and points leader Tony Schumacher by 37 points.
“We gained a lot of points on Tony at Sonoma, but it won’t be easy to catch him over the next three races before the Countdown (to the Championship playoff) begins after Labor Day,” Antron said. “That team is running strong.
“But this Matco/U.S. Army/Toyota team is focused and we want that top seed when we start the Countdown.”
The last of three races in three weeks on the Western Swing concludes at Seattle.
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event: Sonoma, Calif. (Aug. 2, 2015): Qualified No. 1; defeated Dave Connolly in championship round
A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 12; lost in championship round to Doug Kalitta
Career at Seattle: Wins 1 (2009); Runner-ups 2 (2010, 2014); Poles 1 (2011)
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2015 2nd 15 4 2 3 2 4 5 0 29-11
CAREER 325 51 42 66 85 77 42 3 546-271
Best Time, Speed: 3.701 sec.-NHRA record (2012, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (2012, Reading)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Unofficial after Sonoma; 15 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. TONY SCHUMACHER (3) 1,206 —–
2. ANTRON BROWN (4) 1,169 -37
3. Larry Dixon 975 -231
4. Doug Kalitta (2) 912 -294
5. Richie Crampton (3) 901 -305
6. SPENCER MASSEY (1) 820 -386
7. Brittany Force 794 -412
8. Steve Torrence (1) 783 -423
9. J.R. Todd 782 -424
10. Shawn Langdon (1) 780 -426