Matco Tools dragster qualifies seventh for Sunday’s NHRA Brainerd eliminations as Brown seeks more Top Fuel success at northern track
BRAINERD, Minn. (August 22, 2015) – The Matco Tools team with driver Antron Brown have the ability to adapt to whatever scenarios come their way and they once again proved that during qualifying for the NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Friday qualifying for the Matco Tools team led by the crew chief duo of Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald didn’t go as planned when their 10,000-horsepower dragster flying the names of more than 1,400 Matco distributors was unable to make a full pull in the first session.
They had to adjust and be somewhat conservative during the Friday evening run where they posted a 3.81-second lap that placed them tenth overnight.
The Matco Tools/U.S. Army team came out swinging on Saturday under cloudy skies and posted a 3.757-second lap at 321 mph before rain showers moved in and forced NHRA officials to cancel the final session.
“The track has been really good and we were looking forward to getting in at least one more run in that fourth session so we could go out and get after it some more,” Antron said. “We’ve just been improving and improving every run, just like we want to. We’re just looking forward to race day tomorrow to get out there and have some fun with the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster.”
Antron’s 3.75 qualified seventh in the ultra-quick Mello Yello series Top Fuel field. Antron won the 2011 event in Top Fuel at Brainerd and has a total of five wins including four in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“The competition has definitely raised the bar,” Antron said of the No. 1 qualifying lap of 3.71 seconds by Richie Crampton. “Everybody is heading in the right direction to make it the most competitive field that we have ever seen. In all of the classes, the competition has definitely stepped up so everybody is looking for little things to improve.
“The little things add up to being big advantages on the racetrack. That’s what we’ve been working so hard for with our race team: to find those little things. We are just going to keep on improving it. And hopefully, keep on doing what we’ve been doing and that’s winning rounds.”
Brainerd is a special place for NHRA racers because of the distinctive atmosphere surrounding the event.
“We always love coming to Brainerd because of the atmosphere around here. With the fans and the Zoo (campgrounds) this is such a unique atmosphere. It gives everyone on our team great energy when we come here and do what we do.”
Sunday’s forecast calls for a high of 62 degrees and cloudy skies.
No. 1 qualifier: Richie Crampton (Morgan Lucas Racing) 3.718 sec., 323.50 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualifying position: No. 7
First round opponent: JR Todd
FRIDAY: 6.36 sec., 102.42 mph, (Session 1); 3.813, 317.42, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.757, 321.73, (Session 3); rained out (Session 4)