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Brown, Matco Tools team go for fourth straight at Gateway, intend to maintain hold on NHRA Top Fuel Countdown lead

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept 22, 2015) – Antron Brown has so many “home” racetracks that he sometimes loses track of which is which.

The native of Chesterfield, N.J., certainly considers the NHRA Mello Yello track in nearby Englishtown as home.

He lives with his family in Pittsboro, Ind., so that makes the site of the U.S. Nationals outside of Indianapolis and a few miles away another home venue.

And he’ll arrive at another one Friday that has been like home, well, at least the winner’s circle has at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis and it’s only about four hours from Indy.

Gateway is the only track at which Antron has won three consecutive years and this weekend’s Midwest NHRA Nationals could be a “four-peat.” And like he did in 2012, he hopes to use a Gateway win to help to his Matco Tools team earn a second Top Fuel world championship.

Antron retook the points lead Sunday when he won the Carolina NHRA Nationals near Charlotte to open the six-race Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoff. He arrives at Gateway with a nine-point lead over Don Schumacher Racing teammate and reigning world champion Tony Schumacher.

“You want to start off strong because it’s a sprint now,” said Antron, who also won at St. Louis in Top Fuel in 2009 and owns more pro titles from the track than any other driver.

“There’s only six races in the Countdown: Do the math. There’s five races left and that’s 20 rounds of racing, and the more rounds you win the less of a chance other people have to catch you.

“Our main focus always is one round at a time, and that doesn’t change in the Countdown. We’ll just let the chips fall where they fall and we’ll keep giving it all we have.

“All of our Matco boys did an exceptional job navigating and making the changes they needed to do to win (at Charlotte). I’m blessed to be on the team that I’m on and we’re going to keep on pushing.”

ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last weekend at Charlotte: Qualified No. 6; won in championship round against J.R. Todd;
A year ago at St. Louis: Qualified No. 6; defeated Shawn Langdon in championship round
Career at St. Louis: Wins 4 (2014, 2013, 2012, 2009); Runner-ups 1 (2005-bike); Poles 3 (2012, 2004-bike, 2001-bike)
          Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ     W/L
2015 1st         19      5       2       4      3       5        5        0      36-14
CAREER       329    52     42     67    86     78      42       3     553-274
Best Time, Speed: 3.680 sec.-national record (2015, Brainerd); 330.88 mph (2015, Brainerd)

2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS – Countdown to the Championship
(Official after Charlotte 2; 1 of 6 in Countdown, 19 of 24 overall; DSR drivers in CAPS)
TOP FUEL
DRIVER (WINS)                    POINTS BEHIND
1. ANTRON BROWN (5)        2,199        —-
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (3) 2,190         -9
3. Larry Dixon                         2,117        -82
4. JR Todd (1)                         2,114       -85
5. Richie Crampton (4)            2,101      -98
6. Brittany Force                      2,082     -117
6t. Doug Kalitta (2)                  2,082     -117
8. SHAWN LANGDON (1)       2,073    -126
9. Steve Torrence (1)              2,069     -130
10. Dave Connolly                   2,035     -164

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