ENNIS, Texas (Oct. 18, 2015) – Antron Brown equaled a career best Sunday afternoon near Dallas when the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel champion won his 14th consecutive round of competition in NHRA Mello Yello Series.
In doing so, he extended his points lead over DSR teammate Tony Schumacher to 132 points with just two events remaining on the 2015 schedule.
Brown qualified his pink Matco Tools’ “Tools for the Cause” dragster in the No. 7 spot in one of the tightest Top Fuel fields in which only five
hundredths of a second separated the top 11 qualifiers.
Brown and his Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald-led bunch posted the second quickest pass of the weekend in a pivotal opening round match against fellow Countdown opponent J.R. Todd when the Matco rail uncorked a 3.716-second blast. Brown’s 3.732 pass was the quickest of round two before an aggressive Matco rail pulled the tires loose in the semifinals against 2014 NHRA Rookie of the Year Richie Crampton.
“It was a great weekend for this Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota team,” Brown said after the fourth of six Countdown playoff races. “We ran some great ETs today, second quick of the first round and low of the second round. We went in there for the semis and the track just got us. It crept up on us and got hot and gooey.
“We went out there to run hard. You don’t want to go out there to run slow against these guys like (Richie) Crampton with (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and that team. All these teams out here. We walked out of Dallas with two more rounds in the bank. We have two races left and our focus is still the same, go out there to Vegas and attack them hard.”
Brown’s 14 straight round wins equals a personal-best mark he set in July and August of 2012 when he was the last driver to sweep the grueling Western Swing of events near Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif., and went on to win the season championship.
After DSR teammate Tony Schumacher was upset in the opening round, Brown was able to build his lead over the eight-time and reigning NHRA champion by 132 points or more than six rounds of competition. Teams earn 20 points per elimination round on Sunday.
The NHRA Mello Yello series takes a one-week hiatus before the penultimate event on the 2015 schedule, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“It was a great race weekend for the Tools for the Cause team,” Brown added. “Four races in and we have three wins and a semifinal and I’m just so blessed to be part of this team here at DSR.
“Our deal is to go out and qualify well and attack each round and see how far we go. We’ll keep that same mindset and go out and have fun and see what happens.”
Winner: Richie Crampton (Morgan Lucas Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Dave Connolly (Bob Vandergriff Racing), 3.744 sec., 329.18 mph (track records)
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 7
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: BROWN (3.716 sec., 324.51 mph) def. J.R. Todd (3.777, 326.56)
Second round: BROWN (3.732, 324.20) def. Billy Torrence (3.789, 300.93)
Semifinals: Richie Crampton (3.814, 321.19) def. BROWN (4.919, 151.34)
SATURDAY: 4.607, 163.35, (Session 3); 3.779, 322.19, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 4.644, 162.59, (Session 1); 3.760, 319.67, (Session 2)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS – Countdown to the Championship
(Unofficial after Dallas; 4 of 6 in Countdown, 22 of 24 overall; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. ANTRON BROWN (7) 2505 —–
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (3) 2373 -132
3. Richie Crampton (5) 2302 -203
4. Brittany Force 2298 -207
5. Larry Dixon 2268 -237
6. Steve Torrence (1) 2254 -251
7. SHAWN LANGDON (1) 2236 -269
8. Dave Connolly 2219 -286
9. JR Todd (1) 2213 -292
10. Doug Kalitta (2) 2205 -300