BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Feb. 23, 2016) – Antron Brown has great vision and a very good memory so he’s not concerned about how the season started for his Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster two weeks ago at Pomona, Calif.
“Man, that’s only one race and I know we’re looking forward to a long season,” said Brown, the reigning and two-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion.
Brown and the team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald always prepare for the long haul and not even a loss in the quarterfinals to start the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season at the Winternationals in Southern California will deter them from maintaining their course.
Brown, who owns 54 event titles including 38 in Top Fuel, will arrive this weekend at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix ranked seventh in points, which is the lowest he has been in the standings since the end of the 2014 season despite winning six titles.
And after that disappointing season, the Matco dragster has been the most consistent and dominant in Top Fuel competition. Last year, Brown won a career-best seven NHRA Wally trophies and qualified No. 1 seven times, another career best.
This weekend will provide motivation for Brown at Wild Horse, where he has won three times, most recently in 2014.
He will debut a new Matco paint scheme that includes the names of 1,600 Matco distributors on the white dragster.
“We had all the names of our distributors on our car last year and it was great when they would come by to get their picture taken next to their name on the car,” said Brown, who helped unveil the car after Pomona during Matco’s National Business Conference in Las Vegas. “Those names really pop on the white background.
“It’s not just the Matco car, it’s the Matco distributors’ car and it made winning the championship all the more special to have all those names with me. I’ve got all the support around that cockpit I need to go out there and win another championship.”
The NHRA Mello Yello series returns to Phoenix where teams spent several days testing the week before the Pomona season-opener.
“I’m very excited to go back to Phoenix,” he said. “It’s always held a special place in my heart. We’d like to make it a fourth time to the winner’s circle. First, we want to qualify with a good run and build on that.”
When teams tested at Wild Horse it was much cooler than this weekend’s forecast of temperatures slated to be in the mid-80s.
“We’ll see much different conditions when we get there, but Brian and Mark are the best at getting a car down a slick track so I know we’ll do better than we did in Pomona.”
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event (Feb. 12-14 at Pomona): Qualified No. 7, lost in second round to Doug Kalitta
2015 Phoenix: Qualified No. 5, lost in semifinals to Tony Schumacher
Career at Phoenix: Wins 3 (2009, 2012, 2014); Runner-ups 1 (2011); Poles 0
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2016 7th 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1-1
2015 1st 24 7 3 6 3 5 7 0 51-17
CAREER 335 54 43 69 87 78 44 3 569-278
Best Time, Speed: 3.680 sec.-national record, first 3.6 (2015, Brainerd); 331.12 mph (2015, Brainerd)
2016 NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Official after Pomona 1; 1 of 24 events; wins in (); DSR drivers in CAPS)
TOP FUEL PTS
1. Steve Torrence (1) 126
2. Doug Kalitta 94
3. Richie Crampton 77
4. JR Todd 72
5. Clay Millican 57
6. Morgan Lucas 52
7. ANTRON BROWN 48
8. Terry McMillen 46
9. TONY SCHUMACHER 42
10. Brittany Force 37
12. SHAWN LANGDON 32