CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 27, 2016) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S Army team rallied from a disappointing qualifying effort to open the 2016 season two weeks ago to nearly win the pole for Sunday’s championship eliminations of the NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

Brown, the reigning and two-time world champion, fell 0.020 seconds short of his first pole of the season for Don Schumacher Racing with a best time of 3.760 seconds at 322.65 mph.

Brown lauded the work by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald along with assistant Brad Mason and the Matco Tools crew.

“Hats off to Brian, Mark, Brad and all the Matco boys for stepping up today in front of all the Matco distributors and U.S. Army soldiers that are out here supporting us,” he said.

“Our last run was decent. We were trying to run hard, but the track is so good it just pulled so hard and sucked it out of us.

“The good thing is that we got some quality runs this weekend and are building and going forward. We’re looking forward to race day tomorrow. It’s time to go in attack mode. All these cars out here are running so good. We wanted to be No. 1, but we ended up No. 2. Now it’s about being No. 1 tomorrow.”

The Matco Tools team will take on Steve Chrisman in the first round of Sunday’s NHRA eliminations that will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from 5-8 p.m. (ET)

“We have to have quality laps tomorrow,” Brown said. “We just have to keep on doing what we’re doing and learning each lap. That was a good outing in qualifying for us and we’ll move on to tomorrow. We’re ready for race day.”

No. 1 qualifier: Doug Kalitta (Kalitta Motorsports) 3.741 sec., 320.74 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 2
First round: Steve Chrisman
SATURDAY: 3.806 sec., 315.56 mph, (Session 3); 3.760, 322.65, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 14.877 sec., 37.92 mph, (Session 1); 3.765, 319.45, (Session 2)