BROWNSBURG, Ind. (March 15, 2016) – One of Antron Brown’s biggest heroes in NHRA drag racing is someone very close to him, one of his crew chiefs on the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster at Don Schumacher Racing.
Mark Oswald, former NHRA world champion driver and current co-crew chief for Brown, will be inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame at a ceremony Thursday at Wyndam Gardens in Gainesville, Fla.
Oswald, 63, who won the NHRA Funny Car title in 1984 with the Candies & Hughes team, and Brian Corradi are the tuning duo that has won two of the past four championship titles – including last year – with Brown and the Matco team.
“Mark is a very special person,” Brown said. “He’s my hero not only because of what he has done in this sport of NHRA drag racing but how he has done it. With an incredible work ethic, the way he leads this team and how he does it from the heart. That’s what makes Mark special and that’s why I admire him. We’re lucky to have someone like him on this Matco Tools team.”
Oswald and Corradi along with assistant Brad Mason will lead Brown and the Matco Tools team into this weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., the third of 24 Mello Yello Series events this season.
The Matco Tools team have two quarterfinal finishes this season and are looking for their second Gatornationals title in the Sunshine State.
“Gainesville has always been a good race for us,” said Brown, who won the Gators in 2013 and has been runner-up three times. “We’re going to come out swinging and ready. We’ve got a good car, a great team but we know we can’t push it too far. We have to have fun at this and the round wins and race wins will be coming to us.”
Brown will be reunited with his Toyota teammates across other motorsports categories on Thursday when he and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Shawn Langdon visit Toyota headquarters in Torrance, Calif., for Toyota’s annual motorsports day.
“That’s a big day,” Brown said. “All of the Toyota-sponsored drivers come together in one place for the day and it’s a lot of fun. We get to see each other and everyone at Toyota, and then I’ll head to Florida and be ready to get after it at the Gatornationals.”
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event (Feb. 26-28 at Phoenix): Qualified No. 2, lost in second round to Leah Pritchett
2015 at Gainesville: Qualified No. 6, lost in semifinals to Spencer Massey
Career at Gainesville: Wins 1 (2013); Runner-ups 3 (2014, 2010, 2006); Poles 2 (2010, 2001)
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2016 6th 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2-2
2015 1st 24 7 3 6 3 5 7 0 51-17
CAREER 336 54 43 69 89 78 44 3 570-279
Best Time, Speed: 3.680 sec.-national record, first 3.6 (2015, Brainerd); 331.12 mph (2015, Brainerd)
2016 NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Official after Phoenix; 2 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (wins) PTS
1. Doug Kalitta 171
2. Steve Torrence (1) 163
3. Brittany Force 133
4. Clay Millican 131
5. Leah Pritchett (1) 129
6. ANTRON BROWN 110
7. Richie Crampton 109
8. J.R. Todd 105
9. TONY SCHUMACHER 98
10. Terry McMillen 97
12. SHAWN LANGDON 64