CONCORD, N.C. (April 24, 2016) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team came within a few feet of earning their third straight NHRA Four-Wide Nationals event title but were runner-up on Sunday at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.
Brown reached the final round for the second time in five NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this season. It was the 44th runner-up of Brown’s career that includes 55 event titles and two world championships.
“Definitely was a great weekend here in Charlotte,” Brown said. “We went out there in the final round and it was a heckuva race. With that being said we’re just going to keep on pushing.
“We’re going to Houston next weekend and the main thing is we’re always gaining ground and learning each and every race, we’re growing. We’re really positive and looking forward to Houston. We’re just going to go out there and continue this battle. The Top Fuel class is very challenging and we’re looking forward to the new challenges in Houston.”
Brown was runner-up to Brittany Force, who earned her second event title of the season. The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald clocked a 3.779-second lap at 316 mph but were edged out by Force’s 3.764 effort.
“The credit goes to our whole Matco Tools/U.S. Army team. Just like our Army soldiers, we are very versatile. We adapt to so many different situations. We were just able to go out there and adapt and get the best out of it. With that being said, we actually dropped a hole early on the last run and we still went 3.77. Our hats are off to the Force team, they are doing a great job over there. It’s going to be a lot of fun racing them this year.”
With the Matco Tools team adjusting to challenging race day conditions, Brown feels like they could be on a winning streak as the Mello Yello series heads to Royal Purple Raceway near Houston next weekend.
“I just think that we are back at the level we’re used to being at,” he said. “We’re back at that level where we can compete hard at each and every race and are competitive each and every weekend. That’s what our team has always been great at, being able to compete under all different conditions. That’s why I have a lot of confidence in all of our Matco boys and what they do.”
NHRA fans are invited to join Don Schumacher Racing and Pennzoil representatives on Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. at Hermann Square Park at City Hall in downtown Houston for NHRA Day.
The event is a celebration of the partnership between DSR and Pennzoil that began one year ago. All seven DSR drivers will attend along with several DSR Funny Cars and dragsters.
Event Winner: Brittany Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Steve Torrence (CAPCO Contractors) 3.736 sec., 326.48 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tool/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 6
SUNDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: BROWN (3.776 sec., 321.58 mph) and Brittany Force (3.734, 321.88) def. Leah Pritchett and Pat Dakin
Second round: BROWN (5.779, 210.67) and Force (3.747, 321.8) def. J.R. Todd and Richie Crampton
Final: Winner-Force (3.764, 319.98), Runner-up-BROWN (3.779, 316.75), third-Doug Kalitta (4.792, 161.34), fourth-Clay Millican (6.616, 90.24)
SATURDAY: 3.762 sec., 322.58 mph, (second session); 3.766, 318.54, (third/final session)
FRIDAY: 3.838, 315.49, (Session 1); rained out, (Session 2)
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Standings
(Unofficial after 5 of 24 events; DSR drivers in BOLD CAPS; wins in parenthesis)
1 Brittany Force (2) 428 —
2 ANTRON BROWN (1) 365 -63
3 Doug Kalitta 344 -84
5 Clay Millican 318 -110
4 Steve Torrence (1) 310 -118
6 JR Todd 289 -139
7 TONY SCHUMACHER 242 -186
7 Terry McMillen 242 -186
9 Richie Crampton 240 -188
9 Leah Pritchett (1) 220 -208
12 SHAWN LANGDON 163 -265