COMMERCE, Ga. (May 14, 2016) – The Matco Tools/U.S. Army team ended qualifying on a high note Saturday in the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Antron Brown clocked his best elapsed time of the weekend and the best run of the day in the ultra-competitive Top Fuel category in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with a 3.775-second pass at 319 mph to claim the No. 5 starting position for Sunday’s championship eliminations that begin at 11 a.m. (ET).

“That was a great run right there,” Brown said. “It quit a little bit before the end but we’ll take that going into tomorrow. That’s what we need to do, keep on plugging away at it and we’ve figured some things out this weekend. We’re making our car a little bit more aggressive on the starting line so Mark (Oswald) and Brian (Corradi) have been working on it with all of our boys and it’s getting to be where we want it.

“We are getting pretty close to race mode. That was a good lap right there. We picked up a couple of those precious qualifying points and that’s what we were trying to do.”

Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team led by crew chiefs Corradi and Oswald and assistant Brad Mason will carry that momentum into Sunday’s third in Top Fuel standings, 24 points behind leader Doug Kalitta. Just last season, the team moved from third to first in the standings with the event title at Atlanta.

“We feel great here on the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team,” he said. “We’ve been pressing and learning a lot of things. The conditions here at Atlanta have been good all weekend long. It definitely gives us a little confidence going into tomorrow.”

Brown, the two-time and defending world champion, is looking to pick up his fifth Top Fuel and second consecutive event title at Atlanta Dragway on Sunday. The Matco Tools team has one event title and one runner-up finish in the books for the 2016 Mello Yello series season through the first six races.

“We have a really competitive car and hopefully we can just keep doing what we’ve been doing. We’ll take it one round at a time and try to pull off a win here in Atlanta tomorrow. This has been a good track for us historically so we hope we can add some more success to it tomorrow.”

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tool/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying position: No. 5
First round opponent: Pat Dakin
FRIDAY: 3.876 sec., 314.68 mph, (Session 1); 3.789, 321.27, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.911, 110.03, (Session 3); 3.775, 319.45, (Session 4)