BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 31, 2016) – Antron Brown faces four races in four weekends beginning Friday with the fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals at Epping, N.H.
The longest stretch of races this season in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series might seem tiring, but for the two-time and reigning Top Fuel world champion for Don Schumacher Racing it might be more relaxing than his past weekend.
He competed on Saturday and Sunday at Indiana’s Lyons Raceway Park then Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway Park.
But it wasn’t in his 330-mph Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota dragster. Racing is one of Brown’s passions, ranking just below God and his family.
And it’s hard to top combining those pleasures like last weekend when he was the owner and crew chief for his three children – Arianna, Anson and Adler – when they race family’s trio of NHRA Jr. Dragsters with their mom, Billie Jo, and uncle Roy Falgout.
“Whew. That weekend sure kept me and Roy busy, That’s for sure.”
The Browns are active in the Midwest Junior Super Series (MidwestJrSeries.com), which attracted about 125 cars to the Chandler Aviation race at Lyons.
When not overseeing his threesome of racers, Brown is the “marketing guy” the series.
“All the kids are learning a lot of life-building lessons,” he said. “They learn from messing up, and they get better. They learn how to be good winners and good losers. When they lose we teach them how to get better.”
Brown and his Matco/U.S. Army team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald have advanced to at least the semifinals round for the past five Mello Yello events. Two weeks ago at Topeka, Kan., he advanced to the 100th final round of his career.
But at Topeka and the race before it, Brown day was ended by Doug Kalitta who has won the past three Top Fuel titles.
“We just have to keep doing what we do, and that’s going rounds,” said Brown, who has won 54 NHRA event titles including in this year’s fourth event of the year. “Doug’s been doing exceptionally well. We’ll be ready to take advantage of when he falters.”
Brown, who is looking for his first win at Epping, has 15-7 record in elimination rounds and ranks second in points but trails the hot Kalitta by 95 points.
“Everything’s been going good,” Brown said. “Our focus is to keep plugging along and keep learning so we can get better every week. We let that one win slip away from us at Topeka. Everyone on our Matco/U.S. Army/Toyota team are ready for these four in a row.”
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event (May 22), Topeka, Kan.: Qualified No. 8; lost in championship round to Doug Kalitta
A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 6; lost in first round to Larry Dixon
Career at Epping (3 events): Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 0; Poles 1
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2016 2nd 8 1 2 2 2 1 0 0 15-7
CAREER 342 55 45 71 89 79 44 3 583-284
Best Time, Speed: 3.680 sec., (first below 3.7, 2015, Brainerd); 331.12 mph (2015, Brainerd)
BY THE NUMBERS
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Official through Topeka after 8 of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Doug Kalitta (3) 710 —-
2. ANTRON BROWN (1) 615 -95
3. Brittany Force (2) 580 -130
4. Steve Torrence (1) 557 -133
5. JR Todd 440 -270
5. Clay Millican 440 -270
7. Richie Crampton 418 -292
8. TONY SCHUMACHER 403 -307
9. SHAWN LANGDON 346 -364
10. Terry McMillen 310 -400
11. LEAH PRITCHETT (1) 308 -402