Brown earns first career event title at Epping as Matco Tools teamcompletes a near perfect weekend at New England Nationals
EPPING, N.H. (June 6, 2016) – An item was checked off of Antron Brown’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series bucket list on Monday at the rain-delayed NHRA New England Nationals – take home a Wally trophy.
Brown scored his first Wally at the New Hampshire track, leaving only two venues that the two-time and reigning champion has not scored an event title. The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald and assistant Brad Mason also earned the No. 1 qualifying position, giving the Matco team a clean sweep of the Epping weekend.
The No. 1 qualifying position earned Brown a first-round bye but was then paired against Don Schumacher Racing teammates Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher before the final round against Steve Torrence.
Brown used a starting line advantage and a 3.769-second pass at 314 mph to take the title over Torrence’s 3.778.
“It feels good,” Brown said. “We’ve been to a couple of other finals this year that we feel like we should’ve won. This was a great race weekend. We’re still learning some different things on the car and we are growing. The car is showing us great signs of being a phenomenal racecar.
“Brian, Mark and all of our guys on this Matco Tools/U.S. Army team are putting the work in. We’re reaping the benefits. We had a couple of rounds today that went our way and it felt good to have that on our side and it felt good to be able to capitalize on that in the final round. We had a really, really tough race against Steve Torrence and that Capco team.
“It feels really good to get one at this race up here in Epping. This is a race that we haven’t won and it feels good to bring that Wally home from New England. Especially being up here on the East Coast, only growing up about three and a half hours from here.”
Brown and the NHRA Mello Yello Series will travel to near his hometown this week for the 47th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. The Matco Tools team sits second in Top Fuel points standings.
“It feels really good knowing that when you work hard, sometimes it goes your way but this weekend, we were still able to end up in that winner’s circle which is great,” Brown said. “You don’t get more confident, you just get momentum. We’ve been going a lot of rounds these last four or five races. We’re starting to get in that groove. This weekend was definitely a great weekend for our team.”
Event Winner: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.701 sec. (track record), 319.07 sec.
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tool/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 1
First round: BROWN (3.758 sec., 316.30 mph) def. bye
Second round: BROWN (6.170, 107.69) def. Shawn Langdon (disqualified, redlight)
Semifinals: BROWN (6.170, 107.69) def. Tony Schumacher (redlight)
Final: BROWN (3.769, 314.61) def. Steve Torrence (3.778, 325.30)
FRIDAY: 3.764 sec., 293.60 mph, (Session 1); 7.723, 80.09, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.760, 317.34, (Session 3); 3.701, 319.07, (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Unofficial through Epping, N.H., after 9 of 24 events, wins in parenthesis; DSR IN CAPS)
- Doug Kalitta (3) 785
- ANTRON BROWN (2) 739 -46
- Steve Torrence (1) 658 -127
- Brittany Force (2) 623 -162
- TONY SCHUMACHER 483 -302
- Clay Millican 475 -310
- J.R. Todd 473 -312
- Richie Crmapton 450 -335
- SHAWN LANGDON 399 -386
- Leah Pritchett 360 -425