ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 12, 2016) – A second-round loss couldn’t take away any of the enjoyment Antron Brown has had since arriving to his home track at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park on Wednesday.
Brown was honored by his hometown of Chesterfield, N.J., when Mayor Jeremy Leidtka presented him with an “Antron Brown Way” sign that will be displayed this fall on a street new development in his hometown.
Brown was the No. 2 qualifier and advanced to the quarterfinals where he lost to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher, who advanced to the championship round of Sunday’s 47th annual NHRA Summernationals.
“It’s been a great week leading up to this event, but the thing about it is we’ve got to take the good from everything we’ve done learned from it and move forward,” Brown said. “That’s the good thing about all these races right now and we’re getting better. The car ran like we wanted it to Friday night, but we didn’t make it all the way down the track, and we had some more issues Saturday.”
The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason have been fighting to get the 10,000-horsepower dragster down the track under full power more consistently.
The struggles continued in eliminations on Sunday when Brown opened the day of eliminations with a 4.07-second win over Terry Haddock, who hazed the tires at the starting line. Brown then faced Schumacher in the second round when the Matco dragster backfired and Schumacher went on for the win.
“We couldn’t figure out why and it plagued us today,” Brown said. “We just thought it had something to do with the fuel or other issues and we kept on messing around to fix it. Now we’re thinking that it’s electrical, and we’ll keep working to make it better.”
It was the first time in seven races that the Matco team did not reach at least the semifinal round, a streak that began in Las Vegas where the team earned their first of two event titles this season.
“Brian, Mark, Brad and all these Matco/U.S. Army boys will definitely get it figured out, and Bristol’s next week so we’ll get to get after it again.
Brown will arrive at Bristol ranked second in points but could have made up more ground on points leader Doug Kalitta, who also lost in the quarterfinals.
“It would’ve been nice to make up some points on Doug because he went out right in front of us, and we saw that.”
The NHRA Mello Yello Series heads to Bristol, Tenn., next weekend for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, the third of four races on consecutive weekends.
Event winner: Steve Torrence (CAPCO Contractors)
No. 1 qualifier: Torrence 3.735 sec., 325.06 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 2
First round: BROWN (4.071, 226.81) def. Terry Haddock (11.960, 59.27)
Second round: Tony Schumacher (4.156, 263.72) def. BROWN (4.804, 140.02)
FRIDAY: 5.830 sec., 113.99 mph, (Session 1); 3.742, 317.94, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.927, 267.75, (Session 3); 3.870, 286.62
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Unofficial through Englishtown, N.J., after 10 of 24 events, wins in parenthesis; DSR DRIVERS IN CAPS)
1. Doug Kalitta (3) 847 —-
2. ANTRON BROWN (2) 798 -49
3. Steve Torrence (2) 782 -65
4. Brittany Force (2) 693 -154
5. TONY SCHUMACHER 577 -270
6. JR Todd 528 -319
7. Clay Millican 507 -340
8. Richie Crampton 483 -364
9. SHAWN LANGDON 478 -369
10. LEAH PRITCHETT (1) 377 -470