BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 18, 2016) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team laid a foundation on Saturday during qualifying for the 16th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

A foundation that Brown feels strongly that they can build off for Sunday’s Noon (ET) eliminations where the Matco Tools team is looking to score Brown’s first career win at the scenic Bristol facility.

Brown will start Sunday from the fourth spot with a best elapsed time of 3.774 seconds at 317 mph that occurred during Friday’s second session of qualifying that was delayed about 90 minutes due to rain. The Matco Tools team has qualified in the top-8 at each of the 11 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this season, something no other Don Schumacher Racing team has accomplished.

“One thing we’ve been trying to do is we finally got it down the track like we’ve wanted to and it’s now starting to pan out, so now it’s getting better and better as we keep working on our whole combination,” said Brown after Friday’s qualifying. “It only dropped one hole there at the end, so we’ll get that cleaned up and we’ll be good for tomorrow. The track was really good tonight – it was really good. It ate a lot of us up and it was trouble for so many of us because it got so good, so fast. All in all, Q2 was a good outing for our Matco Tools/U.S. Army Dragster.”

The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald used Saturday to prepare for Sunday’s eliminations in the heat. A 3.835 at 309 mph clocked during the fourth qualifying session has the Matco team confident for Sunday.

“Another good day, another good qualifying effort in Q4,” Brown said. “The good part is that we’ll take that and we’ll build off of it and we’re gaining on it. It’s definitely getting better and better with each and every run and we’re improving, so that’s the name of the game. We’re really looking forward to tomorrow.

“It’s going to be similar conditions tomorrow. And I always feel confident in all my boys, Brian and Mark, and we’re going to go out there and have some fun tomorrow here at Bristol and see how much we can get out of this track. The main thing will be to go out there and show some love to all our supporters, Matco Tools and the U.S. Army.

“The first run today, we went out there and we just made too much power. It made a lot of power and the track wasn’t going to hold what we were trying to run. We were trying to run a .75 and the track wasn’t going to try and hold that. It was running better than our Friday-night run. But it was promising in that it tells you what you can get away with on a hot surface that early and also know where you have to calm it down for tomorrow.”

No. 1 qualifier: Steve Torrence (CAPCO Contractors (3.745 sec., 321.12 mph)

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tool/U.S. Army
Qualifying position: No. 4
First round opponent: Scott Palmer
FRIDAY: 3.828 sec., 289.01 mph, (Session 1); 3.774, 317.34, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.332, 103.22, (Session 3); 3.835, 309.98, (Session 4)