BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 22, 2016) – The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season reaches its halfway point this weekend at the 10th annual NHRA Summit Racing Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio.
It’s been a solid start for Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald. With two wins in four final round appearances, the team is second in Top Fuel points.
“I would say that our team definitely has a B-plus or an A-minus rating,” Brown said. “We are almost where we want to be. We are definitely gaining ground and we are learning so much. We definitely don’t have our program mastered yet but no one out here does. We are just trying to develop and make ourselves more efficient and I think we are definitely accomplishing that.”
The main focus for the Matco Tools team is setting themselves up for a strong run in the Countdown to the Championship playoff, the final six races of the NHRA Mello Yello season that determines the season champion. Brown is looking to defend his 2015 title and earn his third championship since 2012.
The Mello Yello series makes its fourth and final stop of a four-race swing this weekend in Northern Ohio. DSR Top Fuel dragsters have been in each of the three final rounds on this four-race stretch, with Brown getting the event title two weeks ago in Epping, N.H. On Sunday at Bristol, Tenn., Brown lost in the semifinals to DSR teammate Tony Schumacher, who then lost to DSR’s Shawn Langdon in the final round.
“That’s all attributed to the way that we’re all working together,” Brown said of the DSR effort. “We’re all going in and out of each other’s trailers, we’re working together as a fine unit right now. It is paying dividends where we’re getting a lot more competitive across the board and we’re causing a little havoc for all the other race teams out here.
“Our main goal is to get that going, and we just want to keep on going to get to where we need to be for the Countdown. That’s the main goal right now. There aren’t too many races left (seven) before the Countdown begins so all the races we’ve got left are very crucial.”
Before racing begins Friday, Brown and his 10,000-horsepower dragster will visit Matco Tools headquarters in Stow, Ohio, on Wednesday make a special visit for Matco employees only on Wednesday.
“I’m always looking forward to our visits at Matco’s corporate headquarters. It’s always good to go there and hang out with all of their employees there in Stow and give them a little bit of love.
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event Bristol, Tenn., June 19: Qualified No. 4, lost in semifinals to Tony Schumacher
A year ago at Norwalk: Qualified No. 3, lost in championship round to Doug Kalitta
Career at Norwalk: Wins 1 (2014); Runner-ups 2 (2010, 2015); Poles 0
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2016 2nd 11 2 2 3 3 1 1 0 22-9
CAREER 345 56 45 72 90 80 45 3 590-286
Best Time, Speed: 3.680 sec., (first below 3.7, 2015, Brainerd); 331.12 mph (2015, Brainerd)
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES TOP FUEL STANDINGS
Official through Bristol; 11 of 24 events, wins in parenthesis; DSR DRIVERS IN CAPS
- Doug Kalitta (3) 926 —–
- ANTRON BROWN (2) 873 -53
- Steve Torrence (2) 846 -80
- Brittany Force (2) 754 -172
- TONY SCHUMACHER 675 -251
- SHAWN LANGDON (1)595 -331
- JR Todd 562 -364
- Clay Millican 540 -386
- Richie Crampton 535 -391
- LEAH PRITCHETT (1) 412 -514