SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2016) – Antron Brown is always ready to race but even more so after a quarterfinal finish at the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.
Brown feels like his Matco Tools team is “in the zone” especially after clocking low elapsed time of the opening round of Sunday’s eliminations with a 3.715-second pass at 324 mph.
“All in all, it was a great rebound the way we came back in qualifying yesterday and then ran low ET that first round,” said Brown who jumped to the No. 2 qualifying spot on Saturday.
Brown with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald were able to maintain the points lead but lost traction in the second round against J.R. Todd, who went on to win the event title.
“In the second round today, if we were going to get down the track we were going to have another low E.T. “I’m just really pumped. I like the direction the team’s going and where we’re headed right now.
“This is racing at its best,” said Brown, the two-time and reigning Top Fuel champion. “Everybody is out there running hard, running strong, and we went out there to make a strong run. We didn’t go out there to go slow. You have to do that when you go against the cars we’re going against. J.R. Todd and all those guys did a great job. Today was their day to beat us.
“With that being said, we’ll regroup, get ready for Seattle and get ready to get it on. You just hate going out early on race day. But in this sport, it’s tough to win. We definitely were in our zone, we felt really comfortable and, in this sport to win, you have to live on that edge and we’re all living on that edge right now with how fast and how strong these cars are all running.”
While Brown was unable to get his fifth Sonoma Top Fuel title in 8 years, he leads Doug Kalitta by 37 points heading to Pacific Raceways near Seattle next weekend.
Winner: J.R. Todd (Kalitta Motorsports)
No. 1 qualifier: Steve Torrence (CAPCO Contractors), 3.671 sec.-national record, 325.69 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tool/U.S. Army
Qualified: No. 2
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: BROWN (3.715 sec., 324.59 mph) def. Terry McMillen (3.819, 315.34)
Second round: J.R. Todd (3.746, 326.48) def. BROWN (4.854, 156.81)
FRIDAY: 3.796 sec., 315.86 mph, (Session 1); 3.754, 310.98, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.028, 142.90, (Session 3); 3.710, 323.27, (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES TOP FUEL STANDINGS
Through 15 of 24 events, wins in parenthesis; DSR DRIVERS IN CAPS
- ANTRON BROWN (3) 1204 —–
- Doug Kalitta (3) 1167 -37
- Steve Torrence (2) 1072 -132
- Brittany Force (2) 1008 -196
- TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 971 -233
- JR Todd (1) 897 -307
- SHAWN LANGDON (2) 836 -368
- Richie Crampton 754 -450
- Clay Millican 715 -489
- LEAH PRITCHETT (1) 586 -618