BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 30, 2016) – Antron Brown enters this weekend’s 62nd annual NHRA U.S. Nationals coming off one of the best overall weekends of his Top Fuel career two weekends ago at Brainerd International Raceway in northern Minnesota.
The Matco Tools/U.S. Army team qualified No. 1 with Brown’s career best elapsed time of 3.679 seconds and reached the final round of Brainerd eliminations in addition to picking up the rain-delayed Seattle event title, their fourth of the season, the day before.
“We’re feeling good going into Indy,” Brown said. “We’ve been putting in a lot of work and everything has been coming to fruition where we are pushing hard, working hard and it’s paying off. We are just trying to peak at the right time. Hopefully our game plan just keeps going the way we want it to go.
“The competition is at an all-time high and we are just looking forward to the challenges at Indy with the all-star (Traxxas Shootout) race, that’s a big to-do on the list and our main focus is to win the U.S. Nationals. We missed out on it last year and we really felt like we had the car to win and we want to go out there and make-up for that.”
The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason are one of eight Top Fuel teams competing in the $100,000 Traxxas Shootout all-star race on Saturday.
Brown, a resident of nearby Pittsboro, Ind., was eliminated in the second round of U.S. Nationals competition last year on a slight holeshot that only fueled the Matco team to win the next three event titles and help secure their second world championship.
“We just have to peak at the right time, not prematurely, but to peak in the Countdown. We have to hit the first four Countdown races with everything we’ve got and then the last two, hopefully we are in a groove where we can just go out there and contend and have a shot to bring it home.”
Last week, the Matco Tools team utilized a two-day test session at Lucas Oil Raceway, the site of this weekend’s prestigious U.S. Nationals and a facility within five minutes of the Don Schumacher Racing headquarters, to try out some new parts on their 10,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster.
“We used it as a real test session, we changed parts in and out so we could see how it would react and the car did exactly what we wanted it to do a lot of times. We made a lot of early shut off runs but the good part is that we had to implement a new clutch disc into our pack and it’s working out really good. That gives us a lot of confidence.”
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Last event: Brainerd (Aug. 21, 2016): Qualified No. 1; lost in championship round to Brittany Force
A year ago at Indy: Qualified No. 12, lost in second round to Dave Connolly
Career at Indy: Wins 3 (2011, 2004, 2000); Runner-ups 0; Poles 3 (2013, 2011, 2009)
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2016 1st 17 4 4 3 5 2 2 0 38-13
CAREER 351 58 47 72 92 80 46 3 603-289
Best Time, Speed: 3.679 sec., (2016, Brainerd; and first below 3.7, 2015, Brainerd); 331.12 mph (2015, Brainerd)
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES TOP FUEL STANDINGS
Through 17 of 24 events including Brainerd; DSR DRIVERS IN CAPS
DRIVER (wins) PTS BEHIND
- ANTRON BROWN (4) 1424 ——
- Doug Kalitta (3) 1257 -167
- Steve Torrence (2) 1216 -208
- Brittany Force (3) 1161 -263
- TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 1117 -307
- JR Todd (1) 998 -426
- SHAWN LANGDON (2) 968 -456
- Richie Crampton 840 -584
- Clay Millican 822 -602
- LEAH PRITCHETT (1) 637 -787
- Terry McMillen 637 -787