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Brown has productive weekend with Matco team at U.S. Nationals, takes 30-point lead as top seed heading to Countdown playoff

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 5, 2016) – Although Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team didn’t come away with the 62nd annual U.S. Nationals title, it was a productive weekend.

Brown qualified fifth for Monday’s Labor Day championship eliminations, his 10th consecutive top-five start in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and advanced to the quarterfinal round when his U.S. Army and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher ended his day early.

Brown’s 10,000-horsepower Matco Tools dragster slowed to a 4.000-second pass and Schumacher went on to the final round where he claimed his 10th U.S. Nationals title.

“The track got a lot hotter on us really, really fast and we’re just kicking ourselves in the butt right now,” Brown said. “We needed to back off a little more. We had it on the edge, but it was the wrong edge. With that being said, we had a productive weekend at the Big Go.

“We worked out some new clutch discs that we’re going to use in the Countdown and we know can perform with them. We just needed to back it down a little bit more for that run and we would have been fine.  We were out front and our car was performing well and it bit us. The better team won today so our Matco Tools Toyota dragster can go back and regroup. We’re glad it happened here and not in the Countdown.”

The six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs kick off Sept. 16 at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte. Brown and the Matco Tools team have the top-seed in Top Fuel points standings and have a 30-point lead over second place Steve Torrence.

“(The point lead) It’s what you work so hard for in the regular season. Now that time is over with. We did a great job in the regular season and now we have our work cut out for us in the last six races of the year.  Now we have to go out and do that same thing, but in just six races. We’re going to go out there and push hard and see what we can do.”

 

TOP FUEL

Winner: Tony Schumacher (Don Schumacher Racing)

No. 1 qualifier: Clay Millican (Great Clips Racing) 3.692 sec.-track record, 316.82 mph

 

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
QUALIFIED: No. 5

MONDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS

First round: BROWN (3.750 sec., 325.30) def. T.J. Zizzo (3.843, 319.22)

Second round: Tony Schumacher (3.788, 320.81) def. BROWN (4.000, 275.34)

FRIDAY: 3.725 sec., 326.00 mph, (Session 1)

SATURDAY: 3.776, 324.59, (Session 2); 3.730, 323.74, (Session 3)

SUNDAY: 4.166, 201.52, (Session 4); 5.990, 110.09, (Session 5)

 

2016 NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings

(Unofficial after Indy; DSR drivers in CAPS)

TOP FUEL

DRIVER                                POINTS      BEHIND

  1. ANTRON BROWN           2,110                  —
  2. Steve Torrence                2,080                 -30
  3. Doug Kalitta                      2,070                 -40
  4. TONY SCHUMACHER    2,060                 -50
  5. Brittney Force                    2,050                 -60
  6. J.R. Todd                          2,040                 -70
  7. SHAWN LANGDON         2,030                 -80
  8. Richie Crampton               2,020                 -90
  9. Clay Millican                      2,010               -100
  10. LEAH PRITCHETT          2,000               -110

 

FINAL 2016 MELLO YELLO REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS

TOP FUEL

  1. ANTRON BROWN (4)                    1504
  2. Steve Torrence (2)                          1367
  3. Doug Kalitta (3)                               1340
  4. TONY SCHUMACHER (2)             1290
  5. Brittany Force (3)                             1247
  6. J,R. Todd (1)                                   1105
  7. SHAWN LANGDON (2)                  1049
  8. Richie Crampton                               889
  9. Clay Millican                                      908
  10. LEAH PRITCHETT (1)                      684

 

SATURDAY’S TRAXXAS TOP FUEL NITRO SHOOTOUT                                                                      

First round of Shootout concurrently with  second qualifying session, and final round of Shootout is part of the third session. (DSR drivers in CAPS)

FIRST ROUND

TONY SCHUMACHER (3.777 sec., 330.30 mph) def. Brittany Force (4.021, 270.64)

SHAWN LANGDON  (3.755, 324.30) def. Steve Torrence (3.756, 327.19)

LEAH PRITCHETT (3.781, 329.75-career best) def. Doug Kalitta (3.837, 314.09)

ANTRON BROWN (3.776, 324.59) def. Terry McMillen (5.917, 114.16)

SEMIFINALS

SCHUMACHER (3.727, 323.04) def. BROWN (3.738, 322.65)

PRITCHETT (3.749, 322.81) def. LANGDON (3.773, 326.24)

FINAL
SCHUMACHER (3.717, 328.86) def. PRITCHETT (3.738, 317.05)

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