Brown extends points lead to 150 with third NHRA Countdown win with Matco Tools’ Tools for the Cause team at Texas Motorplex
ENNIS, Texas (Oct.16, 2016) – Antron Brown scored his third win of four NHRA Countdown to the Championship races this year and his seventh title of the 2016 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA Fallnationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
It marks the 61st win of his Mello Yello Drag Racing Series career, with 45 of those coming in Top Fuel competition. With today’s win at the Motorplex, Brown has reached the finals in five of the last seven races and advanced to his 11th final round of the season.
“The dream is coming true today – it’s happening one round at a time,” Brown said. “I am truly blessed to be on this team with Brian (Corradi), Mark (Oswald) and all these Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota boys. We work hard and it’s a team effort. I’ve got to give a big shout-out to Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham and also John Medlen (from Don Schumacher Racing’s Infinite Hero Funny Car team). After St. Louis, we were a little down and they gave us the boost we needed when we stayed after and tested.
“We made some things happen and it’s paying big dividends right now. This competition is no joke. Look at that final right there, it’s Steve Torrence, a hometown boy, it was a tough matchup and I knew it was going to be tough. He threw down a great tree, they threw down a great run, we threw down a great run. That race could’ve gone either way. That’s how all of our NHRA drag races have gone all year long and we’ve been fortunate to be on the right side of it. We’re just trying to make it happen and we love it.”
Brown has guaranteed that he will lead the series in wins for the fourth time in the last five years with just two races remaining.
He also will take a 150-point lead into the next race (each round win on Sunday pay 20 points) with eight rounds remaining. He can clinch the title at the next race in Las Vegas. It would be his third Top Fuel world championship in the last five years.
“That’s called teamwork, that’s called when the pressure gets up. I think that’s what brings out the best in our team. Our team thrives on pressure where some teams might crack or folds, some teams get better. When the higher the pressure gets, it seems like it dials our knob up even more and we put that extra focus in. We all feel it. We can look at each other without even talking about it and know where we need to be. Every time we go down that racetrack, it’s like alright now we have the next round. This is the coolest part that I think makes our team so good, we never look at the whole race. We take it one step at a time. Every step that we take we try to be efficient with it and make the best out of it. I think that’s what pays big dividends when we look back. We look at all the baby steps we made and all the right ones that got us where we needed to be.”
Only two races remain in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Series season. The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald have 51 round wins this season, matching their round win total from 2015 with two races remaining.
“The only way you win now is by inches and to win that final right there, that was monumental for our team because we needed to do that. We are going into Vegas, we have a little bit of a points lead but it’s anybody’s game. Our main focus is to stay humble, keep our heads down and continue the hard work that’s got us here. That is a crucial moment for us right now. We’re still not done working. We can’t wait for Vegas and the Toyota Nationals.”
QUALIFYING TOP FUEL
Event winner: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.682 sec., 330.55 mph
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools’ Tools for the Cause/U.S. Army
Crew chiefs: Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald; assistant: Brad Mason
Qualified: No. 1
First round: BROWN (3.709 sec., 325.33 mph) def. Chris Karamesines (4.705, 162.25)
Second round: BROWN (3.729, 320.74) def. Doug Kalitta (3.765, 327.19)
Semifinals: BROWN (3.731, 319.52) def. J.R. Todd (3.849, 279.90)
Final: BROWN (3.744, 321.12) def. Steve Torrence (3.750, 323.12)
FRIDAY: 3.745 sec., 320.51 mph, (Session 1); 3.682, 330.55, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.722, 323.12, (Session 3); 3.697, 328.30, (Session 4)
2016 NHRA Countdown to the Championship Top Fuel Standings
(Official after Dallas; 4 of 6 playoff races; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
- ANTRON BROWN (7) 2504 —–
- Doug Kalitta (3) 2354 -150
- SHAWN LANGDON (3) 2332 -172
- Brittany Force (3) 2313 -191
- Steve Torrence (2) 2307 -197
- TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 2295 -209
- J.R. Todd (1) 2260 -244
- LEAH PRITCHETT (1) 2250 -254
- Richie Crampton 2195 -309
- Clay Millican 2168 -336