BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 26, 2016) – Antron Brown’s quest for his third Top Fuel championship continues this weekend with the 16th annual Toyota NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he clinched the 2015 world championship and the second of his career a year ago.
Brown could once again clinch the Top Fuel championship with the Matco Tools “Tools for the Cause” team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald this weekend in Las Vegas.
“The thing about it, our heads are really focused on the end and the end is not until they say ‘meet the 2016 world championship winner,’ ” Brown said. “We’re in a great situation right now, but we don’t feel comfortable yet and our work is not done yet. We’re not going in defensive mode and we’re just going to try to keep doing the same things we’ve done to get to this point.”
Brown has won three of four Countdown to the Championship events this season.
“St. Louis was definitely a wake-up call,” Brown said of his opening round loss in the second Countdown stop. It was only the second time the Matco Tools team has suffered a first-round loss throughout 22 races this season.
“We had a lot of (issues) in qualifying and we knew we had to go back to work and qualify better. We couldn’t afford to do that again. We stayed after and made some quality laps, and we figured it out. We did that because we prepared ourselves. We feed off each other. Everybody puts in the work and that attitude is contagious.”
The Matco Tools team has a round record of 9-1 through four Countdown events. In addition, he’s won six of the last 10 Top Fuel playoff races. Brown has guaranteed that he will lead the series in wins for the fourth time in the last five years with the next highest Top Fuel driver currently with three wins with just two races remaining.
“When you get into the Countdown the bar gets raised and we were ready for that challenge,” Brown said. “Our mindset is always striving to be better and trying to be more efficient, and I’m always doing something because I know my guys are doing the same thing. When we get to the racetrack, you can look everyone in the eye and know we’re all ready. You can feel that emotion in our trailer and that’s the coolest part.
“It would be great to close this out in Vegas and that’s our hope. We want to win it and we want to win it as quick as possible. But you can’t take any of this for granted and that’s why we all work so hard to get to this point.”
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools’ Tools for the Cause/U.S. Army
Last event: Dallas (Oct. 14-16): Qualified No. 1, won in championship round over Steve Torrence
Last Fall at Las Vegas: Qualified No. 1, lost in semifinals to Doug Kalitta
Spring 2016 Las Vegas: Qualified No. 3, won in championship round over Troy Buff
Career at Las Vegas: Wins 3 (2016, 2013, 2011); Runner-ups 4 (2013, 2012, 2008, 2001); Poles 4 (2015, 2014, 2013, 2010)
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2016 1st 22 7 4 3 6 3 3 0 51-15
CAREER 356 61 47 72 93 81 47 3 619-292
Best Time, Speed: 3.679 sec., (2016, Brainerd; and first below 3.7, 2015, Brainerd); 331.12 mph (2015, Brainerd)
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