LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29, 2016) – The most important quality of a winning racing organization and business is commitment and loyalty.
Few in the world of motorsports reflect that better than the relationship between Matco Tools and Don Schumacher Racing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
That is exemplified today with the announcement by Matco Tools, with its network of over 1,700 premier independent mobile tool distributors, and DSR, the most dominant racing operation in NHRA, that their 16-year marketing partnership is being extended with a new multiyear agreement that will include Antron Brown continuing as the driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster.
Brown and his Matco Tools team arrived this week at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the NHRA Toyota Nationals, the penultimate race of the Mello Yello season, With a 150-point lead. He is on the cusp of clinching a third world championship for Matco Tools in five years. This would be the second consecutive year in which the Matco team clinched it at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Matco’s relationship with DSR began in 2001 when Whit Bazemore drove DSR’s first Funny Car. Matco was an associate for Brown on a DSR Pro Stock Motorcycle in the summer of 2003, and expanded to primary branding when he moved up to Top Fuel in 2008 with another organization.
“I’ve been part of Matco for a long, long time and it’s been a true blessing to be part of such a really great organization like Matco,” said Brown, who has won 45 NHRA titles in Top Fuel with his team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason.
“Matco always makes family come first, and they believe in helping make people better. I love that because Matco is a life changer whether you are the driver of their Top Fuel dragster or a Matco Tools distributor.”
Tim Gilmore, Matco Tools president, is among Brown’s biggest supporters. “We couldn’t have asked for a better person to represent Matco on the track,” stated Gilmore. “Not only is Antron Brown a world champion in this sport, but he also embodies the key values and mission of our company. He understands the importance of family, service, dedication and trust which has made him a natural fit and someone we are excited to support over the years.”
Brown moved from NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle competition where he won 16 times to Top Fuel to start the 2008 season. It was the first time the native of New Jersey, who now lives near Indianapolis, drove in the cockpit of a four-wheel racecar.
“Matco took a really big chance on me, and they caught a lot of flak for doing that,” Brown said. “But they knew my determination.”
Any critics were quickly silenced after Brown was the No. 1 qualifier at his first Top Fuel race and won his first NHRA Wally trophy at his fourth race with Matco.
“We are proud to be able to say that Matco Tools will enter its 17th season with Don Schumacher Racing next year, and we could not ask for a better partner,” said Don Schumacher, owner of DSR.
“Through the years, we have hosted thousands of great Matco distributors throughout the country in our hospitality area and it’s been great to have been able to have them join Antron in many, many winner’s circle celebrations.”
In addition to backing Brown’s team, Matco Tools is the Official Tool Supplier for DSR which has won 292 NHRA event titles, including 25 this year with two Mello Yello events still remaining.
Since moving to the nitro category, no driver has won more event titles. Brown will start racing in Las Vegas having already matched career-bests for wins (seven) and final rounds (11). He won his third Las Vegas title in the spring.
His Matco team is in the midst of one of the best ever five-year runs that includes: 30 event wins, 47 final rounds and winning 40 percent of his elimination rounds over 117 events. Brown has 45 Top Fuel wins in 210 starts.