CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2017) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster team posted times between 3.667 and 3.689 on their last three qualifying runs and opened Sunday’s eliminations with a time of 3.711 in the Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
But after starting in the No. 2 qualifying position, the three-time Top Fuel world champion for Don Schumacher Racing lost in the second round near Phoenix for the second straight year winning at the track three times, the last of which was in 2014.
Brown, who has won the last two world titles with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald, lost traction early against Brittany Force, who advanced to the championship round before losing to Brown’s DSR teammate Leah Pritchett for the second straight year.
“That’s how racing goes. It was just one of those weekends. We did exceptionally well in qualifying and felt really confident coming into the day. It just wasn’t our day out there.
” I think there was a little something on the track. Our tires just got a little bit over aggressive. We were never that aggressive all weekend for it to do what it did where it did it and I really think some of the cars before us left something on the track there. With that being said, it’s not the weekend we wanted, so we’ll just get ready for Gainesville.
“The season is still a grind and the good thing coming out of here is that we are doing better than we did at the beginning of last year. We’re just going to keep pushing and hopefully we’ll get it turned around for Gainesville and be right where we want to be at.”
Event winner: Leah Pritchett (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Leah Pritchett (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.658 sec. (world record), 329.91 mph
ANTRON BROWN: Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Crew chiefs: Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald; assistant: Brad Mason
Qualified: No. 2
First round: BROWN (3.711 sec., 324.28 mph) def. Steve Chrisman (4.245, 206.35)
Second round: Brittany Force (3.707, 327.90) def. BROWN (5.732, 103.26)
FRIDAY: 7.400 sec., 84.87 mph, (Session 1); 3.689, 326.56, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.679, 324.05, (Session 3); 3.667, 328.78, (Session 4)
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Unofficial after Phoenix; 2 of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. LEAH PRITCHETT (2) 245 —–
4. TONY SCHUMACHER 153 -92
5. Brittany Force 151 -94
4. ANTRON BROWN 143 -102
5. Doug Kalitta 140 -105
6. Steve Torrence 110 -135
7. Shawn Reed 99 -146
8. Troy Coughlin Jr. 84 -156
9. Scott Palmer 84 -161
10. Terry McMillen 80 -165
10. Clay Millican 80 -165