BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 21, 2017) – For three-time and reigning Top Fuel champion Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team this weekend’s event in Norwalk, Ohio, is a special one.
About 80 miles east of Summit Motorsports Park is Matco Tools headquarters in Stow, Ohio, and getting a win at Norwalk would give the team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi, an Ohio native and resident, and Mark Oswald, another Ohio native, the momentum they need to close out the first half of the Mello Yello season.
“Norwalk is a big race for a lot of reasons,” said Brown. “It’s home for Matco, it’s home for our crew chief Brian (Corradi) and it’s just a big race. The Bader family packs the place with fans and it’s just got a special feeling.”
This weekend’s NHRA Nationals at Norwalk marks the halfway point of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello season with only 7 races remaining before the points are reset for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
The Matco Tools team is on par with their 2016 championship-winning performance thus far. At this point in 2016, Brown had two event titles in four final round appearances and was second in points.
This season, Brown has been to the final round five times coming away with two event titles and are third in Top Fuel points standings, trailing Don Schumacher Racing teammate Leah Pritchett in second by nine points and 20 behind points leader Steve Torrence.
“It’s a battle each and every week for the top spot. Last week we had it, this week we don’t. But we’re close. We’re digging. We just have to keep our heads down and keep pushing. The competition out here is just so tough. I say that every year and it just keeps getting tougher.
“Norwalk is going to close out four in a row for our boys and we just want to end it on a high note. Getting the win would be incredible but we just need to take it one round at a time and race the racetrack.”
ANTRON BROWN, MatcoTools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster
Last event (June 18), Bristol, Tenn.: Qualified No. 7, lost in second round to Shawn Langdon
A year ago at Norwalk: Qualified No. 2, lost in second round to Shawn Langdon
Career at Norwalk: Wins 1 (2014); Runner-ups 2 (2010, 2015); Poles 0
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 3rd 11 2 3 2 4 0 1 0 25-9
CAREER 369 63* 50 76 97 80 48 3 648-303
* 47 TF/16 PSB
Best time, speed: 3.667 (2017, Phoenix); 333.16 mph (2017, Topeka)
(Official after Bristol, Tenn.; 11th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
- Steve Torrence (3) 954 —–
- LEAH PRITCHETT (3) 943 -11
- ANTRON BROWN (2) 934 -20
- TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 801 -143
- Doug Kalitta 678 -276
- Brittany Force (1) 649 -305
- Clay Millican (1) 639 -315
- Troy Coughlin Jr. 443 -511
- Scott Palmer 432 -522
- Terry McMillen 424 -530