CHICAGO, Ill. (July 9, 2017) – The Matco Tools/U.S. Army Dragster, piloted by Antron Brown, advanced to final round before falling to Steve Torrence by just five-thousandths of a second during Sunday’s 20th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals at the Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.


“That was just a great drag race,” said Brown, who ran the quickest pass on Sunday and had three of the top four runs on the day. “We were trying to step it up in the finals. The track got better and just ate it up a little bit.


“The good thing is our Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota is definitely on the right track and we’re coming. Hopefully, once when we get it we won’t let up. We ran well today. Hats off to them. The Western Swing is coming and we’re hungry right now.”


Throughout all four rounds of racing today, Brown used his quick reactions to leave first against all of his opponents.


He defeated Doug Kalitta of Kalitta Motorsports during the opening round with a time of 3.776 seconds at (322.42) and a reaction time of .065 seconds.


Later he beat his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Leah Pritchett in the second round with a 3.853 (305.29) and a reaction time of .072.


In the semifinals, Brown clocked a 3.784 (325.53) and a reaction time of .047 to get the win over Clay Millican.


Finally, in the final round, Brown clocked his best reaction time of the day at .046 but he was out ran by Torrence’s 3.779 lap (326.08). Brown cruised to a respectful 3.786.


After a weekend off, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series travels to Denver to kick off the three-race Western Swing at Bandimere Speedway, July 21-23.


ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster                                  

Crew chiefs: Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald; Assistant: Brad Mason


First round: BROWN (3.776 sec., 322.42 mph) def. Doug Kalitta (6.478, 152.78)

Second round: BROWN (3.853, 305.29) def. Leah Pritchett (5.247, 139.10)

Semifinals: BROWN (3.784, 325.53) def. Clay Millican (4.689, 165.64)

Final: Steve Torrence (3.779, 326.08) def. BROWN (3.786, 326.71)


Qualified: No. 7

FRIDAY: 3.766 sec., 328.54 mph, (Session 1); 6.008, 112.76, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 4.187, 209.79, (Session 3); 3.766, 326.32, (Session 4)


Last event (June 15), Norwalk, Ohio: Qualified No. 5, lost in second round to Leah Pritchett

A year ago at Chicago: Qualified No. 4, won in championship round over J.R. Todd

Career at Chicago: Wins 5 (2016, 2014, 2012, 2001*, 2000*); Runner-ups 3 (2017, 2009, 2002*);

Poles 2 (2009, 2015) *Pro Stock Motorcycle



(Unofficial after Joliet, Ill.; 13th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)

1      Steve Torrence (5)              1,188      —–

2      LEAH PRITCHETT (3)        1,087     -101

3      ANTRON BROWN (2)         1,085     -103

4      TONY SCHUMACHER (1)     894     -294

5      Doug Kalitta                           813      -375

6      Brittany Force (1)                   795      -393

7      Clay Millican (1)                     773      -415

8      Terry McMillen                       509      -679

9      Scott Palmer                          496      -692

10    Troy Coughlin Jr.                   480      -708