NHRA kicks off Western Swing this weekend and three-time champion Brown hopes to sweep for the second time with Matco Tools team
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 19, 2017) – Antron Brown has his name in the NHRA Mello Yello Series history books for many reasons outside of being the three-time and reigning NHRA Top Fuel champion.
One of those reasons is that he is one of only seven professional drivers to complete the grueling three-week Western Swing that races in the mile-high altitude in Denver before heading to sea-level in Sonoma, Calif., and finishing up near picturesque Seattle.
In 2009, Brown and the Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald won the three consecutive events and no driver has accomplished the feat since.
“It’s tough,” Brown said. “The conditions and the changes that these crew chiefs have to make in three weeks is what makes it so difficult. Brian and Mark are the best of the best and we’ve done it before and we’d love to do it again.”
But Brown faces some tough competition in Don Schumacher Racing teammates Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher along with points leader Steve Torrence.
“It’s getting tougher every year to win one race, let alone three in a row,” he said. “We’ve been to six finals this year and came away with two wins. The competition is just incredible, just wait until the Countdown playoff starts after the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day.”
With 13 of 24 Mello Yello Series events complete, the Matco Tools team have racked up six final round appearances and 29 round wins. They have set career best elapsed times and speeds for Brown this year with a 3.667-second run near Phoenix and a 333.16-mph lap in Topeka this season.
“No doubt, we’re having a good season but there’s a lot more racing left to do and we just want to continue to get better every weekend. We have to keep pushing, keep getting faster and remain consistent. That’s what it’ll take.”
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster – 3x world champion
Last event (July 9), Joliet, Ill.: Qualified No. 7, lost in championship round to Steve Torrence
A year ago at Denver: Qualified No. 2, lost in championship round to Tony Schumacher
Career at Denver: Wins 2 (2009, 2012); Runner-ups 5 (1999*, 2001*, 2005*, 2008, 2016);
Poles 3 (2001*, 2009, 2010) * Pro Stock Motorcycle
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 3rd 13 2 4 2 5 0 1 0 29-11
CAREER 371 63* 51 76 98 80 48 3 652-305
* 47 TF/16 PSB
Best time, speed: 3.667 (2017, Phoenix); 333.16 mph (2017, Topeka)
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Official after Joliet, Ill.; 13th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
- Steve Torrence (5) 1,188 —–
- LEAH PRITCHETT (3) 1,087 -101
- ANTRON BROWN (2) 1,085 -103
- TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 894 -294
- Doug Kalitta 813 -375
- Brittany Force (1) 795 -393
- Clay Millican (1) 773 -415
- Terry McMillen 509 -679
- Scott Palmer 496 -692
- Troy Coughlin Jr. 480 -708