BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 13, 2017) – The battle at the top of the NHRA Top Fuel points standings has been raging for most of the 2017 Mello Yello season, but things are heating up even more as the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff kicks off this weekend.


Three-time and reigning Top Fuel champion Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team enter this weekend’s NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte second in Top Fuel standings, 20 points behind leader Steve Torrence.


When it comes to the Countdown, Brown knows what to expect.


“I think pressure, no do-overs. Intensity. No mulligans. You have one shot to shine and you have to give it everything you’ve got and leave nothing on the racetrack. That’s the Countdown. For six races you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got each lap.”


The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason have won four titles in 10 final rounds through 18 Mello Yello events this season.


“We’re happy with how we’ve done this season. We wish we could’ve turned on some more win lights in final rounds but we’ve got six more chances and we’re going to put our heads down and go to work. You have to take the Countdown one lap at a time because every run is important, every run counts.”

zMAX Dragway has been the site of five of Brown’s 49 Top Fuel event titles.


“zMAX has been good for us in the past, for sure. It’s the place to race. One of the nicest events on the tour and we’re excited to get back there and get this Countdown started.”


ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army – 2012, 2015, 2016 world champion

Last event: Sept. 1-4, Indy: Qualified No. 6, lost in second round to Steve Torrence

2016 Fall zMAX: Qualified No. 7, won in championship round over Doug Kalitta

2017 Four-Wide: Qualified No. 3, lost in second quad

2016 at Fall zMAX: Wins 2 (2015, 2014); Runner-ups 2 (2008, 2016); Poles 0

Career at zMAX: Wins 5 (track record; 2016, 2015/2015, 2014, 2011); Runner-ups 2 (2008, 2016); Poles 0

                Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ             W/L

2017         2nd      18                 4           6             2         6             0             2            0              44-14

CAREER              376              65*        53           76       99           80           49            3         667-308 

* 49 TF/16 PSB    

Career best time, speed: 3.667 (2017, Phoenix); 333.16 mph (2017, Topeka)



(Reset for six-race playoff; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)

TOP FUEL                                          

  1. Steve Torrence (7)                 2,100        —-
  2. ANTRON BROWN (4)           2,080        -20
  3. LEAH PRITCHETT (4)           2,070        -30
  4. TONY SCHUMACHER (1)     2,060        -40
  5. Doug Kalitta                            2,050        -50
  6. Brittany Force (1)                    2,040        -60
  7. Clay Millican (1)                      2,030        -70
  8. Terry McMillen                        2,020        -80
  9. Scott Palmer                           2,010        -90
  10. Shawn Langdon                    2,000      -100
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