ENNIS, Texas (Oct. 15, 2017) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools “Tools for the Cause” dragster advanced to the semifinals Sunday of the NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motor Speedway near Dallas, but missed an opportunity to gain ground on points leader Steve Torrence, who destroyed his dragster in a crash after crossing the finish line in the second round.

Torrence, who was uninjured, joined Brown as semifinal losers that opened the door for Brittany Force of John Force Racing to move up to the No. 2 spot after she defeated former Don Schumacher Racing driver Shawn Langdon of Kalitta Motorsports in the final round.

Langdon eliminated ex-teammate Brown in the semifinals.

“It’s a bummer because of the points we could have made up after Steve went out and (former No. 2) Doug Kalitta was out and we really needed to keep pace with Brittany,” said Brown, the three-time world champ who has won the last two world titles.

“We could have given her a run for the money in the final round. It just wasn’t in the cards.

“We ran awesome today on race day. We made a really good run in the semifinals and we thought it was going to be enough to get the job done, but Langdon’s team just stepped up. They didn’t make it down the track in the first two rounds they ran, so you just go out there and run hard.

“We left the starting line at the exact same time, but we just fell short.”

Brown with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald started the FallNationals 94 points behind Torrence and will be 105 points behind when the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series action resumes in two weeks near Las Vegas for the Toyota Nationals in the penultimate event of the year.

“We’ll just keep our focus and get ready for the Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas then hit it hard and see where we end up.”

The following are results for Brown in the FallNationals:

Winner: Brittany Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Steve Torrence (CAPCO Contractors), 3.682 sec., 327.51 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools ‘Tools for the Cause’
Crew chiefs: Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald; Assistant: Brad Mason
First round: BROWN (3.721 sec., 325.69 mph) def. Shawn Reed (3.894, 271.24)
Second round: BROWN (3.687, 323.74) def. Leah Pritchett (3.709, 326.63)
Semifinals: Shawn Langdon (3.702, 322.88) def. BROWN (3.716,326.71)
Qualified: No. 3
FRIDAY: 6.714 sec., 100.46 mph, (Session 1); 3.696, 329.91, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.829, 317.87, (Session 3); 3.750, 318.02, (Session 4)

COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS                                    
(Official standings through Dallas; 22 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
Top Fuel                                                                               
  1. Steve Torrence (8)                  2465     —–
  2. Brittany Force (3)                    2408       -57
  3. Doug Kalitta (1)                       2389       -76
  4. ANTRON BROWN (4)            2360     -105
  5. LEAH PRITCHETT (4)           2285     -180
  6. TONY SCHUMACHER (1)     2273     -192
  7. Clay Millican (1)                      2268     -197
  8. Shawn Langdon                      2193     -272
  9. Terry McMillen                        2147     -318
10. Scott Palmer                           2137     -328