Qualified: No. 7 (3.802 E.T. at 325.61 MPH)
E1: 4.634 E.T. at 149.33 MPH defeated by Blake Alexander 3.827 E.T. at 323.97 MPH
As a four-time Top Fuel winner at Atlanta Dragway, Antron Brown entered the 38th running of the NHRA Southern Nationals in a three-way tie for winningest Top Fuel driver at the Commerce, Ga. track.
After qualifying seventh, Brown drew No. 10 qualifier Blake Alexander in round one of eliminations. The two had raced side-by-side in eliminations only once before with Brown emerging the victor. Unfortunately for the six-time Southern Nationals champion (two wins in Pro Stock Motorcycle), Alexander was able to even the score on Sunday morning when Brown’s Matco’s ‘Tools for the Cause’ machine dropped a cylinder and suffered an explosion. Brown crossed the stripe in 4.634-seconds and Alexander was able to drive to victory with his clean 3.827-sec pass.
Brown will have another chance to park his special two-event livery, benefitting the Fisher House Foundation, at the NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka, Kan., May 18-20.
“We just need to keep fighting. We’ve been in situations before where we’ve had a tough start to the season. It tries to beat you down, but this is when you do the most learning. We’re learning as a group. The car was on the way to a .77 or a .78. We were nowhere near 330-feet and we were at 2.18 (seconds) when it dropped a hole and then backfired on the opposite side of the engine. Mark (Oswald) and the guys are looking at some stuff. We need to figure out what the cause is and get ready to go to Topeka. We like where the performance of our car is headed. We ran an .80 last night and we would have had a high .70 run here today, so our focus is just to go to Topeka and make complete runs. Once we can make complete runs, then we can start racing. I just need to keep up my game and stay focused.”
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
390 points, ranked sixth
Leads seventh ranked Brittany Force (375 points)
Trails fifth ranked Leah Pritchett (435 points)