Qualified: No. 3 (3.744 E.T. at 327.43 MPH)
E1: 3.786 E.T. at 326.87 MPH defeated Jim Maroney 3.879 E.T. at 302.96 MPH
E2: 3.822 E.T. at 317.72 MPH defeated by Blake Alexander 3.791 E.T. at 330.23 MPH
Last year’s Sonoma Raceway Top Fuel runner-up faced newbie Jim Maroney in round one. Antron Brown earned his 690th professional round win when he powered his Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota Top Fuel machine down the track in 3.786-seconds, defeating Maroney’s 3.879 E.T.
In the quarterfinals, Brown faced ‘Countdown spoiler’ Blake Alexander. The two drivers were nearly identical leaving the line. Brown led until just before the eighth mile when Alexander pulled ahead and claimed the win, ending Brown’s chances at picking up his fifth Sonoma Raceway event win.
“We had it to the 330-foot mark and we were even at 660-feet with a hole out, and unfortunately that’s all she wrote. At the end, that’s just NHRA Drag Racing. We’re used to fighting like this. It’s a fight right now. The good thing is, we made some great strides at this race. Every race, we’ve been making strides, getting better and better. I can tell you this right now, that this Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota team is there right now, they’re back. We always need a little luck to go our way, and we’ll get a couple of other things better, and then we’ll see where we can end up.
“Seattle’s always been a good race for us, and we’re excited that it’s the next one. We really wanted to win this one at Sonoma. We set ourselves up to win this race this weekend. We did exactly what we wanted to do first round. We were going to pick it up a little bit that next round, and in hindsight it was supposed to be a 3.77, that’s what we were looking to do and it was plenty enough to get the job done. With that being said, we’ll lick our wounds and we’ll get ready for Seattle. I’m excited to get out there and race, I can’t wait to go down the track again.”