Qualified: No. 3 (3.718 E.T. at 322.34 MPH)
E1: 3.728 E.T. at 330.63 MPH defeated Steve Torrence 3.930 E.T. at 256.50 MPH
E2: 4.198 E.T. at 261.12 MPH defeated Austin Prock 4.389 E.T. at 179.40 MPH
E3: 3.763 E.T. at 325.85 MPH defeated by Leah Pritchett 3.721 E.T. at 332.10 MPH
No. 3 qualifier Antron Brown found himself with a tough first-round draw in defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence. Brown had the immediate advantage against Torrence and maintained his pace to drive to victory when Torrence’s machine began to haze the tires near halftrack.
Next up for the three-time Phoenix champion was newcomer Austin Prock. Once again, Brown’s quick reaction time yielded the early lead before losing traction. His opponent encountered similar troubles and Brown’s pedaling expertise propelled him across the finish line first to claim the round win.
In a semifinal battle versus teammate Leah Pritchett, Brown wheeled his Matco Tools/Toyota down the track in 3.763 seconds, but was unable to outgun Pritchett’s 3.763 E.T.
“Overall, it was a good day. Anytime that you make it to the semifinals it was a good race. We would have loved to have won it. I feel that we’re in a good position and we could do a lot of winning in our Matco Tools/Toyota dragster this year. We just have to keep moving forward. I think we’ve got all the right people. Our time is coming. We qualified well again and made it to the semifinals.
“Our next race is at Gainesville and our mindset is to be better. If we can be better, we’ll be winning soon. We had some parts issues and some different things this weekend that we have put behind us. We need to keep tightening things up and doing what we need to do and we’ll be right where we need to be at the right time to contend for a championship.”