Qualified: No. 9 (3.821 E.T. at 323.19 MPH)
E1: 3.771 E.T. at 323.89 MPH defeated Clay Millican 3.779 E.T. at 320.89 MPH
E2: 3.888 E.T. at 299.33 MPH defeated by Brittany Force 3.843 E.T. at 314.83 MPH
Former Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Antron Brown has tasted Atlanta Dragway victory six times over the course of his professional NHRA career, four of them coming from behind the wheel of a Top Fuel dragster.
Brown faced Clay Millican in the first round on Sunday morning as he began his quest for a seventh Southern Nationals win. The three-time Top Fuel world champion was first off of the starting line and navigated the Tools for the Cause dragster to a session-best 3.771-second pass, earning a bid to round two.
In the quarterfinals, Brown had a sizable starting line advantage and held the lead until around 800 feet when he hit oil on the track and slowed to a 3.888, allowing Brittany Force to chase him down and take the win with her 3.843 E.T. Despite the late troubles, Brown still ran the third-quickest pass of the session, falling by 0.0143 seconds or about six feet.
“I’m proud of our Matco boys. This Tools for the Cause team came out really thinking this was our race day. With the exception of one session, qualifying went well and we picked up four bonus points.
“It’s a bummer when after you run you see the NHRA Safety Safari team cleaning up oil on the track, and you know it didn’t come from your race car. It must’ve come from one of the cars that ran before us. When I got to that point on the track, it barely spun the tires and it was enough to slow us down. Our car was on an 81 run. That all being said, the good news is we feel confident in our car, our team has turned a corner, and we’re looking forward to going to Virginia. When the tracks get hot, I know that we can run with anybody and having run low E.T. of E1, and likely low of E2, I feel really confident and looking forward to some great things for this Matco team.”