Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals
presented by Minties
Event 10 of 24 (Topeka)
Heartland Motorsports Park
June 7-9, 2019
DSR Topeka Elimination Highlights:
Antron Brown powered to the Top Fuel semifinal round for the third consecutive event
Qualified: No. 4 (3.798 E.T. at 292.33 MPH)
E1: 3.740 E.T. at 329.58 MPH defeated Scott Palmer 3.825 E.T. at 324.20 MPH
E2: 3.743 E.T. at 327.98 MPH defeated Doug Kalitta 3.773 E.T. at 326.16 MPH
E3: 5.603 E.T. at 128.22 MPH defeated by Steve Torrence 3.750 E.T. at 328.94 MPH
Antron Brown started race day seeded fourth and faced Scott Palmer as he began his campaign for a second Heartland Motorsports Park Top Fuel victory. Brown was first on the throttle and navigated the Matco Tools Toyota to its best run of the weekend (3.740 seconds) to outpace Palmer’s 3.825 E.T.
In the quarterfinals, he lined up opposite fellow Top Fuel heavy-hitter, Doug Kalitta. Once again, Brown had the starting line advantage and never trailed, posting another 3.74-second pass to take the win over Kalitta and set up a semifinal match versus Steve Torrence.
Brown and Torrence were nearly even leaving the starting line, but the Matco machine was up in smoke early, and for the third consecutive event, Torrence was successful in thwarting Brown’s efforts to claim his first Top Fuel Wally trophy of the year. Brown’s semifinal appearance, his third in three races, helped to propel him up to fourth in the Top Fuel standings.
“We’re definitely making gains, but we’ve been so close. We’re learning as we’re going, though. Our Matco Tools Toyota dragster is running really, really good. I’m starting to get back on my game on the starting line, too. The more laps you get, the better you get. With that said, we just need to back it off a little more. We’re looking good going into Bristol. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing, and maybe we can pop a win off there. I thought this was going to be the race where we got a win, but really I thought that over each of the last three races. We are really close to it. We’ll get after it and see what we can do in Bristol. You want to be in the top three when the Countdown starts. It really doesn’t matter how many points you have, but it’s nice to get those race wins. We definitely want to get to the winner’s circle, but our main focus is just to keep going rounds, and it will pay off in the end. The goal is to be right and tight for when the Countdown starts after Indy, where we have to put together six great races together, and I think we’re on the right track to do that.”