AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals
Event 20 of 24 (St. Louis)
Countdown Event 2 of 6
World Wide Technology Raceway
Sept. 27-29, 2019
Qualified: No. 11 (3.748 E.T. at 326.32 MPH)
E1: 6.001 E.T. at 116.41 MPH defeated by Leah Pritchett 3.764 E.T. at 326.87 MPH
With five World Wide Technology Raceway victories, Antron Brown is the winningest driver in the Madison, Ill. venue’s history. He was hoping to extend his NHRA Midwest Nationals Wally trophy count to six on Sunday, but a first-round loss to teammate Leah Pritchett dashed his chances at capturing his first event triumph of the 2019 season.
The Matco Tools Toyota made three consistent runs during qualifying, but Brown’s best run of 3.748 seconds wasn’t quick enough to crack into the top half of the field, setting up an intramural battle with his stablemate to start race day. The three-time Top Fuel world champion had the starting line advantage but was up in smoke before the 300-foot mark, giving up the win to Pritchett who made a clean pass.
“That was not the way we wanted things to go. We felt like we had a concrete game plan going into today. We were right there at the right spot, and these rounds we’re losing are so crucial right now. In hindsight, we’re learning things as we do it. You never learn anything unless you’re struggling – and we’re struggling right now. We have Charlotte coming up. We’ll go back and do our homework and then come out and be ready. This race is over. We just have to hope we don’t lose too much ground on the people in front of us. A few key players went out in the first round as well, so that will help us a little bit. But we just can’t depend on people losing first round. We have to go rounds and just keep pushing hard and try to get back in the hunt. We have four races left after this, and we’re going to need to be pretty much flawless at each of the last four to be where we want to be – and that’s the top spot.”