Qualified: No. 14 (4.397 E.T. at 185.82 MPH)
E1: 3.997 E.T. at 242.71 MPH defeated Terry McMillen 6.659 E.T. at 89.70 MPH
E2: 3.780 E.T. at 316.01 MPH defeated Clay Millican 4.145 E.T. at 222.80 MPH
E3: 5.565 E.T. at 125.00 MPH defeated by Doug Kalitta 3.794 E.T. at 319.07 MPH
Hometown favorite Antron Brown began race day at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals from the No. 14 position and facing Terry McMillen in round one of eliminations. Brown used his quick reaction time to take the initial lead and powered the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota Top Fuel dragster across the finish line in 3.997 seconds to defeat a tire-smoking McMillen. Brown drew Clay Millican as his quarterfinal opponent, and clocked a 3.780 E.T., his best of the weekend, to outrun Millican’s 4.145-second effort. In the semifinal round, it was a monster matchup between two Top Fuel powerhouse teams with Brown staging opposite Doug Kalitta. Brown was off the starting line first but started losing traction early on and Kalitta was able to drive away with the win.
“It was a learning weekend. It was a rocky start, but the more runs we get, the better we get. And that’s what we need, more laps. We have a new combination from the beginning of this year and we’re striving to get better. Like any team, the only way to get better is practice and that’s by making laps down the race track. The more runs we get, I’m very confident our team will get stronger and stronger. I’m really excited that we helped get Tony (Schumacher) back out here. We could have done better with that car, but we learned. We made some big strides this weekend and will be even better. Our main focus is to get ready for next weekend. We gained some points by going to the semis and I’m proud of my guys; they stuck together through a very busy week. It’s like the new decal we put on all the DSR cars this weekend, Stronger Together. We’re stronger when we all come together and I can’t wait ‘til next week.”
Note: The ‘Stronger Together’ decal Brown mentions refers to a sticker placed on all eight DSR cars which symbolizes Don Schumacher Racing’s unwavering stance in not tolerating racism of any kind. DSR remains dedicated in its commitment to fostering a culture of unity and inclusion.