Qualified: No. 7 (3.747 E.T. at 327.19 MPH)
E1: 3.752 E.T. at 325.61 MPH defeated T.J. Zizzo 3.793 E.T. at 320.81 MPH
E2: 4.088 E.T. at 246.30 MPH defeated by Steve Torrence 3.750 E.T. at 325.77 MPH
Starting from the top half of the field for the third consecutive event, hometown racer Antron Brown kicked off race day with a round-one matchup against T.J. Zizzo. Brown used a starting line advantage coupled with a solid 3.752 E.T. to extend his round win record to 7-2 over Zizzo and advance to the quarterfinals.
During his E2 showdown with longtime pal Steve Torrence, Brown once again was first out of the gate and carried the lead in his Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology Toyota until just before the 660-foot cones when he started to haze the tires. Torrence was able to chase him down and drive away with the round win, ending Brown’s chances for a fourth U.S. Nationals trophy.
“It wasn’t the U.S. Nationals race day that we wanted. We made three really good consistent runs. We made three of five runs in the mid-3.70s. This Matco Tools team is on the mend. We really felt that was our race in the second round against ‘SteveO’ (Torrence). We got too aggressive. The car was trying to run way too fast, like a high .60. We have five races left and we’re going to hit it hard. We have to attack these five. We’ll keep chasing and get ready for Gainesville. We’re close.”