Qualified: No. 8 (3.808 E.T. at 287.05 MPH)
E1: 3.827 E.T. at 313.15 MPH defeated Justin Ashley 3.899 E.T. at 268.22 MPH; Bye
E2: 3.761 E.T. at 316.23 MPH defeated Brittany Force 3.815 E.T. at 315.27 MPH, Billy Torrence (no time)
E3: 4.728 E.T. at 157.83 MPH defeated by Steve Torrence 3.823 E.T. at 321.73 MPH, Doug Kalitta 3.866 E.T. at 270.75 MPH
A five-time winner at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Antron Brown was looking to extend his track win count by picking up a second consecutive Vegas triumph on Sunday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. In his 440th start, Brown began race day from the No. 8 qualifying position and faced Brittany Force and Justin Ashley in round one. Brown made a clean pass straight down the groove, defeating Ashley to advance to round two where he navigated the Matco Tools Toyota to its best run of the weekend and quickest of his quad, clocking a 3.761 E.T. at 316.23 MPH. The final round found Brown facing reigning world champ Steve Torrence and veteran racers Doug Kalitta and Clay Millican. Brown was out of the gate first for the second time in a row, but his holeshot advantage was short-lived, as he started losing traction early into the run, crossing the finish line fourth. His Vegas outing will be recorded as a semifinal finish.
“We overcame a lot of obstacles this weekend by keeping our heads down and just working with it. We certainly didn’t qualify where we wanted to at No. 8, but we made it to the final round and that’s always the end result we want. That was our race. We were out in front and just lost traction. We had low E.T. of the semifinals and we backed it off, but just not enough. Any time you go to the final round and get semifinal round points, that’s something. We almost got the icing on the cake, now we just need to add the cherry on top. We’ll keep working for Atlanta. We’re working in the right direction and getting better. I’m proud of the guys and the two new guys with Adem (Cave) and John (Gilbert) and it’s been a pleasure to welcome them to the Matco family. We’re starting to jell and we’ll grow and we’ll be dangerous come the Countdown this fall.”