After nearly completing the first round of Top Fuel eliminations on Sunday, persistent rain showers forced the NHRA to postpone the balance of the event to Monday, May 24.
- In Top Fuel, Antron Brown maintained his No. 2 ranking by advancing to the quarterfinals
Qualified: No. 3 (3.749 E.T. at 325.22 MPH)
E1: 4.142 E.T. at 207.98 MPH defeated Lee Callaway 10.054 E.T. at 90.28 MPH
E2: 5.889 E.T. at 116.72 MPH defeated by Doug Kalitta 3.778 E.T. at 291.57 MPH
Aboard Matco’s ‘Tools for the Cause’/Toyota Top Fuel dragster, Antron Brown powered to the third-quickest pass during the sole qualifying session at the NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil to earn a bonus point and draw Lee Callaway in the first round of eliminations on Sunday morning. Brown had the starting line advantage and while dropped cylinders caused him to slow at the top end, he easily defeated Callaway who was up in smoke right at the step of the throttle. The quarterfinals, which were delayed until Monday, featured a heavy-hitter match-up with Brown squaring off against Doug Kalitta for the 62nd time in their career. The veterans were nearly even on the tree, but Brown’s machine lost traction before the 300-foot mark while Kalitta made a clean pass for the win. His solid qualifying performance coupled with a quarterfinal finish allowed Brown to depart Houston Raceway Park maintaining his No. 2 ranking in the point standings.
“Houston started out well with a good qualifying pass. We made it to E2 but that’s definitely not the round we wanted to go out in. The thing is, we’re learning. We were pressing. The car picked up and it’s going in the right direction. We got out of here with this crazy weather this weekend, and we made some gains and we learned. Our Matco Tools/Toyota team is really ready for Epping. We’re ready to race. It’s too bad we have a couple of weeks in between, but we’re about to go on a tear with a lot of back-to-back races this summer in July and August, and that’s the time we have to get after it. We need to get after the Torrence team. We need to start making some ground before the Countdown and that’s our goal at these upcoming races.”