Qualified: No. 6 (3.790 E.T. at 317.87 MPH)
E1: 3.767 E.T. at 328.14 MPH defeated Doug Kalitta 3.855 E.T. at 312.35 MPH
E2: 3.783 E.T. at 323.97 MPH defeated Billy Torrence 3.793 E.T. at 323.74 MPH
E3: 3.765 E.T. at 326.32 MPH defeated by Brittany Force 3.696 E.T. at 326.08 MPH
Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/Toyota Top Fuel team delivered a solid performance at the NHRA Norwalk Nationals, advancing to the semifinals on Matco’s home turf. For the sixth consecutive event, Brown started race day from the ‘quick half’ of the field. After qualifying sixth, the 2014 event champion faced fellow racing veteran and championship contender Doug Kalitta in the first pairing during round one of race day. Crew chief Brian Corradi, a native Ohioan, tuned the Matco machine to a 3.767, which held up to be low E.T. of the round, setting off the very first win light of race day at his hometown event. Against his round two opponent, Brown had the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win, clocking a 3.783 E.T. to Billy Torrence’s 3.793-second pass. During Brown’s semifinal appearance, his fifth in seven events, he had the holeshot advantage once again, but his respectable 3.765 was no match for Brittany Force’s track record-setting 3.696, ending Brown’s day at the semis.
“We feel really good about where we’re at right now. We just have to keep working on what we’re doing. We’re moving forward and making this program better for our Matco Tools car. We knew ‘Grubby’ (David Grubnic) was going to throw down, but we didn’t think he was going to throw down that hard, and we took the L in the semis. We will hold our heads up and get ready for Denver in a few weeks and work harder to make this program better up to the U.S. Nationals in Indy. We know that’s where we need to turn the corner and run those high 60s and low 70s to get the job done in the Countdown this fall. It was a good weekend at Matco’s home track and a decent points day.”