MORRISON, Colo. (July 17, 2022) – Antron Brown qualified the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster in the fourteenth seed for the NHRA Mile-High Nationals, an event notorious for its challenging track conditions given Bandimere Speedway’s unique mile-high elevation. The three-time event winner and most recent Camping World series driver to ‘sweep the Swing’ drew Leah Pruett as his first-round competitor. Brown earned a slight starting line advantage right out of the gate, but his lead was short-lived as his machine dropped a cylinder near halftrack, causing him to slow to a 4.189 E.T. while his opponent made a clean pass in the opposite lane for the win.
Brown and the Matco Tools team won’t have to wait long to avenge their first-round loss as the NHRA heads straight from Denver to Sonoma, Calif. for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, where Brown returns as a four-time event champion. Brown and his AB Motorsports team are especially looking forward to returning to their sea-level tune-up, a combination they have been working hard to perfect. While they’re disappointed with Sunday’s early exit, the team feels confident heading into Sonoma as their Denver outing helped them to identify specific areas that need extra attention.
“This race track pointed out some of the areas that we need to focus on,” said Brown, a three-time Top Fuel series champion. “We found out that we’ve been having a fuel delivery problem at the step of the throttle off the starting line. We addressed it after qualifying and got better on race day. Now we can be more aggressive with the clutch. We mowed through the clutch and dropped a hole out there a ways. We were competitive off the starting line and kept all eight cylinders lit from the start and that gives us something to work off of at Sonoma.
“The mountain is always tough, and most times, it kicks your butt. You’re either a hero or a zero up here. We found about three key areas to work on which will make us better. I’m really looking forward to getting to Sonoma in a few days. I really believe we’re going to qualify in the top half of the field where we need to be, and have a great race weekend. It’s always one of our favorite races on tour. Denver showed us a lot of different things and we’re going to learn and grow, and I’m just looking forward to getting to Nor Cal and Seattle and getting some good momentum moving forward. We have to get out of first round, but first, you have to qualify well, and that gives you more confidence on race day. It should be a fun week at Sonoma with our friends at Russian River Brewing Company on Wednesday afternoon and some wine tasting with our NHRA friends on Thursday for NHRA on FOX. I can’t wait to get to Cali.”
The AB Motorsports team departs Denver ranked 11th in the Top Fuel standings, and will compete next at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 22-24.
Qualified: No. 14 (4.069 E.T. at 302.41 MPH)
Elimination Round Results:
E1: 4.189 E.T. at 231.79 MPH defeated by Leah Pruett 3.910 E.T. at 308.50 MPH
NHRA Camping World Series Top Fuel Point Standings (Unofficial):