POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2022) – Three-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown went into race day Sunday at the NHRA Finals as a longshot for the 2022 NHRA Camping World Series championship, but that didn’t stop Brown and the Matco Tools team from finishing off AB Motorsports’ first season with an exclamation mark. The veteran driver and rookie team owner raced to a runner-up finish, taking runner-up in the championship points standings as well.
Starting the weekend fourth in points, Brown qualified No. 7 with a 3.696-second pass down the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, setting up a first-round matchup with technical alliance teammate and championship contender Justin Ashley. Brown powered past Ashley with a 3.704-second pass before winning the second round over Ron August Jr. The starting-line-savvy driver then used a holeshot advantage and a 3.725 E.T. to eliminate Josh Hart, moving up to second in points in the process. Brown and co-crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald stepped up for the final round with their quickest pass of the day, but their 3.701 E.T. at 320.74-mph wasn’t enough to hold off Austin Prock and his 3.641-second pass.
Brown, who was also the runner-up at the 2021 NHRA Finals, started the 2022 season as a first-year team owner with his AB Motorsports operation. The newly formed team didn’t hit their stride until late in the NHRA regular season, picking up their first win of the year in Topeka, Kans., before winning again two races later at the prestigious U.S. Nationals to enter the NHRA Countdown to the Championship sixth in points. A third win followed at the Carolina Nationals near Charlotte, with Sunday’s runner-up finish marking the team’s fourth final-round appearance of the season.
“I’m honored and proud of all the guys and gals on the team here at AB Motorsports,” said Brown, who also had four semifinal finishes. “There was so much hard work and many downs and a lotta ups too, but to see how we’ve grown as a group and team is truly amazing. It’s a true blessing just to be a part of all of this. To finish second, for this team, is just awesome. The offseason gives us something to look forward to in ’23 and work harder and find a little bit more in this Matco dragster and compete at a higher level and race for that championship. I feel very blessed.”
No. 2 ranked Brown and his Matco Tools team will celebrate their 2022 season accomplishments at the NHRA Awards Banquet on Monday evening.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.696 E.T. at 329.26 MPH)
Elimination Round Results:
E1: 3.704 E.T. at 333.82 MPH defeated Justin Ashley 4.070 E.T. at 290.01 MPH
E2: 3.805 E.T. at 318.99 MPH defeated Ron August 3.890 E.T. at 315.56 MPH
E3: 3.725 E.T. at 324.44 MPH defeated Josh Hart 3.717 E.T. at 331.20 MPH
E4: 3.701 E.T. at 320.74 MPH defeated by Austin Prock 3.641 E.T. at 336.23 MPH
NHRA Camping World Series Top Fuel Point Standings (unofficial):