KENT, Wash. (July 23, 2023) – Four-time NHRA Northwest Nationals event champion Antron Brown began his weekend at Pacific Raceways eager to return to the winner’s circle for the second time in 2023 as he continues his campaign for a fourth Top Fuel title. Despite making quick and consistent runs during qualifying, Brown’s race day was cut short, ending early in the opening round of eliminations.
Brown, a six-time finalist in Seattle and owner of the Pacific Raceways track E.T. record (3.685 seconds), posted two solid laps during the weekend’s three qualifying sessions, placing seventh on the Top Fuel ladder. He drew fellow world champion and Toyota teammate Shawn Langdon as his round-one opponent.
On Sunday, Brown staged his Matco Tools ‘Test Drive’ dragster opposite Langdon, ready to begin his march through the Top Fuel field, but was forced to spend the rest of the day as a spectator when his machine went up in smoke early while Langdon made his quickest pass of the weekend to advance.
“We wanted to qualify better. We qualified seventh, but we were really looking for top three and just fell short on that,” said Brown, who raced to the win at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas earlier this season before advancing to a runner-up finish at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. last month. “We dropped a hole, and we’ve got to improve upon that.
“We’re going onto Sonoma with our heads held high and we’re going to keep working on our program. I will say, out of E1 today, we were low E.T. at 60-foot and we’re trying to press, so it was really good to see the car pick up. We’ve just got to dial it back a little bit and get it a little bit less aggressive, and once we do that, I believe we can run and beat anybody out here. So, our game plan going into Sonoma is we’re going to take it one lap at a time. We’ve got four qualifying runs, and I believe Sonoma will be a breakout weekend for us.”
Brown will depart Pacific Raceways ranked seventh in the NHRA Camping World Series Top Fuel point standings. He will look to close out the three-race Western Swing on a high note at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. next weekend, July 28 – 30, where he returns as a four-time event champ and seven-time finalist.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.781 E.T. at 317.72 MPH)
Elimination Round Results:
E1: 4.755 E.T. at 156.28 MPH defeated by Shawn Langdon 3.779 E.T. at 327.19 MPH
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Point Standings (Unofficial):