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Keeping Pace

Brown and Matco Tools team look to get back on track

Last year at the O’Reilly Fall Nationals, Antron Brown raced his Matco Tools dragster to the No. 10 qualifying position with a lap of 3.897 seconds at 309.06 mph on his first qualifying pass.

Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

Dallas, Texas-Last week at the second running of the Charlotte NHRA race, Antron Brown qualified the Matco Tools car second at 3.847 seconds at 317.87 mph. It was the second time he qualified in the No. 2 position this season (Las Vegas 1). Brown’s Matco Tools car smoked the tires in the opening round as the 23-time NHRA winner fell to Terry McMillen, 5.223 to 6.849. It was just Brown’s second first round loss of the season. The Matco Tools team earned top speed of the meet honors for the 11th time in 19 races this season.

“We had a malfunction that bit us in the first round at Charlotte,” said crew chief Brian Corradi. “The way things played out, we didn’t get hurt too bad. Our Matco team does a great job and the car has been running well. I don’t see any reason why we can’t get back on track this weekend at Dallas. We just need to go out and race and have fun and start going some rounds again. There’s no reason we can’t win this championship and we need to take it one round at a time just like we have all season long.”

Last year at the O’Reilly Fall Nationals, Brown raced his Matco Tools dragster to the No. 10 qualifying position with a lap of 3.897 seconds at 309.06 mph on his first qualifying pass. It was just the third time that he qualified in the bottom half of the 16-car field last year. He raced to a second-round finish before falling to Brandon Bernstein, 3.965 to 4.015. Brown won his first career NHRA race at Texas Motorplex in 1999, his second season on the NHRA circuit. He defeated cousin-in-law and three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey in the final round to score his first career victory. Brown won three races in four final rounds in 1999 and has 16 career Pro Stock Motorcycle wins.

“I’m thrilled to get to Dallas,: said Brown. “It’s time to get the MAR Matco Tools dragster back on track. We’re going to have a big cheering section from all our Matco Tools distributors and customers in Dallas and we need to get it rolling again. Our Matco Tools car is running strong, but we’ve just hit a few bumps in the first round at Indy and Charlotte. That’s behind us and we’re positive and we’re ready to get back to another final round. We had the quickest time in the four-lane race at Charlotte and tested Monday after the race. I know our team will bounce back and have a good race at the (Texas) Motorplex.”

This season, Brown has five wins in eight final round appearances, along with seven poles, all category-bests. In July, Brown made NHRA history becoming just the seventh professional driver to sweep the grueling Western Swing (Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.). Brown also has clocked the two fastest runs in 1,000-foot racing at 319.75 (Bristol) and 319.22 mph (Indianapolis). He is the only driver to surpass 319 mph at 1,000-feet. He has an average qualifying position of 6.5 in four races at Texas Motorplex and an average qualifying position of 3.37 in 19 races this season. Brown has not ranked lower than second in the standings all season long. He trails Cory McClenathan by 10 points entering the O’Reilly Super Start Fall Nationals.

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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

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