Monday, 18 July 2011 16:53
MORRSON, COLO., July 18, 2011 – The Western Swing challenges every nitro driver, but Antron Brown is one of five who have swept the three-race hurdle and the Matco Tools Top Fuel pilot hopes to find more western gold as he begins the 2011 swing this weekend in the 32nd-annual MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals here at Bandimere Speedway.
The former Pro Stock Motorcycle driver, Brown has three wins – all during his 2009 sweep – in 10 final rounds on the swing, including two Top Fuel runner-up finishes in 2008 (Denver) and 2010 (Sonoma), as well as five in PSM.
“I may be a Jersey boy,” said the Trenton-area native. “But I love going out West. I’ve done really well at those tracks, first on my bike and then in the Matco Tools dragster. I know a lot of teams struggle when they have to be away from the shop for so long, but Mark (Oswald) and Brian (Corradi, co-crew chiefs) and the entire bunch of guys just get on with it and do their jobs.
“But that’s what they do every weekend and the results are there.”
The Don Schumacher Racing driver’s 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season includes two victories (Las Vegas and Atlanta) and a solid fourth place in the Top Fuel standings (63 points, or little more than three-race-round wins, out of second and 45 points ahead of the number-five driver).
“We’re having a good year, but we can do better,” said the 35-year-old driver. “We’re looking to repeat the kind of success we’ve had before out West. I’m not saying we’ll sweep the swing again, hey, it’s only been done five times, but I think we can do well and pick up the momentum you need going into the Countdown (to 1 post-regular-season playoffs).”
The crew chiefs not only mastered the Swing in 2009, Brown’s second season of Top Fuel competition, but propelled the hot rod to a pair of Bandimere Speedway records: 3.862 seconds elapsed time and 318.39 miles per hour.
“The altitude makes tuning for Denver tough on every crew chief, but obviously Mark and Brian are up to the challenge,” added Brown. “Let’s just hope it continues in 2011, especially since the 2010 visit (a second-round loss after qualifying number one) ended a little soon for our liking.”
Friday, July 22 – Full Throttle Series nitro qualifying 7:30 and 10 p.m. ET
Saturday, July 23 – Full Throttle Series nitro qualifying 4:30 and 7 p.m. ET
Sunday, July 24 – Pre-race ceremonies 10a.m.; Full Throttle Series eliminations begin at noon ET.
Saturday, July 23 – ESPN2/ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights 7 – 9 p.m. ET
Sunday, July 24 – ESPN2/ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage 7 - 10 p.m. ET
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