Monday, 22 August 2011 21:48
BRAINERD, Minn., August 21, 2011 – Antron Brown, aboard the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, picked up his fourth Wally of the season with today’s final-round victory over Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher at the 30th-annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals here at Brainerd International Raceway.
Today’s fourth win in five 2011 final-round appearances was unique coming as part of the first all-DSR nitro final round in the multi-car organization’s 13-year history (Johnny Gray defeated Ron Capps for the Funny Car trophy). It was also the third time this season Brown has defeated Schumacher in a final round.
“Racing Tony and the U.S. Army team means you are racing the best,” he said. “And to win in the NHRA, you have to beat the best, whether it’s my teammates like Tony and Spencer (Massey) or the other Top Fuel cars.
“Mark and Brian (Oswald and Corradi, co-crew chiefs) and all my Matco guys gave me an incredible race car today like they’ve done all year. It was a great weekend and even though we wanted to come out of the number-one spot, the guys just put their heads down, got to work and gave me the car I needed!”
First up today for number-five qualifier Brown was Terry McMillen, who he dispatched with a 3.883-second lap at 318.24 miles per hour. He topped Doug Kalitta in round two with a 3.850 run at 317.64 and Del Worsham in a tight semifinal match 3.842 at 317.72 versus 3.881 at 300.06.
Against Schumacher, who smoked his tires early in the run, the Matco car posted a 3.844 lap at 319.22, completing a solid day of racing.
“This Matco team and its hot rod got it done when it counted,” said Brown, who recorded his first Top Fuel victory at BIR where he had won four times on a Pro Stock Motorcycle. “I like coming to Brainerd, it’s a relaxing place to race and obviously, I’ve had success here.”
The win propelled the 35-year-old New Jersey native into second place of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel standings with one race left in the regular season before the start of the Countdown to the championship (the top-10 drivers at the conclusion of the Labor Day weekend U.S Nationals in Indianapolis make the playoffs).
“The closer to the top spot at the beginning of the Countdown, the better your chances are for a championship,” explained Brown. “The top driver gets a 30-point cushion and we’d like to keep our deficit at that number by finishing in second place after the Indy race.”
Worsham leads Brown, Massey, Schumacher and Larry Dixon in the standings heading into the Indianapolis race.
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