ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11, 2017) - Antron Brown enjoyed visiting his favorite restaurants during the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at Englishtown, N.J.
But nothing would have tasted better than a victory in the finals round Sunday at the track where he first began to race dirt bikes that is about 30 miles from his hometown of Chesterfield, N.J., and 45 miles south of New York City.
His Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason sent Brown to third straight final round during which he has posted a record of 10-2 with one of his two event titles this year.
In the Top Fuel final, the three-time and reigning world champion lost a close race in the final round to Steve Torrence but was able to take over the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points lead from Don Schumacher Racing teammate Leah Pritchett.
Antron Brown started from the No. 1 position with a track record qualifying time of 3.713 seconds then earned a second round bye due to a short 14-car field when he won in the first round.
"We had a great weekend coming home to Englishtown," said Brown. "We qualified No. 1 and then we had a great E.T. in the first lap and then we ran low E.T. of the semifinals. Going into the finals, we just put it in 'rinse and repeat.'
"We knew we had a great car and it was a bummer to not win. We dropped a hole at the step of the throttle. That's what happens when you're running these types of conditions. We learned a lot that we can apply for future races in the heat.
"We're heading in the right direction and we're improving every weekend. So we'll just keep doing what we're doing and let the results speak for themselves."
DSR TOP FUEL DRAGSTERS
Event winner: Steve Torrence, CAPCO Contractors
No. 1 qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.713 sec.-track record, 329.42 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster
Crew chiefs: Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald; Assistant: Brad Mason
QUALIFIED: No. 1
First round: Blake Alexander
First round: BROWN (3.783 sec., 323.12) def. Blake Alexander (3.992, 289.32)
Second round: BROWN (6.622, 103.10), bye run
Semifinals: BROWN (3.789, 324.98) def. Brittany Force (3.932, 279.09)
Final: Steve Torrence (3.857, 320.28) def. BROWN (3.932, 306.74)
FRIDAY: 3.709 sec., 324.67 mph, (Session 1); 3.713, 329.42, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.535, 170.26, (Session 3); 3.783, 322.88, (Session 4)
Best time, speed: 3.667 (2017, Phoenix); 333.16 mph (2017, Topeka)
Last event (June 2-4, Epping, N.H.): Qualified No. 4, lost in championship round to Brittany Force
A year ago at Englishtown: Qualified No. 2, lost in second round to Tony Schumacher
Career at Englishtown: Wins 3 (TF-2015/PSM-2002, 2005), Runner-ups 3 (2009, 2010, 2017),
Poles 5 (TF-2008, 2015, 2017/PSM-2001, 2005)
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Official after Englishtown, N.J.; 10th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. ANTRON BROWN (2) 878 -----
2. Steve Torrence (3) 871 -7
3. LEAH PRITCHETT (3) 842 -36
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 766 -102
5. Doug Kalitta 648 -230
6. Brittany Force (1) 609 -269
7. Clay Millican 520 -358
8. Troy Coughlin Jr. 412 -466
9. Terry McMillen 392 -486