Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 4 (3.721 E.T. at 327.43 MPH)
E1: 3.863 E.T. at 312.35 MPH defeated Cameron Ferre 3.992 E.T. at 254.47 MPH
E2: 4.064 E.T. at 304.74 MPH defeated Doug Kalitta 4.637 E.T. at 191.29 MPH
E3: 3.931 E.T. at 306.95 MPH defeated by Clay Millican 3.858 E.T. at 320.74 MPH
Antron Brown made history on Sunday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals when he became the sixth driver to capture 500 Top Fuel round wins. The No. 4 qualifier began race day with 499 Top Fuel round wins under his belt, and after defeating Cameron Ferre in the first round of eliminations, he joined Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon, Doug Kalitta, Joe Amato and Corey McClenathan on the elite list of decorated drivers who have reached that milestone.
Brown’s round one win set up a quarterfinal matchup with Kalitta, a fellow ‘500 club’ member. The four-time event champ had a slight starting line advantage over Kalitta. The veteran drivers quickly lost traction at nearly the same spot on the track and both were quick to get back on the throttle. Brown was able to get his Matco Tools machine down to the stripe first and take the win. In the semis, Brown faced Clay Millican and despite a sizeable advantage at the tree, a dropped cylinder caused him to slow and enabled Millican to drive away with the win.
“We felt really good. Our car made a good move off the starting line, we had a good 60-foot, we’ve just been having issues mowing through the clutch, and it caused us to drop a hole which slowed us down. We had a good advantage on him, but at the end of the day, it’s racing, we still have some work to do to get to where we want to be, but the main thing is, we went to the semifinals, so we have to take the positive with it. We’ve got to work on getting our clutch application under control, and once we do that, I think we’ll be able to run with any car out there.”
On earning his 500th round win:
“It’s pretty cool to have your name in the company of the drivers that have accomplished that – with Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon, Joe Amato, Doug Kalitta and Cory Mac. It doesn’t get any better than that. Just to be up there with all the people that I’ve looked up to and raced against. It feels good to be a part of that crew. But my career’s not over by a long shot. I still have a lot of fight in me.”