Two weeks after having powered to his first victory of the 2023 NHRA season during the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, Antron Brown was looking to ‘sweep the four-wides’ at the series’ second of two four-lane events, but his bid for a fourth four-wide victory was cut short after suffering a loss of traction during the first round of eliminations on Sunday afternoon.
Brown’s Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster looked solid during qualifying at zMAX Dragway, recording three clean passes out of four attempts. His 3.711-second run clocked during the event’s third qualifying session ensured him a spot in the top half of the Top Fuel ladder. Starting race day from the No. 8 seed, Brown drew Brittany Force, Doug Foley, and Clay Millican as his first-round competition. Brown scored the holeshot advantage over Force and Foley, but after pulling the tires loose early, he was forced to abort the run while Force and Foley made clean runs to advance into the next round.
“This certainly wasn’t the race day we were looking for here at Charlotte, coming off the win at Vegas two weeks ago and here last fall, but it just wasn’t meant to be today,” said Brown, who raced to victory during the 2022 NHRA Carolina Nationals last September to bring his zMAX Dragway win tally up to six triumphs at the Concord, N.C. facility.
“This zMax track was tough to tame after the rain overnight and we just had too much power in that first round,” added Brown, referring to the on-and-off rain that occurred throughout the race weekend. “We’ll learn from this and lick our wounds and get ready for Joliet (Ill.) in a few weeks. We’re excited to get back to Route 66 (Raceway) and the Chicagoland area for the first time in a few years. That’s a great market for Matco Tools and FVP and Factory Motor Parts. It’s also the home track for Fire Department Coffee, and we want to put on a good show for all of our partners. And, we get to race in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday for the first time. It’s a long season; we’ll regroup and hit it hard at Joliet.”
Brown and his No. 6 ranked AB Motorsports team will return to the team’s headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind. for two weeks to prepare for the series’ next event, the Route 66 NHRA Nationals, May 19-21.
Qualified: No. 8 (3.711 E.T. at 330.47 MPH)
Elimination Round Results:
E1: 6.346 E.T. at 103.86 MPH defeated by Brittany Force 3.694 E.T. at 334.82 MPH, Doug Foley 3.779 E.T. at 296.76 MPH
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Point Standings (Unofficial):