In an unlikely first-round match-up between multi-time NHRA Top Fuel world champions, Antron Brown came up short next to Brittany Force Sunday morning at the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Brown’s Matco ‘Tools for the Cause’ Top Fuel dragster made a representative run, but a quick flash of flame out of Brown’s engine spelled the end of his weekend in Las Vegas.
Brown, who won the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas in the spring, kicked off qualifying with a 3.768 E.T. on Friday. He followed that up with his quickest pass of the weekend, a 3.708-second pass at 329.10 MPH, to end Friday as the provisional No. 4 qualifier. He clicked it off early on Saturday’s third session after mixing up cylinders down-track, then recorded a 3.729 in the final session to get dialed in for Sunday eliminations. He ended up No. 7 on the final qualifying order.
Brown is no stranger to facing Brittany Force in eliminations, but it’s usually in the semifinals or final round, not the first round. Brown went into the race with a 27 – 14 round record against the defending world champion. He was a tick quicker than Force on the starting line, but Force took the lead after that. A fireball flashed out of Brown’s dragster as he crossed the finish line with a 3.739 E.T. at 315.34 MPH, while Force won with a 3.704 E.T.
“Tough first-round match-up today, and we ended up on the wrong side of it,” said Brown, who’s now sixth in points. “We had a bit of a mishap and when you lose on a part malfunction, it really is a big blow. But all in all, our team is doing good. We’re racing consistently. We’re going to start pressing a little harder. We’ve got nothing to lose in Pomona, so we’re going to go into the NHRA Finals and go all out and see if we can end this season with another win.”
The Nevada Nationals was the final race in a three-race campaign for the bright pink Matco ‘Tools for the Cause’ livery. Matco’s ‘Tools for the Cause’ initiative raises funds and awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), a nonprofit organization committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. Matco Tools has donated over two million dollars since the inaugural ‘Tools for the Cause’ campaign in 2012.
Brown has been a part of some magical moments at the final race of the season, and he’ll try to create some more at the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals, Nov. 10-12, at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Pomona, Calif.
Qualified: No. 7 (3.708 E.T. at 329.10 MPH)
Elimination Round Results:
E1: 3.739 E.T. at 315.34 MPH defeated by Brittany Force 3.704 E.T. at 331.04 MPH
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Point Standings (Unofficial):
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