Brown Carries Hot Hand To Atlanta

Antron Brown celebrates his 2013 NHRA Top Fuel victory at Atlanta Dragway. (NHRA Photo)
Antron Brown celebrates his 2013 NHRA Top Fuel victory at Atlanta Dragway. (NHRA Photo)
Antron Brown celebrates his 2013 NHRA Top Fuel victory at Atlanta Dragway. (NHRA Photo)

COMMERCE, Ga. – Athletes often talk about being in the zone, a feeling where nothing can go wrong.

It’s a feeling Top Fuel standout Antron Brown can relate to at the moment, and the 2012 world champion is taking full advantage of a hot streak that has impressed everyone in the motorsports world.

Brown, who drives the 8,000-horsepower Matco Tools dragster, has won two straight races in the ultra-competitive Top Fuel ranks and has advanced to the finals in four of the past five events. It makes him the points leader and hottest driver in the class heading into this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, and very much in the zone.

“It feels good that we’re in stride right now,” Brown said. “Going into the race you go with confidence when your car’s running good and how the team is operating. One thing I really love about our team is that it doesn’t matter what we did before our first qualifying run, it matters how we end up in qualifying. It matters how much we grew with each run. We’ll have problems at every race, but we’ll grow from it. We get our car into a zone that it’s ready to race on Sunday.”

Brown (Top Fuel), Johnny Gray (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event.

Heading to Atlanta Dragway for the seventh of 24 races during the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is also ideal for Brown when it comes to keeping this hot streak going. He is the defending event winner at the track and has achieved considerable success at the facility, dating back to his Pro Stock Motorcycle cycle days. In all, Brown has five victories in six final round appearances in Atlanta, with three of those victories coming in Top Fuel (2013, 2011, 2008).

“It’s always been a good race track for me,” Brown said. “I distinctly remember winning there on the U.S. Army bike when I beat Andrew Hines in the final (in 2006). I remember getting my second Top Fuel Wally when I beat Tony Schumacher on a holeshot (in 2008). That was a huge deal because that was the era when no one was beating Tony.”

As for what makes Atlanta Dragway special, Brown talked about the fan-friendly atmosphere the track provides, as well the memories it brings up of Brown’s early racing days.

“It reminds me of one of the old school race tracks that I grew up on around New Jersey,” Brown said. “When you go there it’s the history and environment that brings you back to when you were a little kid. The stands are really close to the drag race and the old-school drag racers come there. It makes me feel like where it all started for me and I just think about going fast and going faster.”