Brown Makes Necessary Runs To Earn Crossover Top Fuel License

Antron Brown made the necessary runs in his Matco Tools dragster to earn his crossover Top Fuel license Saturday afternoon at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix.

The 16-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle winner made two consistent 4.5-second passes on Saturday at the Phoenix-area drag strip to fulfill the requirements necessary to compete in the Top Fuel category. On his opening effort, Brown traversed the right lane at F.I.R. in 4.570 seconds at 292.58 mph, and on his final pass of the day, he clocked a run of 4.582 at 296.89 in the left lane.

?I am happy and ecstatic,? Brown said. ?I feel like a giddy 16-year-old who just got their driver’s license. I’m getting a lot more confident in myself in understanding what’s happening all the way down the race track. I know what to expect and my confidence level has really boosted.

?I feel relieved because there’s a lot riding on me. We have such an all star crew starting with Lee Beard and my entire crew. They’re doing a phenomenal job. I’m going to do my job to step up and do the best I can because I know we have a championship-caliber car and crew.?

With the Matco team’s primary goal accomplished, Beard and crew will continue to improve the performance of the Matco Tools dragster while getting Brown acclimated in his 330-mph rail. The team may debut a new 2008 Brad Hadman chassis early next week to make some test laps on the new car. The new Hadman car features the larger diameter frame rail tubing that NHRA has mandated in 2008.

?We weren’t exactly sure where we were at horsepower-wise with this new 90-percent rule on Friday,? Beard said. ?The thing had numbers good enough to run in the high 4.40s. We didn’t feel that we needed to push the car that hard to get Antron (Brown) his license. We’re taking things one step at a time and the first step was to get his license. Now we’re going to start working on the performance of the car.?

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