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Defending Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Winner Antron Brown Out in Round 1

Less than 24 hours after Antron Brown won his first Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge of the season, the defending Top Fuel winner of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas was looking to go two-for-two on the weekend in Sunday eliminations at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Brown finished third in his first-round quad, though, sending the third-year team owner and his Matco Tools team back to the drawing board for the upcoming Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte.
 
Brown and his AB Motorsports team led by co-crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald started building momentum in the second qualifying session on Friday when the Matco Tools dragster recorded the second-quickest pass of the session, a 3.803-second E.T., to collect two bonus points. In the third session, which also counted as the first round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, he was the quickest of his quad to finish ahead of the other three drivers. Brown saved his best pass for the last session and final round of the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, a 3.792 E.T. at 330.72 MPH, to get the win, the $10,000 prize, and three championship bonus points. He also solidified the No. 6 spot in qualifying.
 
The 45th Anniversary Matco Tools Toyota machine was consistent in Sunday’s opening round of eliminations. Brown was the quickest-reacting driver in his quad, but his 3.807 E.T. at 315.42 MPH put him third behind Clay Millican and Tony Stewart’s identical 3.773-second efforts.
 
“We came in yesterday and had a great day in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge,” said Brown, who’s reached the final quad at the Four-Wide Nationals in Vegas four times. “We won that, then came out this morning and we just dropped a cylinder 200 feet out. We lost a really close drag race by running a 3.80 flat on seven cylinders. So, we’re going to lick our wounds. We’re going to work on our package. It’s going to keep getting better, and we’re going to take it to the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte and come in there blazing. That’s the game plan. We’re very, very focused, but it’s a little upsetting. It knocked us down a little bit, but we’ll be back up on our toes for the next one.”
 
No. 8 ranked Brown and the AB Motorsports team will return to their home base in Pittsboro, Ind., to prepare for the Four-Wide Nationals, April 26-28, at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

This story was originally published on April 15, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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