Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brown Adds to Gateway Streak with NHRA Top Fuel Victory

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brown Adds to Gateway Streak with NHRA Top Fuel Victory

Article excerpt

Everything that could have gone right for Antron Brown, seemingly did so Sunday as he pursued a fourth consecutive NHRA Top Fuel victory at Gateway Motorsports Park.

First, he disposed of Shawn Langdon in the quarterfinals after winning their matchup in last year's final round at the Midwest Nationals. Then Tony Schumacher, who is second in the points standings, was defeated in a major upset, allowing Brown to avoid a meeting with the eight-time Top Fuel champion.

Maybe most important was an early loss by Doug Kalitta, the only driver who has ever beat Brown at Gateway in a Top Fuel matchup.

"I never even think about that," Brown said. "You never worry about who's done what. People were like, 'Oh, you've won three years in a row here. You're going to win.' No, I don't worry about the past."

Funny thing, though: Brown was quick to recall that Kalitta had beaten him not once, but twice at Gateway. Their only chance to meet Sunday was in the final.

The competition might not have mattered on this day because Brown was sharp in winning his second event in the Countdown to the Championship in as many events.

Brown continued to roll through his competition as he beat Dave Connolly in the final, running at 3.721 seconds and 325.92 mph for his fifth win at the track in his last six trips. It was his sixth victory of the season, a feat he has accomplished five times in the last seven years.

Since making the move to Top Fuel from Pro Stock Motorcycles in 2008, Brown's losses at Gateway have come in the second round to Kalitta in 2008 and 2010. He hasn't lost since, building a 16-round win streak. He never won an event at Gateway in his 11 years on the motorcycles.

Brown's runs Sunday were a model of consistency as he covered 1,000 feet in 3.767, 3.727, 3.733 and 3.721 seconds. His speeds ranged from 322.19 mph to 325.92 mph.

"When we're out there it's very difficult" to be that consistent, he said. "People say, just put on the same run again. Well, if that clutch goes in five-thousandths (of an inch) tighter the thickness of one of your hairs the car runs different. …

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