Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brown Seeks Fifth Straight Win at Gateway

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brown Seeks Fifth Straight Win at Gateway

Article excerpt

From St. Charles to Alton to Wood River, Antron Brown's travels have provided an extensive look at the St. Louis region in recent days, with the main stop coming at Gateway Motorsports Park.

When the NHRA Top Fuel leader showed up at a Wal-Mart to sign autographs Thursday night, he was surprised to see a line of fans that was longer than he has come to expect.

Brown is a significant entity anywhere in the NHRA world. When he's in St. Louis for the Midwest Nationals his profile seems to expand each time he adds a victory at the track. The resident of Indianapolis has won the last four Midwest Nationals and five of the last six, a run of success that is beyond his ability to explain.

"I love the atmosphere of the track," Brown said, searching for some type of reasoning for the streak. "The setting is kind of at ease, almost like a home race for us. I hop in my pickup and drive over. It's a home away from home for sure. When I showed up at Walmart, they had a line all the way down the middle of the store. Sometimes there might be 20 people waiting. That's the atmosphere we get when we come into this area."

Brown has dominated at Gateway since the track re-opened in 2012, sweeping 16 head-to-head races in the elimination round with amazing consistency. During the same stretch, the Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle divisions have been won by four different drivers. Erica Enders in Pro Stock is the only other driver with more than one win (two) at Gateway since 2012.

In 2012 and 2015, those wins for Brown helped him on the way to Top Fuel season championships. He entered the weekend atop the standings again but struggled on the first day of qualifying. Brown emerged from his two runs Friday at No. 12 and in need of improvements Saturday to have a chance for another Gateway win.

Brown is coming off a win in the Carolina Nationals, which he hopes bodes well for his team entering a race he is now expected to win.

"When we come here, it's that time of year when we're really focused," he said. …

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