Brown makes Top Fuel transition look easy by ProQuest


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									Brown makes Top Fuel transition look easy
   naturally gifted athlete     excelled in track-and-
Athe more successful Pro whobefore becoming one
   field and motocross events
                            Stock Motorcycle racers
                                                         Drag Racing School in Gainesville. “Then as the
                                                         year went on and we started to have some
                                                         success, my expectations started to change.
                                                                                                               and he was unhappy about it, but he never raised
                                                                                                               his voice at me. With these cars, you have to be
                                                                                                               on your toes all the time because you never know
of the last decade, Antron Brown was expected to         Honestly, I knew coming into the year that we         when they’re going to shake or smoke the tires.
succeed when he made the                                                      had a team that was capable      Sometimes, they will catch you off guard if you’re
bold move to Top Fuel this                                                    of winning some rounds and       not careful. Lee knows that I am not hardheaded
season; however, few could                                                    finishing in the top five, but   and that I’m eager to learn. We also don’t have a
have predicted that he’d                                                      I just didn’t think I’d win      lot of big egos on this team, so that helps.”
accomplish so much so soon.                                                   right off the bat.”                 Learning to drive a 300-mph dragster proved to
Although Brown was joining                                                       Brown lost in the first       be fairly easy for Brown, and he also managed to
David Powers’ Matco Tools                                                     round just four times in 24      quickly adapt to running all 24 NHRA POWERade
team with highly regarded                                                     events, was never ranked         Drag Racing Series events. By comparison, the
crew chief Lee Beard at the                                                   lower than sixth in the          Pro Stock Motorcycle class competes at just 17.
helm, it would have been                                                      NHRA POWERade standings             “The schedule was no big deal for me because I
optimistic at best to predict                                                 at any point in the season,      fly to most of the races, so I actually get to spend
that he would qualify No. 1                                                   and posted a very                more time at home with my family,” he said.
in his nitro racing debut at                                                  respectable 36-21 round-win      “When I was racing the bike with Don
the CARQUEST Auto Parts                                                       record. By comparison,           Schumacher, I was in the shop about six days a
NHRA Winternationals in                                                       Brown’s more experienced         week, and we usually worked late into the night,
Pomona, win two of his first                                                  teammate, Rod Fuller, was        so I wasn’t home as much as I am now.”
six races, and finish the                                                     29-23 during the season.            Although Brown admits that he missed the
season as the sport’s fifth-                                                  Much of the credit for           thrill of riding a six-second motorcycle, one thing
ranked Top Fuel driver.                                                       Brown’s achievements have        he does not miss is the red-light starts that often
   “The first time I hit the                                                  to go to Beard, who has had      decide Pro Stock Motorcycle races. For the
throttle in that [Top Fuel]                                                   great success with               record, Brown made 57 eliminations runs in his
car, I thought to myself,                                                     experienced drivers, such as     Matco Tools dragster in 2008 without a single
‘What have I gotten myself                                                    the late Gary Ormsby.            red-light start.
into,’ ” said Brown, who                      
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