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Antron Brown Now With DSR

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 29 2009
Antron Brown

Antron Brown

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

Don Schumacher Racing’s vice-like grip on the NHRA’s Top Fuel class just got tighter.

Already home to six-time and reigning Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, DSR announced Tuesday it has acquired the racing assets of the Antron Brown-driven Matco Tools team from Mike Ashley Racing. The sale is effective immediately.

The Matco Tools team will remain intact with Brown piloting the car tuned by Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald. The team’s first outing under the DSR banner will be during the ninth annual Las Vegas NHRA Nationals today through Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

DSR will go into the race at Vegas – Round 5 of the six-event Countdown to 1 – with its drivers holding three of the top four Top Fuel spots in the Full Throttle Series points standings. Tony Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Dragster, leads the 10-driver Countdown lineup with 2,427 points. Winner of five consecutive Top Fuel titles, “The Sarge” is 47 points ahead of Larry Dixon of Al-Anabi Racing. DSR’s Cory McClenathan is third with 2,359 points in the FRAM Tough Guard Dragster and Brown is fourth with 2,346 points.

“The opportunity recently arose to purchase the assets of Mike Ashley Racing and we felt we couldn’t pass it up,” team-owner Don Schumacher said in a news release. “We at DSR have had a longtime association with Matco Tools and to be able to continue our relationship through a primary sponsorship is invaluable to everyone involved.

“I welcome back Antron to our team as well as Brian Corradi. Antron did a wonderful job riding the U.S. Army motorcycle and he has since developed into an outstanding Top Fuel racer. He has always been a great representative for his sponsors, so I know he will continue to be an excellent spokesperson not only for Matco Tools, but for DSR as well.”

Brown returns to Schumacher’s employ following five years of riding the U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle Suzuki to six wins for DSR from 2003-07. Brown won 16 races and earned 11 poles on his Suzuki during 10 seasons in the Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks before making the jump to Top Fuel in 2008. Corradi also has worked with DSR in the past, as tuner on two nitromethane teams.

“This is a great opportunity to make this Matco Tools Top Fuel team even stronger,” said Brown, a 33-year-old resident of Pittsboro, Ind. “I worked at DSR and Don gives his teams everything they need to win championships. It’s great to have some stability for our team, and joining DSR is going to give our Matco team even more resources to win this championship this year and for many years to come.”

Brown has notched five wins in nine final-round appearances this season. In July, he became just the seventh professional driver to sweep the grueling Western Swing (Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.). Brown also has seven No. 1 qualifying awards and has earned top speed of the meet honors at 13 races this season. Brown clocked the fastest run in 1,000-foot racing at 319.75 mph at Bristol, Tenn., in May and holds the NHRA national speed mark at 319.60 mph. He has 23 career victories and is the only racer in NHRA history to win national events and lead the standings in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Based in Brownsburg, Ind., Don Schumacher Racing now consists of seven professional NHRA teams. In addition to the three in Top Fuel, DSR fields three teams in Funny Car – the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge driven by Ron Capps, the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge piloted by Jack Beckman, and the shelor.com Dodge driven by NHRA rookie Matt Hagan.

Matt Smith rides the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle for DSR. Since 1998, DSR teams have won 135 national events in 257 final rounds and seven world championships.

A manufacturer and distributor of quality professional automotive equipment, tools and toolboxes, Matco Tools has been involved as a major sponsor in NHRA drag racing since 1995 and as a longtime sponsor of DSR. The Matco Tools Iron Eagle Club hospitality program also will remain unchanged for the remainder of the 2009 NHRA season.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 29 2009
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