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BROWN LEADS TOYOTA IN NHRA WINTERNATIONALS QUALIFYING

POMONA, CA – Antron Brown qualified third in Top Fuel to lead Toyota in preparation for Sunday’s season-opening Lucas Oil Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Brown jumped up to third on his final qualifying attempt when he registered the fastest speed run by any car this weekend with a 333.08 mph pass in running a 3.696-second pass to climb into the third spot. He will open Sunday’s eliminations against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Leah Pritchett.

“We’re definitely getting where we want to be at,” said Brown, a three-time Top Fuel world champion. “We learned a lot of stuff in the off-season. You never get somewhere without trying. That’s our main focus. A lot of people forget that and want instant results. I know all the work that my team’s done and I’ve got all the confidence in the world in these Matco Tools/Toyota guys. We’re doing this one step at a time and tomorrow we’re just going to try to race smart and go rounds. That’s our game plan – go rounds. (In racing teammate Leah Pritchett) It’s just another competitor. You’ve got to race them all.”

Joining Brown in the top half of the field are fellow Toyota Top Fuel drivers Richie Crampton in sixth and Doug Kalitta, who placed seventh. Crampton will race Terry McMillen, while Kalitta faces Scott Palmer. All three Toyota Top Fuelers earned bonus points for placing in the top three in a session over the weekend, with Kalitta earning four points and Brown and Crampton each earning one point.

Shawn Langdon had the top qualifying Camry Funny Car with a 3.927-second pass to place sixth. He will square off with Jim Campbell in the opening round.  He earned two bonus points on the weekend.

Defending Funny Car world champion J.R. Todd placed ninth and will match-up with Bob Tasca on Sunday.

Sunday’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations show will be aired live on FS1 at beginning at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).

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