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Test has drag racer Brown interested in more

May 29, 2013, Staff report,

Former NHRA champion may consider future in stock car racing

Antron Brown’s first test in a stock car left the drag racing champion interested in doing even more -- perhaps even a race in a late model.

The NHRA’s reigning Top Fuel champion, Brown tested a K&N Pro Series car Tuesday with NASCAR’s Rev Racing team at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. It was a first experience making left turns for a driver more accustomed to going fast in a straight line down a quarter-mile track.

“I started off easy at the beginning just getting my feet wet -- not really worried about times,” Brown said. “ When the track got hot, I was pretty much running what some of the other drivers were running. I was right in the ballpark. Just worked at getting more consistent with it where I could duplicate each lap, and run on the marks, and stuff like that.”

Rev Racing driver Ryan Gifford was on the radio helping Brown hit his marks on the race track. Brown said he did about 100 laps -- and got into the throttle a little too early on the last one, and spun out exiting a turn.

“All in all, I had a little bit of everything,” said Brown, a 37-year-old native of Chesterfield, N.J. “I even learned about spinning out, and learned about going around the track, learned about corner speed, learned about lines and being smooth. It was a lot to take in … but we made some really big, big strides, and it was a lot of fun.”

Brown said he had plenty running through his head early in the test, when he tried to get comfortable thinking about getting on and off the gas and how much to carry into a corner -- factors very different from the ones he’s accustomed to in drag racing.  “What was big was building your confidence up enough to trust yourself that you could drive the car in deeper, and be smooth and fluent with it,” he said.

The adjustments were physical as well as tactical. “I think the biggest thing is just getting into the shape to drive the car,” Brown said. “Not physical shape, but just driving shape, is what you would call it. The only way you get in driving shape is by driving the car. With your neck, that was the biggest deal there, was that it was actually taxing on your neck because you have to keep up with the Gs and stuff when you’re turning and holding your neck right.”

It all left Brown ready to try some more -- and perhaps try his hand at a late model race.

“The next step is just that we’re going to be back in contact and try to come out and maybe do some testing in a late model car,” he said. “Go do some testing in a late model car, and then actually maybe that same week we can make a race with it. And that’s the next step. That’s our next step that we’re going to talk about, and that we have to plan and we have to do when the schedule’s got an opening, but I definitely want to get back and try to do it some more.”

Antron Brown is the reigning NHRA Top Fuel champion, but he's becoming interested in stock car racing. (Photos courtesy of JW Martin)



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