Fuel Driver Antron Brown just became the first black racecar driver to win a major auto racing title. The 33 year-old is now the NHRA Top Fuel Champion. Brown took the win with injured hands, after his dragster’s engine had caught fire during the earlier race on Sunday. He used his bandaged hands to make driving history. Brown won against seven-time champion Tony Shumacher, who was busy being blocked on the track by another driver, which made way for Brown’s big win.
Brown is a native of Chesterfield, NJ. Ever since his first motorcycle experience at age four, he took to racing and won amateur titles. Brown got his first win at 12 years old in the 80-cc class youth motorcross. He never stopped dreaming of the track, but let his feet take over the competition by engaging in track and field sports. After graduating from Northern Burlington County Regional High School, he continued to compete in long jump and 100-meter dash events.
While attending college, Brown received a phone call from NFL cornerback Troy Vincent who asked if he could race a Pro Stock motorcycle. Brown took on the challenge and teamed with rider Dave Schultz. He would gain 16 PSM victories in 33 final rounds, 11 No. 1 qualifying awards, and twice finished second in the points standings. His career was at a high in 2009 when he earned his first of seven No. 1 qualifying awards at the season-opening Winternationals.
Ironically, Brown had been a part of the Don Schumacher Racing team from July of 2002 through the completion of the 2007 NHRA season. In 14 seasons of professional racing, he has racked 31 wins in 63 final rounds, 29 poles and 394 round wins. He is the only driver in NHRA history who has won races and led the standings in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
After his big NHRA Top Fuel win this week, Brown was joined by his wife and three kids to celebrate.