How do you become a Top Fuel driver with 28 wins and an NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship? For many drivers, it begins in the family, and that is exactly how Antron Brown was introduced to drag racing. Born in Trenton, NJ and raised in Chesterfield, NJ, Antron said he “literally” grew up at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ where he raced motocross as his dad and uncle drag raced at the Sportsman level.
The Brown family story goes back even further to the 1940s. That is when Antron’s paternal grandparents met each other while working for General Motors. With two salaries, they were able to save up, and eventually start a family business. The business was a success, and Antron said his father and uncle benefited by getting “everything they wanted because my grandpop and grandma gave them everything they wish they could have when they were kids.” This led to his father getting a Plymouth Barracuda and his uncle getting an eight-year old Corvette for their first cars.
Antron said, “What cracked me up was that my grandpop bought them [fast] cars and he caught them street racing. Why wouldn’t they street race? Look what you bought them. So the crazy part about it was that my grandpop looked at them and said, ‘Look, I [am not] going to pick one of my sons off this road dead because they hit a deer or hit something, or got in an accident out on the street street-racing in Philly or street-racing up in New York or something like that.’ He goes, ‘If you boys want to race, we are going to do it the right way.’ And that’s when my grandpop took them, they built their first drag race car, and he brought them to the drag strip here in Englishtown.”
Fast forward to when Antron was a kid, and he was inspired by his trips to Englishtown, “I used to come out here, and see all these big professional teams and go, ‘This is what I want to do.’ This is all I ate, slept, and dreamed about.”
Before Antron became a professional racer, he was a track star at Mercer County Community College. As he finished up a successful career at Mercer County, he was offered a scholarship to Long Island University where he planned to train for the Olympics.
However, Brown’s love for racing and the opportunity to join a professional racing team led to what he called, “a hard choice.” He was contacted by NFL cornerback Troy Vincent to join Vincent’s team as a Pro Stock Motorcycle racer, which Brown accepted. Between 1998-2007, Brown excelled in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category, winning 16 events before transitioning to the Top Fuel category in 2008. As a Top Fuel driver, Brown is considered one of the best with 28 wins and a World Championship in 2012.
The Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster said he loves the intensity of drag racing. There are no do-overs, which is what Antron experience when he competed in the 100-meter dash. He is a competitor who took the opening, and ran with it, “My grandpop said, ‘You can make anything happen, but you got to be around it to get that opportunity.’ And that’s what I did.”
Antron Brown is currently second in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Championship Point Standings for the Top Fuel category.
Follow Antron on Twitter @AntronBrown.