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- American drag racer
Three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Antron Brown is officially out from the umbrella of Don Schumacher Racing and will be going it alone as an owner-driver in 2022.
Check that. He won't be going alone.
Brown and 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley announced on Tuesday that Brown's AB Motorsports and Ashley's Justin Ashley Racing will be forming a research and development and marketing alliance.
The partnership will also bring together Top Fuel crew chiefs Brian Corradi of AB Motorsports and Ashley's Mike Green.
Ashley, who has had an ownership interest for two seasons along with Dustin Davis in the Davis Motorsports the Vita C Shot Top Fuel dragster team, says the partnership will benefit both up-and-coming team owners on and off the race track.
“I am excited to be joining forces with Antron and his team. This alliance is going to improve the performance of both our programs on and off the racetrack,” said Ashley, the 2021 Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Top Fuel winner. “My team has made great strides the past two seasons with our Vita C Shot Top Fuel dragster and now is the time to keep moving forward in an effort to establish a high-level of success for years to come.
"Getting our crew chiefs together to share on-track and off-track technical information is invaluable. When it comes to marketing, working together opens the door to so many possibilities for our existing partners and any new relationships we start in 2022 and beyond.”
Brown, who began his NHRA pro career in Pro Stock Motorcycle in 1998, will wear driver and owner hats for the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster in the coming season.
Ashley finished fourth and Brown finished sixth in the NHRA Top Fuel standings in 2021.
“The goal with this partnership is to make both of our programs stronger overall,” said Brown, who finished in the top-10 in NHRA points standings for the 24th consecutive year. “Even though we’re two separate teams with two separate operations, having this partnership will allow us to enjoy some of the advantages that the multi-car teams have. It’s not just about the collaboration between our brain trust of crew chiefs, but this will also help us in being able to secure the best parts and pieces; we’ll have stronger purchasing power. We’re both looking to this alliance to help us compete on a high level, and go toe-to-toe with the heavy-hitters in our category.”
According to Brown and Ashley, the research and development alliance will include sharing of on-track data as well as consultation between the teams during and between NHRA national events. Additionally, Ashley will benefit from Brown’s 14-year partnership with Toyota.
As part of his association with AB Motorsports, Justin Ashley Racing/Davis Motorsports will have access to engineering and on-track technical assistance.