QUICK DRAW: Joey Phillips, OSUIT student in the Toyota T-Ten program from Pocola, matches reaction time with Antron Brown. Phillips is sponsored at OSUIT by J. Pauley Toyota/Scion.
OKMULGEE, Okla. – Antron Brown, driver of the Don Schumacher Racing-owned Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, recently brought some high octane enthusiasm to the campus at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. After weeks of troubleshooting 180 horsepower cars designed for morning commutes and cruising suburbia, Automotive Technology students at OSUIT were ready for something different. Brown had the answer; a 7,000 horsepower, fire-breathing racing machine, that would soon be tearing up the track at the 22nd Annual O’Reilly Summer Nationals.
“I really enjoy these school visits we do for Matco (Tools),” Brown said. “It wasn’t too long ago that I was in college; it’s nice to give back and speak to students about career paths and the importance of focusing on education. These are the technicians of the future, and I want to bring a message to them about the importance of their careers.”
Brown not only challenged the students to think about their futures, he also challenged them to contests of reaction time. Using a model which simulated two dragsters side-by-side at an starting line, Brown and a student watched a scale model “Christmas Tree” count down to the green light. The first to put the “pedal to the metal” won.
“Brown’s presentation gives another insight into a different part of the automotive industry,” said OSUIT Toyota T-Ten faculty Jerry Biddle. “It’s very motivational. The students come away with a very good feeling.”
Brown, 34, is the only racer in history to win races in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle. He has 24 career wins, eight in Top Fuel, and 23 career No.1 qualifying awards.