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NHRA Driver eyes NASCAR Antron Brown admitted he'd be interested in NASCAR during lunch last week at the Charlotte Motor Speedway's Speedway Club, in town to promote this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at the zMax Dragway. Brown is the only racer to ever make a successful jump from Pro Stock Bikes to Top Fuel. He's led the point standings in both divisions, winning 16 races on the bike and, so far, eight in the dragster. He's also ridden shotgun with the USAF Thunderbirds, set sprinting records at New Jersey's Mercer College, ran a 100-meter dash fast enough to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials, hangs out with NFL players and, as the folks at zMax Dragway have documented, he can do just about anything in four seconds.
When Randy Moss became a Truck series team owner in mid-2008, he started chatting up Brown about the possibility of testing one of his team's Toyota Tundras. "Randy's serious about it. But we just haven't been able to get the schedules synced up. We chatted about it over the winter, but once the season gets going I'm all over the place, and now Randy's a little busy too, you know?"
"I think anyone would like to give oval racing a shot. I follow NASCAR and I also love to go over to Indianapolis to the see the Indy Cars. But I'm still a young guy and I have things I need to accomplish over here first." Brown is a sponsor's dream. He's a smart, good-looking racer who makes a memorable point nearly every time he opens his mouth, a la Jeff Burton. His stick-and-ball sports background, along with his skin color (which he has to be coaxed into talking about) crosses into demographics that racing has long struggled to reach. And no one works harder along the autograph ropes of Nitro Alley, citing the examples set by his childhood hero, Don "Big Daddy" Garlits, who once went out of his way to spend time with young Antron. The general consensus among motorsport marketers is that Brown could become a media superstar if given the right stage. Some believe that stage exists only in NASCAR. Brown is not one of those people. "I love where I am. I grew up at the dragstrip with my father and my uncle (who still compete in the NHRA's Division 1 Top Sportsman class). I like where the NHRA is right now. And I like where they are headed." ESPN
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