Antron Brown is hoping the Aaron’s “Lucky Dog” will put him over the top this weekend as his Aaron’s/Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster heads to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway here for the 12th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.

According to the 36-year-old Indiana resident, who has qualified well at both the Winternationals and the Gatornationals so far in the young 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the key will be to finish the job on race day.

“We have already proven that we have a fast race car, and can beat anyone in the field,” said Brown. “But we have to finish better during eliminations.  We’ve had a couple of minor mishaps which we think we have corrected and look forward to have it all come together at Las Vegas.

“We’ll have the Aaron’s Lucky Dog riding with us in Las Vegas, so we hope that will give us the boost we need for victory.”

Brown opened the Winternationals by posting a 3.790-second/ 325.37-mile-per-hour first-round win against Mike Strasburg, a round during which he set his personal top-speed record. Brown used a 3.828/320.66 run in the second round to defeat Doug Kalitta, before losing to Shawn Langdon in the semifinals.

After qualifying second to teammate Tony Schumacher at the Gatornationals earlier this month, Brown was eliminated in the second round on Sunday by eventual winner Del Worsham.  Still, on the strength on his overall record, Antron is in sixth place in the point standings, 45 points off the pace – a margin which is easily narrowed with a win.

“It’s early in the season, but we don’t want to get ourselves into a points’ hole,” said Brown. “This is the weekend we need to break out with a win.”

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ANTRON BROWN’S AARON’S/MATCO TOOLS DRAGSTER PAINT SCHEME

Brown will ride down The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend sporting a new, unique look – the distinctive color and “Dream Machine” logo for Aaron’s. Aaron’s is joined on the dragster by major associate sponsors Matco Tools (the regular primary for Brown’s ride), the U.S. Army and Valvoline, all featured in the new paint scheme.

 Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation’s leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, joined the powerful stable of Don Schumacher Racing partners for this season as a primary sponsor for Jack Beckman’s Funny Car.

In addition to the 12 races Aaron’s is the primary on the Beckman car (with Valvoline filling this role the other 10 contests, with Aaron’s as the major associate), the brand will be the primary on Brown’s Top Fuel machine here and at two other NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events: Bristol, Tenn., (June 17-19) and the second Charlotte race (September 16-18).