Hagan Qualifies Mopar Dodge Funny Car No. 1 at NHRA U.S. Nationals, Beckman Wins Traxxas Nitro Shootout
Matt Hagan qualifies Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car No. 1 for 63rd annual NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
Hagan’s pass of 3.799 seconds at 338.77 mph resets both ends of track record
No. 1 qualifying effort is Hagan’s second in a row at U.S. Nationals, fourth of season and 30th of career
Mopar teams from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) have set low E.T. in qualifying 14 times overall this year (five in Funny Car, nine in Top Fuel)
Leah Pritchett is No. 2 to lead Mopar HEMI®-powered Top Fuel dragsters
Mopar driver Jack Beckman wins $100,000 Traxxas Funny Car Nitro Shootout for third time
September 3, 2017 , Brownsburg, Ind. -
For the second consecutive year, Matt Hagan and the Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team qualified No. 1 for the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals. They will look to end their Labor Day Weekend in the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis winner’s circle on Monday—just as they did last season.
Hagan used Mopar HEMI® power to reset both ends of the track record on Friday evening, laying down a lap of 3.799 seconds at 338.77 mph in his Funny Car from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR).The time held throughout the four following qualifying sessions to give Hagan his fourth top qualifying spot of 2017 and the 30th of his career. It was the fifth low elapsed-time (E.T.) qualifying effort of the year for Mopar Funny Cars from DSR, and the 14th this season for Mopar across both Nitro categories overall.
DSR’s Jack Beckman will start from the fifth position on Monday in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T, while teammate Ron Capps will begin from the eighth spot in his Dodge. Tommy Johnson Jr. will occupy the 12th position on the elimination ladder in his Riley Hospital for Children Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car from DSR.
Six Mopar Dodge Funny Cars in all qualified for the 16-car field.
Leah Pritchett landed in the second spot in the Top Fuel category to lead Mopar in the DSR-fielded Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil dragster, while her teammate, 10-time U.S. Nationals winner Tony Schumacher, qualified his U.S. Army dragster featuring Mopar HEMI power in the fourth position. Schumacher ended Top Fuel qualifying with a spectacular explosion in the fifth and final session. He was unhurt.
A total of 18 cars attempted to make the 63rd U.S. Nationals in bot the Funny Car and Top Fuel categories.
Beckman Wins Traxxas Nitro Funny Car Shootout
The Funny Car half of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout all-star event took place on Sunday afternoon after Top Fuel cars took center stage on Saturday. Jack Beckman claimed the victory in the $100,000-to-win Funny Car program for the third time in the Traxxas era utilizing Mopar HEMI power. He has four wins in Shootout events overall. “Fast Jack” defeated Robert Hight with a 3.952-second pass at 324.67 mph in the final round of the eight-car event. Hight smoked his tires near half-track and turned in a lap of 4.360 at 207.11. Beckman utilized a .067-second reaction time, while Hight’s was a nearly identical .070.
Beckman first took down DSR Mopar teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in round one, then defeated another teammate in the form of Ron Capps after a masterful driving job in the semifinals. Both cars got in trouble early, with Capps’ car ultimately suffering an explosion, while Beckman pedaled to the finish line to reach the final round against Hight.
DSR’s Matt Hagan meanwhile was defeated by John Force on a holeshot in round one, with Force’s margin of victory clocked at just .001. All four Mopar HEMI-powered Funny Cars from DSR appeared in the eight-car event, as all have won races in 2017.
Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes
(best elapsed time in bold)
Matt Hagan, Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Jim Campbell
Friday: (3.799 seconds at 338.77 mph – Q1)
Saturday: (3.897/330.72 – Q2); (3.821/337.83 – Q3)
Sunday: (3.918/331.45 – Q4); (3.905/329.83 – Q5)
“Obviously it was a pretty warm day and the car’s going down the racetrack. We’ve had real success as far as in the cool and also in the heat so I’m pretty excited about it. The U.S. Nationals is a huge race. I won it last year and I guess no one has ever won and been No. 1 two years in a row. Maybe we can make some history tomorrow and do that.
“Our car ran well today and kind of repeated itself both laps. It was all we could ask for so I’m pretty excited about it.”
Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Wayne Newby
Friday: (3.667 seconds at 329.50 mph – Q1)
Saturday: (3.782/312.13 – Q2); (8.881/80.87 – Q3)
Sunday: (3.771/316.45 – Q4); (3.764/322.11 – Q5)
“The Big Go is the longest week, the longest race there ever could be and we’re hoping to make it the longest Monday possible. We’re going to try to go low for the round every single time tomorrow.”
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Tommy Johnson Jr.
Friday: (3.900 seconds at 330.88 mph – Q1)
Saturday: (4.869/157.98 – Q2); (3.859/333.16 – Q3)
Sunday: (3.872/331.77 – Q4); (3.952/324.67 – Q5)
“Just getting into the (Traxxas Nitro Shootout) is incredibly difficult. There are a litany of ways you can get into the Shootout but only one way to get the trophy: You have to beat three of the baddest Fuel cars on the planet in one day. There were no gimmes.”
(On remembering late benefactor Terry Chandler)
“Norwalk was the last race one of her two cars took a trophy and she was still alive. This is a good way to bookend her physical time with us. I’m still having trouble accepting we won’t see her at the track, but she will always be with us.”
Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 9 Alexis DeJoria
Friday: (10.938 seconds at 71.07 mph – Q1)
Saturday: (3.883/329.67 – Q2); (3.906/308.57 – Q3)
Sunday: (3.871/330.55 – Q4); (4.053/262.13 – Q5)
Tommy Johnson Jr., Riley Hospital for Children Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 12, will face No. 5 Jack Beckman
Friday: (9.922 seconds at 76.00 mph – Q1)
Saturday: (10.777/79.36 – Q2); (11.027/84.08 – Q3)
Sunday: (4.000/324.98 – Q4); (3.988/324.20 – Q5)
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Terry McMillen
Friday: (3.735 seconds at 327.82 mph – Q1)
Saturday: (3.747/324.51 – Q2); (3.680/330.31 – Q3)
Sunday: (4.754/152.74 – Q4); (4.111/206.10 – Q5)
Turk, Pritchett Compete in Factory Stock Showdown
Geoff Turk and Leah Pritchett qualified No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks for the Factory Stock Showdown event highlighting modern American muscle at the U.S. Nationals. However, during round one on Sunday, Turk was bested on a holeshot, while Pritchett bowed out after spinning her tires on a hot track. A total of 22 cars attempted to qualify for the 16-car field. The fifth and final Factory Stock Showdown of 2017 is scheduled for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis.
FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the early elimination rounds from the 63rd annual U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway LIVE at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, September 4. The FOX Network will then pick up coverage at 1 p.m. ET and carry the event through the finals.