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Hagan Drives Mopar and Dodge//SRT to No. 1 Spot in Funny Car Qualifying at NHRA Winternationals


Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Matt Hagan kicks off season by claiming pole on final qualifying pass at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California
Hagan sets track speed record in earning 31st career No. 1 position
Hagan’s Don Schumacher Racing teammates Beckman and Capps also place their Mopar-powered Dodge Charger Funny Car machines in top five
Leah Pritchett will start season No. 4 in her Mopar Dodge NHRA Top Fuel Dragster

February 10, 2018 , Pomona, California -




Matt Hagan raced the Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands to a hot start in 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series competition, taking the No. 1 qualifying position in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car at the season-opening 58th annual NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Hagan recorded a 3.822-second elapsed time (ET) at a track-record speed of 336.32 mph in the final qualifying pair on Saturday at Auto Club Raceway to earn the top spot heading into Sunday eliminations. The pole was the 31st of Hagan’s career, and the ten-year Mopar and Dodge//SRT Funny Car veteran will look to defend his 2017 event win here tomorrow.

Sunny skies and warmer track temperatures for the first two qualifying sessions on Friday gave way to cloud cover and a cooler racing surface for Saturday’s two final qualifying rounds, which Hagan used to move up the charts. On Saturday morning, he used a 3.859-second ET to claim the No. 1 spot and earn three bonus points. Knocked off the pole while awaiting his final qualifying turn, Hagan reclaimed the spot on his final attempt, banking another three markers for a total of nine qualifying bonus points.


Two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Hagan will lead a group of five Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car racers into Sunday eliminations. His DSR teammate Jack Beckman earned the provisional pole on Friday with a 3.860 ET, not enough to hold the position but good enough to start from third on race day in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T.

Mopar-powered DSR Dodge Charger R/T driver Ron Capps, the 2016 Funny Car series champion and runner-up in 2017, briefly held the top spot after the first qualifying session on Friday and will start fifth, giving Mopar and Dodge three of the top five spots. Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. will start ninth, while Jim Campbell posted his Charger No. 16 in the field.



In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett used a strong run in the morning session on Saturday to open her racing season in the No. 4 spot. Ranked seventh after Friday qualifying, Pritchett clocked a 3.687 ET in her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster and moved up three spots. She’ll attempt to defend her 2017 NHRA Winternationals event crown on Sunday and claim another victory for Mopar and Dodge//SRT. Pritchett will be joined in eliminations by DSR teammate Tony Schumacher, who will start eighth in his U.S. Army dragster.

Mopar Dodge//SRT Notes & Quotes
(best elapsed time in bold)

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Jim Campbell
Friday: (3.917 seconds at 328.94 mph – Q1); (3.877/329.99 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.859/331.20 – Q3); (3.822/336.32 – Q4)

“I can’t say enough about (crew chief) Dickie Venables. We’re so blessed and lucky to have him in our corner. He’s worth his weight in gold. I get to crawl in that hot rod he tunes, put my mouthpiece in and hang on. It’s always a fun ride. Dickie has a gut instinct for how the track is, and what decisions are going to be made. He’s been doing that since he was my age so he has a lot of experience and that’s just stuff you can’t get overnight.

“The weather was awesome today. That’s why we saw those low numbers. The conditions are supposed to be more similar to what we saw on Friday. When the sun comes out and stuff slows down, it changes everything. Push hard first round and then peel it back, but you’ve got to get out of first round. One pass at a time.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 11 Scott Palmer
Friday: (3.783 seconds at 328.62 mph – Q1); (5.293/130.38 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.687/330.23 – Q3); (3.810/300.93 – Q4)

On mechanical issues on her last qualifying attempt:

“It’s a pretty interesting start to the season. We set our goals pretty high — we have a lot to back up from last year. Ultimately, what happened today happened today, and not tomorrow. But the shining light of it is we feel we now understand, due to math, why it did what it did on that run, and why the 3.68 we ran in the first run today wasn’t the 3.66 or 3.65 we were trying to run. Now, everything we experienced all throughout qualifying makes sense and, again, it happened today and not tomorrow.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Bob Tasca
Friday: (3.964 seconds at 324.90mph – Q1); (3.860/332.84– Q2)
Saturday: (3.863/332.43 – Q3); (8.038/76.76 – Q4)

“I’m totally satisfied. We went three-for-four and when you’ve ran as good as we’ve ran, you can afford to take a shot on the hero runs. We probably just put in a little bit too much on that run and that’s fine. We know where the limit is. Each day has gotten cooler and better out here, so bring it on. There’s a whole lot of bad Funny Cars ready to run tomorrow.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Shawn Langdon
Friday: (3.882 seconds at 331.12 mph – Q1); (3.884/328.62 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.248/216.27 – Q3); (3.914/323.89 – Q4)

“I’ve said it time and time again, I don’t care where we qualify, going into a race day with Rahn Tobler, I always feel like a step up on top of whoever we’re going to race. And I still feel that way. We’re going to go into race day and him and I are going to do what we do. That’s come together and race, race hard. I’m so pumped up to be back at Pomona. It was such a fun season last year with all the wins, all the final rounds, but this is a renewed vengeance to come back out here and prove that we need to be back at number one.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 9, will face No. 8 Cruz Pedregon
Friday: (5.401 seconds at 132.97 mph – Q1); (3.932/320.36 – Q2)
Saturday: (7.752/82.70 – Q3); (8.765/40.24 – Q4)

“We want to come back out here like we did at the NHRA Finals, where we went right down the track. We ran really well and got the win. There’s no reason we can’t work hard tonight and find out what’s causing our problems and do the same thing tomorrow.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 7 Terry McMillen
Friday: (3.792 seconds at 328.46 mph – Q1); (3.732/331.20 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.767/316.15 – Q3); (8.131/82.42 – Q4)

“Mike Neff and Phil Shuler are doing a great job. We didn’t qualify as well as we wanted to but, you know what, the car is excellent. I trust in them and I look forward to the race tomorrow and getting this run for the championship started.”

Dodge Garage: New Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans now have a new one-stop destination for Mopar and Dodge drag racing news. Dodge Garage (Dodge Garage | Home) is a digital content hub and premier destination for drag racing and muscle car enthusiasts.

Fans can view daily updates and get access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge Garage features include exclusive content, such as a three-part video series “Chasing the Title,” that offers fans a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse at Pritchett and her DSR team in action.


Tune-in Info
FOX Sports 1 will broadcast three hours of eliminations coverage of the 58th annual NHRA Winternationals starting at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 11.

Rick

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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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R/T Funny Car Driver Hagan Triumphs

Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car Driver Hagan Triumphs at Season-opening NHRA Winternationals
Gilley Scores Stock Eliminator win in 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 340

Matt Hagan takes Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to back-to-back victories at NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California
Hagan dominates from pole to earn his 27th NHRA National event win
Three of four Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Charger R/T drivers advance to semifinals
Mopar-powered DSR Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher races to event runner-up
Leah Pritchett exits early in Mopar Dodge NHRA Top Fuel dragster
Larry Gilley claims Stock Eliminator class win in Mopar-powered 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 340
Gilley, Staci Smith earn first 2018 Dodge Top Finisher awards in NHRA Sportsman ranks
More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com
New Dodge Garage (Dodge Garage | Home), a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches; will include highlights from NHRA season

February 11, 2018 , Pomona, California -



Matt Hagan started the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series the same way he began his 2017 season — driving the Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands to victory at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

The two-time NHRA Funny Car champion wrapped up a dominant weekend in which he also claimed the pole in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car by outgunning Robert Hight in the final round at Auto Club Raceway. The victory was Hagan’s second straight at the NHRA Winternationals and the 27th of his career in 48 final rounds.


Adding to the Mopar and Dodge//SRT Sunday celebration was a runner-up showing by Hagan’s Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel and an NHRA Stock Eliminator win by Larry Gilley in a 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 340. Hagan was also joined in the Funny Car semifinals by two of his Mopar-powered DSR Dodge teammates, Jack Beckman and Ron Capps.


After earning the No. 1 qualifying spot on Saturday with a 3.822-second elapsed time (ET), Hagan recorded the second quickest run of the first round on Sunday to defeat Dodge Charger R/T driver Jim Campbell. The DSR driver next bested Cruz Pedregon before winning a tight all-Mopar Dodge match against Capps. In the final, Hagan’s 3.823/335.90 run was enough to hold off Hight’s strong 3.866/336.99 pass.

Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Beckman posted impressive numbers in the first two elimination rounds. The 2012 Funny Car champion opened his day by using the third-quickest run of the round to best Bob Tasca, and then was quickest in the quarterfinals in trailering Tim Wilkerson. That ended in the semis, when Beckman’s car went quiet shortly after launch, ending his day.

Capps’ run to the semifinals included a first-round win over Shawn Langdon and an interesting battle with Jonnie Lindberg in the quarterfinals. Lindberg took the red light foul loss after leaving too early, which also caused Capps to launch a tad too soon as well. The fourth DSR Funny Car team member, Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T driver Tommy Johnson, was unable to move past the first round after smoking the tires and losing to Cruz Pedregon.



Tony Schumacher raced his Mopar HEMI-powered U.S. Army dragster to his first final round since the 2017 Atlanta event. Schumacher outran Terry McMillen, Terry Haddock and Antron Brown before falling to Doug Kalitta in the money round. Mopar Dodge NHRA Top Fuel dragster driver Leah Pritchett will look to rebound from an early first-round exit at Pomona. Starting from the No. 4 spot in the first round against Scott Palmer, Pritchett’s parachute popped out prematurely during the burnout, ending the DSR star’s Winternationals title defense before it could truly begin.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA
“Congratulations to Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T driver Matt Hagan on starting off the 2018 NHRA season with a visit to winner’s circle. The Mopar and Dodge brands are working even closer together this year to expand our commitment to NHRA, and this is a great early return on that teamwork. We’re hopeful this is the first of many Sunday celebrations at the drag strip for our brands this year.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America
“Matt Hagan’s win in his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car at Pomona today is a terrific way for our brands to kick off this year’s NHRA season. By expanding our sponsorship and partnering with Mopar, now for our third year, Dodge//SRT continues to connect with the growing number of drag racing fans in the stands, watching on TV and competing at drag strips around the country in their Chargers and Challengers.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.822 ET)

Rd. 1: (070-second reaction time, 3.902 seconds at 331.53 mph) beat No. 16 Jim Campbell (.117/4.387/213.77)
Rd. 2: (.057/3.954/329.34) beat No. 8 Cruz Pedregon (.010/4.006/322.11)
Rd. 3: (.059/3.938/330.07) beat No. 5 Ron Capps (.074/3.968/320.81)
Rd. 4: (.055/3.823/335.90) beat No. 2 Robert Hight (.034/3.866/336.99)

“To watch my guys come together and work, everything is clicking so nice — you can tell the extra prep they put in during the off-season. It’s not so much just the parts and pieces, it’s looking at those parts and pieces, and putting your hands on them.

“I’m really just proud of them, but I’m proud to crawl in that race car that Don Schumacher owns. It’s a car that these guys have put together, that I know I can win on any given Sunday. That’s a crazy feeling. It’s a cool feeling. Everything on this car goes back to Dickie Venables, and at the end of the day him and Mike Knudsen have a game plan. It just shows you how smart they are.

“These things are very humbling. We feel great right now, but we could roll into Phoenix and it could be a different story. We just have to keep it upbeat and positive, and no matter what happens, keep it rolling.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.732 ET)

Rd. 1: (.066-second reaction time, 3.696 seconds at 332.18 mph) beat No. 7 Terry McMillen (.083/3.752/328.06)
Rd. 2: (.097/3.717/331.85) beat No. 13 Terry Haddock (.121/9.851/84.16)
Rd. 3: (.064/3.711/331.45) beat No. 6 Antron Brown (.048/3.737/324.28)
Rd. 4: (.057/4.715/145.93) lost to No. 8 Doug Kalitta (.083/3.779/TBD)

“That was a lot of fun – the whole day. It was a fun deal in every way except for what happened at the end. Still, we go on to Phoenix with absolute confidence in a great race car and a bunch of smiling U.S. Army boys. Kalitta and I have battled for a long, long time. They’re a great race team. Congrats to them for getting it done. They did a great job and they deserved to win today.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.687 ET)

Rd. 1: (No time) lost to No. 11 Scott Palmer (.085/6.489/117.35)

“We thought we had it figured out last night, but it looks like there were more major issues. I want to give big thanks to my guys working their tails off. They did everything they could to find the issue, but it obviously reared its ugly head again, so we have some work to do. Ultimately, I have all the confidence in the world in Todd (Okuhara, crew chief), Scott (Okuhara, assistant crew chief) and the entire DSR/Mopar/U.S. Army team.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.882 ET)

Rd. 1: (.085-second reaction time, 4.833 seconds at 167.53 mph) beat No. 12 Shawn Langdon (.062/10.060/79.68)
Rd. 2: (-.055/4.001/324.75) beat No. 13 Jonnie Lindberg (-.310/9.716/104.61)
Rd. 3: (.074/3.968/320.81) lost to No. 1 Matt Hagan (.059/3.938/330.07)

“We knew we were up against a good car being my teammate in Hagan with Dickie (Venables, Hagan’s crew chief). But it was a great comeback for Tobler to go back up there and not beat ourselves and go down the track like we did.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.860 ET)

Rd. 1: (.065-second reaction time, 3.907 seconds at 333.0 mph) beat No. 14 Bob Tasca (.074/4.016/324.12)
Rd. 2: (.075/3.901/330.23) beat No. 6 Tim Wilkerson (.079/4.253/220.51)
Rd. 3: (No time) lost to No. 2 Robert Hight (.074/3.899/329.10)

“I want to pack my bags and fly to Phoenix tomorrow because I think we have one of the best cars there is out here. Once we dive in and eliminate these little bugs, we’re going to start reeling off race wins.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.932 ET)

Rd. 1: (.066-second reaction time, 4.504 seconds at 267.69 mph) lost to No. 8 Cruz Pedregon (.051/4.363/246.17)

“It wasn’t what we expected coming into the first race of the season. We tested well. We’re still kind of in a test mode, because of the (new) six-disc (clutch). We’re trying stuff to make us better later in the season, and just never quite got it together this weekend. We’ll learn from it and go into Phoenix a lot stronger. We ran good there in testing, and have a lot more data there. The more data we can get, the better we’ll run.”

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Just like in the professional ranks, a Mopar-powered NHRA Sportsman competitor visited the winner’s circle at Pomona. Larry Gilley marched through six rounds of intense competition and reached the finish line first in a heads-up final to claim the Stock Eliminator crown at Pomona in his 1968 Dodge Dart GTS 340.

“It’s a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to win the Winternationals my whole life, since I was a kid and came her with my father,” said Gilley, 54, who also earned the $500 Dodge Top Finisher award with his victory. Winner of the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals event last year, Gilley has been competing for more than 15 years in nothing but Mopar-powered Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars.

“NHRA Sportsman racers are the most dedicated and passionate competitors, and we congratulate Larry Gilley on his victory today,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “Through our long-running Mopar Contingency Program, we are able to recognize and reward racers like Larry who compete and win with Mopar products. We hope this victory is the first of many in 2018 for our Mopar-powered Sportsman competitors.”

Under the Mopar Contingency Program, Sportsman racers who win or finish runner-up while utilizing Mopar valve covers, intake manifolds, cylinder heads and engine assemblies are eligible for monetary rewards.



“Congratulations to Larry Gilley on racing his Dodge Dart GTS 340 to victory today in the Stock Eliminator class,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America. “We are proud to support passionate Sportsman racers like Gilley through the Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its second year, which awards $500 to the Stock and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered car at all 24 national events.”

Staci Smith, from Lancaster, California, drove her 1993 Dodge Daytona Super Stocker to the fifth round at the season-opening event. Smith’s Daytona runs in the GT/HA category, allowing her to convert the car to a rear-wheel-drive configuration and install a Mopar V8 engine. Smith, a 30-year-old who has spent most of her life racing with her family, took home the Dodge Top Finisher award in Super Stock.




Up Next: NHRA Arizona Nationals
Mopar and Dodge//SRT competitors will head next to the NHRA Arizona Nationals, scheduled for February 23-25 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. Hagan and Pritchett will look to defend their 2017 event titles at the “duel in the desert.”

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 1 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car

1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 127
2. Robert Hight – 101
3. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T – 81
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T – 78

5. Jonnie Lindberg – 51
6(t). J.R. Todd – 49
6(t). Tim Wilkerson – 49
8. Cruz Pedregon – 48
9. Courtney Force – 36
10(t). Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T – 32


NHRA Top Fuel
1. Doug Kalitta (1) – 112
2. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI – 95
3. Clay Millican – 84
4. Antron Brown – 78
5. Steve Torrence – 60
6. Scott Palmer – 47
7. Brittany Force – 35
8(t). Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI – 32
8(t). Mike Salinas – 32
8(t). Steve Faria – 32

Rick

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Jack Beckman reached the semifinals in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car at the NHRA Winternationals.

Tommy Johnson Jr., driver of the Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car.



In the Sportsman classes, it was Larry Gilley and his strong running 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 340 that battled through six rounds of intense competition to face off in a heads-up duel to claim the Stock Eliminator crown at the Winternationals.

“It’s a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to win the Winternationals my whole life, since I was a kid and came here with my father,” said Gilley, 54, who also earned the $500 Dodge Top Finisher award with his victory. Winner of the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals event last year, Gilley has been competing for more than 15 years in nothing but Mopar-powered Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars.

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NHRA Arizona Nationals

Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car Driver Johnson Runner-up at NHRA Arizona Nationals


Tommy Johnson Jr. scores runner-up spot at Arizona Nationals with Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Mopar-powered Tony Schumacher becomes fastest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history in qualifying
Three additional Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) drivers, Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan and Ron Capps (Funny Car), advance to round two
Mike Cotton runner-up in Super Stock in 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda to win Dodge Top Finisher award
Jerry Stein wins Dodge Top Finisher award in Stock Eliminator with his Dart GTS 440

February 25, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -



Tommy Johnson Jr. advanced to the final round of Funny Car competition at the NHRA Arizona Nationals on Sunday at Wild Horse Motorsports Park in his Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

Johnson beat Shawn Langdon, Richard Townsend and Robert Hight before earning the runner-up honors for Funny Car. He was faster than No. 1 qualifier Courtney Force at the start during the final-round run before she got the upper hand at the line. Johnson’s runner-up finish came after his Don Schumacher Racing crew worked hard to get his car ready following a fiery explosion under the hood during Saturday qualifying. Johnson jumped from tenth to fifth in Funny Car point standings with his performance.



Tony Schumacher became the fastest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history with a 336.57-miles per hour run during qualifying, but he’ll have to wait for his sixth Phoenix victory after the winningest driver in Top Fuel history was eliminated in round one on Sunday.

Schumacher’s 336.57 mph mark in the Mopar HEMI-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster and his elapsed time of 3.649 seconds were both track records, as he earned his 85th No. 1 qualifying position. He had the starting line advantage against Greg Carrillo in round one, but couldn’t get his car to hook up during Sunday’s run and lost traction to cause his premature departure.

Leah Pritchett beat Troy Buff in the first round of Top Fuel competition on Sunday and faced Scott Palmer in round two with her Mopar Dodge dragster. She had seven victories against Palmer in prior events, but he was finally able to edge her on Sunday. Like Schumacher, Pritchett had the advantage at the starting line, but her Mopar Dodge dragster went up in smoke milliseconds later to halt her progression.

Matt Hagan, who earned his 27th NHRA National event victory in the season opener with his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, also made it to the quarterfinals before losing a cylinder, which allowed Courtney Force to advance. Hagan, the defending Funny Car winner here, easily beat J.R. Todd in round one.

Ron Capps was the No. 2 qualifier in his NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car but smoked the tires in round two to end his day as the team adapts to its new six-disc clutch. Jack Beckman was right behind Capps as the No. 3 qualifier with his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, but the 2012 Funny Car champion suffered an explosion in the first round to end his day.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.879 ET)


Rd. 1: (.122-second reaction time, 4.715 seconds at 225.60 mph) beat No. 11 Robert Hight (.086/4.806/273.44)
Rd. 2: (.091/4.454/244.74) beat No. 14 Richard Townsend (.122/5.174/144.52)
Rd. 3: (.082/3.916/328.46) beat No. 10 Shawn Langdon (.076/3.958/325.77)
Rd. 4: (.052/6.814/101.57) lost to No. 1 Courtney Force (.104/3.834/337.16)

“The car out of the box was good, then we had the problems on Saturday. We had maybe a little luck the first two rounds, but everyone was smoking the tires. We kept working hard and got those round wins and laid down a nice solid run in the semis, so I was confident going into the finals. I thought we had something for Courtney. But I'm just happy the performance of the car is kind of coming back to us. We're still new to the six-disc (clutch) and learning it. I think the guys made big strides this weekend.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.926 ET)


Rd. 1: (.071-second reaction time, 3.910 seconds at 331.85 mph) beat No. 8 J.R. Todd (.060/4.017/320.66)
Rd. 2: (.081/4.480/192.19) lost to No. 1 Courtney Force (.096/3.965/319.14)

“We came in and tested in Phoenix and had a really nice session. We got here, and the weather changed, and we changed up some blower combos and some things like that, kind of making some more horsepower than we expected. We started trying to pull some of that back and then obviously, when you start doing that, it affects everything. You change one thing and it changes ten.

“All-in-all we went through first round and I was really impressed with (crew chief) Dickie Venables. In the first round there were guys smoking the tires and rattling up the tree and just couldn’t get down the track. He made some really big wholesale changes to get us where we went 91 (3.91 seconds) and ended up having lane choice out there for second round, but with the delays we already had our tune-up set and conditions changed. There just wasn’t a lot we could do. We’re going to roll to Gainesville next and do our thing.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.679 ET)


Rd. 1: (.050-second reaction time, 3.679 seconds at 333.08 mph) beat No. 13 Troy Buff (.115/3.823/314.75)
Rd. 2: (.084/7.962/86.85) lost to No. 12 Scott Palmer (.099/3.844/325.85)

“It wasn’t the weekend we were looking for, but there were some positives. The feeling of a round win was much needed. It’s been a while and that’s what all the work is for, those small moments that we get to enjoy going rounds. The roller coaster saga continues. When we were in the lanes for E2 for quite some time, the conditions changed more than what we were expecting, and we adjusted for it trying to be as versatile as possible, but we were a little too much out of our spectrum.

“Coming out of Phoenix, having the know-how that we still do know how to get down the racetrack on race days and be the quickest and the fastest is what’s going to propel us to Gainesville.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.649 ET and 336.57 MPH *both records)


Rd. 1: (.089-second reaction time, 4.858 seconds at 189.66 mph) lost to No. 16 Greg Carrillo (.097/4.223/221.27)

“We’ve got a great team and went fast. We got a great race car, great team, we’re getting along excellent. It’s just one of those things that’s going to happen randomly throughout the season. You’ve got to look at the luck that goes on. At the end of the day this is not an easy thing to go out and do. We’ve got a great team. We keep our chins up. We’re happy with all the guys, they’re doing a great job. The car is performing as well as anything we’ve seen in a long time. It’s good to be here.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.844 ET)


Rd. 1: (.090-second reaction time, 3.908 seconds at 325.30 mph) beat No. 15 Tim Wilkerson (.074/4.091/256.89)
Rd. 2: (.097/4.651/182.30) lost to No. 10 Shawn Langdon (.072/3.927/328.14)

“It takes a little while for it to sink in because we really felt like we had a car that was capable of taking the win today. We’re disappointed. It’s part of the growing pains, but we had such a great race car, and to have a chance of winning like we did, and have lane choice going back into round two, it’s been a very interesting weekend. We didn’t hurt any parts. The car is in one piece and we’re looking forward to Gainesville.” ?

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.845 ET)

Rd. 1: (.075-second reaction time, No Time) lost to No. 14 Richard Townsend (.098/5.503/179.90)

“The Infinite Hero team is going to stay and test tomorrow. We’re testing because, even though I think we have a phenomenal and versatile car good in all conditions right now, we’ve still got some different parts and pieces and some of our spare parts that we need to cycle through to make sure that we’re good to go for the hard push in the summer months. So, we will cross two more things off our list before we leave here tomorrow afternoon. We will eliminate the cause of our first-round explosion and we will test enough things that we’ll roll into Gainesville with even more confidence.”

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
In the Stock Eliminator class Jerry Stein from Brentwood, California, drove his 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 440 to the Stock Eliminator quarter finals at the NHRA Phoenix Nationals. Stein raced through four rounds of tough competition only to lose by a mere 0.0018 seconds, roughly four inches, at the finish line. Stein’s Dart GTS 440 advanced the furthest in the eliminations and had the best package to earn the Dodge Top Finisher award in Stock Eliminator at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.

Longtime Mopar Sportsman Racer Mike Cotton of Cave Creek, Arizona piloted his 1970 big-block powered Plymouth ‘Cuda to a Super Stock runner-up finish at the 2018 NHRA Phoenix Nationals. Cotton’s ‘Cuda advanced through six rounds of intense competition at Wild Horse Motorsports Park before falling just short of another career win by 0.021 seconds. For advancing the furthest in Super Stock, Cotton will receive the Dodge Top Finisher award.

The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its second year, awards $500 to Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered car at all 24 NHRA national events.





Up Next: NHRA Gatornationals
Mopar and Dodge//SRT competitors will head next to the NHRA Gatornationals, March 15-18, at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. Top Fuel track record holder, Tony Schumacher, the winningest Top Fuel driver at Gainesville Raceway, will be seeking his sixth victory at the popular track.

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 2 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 179
2. Courtney Force – 160
3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T – 139
4. Robert Hight – 133
5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T – 128
6. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T – 122
7. Jonnie Lindberg – 107
8. Shawn Langdon – 104
9. J.R. Todd – 83
10. Cruz Pedregon – 82

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence – 183
2. Doug Kalitta – 144
3. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI – 140
4. Scott Palmer – 139
5. Antron Brown – 133
6. Clay Millican – 122
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 90
8. Brittany Force – 86
9. Billy Torrence – 71
10. Greg Carrillo – 66

Rick

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Mopar Dodge//SRT Driver Pritchett Primed for Double Duty

Mopar Dodge//SRT Driver Pritchett Primed for Double Duty in Top Fuel, Factory Stock Showdown at NHRA Gatornationals

Test sessions have Top Fueler Leah Pritchett ready to race her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in Factory Stock Showdown class at Gainesville Raceway
NHRA Pro Stock world champion Allen Johnson will also drive Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in Factory Stock Showdown
Geoff Turk cracks seven-second barrier at NMCA event; will look to repeat the feat at NHRA Gatornationals
NHRA Funny Car points leader Matt Hagan to lead Mopar Dodge//SRT Don Schumacher Racing squad into Gatornationals
Mopar Dodge//SRT display to feature popular Challenger SRT Demon simulators, elevated fan VIP viewing area at Gainesville Raceway
New Dodge Garage (www.dodgegarage.com), a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches; will include highlights from NHRA season

March 14, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Leah Pritchett will drive her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak (shown above during testing) in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown category at the NHRA Gatornationals, March 15-18 at Gainesville Raceway, in addition to taking her usual seat in the Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster at the event.

Geoff Turk made history on Saturday, March 10 in his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) event in Bradenton, Florida, becoming the first driver in that series to break into the seven-second range with a 7.996-second elapsed time. Turk will attempt to match that feat at the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend and also become the first driver in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown series to run in the seven-second zone.



Mopar and Dodge//SRT racers are set to battle in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida, March 15-18, with one driver — Leah Pritchett — bidding for Wally trophies in both series.

In addition to her customary seat in the Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster, Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Pritchett will also take the wheel of a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown category. Pritchett used a rare break last week from the NHRA circuit to test and tune her 354-cubic-inch HEMI®-engine-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) event in Bradenton, Florida.

Pritchett, with crew chief and new DSR employee Kevin Helms on hand, was able to put valuable track time under her belt at Bradenton before the first of seven NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events in which she will compete this year. Her Drag Pak will carry a unique Mopar and Dodge//SRT-themed livery, designed by motorsports lifestyle brand Hoonigan, all season.


“The double-duty aspect, I had a taste of it last year and honestly, I think it makes me a better racer overall,” said Pritchett, who raced in two Factory Stock Showdown events last year. “To have a three-time World Champion Sportsman racer like Kevin Helms (as crew chief) is definitely an ace in my pocket, and I’m just being a student of his. We have had a pretty good off-season of development. The test sessions we’ve had, I never experienced a crew chief that was a driver and tuner before, so the dynamic is very exciting and compelling to me.”

Joining Pritchett in the fierce, competitive field of 30-plus entries in Factory Stock Showdown will be a name familiar to Mopar and Dodge//SRT fans — 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Allen Johnson. Johnson will drive a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak owned by Jeff Teuton, with additional vehicle preparation and support provided by Don Schumacher Motorsports (DSM) and Mopar Dodge//SRT engineers.

“I think it’s going to be very similar, almost like a drop back into time to the type of Pro Stock cars you would have seen in the 1970s,” said Johnson, whose father and engine builder Roy Johnson will also make the trip to Gainesville. “It’s given my dad a lot of energy. We obviously don’t have the crew we used to have, so it’s giving him a lot of work. I’m really excited. I’m also excited it’s only about six or seven races, compared to all 24.”

The final member of the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Factory Stock Showdown trio competing at Gainesville will enter the event fresh off a record-setting run. Geoff Turk made NMCA history last weekend at the Bradenton event, becoming the first driver in the series to break into the seven-second range with a 7.996-second elapsed time at 170.10 mph during qualifying for the event on March 10.

Turk is already unofficially the fastest in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown class after running an 8.02-second elapsed time in his Blackbird Drag Pak at an NHRA Division 3 event last October, and will attempt to match last weekend’s performance by becoming the first NHRA Factory Stock driver to run in the seven-second zone this weekend at Gainesville.

Funny Car Points Leader Matt Hagan Leads Mopar Dodge//SRT Don Schumacher Racing Teams into Gatornationals
Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T driver Matt Hagan will lead the DSR squad into the NHRA Gatornationals as the current points leader in the NHRA Funny Car class.

Hagan notched a season-opening win at the NHRA Winternationals in February, and is seeking his first career win at Gainesville Raceway. Hagan's DSR teammates follow close behind him in the standings, with Ron Capps third entering this weekend, Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T driver Tommy Johnson Jr. fifth and Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T pilot Jack Beckman a spot down in sixth.

In Top Fuel, Pritchett is looking for her first win of the season as well as the first of her career at the NHRA Gatornationals, while her Mopar-powered teammate and U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher owns five Gainesville wins, most in the class.

Mopar Dodge//SRT Display to Feature Challenger SRT Demon Simulators
The Mopar Dodge//SRT display — one of the largest on NHRA Manufacturers Midway at nearly 5,000 square-feet — will feature the crowd-favorite Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators, giving enthusiasts a virtual seat behind the wheel of the 840-horsepower, most powerful muscle car in history. An elevated viewing area atop the Dodge rig section of the combined display will also debut for the first time at the NHRA Gatornationals, giving VIP fans the chance to get a unique aerial view of the midway and track not offered at any other display.

Fans can also enter to win prizes, learn more about Mopar parts and accessories and meet their favorite NHRA stars at the Mopar Dodge//SRT autograph session, scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 17. The session will feature a very special guest — NHRA legend and iconic Mopar Dodge drag racer “Big Daddy” Don Garlits.

Dodge Garage: New Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans now have a new one-stop destination for Mopar and Dodge drag racing news. Dodge Garage is a digital content hub and premier destination for drag racing and muscle car enthusiasts.

Fans can view daily updates and get access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge Garage features include exclusive content such as a three-part video series, “Chasing the Title,” that offers fans a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse at Pritchett and her DSR team in action.

About Dodge//SRT
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is FCA North America’s mainstream performance brand, and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the company in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2018, the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the fastest quarter-mile production car in the world and most powerful muscle car ever, is taking the world by storm, along with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, and the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. These new SRT ultimate performance models join a brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

About Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

Rick

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Beckman Powers Mopar and Dodge//SRT to Funny Car Pole at NHRA Gatornationals

Beckman Powers Mopar and Dodge//SRT to Funny Car Pole at NHRA Gatornationals

Jack Beckman captures third No. 1 spot in three events for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver
Pole is the 24th of Beckman’s career and second at Gainesville Raceway
Five Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T drivers make Funny Car field at NHRA Gatornationals
Mopar-powered Top Fuel drivers Tony Schumacher and Leah Pritchett to start from No. 4 and No. 6 spots, respectively
Pritchett puts Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in second day of Factory Stock Showdown eliminations, keeps quest alive for two Wally trophies


March 17, 2018 , Gainesville, Florida -



Jack Beckman collected the third No. 1 spot in three events for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver this season, claiming the pole in his Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car before a sellout crowd at the 49th annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

The top spot is the 24th of Beckman’s career and second at the iconic Gatornationals race. He’ll be joined by Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates and fellow Mopar Dodge pilots Tommy Johnson Jr., Matt Hagan and Ron Capps in elimination rounds tomorrow at Gainesville Raceway, as well as by Jim Dunn Racing and Dodge driver Jim Campbell.


Beckman was on fire on Friday’s first day of qualifying, earning six bonus points and going low in both rounds with a pass of 3.958 seconds at 325.61 mph and a Q2 run of 3.911/332.18, which ultimately earned him the pole. The 2012 Funny Car World Champion added two respectable runs during the third and fourth qualifying rounds on Saturday to earn an extra bonus point.

Johnson, driving the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T, secured a top-five starting position on the strength of a 3.933 run in Friday’s second session. Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T driver Hagan’s best effort also came in Q2, a 3.941 that placed him sixth entering Sunday. Following close behind was Mopar-powered Dodge teammate Capps, whose quickest time on the clock was a 3.944-second elapsed time in Saturday’s first qualifying session.

Tony Schumacher led the way with Mopar power in the Top Fuel ranks, qualifying No. 4 thanks to a 3.785-second mark in his very first qualifying attempt. The same was true for Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett, who recorded a 3.811 right out of the gate in Q1 to grab the No. 6 position.



Pritchett will have an opportunity to capture two Wally trophies on Sunday at Gainesville Raceway after driving her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak into the second day of Factory Stock Showdown elimination rounds. In qualifying, Pritchett locked down the No. 7 spot with a best run of 8.109/168.22 in the second session on Friday, in addition to a Q1 run on Friday of 8.194/168.16 and a final attempt of 8.257/165.40 on Saturday.

She lined up her 354 supercharged Mopar Dodge Drag Pak against Daniel Condon in round one of Factory Stock. Pritchett left first with a .051 reaction time and never trailed, posting a 8.183/166.50 mark to the Camaro driver’s losing 8.204/165.52 effort. The DSR star will square off with Randy Taylor in the Factory Stock quarterfinals on Sunday.

Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Factory Stock Showdown racer Geoff Turk made history last weekend at the NMCA Bradenton event, becoming the first driver to break into the seven-second range in a Factory Stock car. Turk was quick at Gainesville, qualifying No. 5 with a 8.099-second elapsed time, but was unable to make the call in eliminations due to mechanical issues.

Pro Stock World Champion and longtime Mopar Dodge driver Allen Johnson will look to rebound at the next event after failing to qualify in his Factory Stock debut. Johnson’s best run was a 10.948/144.92, with a transmission issue scuttling his final attempt to the crack the competitive Factory Stock field.

Mopar Dodge//SRT Notes & Quotes
(best elapsed time in bold)


Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Jim Campbell
Friday: (3.958 seconds at 325.61 mph – Q1); (3.911/332.18 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.025/316.15 – Q3); (4.007/322.04 – Q4)

“I love the fact that we did everything pretty darn good for four runs over the course of the two days here. I think it gives us a leg up going into tomorrow. We’ll have lane choice and we’ll get to pick when we’re going to run. We could make a poor decision, but I like that it’s our decision to make.

“I think by and large, you make your own luck. The team services the car perfectly, the crew chiefs put their heads together, go over data from past runs with similar conditions and make an educated tune-up there, and then you try and outdrive the person in the other lane. You race the race track. We have to do everything a little bit better than they do, but in our lane.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 6, will face No. 11 Tim Wilkerson
Friday: (4.142 seconds at 251.77 mph – Q1); (3.941/328.22 – Q2)
Saturday: (5.064/149.51 – Q3); (5.775/123.06 – Q4)

“Gainesville, I mean, I just can’t get it to show me any love. It’s one of those places that no matter how great your combo is, this place steps on my toes all the time. We’re trying to work through it. We’ve got a good car. Obviously, Dickie (Venables, Hagan’s crew chief) has the skills and the know-how to navigate a hot racetrack. We just have to get it dialed in tomorrow.

“(Tim) Wilkerson (Hagan’s first round opponent) has had some issues, having to bring out a new car. And I wanted to say my respects to him on his dad passing away this weekend, obviously he’s got that on his mind, and we’ll be thinking about him.

“We’ve got to figure out what we’ve got going on, and lay it down. We’ve had four shots at it, and hopefully we have four shots at it tomorrow.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 6, will face No. 11 Terry Haddock
Friday: (3.811 seconds at 325.77 mph – Q1); (No Time – Q2)
Saturday: (10.137/72.12 – Q3); (3.864/313.95 – Q4)

“We’ve been going wide open. I’ve got to say, there’s so much on the line: the world championship, charity for our veterans and of course in Factory Stock, with bolt-on parts that you can put on your Mopar Dodge//SRT Drag Pak.

“I’m wide open all the time, but thanks for all the patience from DSR and all the fans, it means a lot. I’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m trying to win it all.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 Bob Tasca
Friday: (4.700 seconds at 174.96 mph – Q1); (3.972/322.73 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.944/325.06 – Q3); (3.967/324.20 – Q4)

“It's a new six-disc for us so we're learning but [Rahn Tobler, Capps’s crew chief] was very happy. Friday night when we got done, he said we're going to use tomorrow for Sunday. It's going to be the same conditions. It's so nice to see Tobler with a smile on his face. This is a tricky track and on Sunday, you're going to have to really earn it.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Cruz Pedregon
Friday: (10.788 seconds at 78.82 mph – Q1); (3.933/327.27 – Q2)
Saturday: (5.494/127.07 – Q3); (10.082/7.997 – Q4)

“We're struggling with the changes. The six-disc clutch is still new to us. This is the first hot track conditions we've seen with it so we're making ground. We made a nice run in the best conditions of the weekend so tomorrow will be more like we've seen today. So we have to learn from what we did during these two runs and put that together to make a nice solid day.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Brittany Force
Friday: (3.785 seconds at 329.67 mph – Q1); (7.873/84.21 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.841/146.59 – Q3); (5.463/122.95 – Q4)

“I love this race. It’s top three for me without a doubt. We just do so well here and that gives us a ton of confidence. The place was sold out today and fans jammed in here to see us do battle. There’s just something about racing here. We’ve won this race more than anyone else (in Top Fuel) and I’m excited to have another chance Sunday.”

Fans can view daily updates and get access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. For information on Mopar on and off the track, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog, http://blog.mopar.com.

Tune-in Info
FOX Sports 1 will broadcast three hours of eliminations coverage of the 49th annual NHRA Gatornationals starting at 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 18.

Rick

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Beckman Wins All-Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car Final

Mopar-powered Driver Beckman Wins All-Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car Final at NHRA Gatornationals

Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman outruns Matt Hagan to win from pole at Gainesville Raceway
Victory is 27th of Beckman’s career and second this season for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver
Points leader Hagan wraps up wild weekend with runner-up showing in Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T in his 500th round of racing
Trio of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers advance to semifinals at Gainesville Raceway
Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster driver Leah Pritchett’s day ends in quarterfinals
Pritchett takes Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to second round in Factory Stock Showdown to cap solid weekend
Nichols, Kay earn Dodge Top Finisher awards at Gainesville
More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com



March 18, 2018 , Gainesville, Florida -



Jack Beckman capped off an amazing weekend for Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers by racing from the pole to defeat teammate Matt Hagan and take the victory in an all-Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car final round at the 49th Annual NHRA Gatornationals.

Beckman’s victory was the second for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver this year, as well as the second from the No. 1 spot. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Funny Car pilots also claimed three of four spots in the semifinals, and own the top two spots in the Funny Car standings, as well as three of the top four positions.

En route to his 27th career win and his first at historic Gainesville Raceway, Beckman got down the track to make eight solid runs in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T during qualifying and eliminations, including a 3.911-second elapsed time to claim the No. 1 spot.


He kicked off eliminations by leaving first and leading all the way against fellow Dodge driver and No. 16 qualifier Jim Campbell. In round two, Beckman’s 3.973-second run at 318.54 mph helped him quickly overcome a slight starting line advantage by opponent Del Worsham. Beckman was slower in the semfiinals but his 4.478-second pass was enough to hold off Shawn Landon, who smoked the tires.

The all-DSR Mopar Dodge battle between Beckman and Hagan was a thriller, with Beckman off the line first but with Hagan closing the gap. In the end, Beckman was able to hold off the hard-charging Hagan, taking the holeshot win with a quicker .051 reaction time paired with a 4.035/323.58 pass to his teammate's slower .062 reaction time and 4.034/322.04 mark. His performance this weekend also moved Beckman into the second spot in the point standings.

Hagan’s run to the final round in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge included a first-round win over Tim Wilkerson and then a wild, fiery ride against Robert Hight in the quarterfinals. Hight’s engine exploded near the 660-ft mark, with his Funny Car body flying apart. As Hagan raced by in the right lane his engine did the same, sending the car body flying high in the air, but Hagan was able to cross the line at 4.027/291.26 to earn a hard-fought round win.

The Mopar Express Lane Dodge team and crew chief Dickie Venables thrashed and dug deep to get a backup car ready for Hagan to face DSR teammate and Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T driver Ron Capps in the semifinals. The hard work paid off as Hagan, the Funny Car points leader, posted a solid 4.056/310.91 to advance to his 49th career final round and reach a remarkable milestone, his 500th career round of racing.

Capps’ road to the semifinals included a first-round victory over Bob Tasca III that earned him lane choice in round two versus Courtney Force. In the quarterfinals, the 2016 Funny Car champion was first off of the starting line and never trailed for the win with a 4.060-second pass. The fourth DSR team member, Tommy Johnson Jr., the most recent Funny Car runner-up, defeated Cruz Pedregon in round one, but in the quarterfinals Johnson’s opponent Shawn Langdon was able to pull ahead early and take the win against Johnson's tire smoking effort.

Mopar-powered NHRA Top Fuel dragster DSR teammates Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher were dealt similar fates on Sunday at Gainesville Raceway, as both bowed out in round two.

Pritchett clocked a 3.735/321.50 in her Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge dragster to knock out Terry Haddock to open eliminations, and also showcased her quick trigger reflexes with a .053 reaction time at the starting tree, quickest of the round. Pritchett’s day ended in the quarterfinals with a 3.779/327.51 that was second-quickest of the session but wasn’t enough to overcome teammate Antron Brown’s even quicker and faster 3.793/324.20 run.

After resetting the Gainesville Raceway speed record earlier in the weekend and running low E.T. of the first qualifying session, defending event champion Tony Schumacher looked primed for a repeat. The U.S. Army dragster driver took down Brittany Force in round one with a 3.717/329.26 pass. In the quarterfinals, Schumacher’s starting line advantage quickly evaporated after he smoked the tires, preventing the “Sarge” from chasing down round winner Shawn Reed.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA

“Two wins at the first three events is a great start to the season for the Mopar and Dodge brands. This victory is a testament not only to HEMI engine power, but also to the talent and skill of Jack Beckman, his team and the entire Don Schumacher Racing organization.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America

“Congratulations to Jack Beckman on racing his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to the win today at the NHRA Gatornationals. Jack's victory really showcases how the increased teamwork between Dodge and Mopar this NHRA season is already paying dividends.”





Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.911 ET)

Rd. 1: (.061-second reaction time, 3.934 seconds at 327.43 mph) beat No. 16 Jim Campbell (.138/4.183/305.29)
Rd. 2: (.081/3.973/318.54) beat No. 9 Del Worsham (.060/4.032/315.56)
Rd. 3: (.083/4.478/199.35) beat No. 4 Shawn Langdon (.143/9.414/81.39)
Rd. 4: (.051/4.035/323.58) beat No. 6 Matt Hagan (.062/4.034/322.04)

“The Gatornationals came on the schedule in 1970 when NHRA went from four races to seven. That was the super season, the first year they crowned a Funny Car champion. 1970 was a big year for our sport, and it’s been at this track ever since then, and I’ve never gotten close. It was such a bucket list thing (to win here).

“I flew in a day earlier, and on Thursday I went to the Hall of Fame (dinner), and I got to present Johnny Gray with the Pat Garlits award in honor of Terry Chandler, who is still on the side of our car and made all of this possible. There are 21 of us who have jobs today because of Terry Chandler and how big her heart was, and now her husband Doug wants to carry it on. He’s loving it because he knows Terry is looking down and saying, ‘Alright -- my boys did it.’”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.941 ET)

Rd. 1: (086-second reaction time, 3.976 seconds at 328.38 mph) beat No. 11 Tim Wilkerson (.073/7.821/131.27)
Rd. 2: (.066/4.027/291.26) beats No. 3 Robert Hight (.073/4.067/265.53)
Rd. 3: (.088/4.056/310.91) beats No. 7 Ron Capps (.072/9.134/81.86)
Rd. 4: (.062/4.034/322.04) lost to No. 1 Jack Beckman (.051/4.035/323.58)

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest. I've never been to the finals in Gainesville. We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps, then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.

“These guys put a great race car together. We ran a really close race out there. It was within one [thousandth of a second] but it was one of those deals where I just got left on by Jack Beckman. You have to go home and work on that and not let these guys down who worked all day long to get you there. We'll take these next few weeks and revaluate and focus and move forward.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.944 ET)

Rd. 1: (.083-second reaction time, 3.959 seconds at 324.28 mph) beat No. 10 Bob Tasca (.076/3.981/325.30)
Rd. 2: (.074/4.060/317.64) beat No. 2 Courtney Force (.096/8.255/88.83)
Rd. 3: (.072/9.134/81.86) lost to No. 6 Matt Hagan (.088/4.056/310.91)

“You know, it’s such a big race, the Gatornationals. These big races seem to take a little bit more to get over. And the further you go on Sunday, like we did getting to the semifinals, you feel like you have a good shot. The way I look at it, the more runs you give (crew chief) Rahn Tobler, the more competitive our car is going to get, and I really felt like we had a handle on it. For some reason, it (the car) smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle, and we haven’t done that in a long time. We’ll have to look and see what it did, and go on to the next race.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.933 ET)

Rd. 1: (.062-second reaction time, 3.995 seconds at 325.69 mph) beat to No. 12 Cruz Pedregon (.073/4.083/298.87)
Rd. 2: (.056/4.841/172.10) lost to No. 4 Shawn Langdon (.078/4.025/313.37)

“We’re making a little progress, but we’re going to have to keep working at it. We’ve got good data on the six-disc (clutch). When track conditions are good we run well and qualify well. We just need to keep learning on what adjustments to make when the track conditions change and it gets hot out. So, we’re making some strides, we’re still going a round or two. If we can continue this progress, we’ll get better and better.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.811 ET)

Rd. 1: (.053-second reaction time, 3.735 seconds at 321.50 mph) beat No. 11 Terry Haddock (.134/4.032/284.75)
Rd. 2: (.098/3.779/327.51) lost to No. 3 Antron Brown (.067/3.793/324.20)

“We are still making progress. I feel like we have our gremlins out of the way. Our hot rod is back and it showed it on the track today. I take the blame for losing to my U.S. Army teammate Antron Brown. He came out stronger. It’s extremely frustrating. I missed it. I’ve been on it all weekend in both cars and missed it when it counted most. We win together as a team and it feels great. The highs are high and the lows are low. This has been an exciting, very high-paced weekend in Gainesville. I’m disappointed it ended early, and on my shoulders, but we’ll bounce back.”

“I feel like weekends like this where I have the chance to stretch my capabilities will only continue to help me in the future. Learning how to differentiate between cars (her Top Fuel and Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak) in a moment’s notice is something that requires a lot of focus and versatility. We’re getting better at it and I’m excited to have a handful more weekends like this ahead of me in 2018.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.785 ET)

Rd. 1: (.060-second reaction time, 3.717 seconds at 329.26 mph) beat No. 13 Brittany Force (.085/3.742/329.10)
Rd. 2: (.069/4.604/200.77) lost to No. 12 Shawn Reed (.094/4.027/245.58)

“We worked hard all weekend to put ourselves in a good position today and that showed in the first round when we made our best pass of the weekend. This U.S. Army team won’t quit. We all want to win so bad. We’ll get back after it and just keep plugging away. This was a great weekend for the fans of NHRA and we were just hoping to make Gatornationals history today. We’ll have to come back next year and try again."

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Leah Pritchett’s busy schedule at the NHRA Gatornationals included an entry in the NHRA Sportsman Factory Stock Showdown category in the seat of a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, along with her usual Top Fuel duties.

The DSR star drove to the No. 7 qualifying spot and a victory in the first round of eliminations. Pritchett was first off the starting line with a .038 reaction time in round two against Randy Taylor (.110), but was unable to beat her opponent to the stripe, posting a 8.353/163.91 pass to Taylor’s 8.189/165.99 run.

A pair of Mopar-powered NHRA Sportsman racers came away with Dodge Top Finisher awards at the NHRA Gatornationals. Jim Nichols from Centerburg, Ohio, drove his high-flying AA/SA HEMI-powered 1965 Plymouth Belvedere to the second round at the NHRA Gatornationals, earning the award and $500 bonus in Super Stock.
In the Stock category, Richard Kay of East Meadow, New York, raced his small block Mopar engine-powered SS/BM 1969 Plymouth Valiant to a third-round finish. Kay, who claimed a Dodge Top Finisher award in 2017, scored his second at Gainesville.

Up Next: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Next on the schedule for the Mopar and Dodge//SRT squad is the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, scheduled for April 6-8 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will be the first at the venue since the dragstrip was reconfigured to accommodate the unique “four-wide” drag racing format, which features drivers competing in four separate lanes simultaneously.

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 3 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 268
2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 247

3. Courtney Force (1) – 219
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T – 218
5. Robert Hight – 185
6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T – 182
7. Shawn Langdon – 174
8t. Jonnie Lindberg – 117
8t. J.R. Todd – 117
10. Del Worsham – 116

NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence (1) –217
2. Antron Brown – 210
3. Clay Millican – 204
4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI – 198
5. Doug Kalitta (1) – 182
6. Richie Crampton (1) – 163
7. Scott Palmer –161
8. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI – 147
9. Brittany Force – 117
10. Terry McMillen – 116

Rick

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NHRA Vegas 4-Wide Nationals

NHRA Vegas 4-Wide Nationals Doubles Excitement for Drivers and Fans

04/06/2018




Imagine if you can, witnessing and feeling 50,000 horsepower of nitro inhaling supercharged HEMI® powered Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars all traveling down a four-lane drag strip at once. The concussion from all that power rotating the earth is monumental for both drivers and fans. The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will shake the Nevada desert and move the mountains as the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals makes history this weekend.

For those of you new to the whole four-wide drag racing scene, this format can trace its roots back to the 1950s and 60s when hundreds of racers inundated their local drag strips in search of winning class, eliminator trophies and cash. Some track promoters began booking match races with big name racers to run four wide, much to the delight of the fans on bleachers and hanging on the fence rooting for their favorite driver and/or car brand.

Over time, NHRA moved away from the four-wide system and went to more traditional two-lane drag strips for many reasons, but primarily it was safer and more manageable. As NHRA drag racing matured, and the cars and safety equipment improved, the folks at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte created the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in 2010. Considered by many racers as the “Bellagio of drag strips”, it’s a spectacle of four-wide racing that contains Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle doing battle.

Since zMax Dragway is a modern facility with all the latest advancements in safety equipment and an electronic infrastructure, it was a no brainer to use the same formula for their sister track in Las Vegas that’s also run by the same owners.

The decision was made at the end of the 2017 NHRA season to make The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway a four-lane drag strip. As if the town of Las Vegas wasn’t crazy enough with its over the top vibe, it was the perfect backdrop to bring the first-ever four-wide event to the West Coast. With two NHRA drag races at The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the race officials made the spring Vegas event a four-wide format.

From a racer’s perspective, four-wide racing can be a challenge.

“Some drivers feel strongly one way or another toward four-wide racing as a whole but, for me, I take the approach of, ‘How can you excel at something you don’t embrace?’” said Leah Pritchett, driver of Papa Johns Dodge//SRT®/Mopar® Top Fuel Dragster. “Can it throw all of us off our very much dialed-in precision routine? Yes. Are there larger chances for error? Yes. Does race-day mentality change once past the Christmas tree? Yes. Does it require a maximum level of focus? Of course. But that’s what the four-wide racing brings, beyond just the cars being physically lined up four-wide across.”

Regardless on how the drivers feel, they will all face the same challenges this weekend at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. With four fresh lanes that have been paved and groomed, there is no lane advantage yet. Come Sunday though, that might not be the case.

Rick

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Finishes in Funny Car and Top Fuel at Vegas

Mopar-powered Drivers Beckman and Schumacher Earn Runner-up
Finishes in Funny Car and Top Fuel at Vegas

Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. advance to final four in Funny Car, with Beckman earning runner-up honors
Beckman departs Vegas at top of Funny Car points championship standings
Tony Schumacher qualified No. 1, takes runner-up position in Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster driver Leah Pritchett had the quickest pass of her quad and finished as runner-up in round one
Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers Ron Capps and Matt Hagan qualified well but out in round one
Four Mopar drivers in Top Five in Funny Car point standings
Larry Gilley and Mike Cotton earn Dodge Top Finisher awards
More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com


April 8, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Mopar and Dodge//SRT drivers Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) posted runner-up finishes Sunday at the 19th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


Schumacher was only about 4 feet shy of a Wally after the finals in Top Fuel, and Beckman was only about 9 feet short at the end of the Funny Car competition. The latter saw Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate and fellow Mopar driver Tommy Johnson Jr. run the quickest pass of the quad, but foul out on a red light after leaving the starting line too early. Beckman was second out of the gate and held on for the runner-up position.

The exciting finals were viewed by a packed house assembled to see the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ first event west of the Mississippi River, featuring four lanes of action simultaneously instead of two lanes. The Four-Wide Nationals only require three rounds to crown a winner, with two drivers advancing from each quadrant of four until an event champion emerges in the final round. The fans turned out in droves to see it, as NHRA and the drag strip’s officials announced two sellout crowds on Saturday and Sunday, a first for the facility’s spring race.

Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Mopar-powered Top Fuel dragster, was that division’s top qualifier, the 86th of his career, second of the 2018 season and 11th at The Strip in Las Vegas, with a sizzling 328.46 miles per hour pass. He won his first round of eliminations convincingly over Steve Chrisman, but on the top end of that run Schumacher’s engine let go with a fireball when a fuel line broke.

He and Chrisman advanced to round two to face Clay Millican and Steve Torrence. The latter won that round but after an intense engine change after first round eliminations by the U.S. Army team, “The Sarge” came through as the runner-up, despite having to pedal it a couple of times. Schumacher turned in an excellent pass in the finals for the division’s runner-up honors, just getting edged by Torrence, who took home the Wally.

Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster driver Leah Pritchett had the quickest pass of her quad with a 3.793 E.T. while finishing second in round one of eliminations to No. 2 qualifier Anton Brown. She was No. 7 qualifier and helped oust Terry Totten and Mike Salinas in the first Top Fuel quad run.

Her runner-up spot earned her lane choice for round two and a big dose of confidence, but she just missed the finals when her 11,000-horsepower machine lost traction.

Jack Beckman started race day from the No. 13 seed. It was unfamiliar territory for the 2012 Funny Car world champion, who hasn’t qualified outside of the top three for the past six events, dating back to Dallas 2017.

In the first quad of eliminations, Beckman faced his teammate Ron Capps, reigning world champion Robert Hight, and Gary Densham. Beckman wheeled his Dodge Funny Car straight down the groove to take the round win and advance to the second session. In round two, Beckman had the starting line advantage and powered the Infinite Hero Foundation machine to another smooth pass, never trailing for the win.

The most recent Funny Car event winner (Gainesville) was hoping to go back-to-back and pick up his second victory of the year, and third “four-wide format” victory (Charlotte in 2011 and 2015). In the final elimination quad, Beckman was once again quick off of the line and raced to a hole shot runner-up finish. Although he wasn’t able to leave as the inaugural Las Vegas Four-Wide Funny Car winner, he was able to move into the points lead for the first time in 2018.

Tommy Johnson Jr. was set up to repeat his victory at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from last spring. He entered race day qualified second with his time of 3.932 at 318.84-mph.

During the first session of competition, Johnson drove Terry and Doug Chandler's Make-A-Wish Dodge to a 4.030 -second at 316.01-mph to advance to the second round. Johnson then ran the best lap of the session in round two with his stout 4.007-second pass to advance to ?the final quad along with his DSR teammate, Beckman. Unfortunately, during the finals Johnson was eliminated from competition when he left the starting line early and fouled out.

Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team qualified in the top half of the field among a stacked 20-car entry list. As the No. 4 qualifier, Capps faced teammate Beckman, Robert Hight and Gary Densham in the first elimination quad. Unfortunately, Capps would not be one of two drivers to advance to the second round of eliminations when a dropped cylinder and early deploying parachutes ended his chances at winning the first Western four-wide event.

Matt Hagan, driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, qualified seventh but was instantly disqualified in round one when he got on the throttle before the tree indicated to start, causing a red light foul. He’ll put that rare miscue behind him and get ready for the next event even more determined to do well.

The Las Vegas track is known to be one of the most difficult ones on the NHRA circuit for drivers and tuners alike due to the facility’s elevation and unique setting, forcing many to gamble on setups between each pass.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 1 Qualifier —3.765 ET at 328.46 mph

Rd. 1: (0.078-second reaction time, 3.899 seconds at 257.43 mph), defeats No. 16 Steven Chrisman (0.140/4.111/284.81), No. 9 Terry McMillen (0.073/4.697/173.01) and No. 8 Scott Palmer (0.076/7.975/94.17)
Schumacher and Chrisman advance to round 2; Schumacher had the third choice of lanes.

Rd. 2: (0.057/4.297/249.49) lost to No. 5 Steve Torrence (0.062/3.763/326.08) and beat No. 16 Steven Chrisman (0.192/4.568/216.24) and No. 13 Clay Millican (0.069/5.970/108.82).
Torrence and Schumacher advance to the finals.

Finals: (0.058/3.790/325.22) lost to No. 5 Steve Torrence (0.069/3.771/326.63), and defeated No. 6 Doug Kalitta (0.040/3.914/273.27) and No. 2 Antron Brown (0.051/4.097/252.52)

“The problem is our car is awesome but the track’s too long – we should’ve won (laughs). Seriously, it was an excellent weekend for the Army car. There’s nothing easy about this. We had a runner-up finish with four amazing cars in the final. We’ll regroup, we’ll go to Houston and we’ll do it again. We moved up in points (to second), so that’s a good thing.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel Dragster
No. 7 Qualifier — 3.798 ET at 323.35 mph

Rd. 1: (0.115-second reaction time, 3.793 at 324.05) lost to No. 2 Antron Brown (0.058/3.797/327.35) and defeated No. 15 Terry Totten (0.122/4.139/278.17) and No. 10 Mike Salinas (0.091/4.398/191.81).
Brown and Pritchett advanced to round two, where Pritchett had lane choice.

Rd. 2: (0.070/5.391/149.51) lost to No. 6 Doug Kalitta (0.056/3.864/320.13), No. 2 Antron Brown (0.071/4.0050/278.58) and No. 11 Richie Crampton (0.042/4.261/261.47)

“Sometimes we’re able to come back from a run and know what we did right, like we did on elimination round number one. We were the quickest car of the four. It brought confidence back to the team; we felt like we had our hot rod back. Just as soon as you believe that, round number two comes up and sometimes you’re able to see immediately if you got it right or of you didn’t, decipher exactly why. We’re still in the process of understanding why we smoked the tires because we weren’t trying for any record or to be the quickest of the day. We were just trying to get down the track on all eight [cylinders], and instead, for a reason we’re still trying to figure out, it didn’t want to take one of the clutch arms out of play so we ended up smoking the tires. But, the progression has been upward, so that’s positive, although not at the accelerated rate that we would like.”



Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 13 Qualifier — 4.028 ET at 310.05 mph

Rd. 1: 0.084-second reaction time, 4.082 seconds at 305.56 mph, defeated No. 12 Gary Densham (0.117/5.304/149.66), No. 5 Robert Hight (0.072/6.165/109.93) and No. 4 Ron Capps (0.080/6.697/78.55).
Beckman and Densham advance to round two.

Rd. 2: (0.076/4.013/317.05) to defeat No. 1 Courtney Force (0.113/4.126/298.67), No. 9 Jonnie Lindberg (0.101/4.674/188.65) and No. 12 Gary Densham (0.101/5.379/136.72).
Beckman and Courtney Force advance to the finals.

Finals: (0.057/4.052/312.21), lost to No. 3 J.R. Todd (0.050/4.041/317.05) and defeated No. 1 Courtney Force (0.103/4.007/300.53) and No. 2 Tommy Johnson Jr. (-0.008 (R)/3.978/311.70).

“It wasn’t the best weekend after qualifying Saturday night. We had problems, we were dropping cylinders, we were spinning tires, and we ended up 13th. We haven’t qualified out of the top three in the last six months and it’s certainly not what our potential is, but we left here with a runner-up. We got our act together on race day and we leave here with the points lead, so I think we did a great job of figuring out what was ailing our car and making the appropriate adjustments and going out there and gobbling up a bunch more points. Of course you want to win in the final round but I’m comfortable with the things we did here today are going to help us be a better car for the rest of the season, and we’re going to stay and test tomorrow.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 2 Qualifier — 3.932 ET at 318.84 mph

Rd. 1: (0.072-second reaction time, 4.030 seconds at 316.01 mph) to defeat No. 15 Del Worsham (0.090/4.496/244/25), No. 10 Tim Wilkerson (0.079/4.855/172.36) and No. 7 Matt Hagan (-0.003 (R)/5.899/117.68)
Johnson and Worsham advance to round two. Johnson had the third choice in lanes.

Rd. 2: (0.063/4.007/314.68) to defeat No. 3 J.R. Todd (0.068/4.054/314.17), No. 11 John Force (0.087/4.050/315.34) and No. 15 Del Worsham (0.091/4.049/307.93).
Johnson and Todd advance to the finals.

Finals: (-0.008 (R)/3.978/311.70) lost to No. 3 J.R. Todd (0.050/4.041/317.05), No. 13 Jack Beckman (0.057/4.052/312.21) and No. 1 Courtney Force (0.103/4.007/300.53).

“The car was running flawless and just performed exceptionally well this weekend. We found a problem after Gainesville and I’m super excited about what we’ve got in store for us. We were just a little short on completing a great weekend but I’m not disappointed whatsoever. Once you get running well you want to try to keep that going and with three in a row there’s a good chance we can go out there and win all three of those. I’m just super excited about the way this team is performing.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 4 Qualifier — 3.953 ET at 321.50 mph

Rd. 1: (0.080-second reaction time, 6.697 ET at 78.55 mph, lost to No. 13 Jack Beckman (0.084/4.082/305.56), No. 12 Gary Densham (0.117/5.304/149.66) and No. 5 Robert Hight (0.072/6.165/109.93).

“We’re not sure what happened just yet. We’re trying to analyze the run. It definitely had a cylinder go out at the hit of the throttle, which immediately shoved my NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge to the right towards Robert Hight’s lane. I was able to turn the steering wheel and get it back towards the center. You don’t know what’s going on in the other three lanes, so you have to stay in the throttle; that’s part of the four-wide race day strategy, and in this case, it ended up backfiring so we were done for the day.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 7 Qualifier — 3.987 ET at 322.96 mph

Rd. 1: (-0.003 red lighted)/5.899/117.68); lost to No. 2 Tommy Johnson Jr. (0.072/4.030/316.01), No. 15 Del Worsham (0.090/4.496.244.25) and No. 10 Tim Wilkerson (0.079/4.855/172.36)

“I think we had a racecar that could have done some stuff out here today, but we won’t know until next year. It’s a hard pill to swallow, obviously after the final in Gainesville, having a .60 light, when I’m usually .50s or .40s in the finals. We’ve got stuff we’ve got to work on with the car too. I put a lot of pressure on myself. It takes all of us to do everything. It all plays a part. I’ll get my mind right and get focused and hit the practice tree and get right with it.”

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight

Former Dodge Top Finisher winner and 2018 NHRA Winternationals champ Larry Gilley drove his 1969 Dodge Dart GTS to the final round of Stock Eliminator at the 2018 DENSO Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Powered by a Mopar 340 cubic-inch small block, Gilley’s Dart GTS was dialed-in all weekend as he raced through six-rounds of heated competition only to lose by 0.0035 seconds (approximately 7 inches) in the finals. For advancing the furthest in Stock Eliminator, Larry Gilley received the Dodge Top Finisher award that includes $500.

Mopar Sportsman Racer and previous Dodge Top Finisher winner, Mike Cotten of Cave Creek, Ariz., piloted his 1970 big-block Mopar powered Plymouth ‘Cuda to four-rounds of intense eliminations. Cotton’s ‘Cuda was consistent on race day but came up just a little short and lost by 0.018 seconds. For advancing the furthest in Super Stock, Mike Cotten received the Dodge Top Finisher award that includes $500.

The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its second year, awards $500 to Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered car at all 24 NHRA national events.


Up Next: NHRA Spring Nationals
Next up for the Mopar and Dodge//SRT race teams is the NHRA Spring Nationals, scheduled for April 20-22 at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown (Houston), Texas.

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 4 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (2) –333
2. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI — 300
3. Antron Brown — 290
4. Clay Millican — 255
5. Doug Kalitta (1) — 248
6. Richie Crampton (1) —215
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI — 202
8. Scott Palmer — 195
9. Brittany Force — 158
10. Terry McMillen — 148

NHRA Funny Car
1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 338
2. Courtney Force (1) — 302
3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) —301
4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T —265
5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T — 258

6. J.R. Todd (1) — 235
7. Robert Hight — 222
8. Shawn Langdon — 205
9. Jonnie Lindberg — 171
10. Del Worsham — 167

Rick

Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
Nitro Model: R/T 4X4 Stone White
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Leah Pritchett Ready for Repeat




Leah Pritchett Ready for Repeat Victory at NHRA Spring Nationals


04/20/2018

The calendar might say its spring, but tell that to the folks who live in parts of the country still mired in snow and torrential downpours. With whacky weather patterns inherent with the changing of the seasons, it’s anyone’s guess what to expect when they venture outside. It’s also true for our racers heading to the NHRA Spring Nationals this weekend at Houston Raceway Park. As with changes in the temperature and humidity, Dodge//SRT® Mopar® Top Fuel Dragster pilot Leah Pritchett is looking for a repeat victory this weekend as she goes back to her traditional driving style of racing on a two-lane drag strip. With the NHRA Vegas Four-Wide Nationals in the rearview mirror, Pritchett’s ready to jump back in the cockpit and whack the throttle of her 11,000-horsepower beast.



“Returning to Houston, sea level, at this particular moment in the season is huge for us,” said Pritchett. “There have been a number of changes setup-wise to the car since we last visited, and won, and most importantly, since our last race in Vegas. We are not just coming off of the four-wide Vegas race, we are entering Houston with some substantial changes to our Dodge//SRT Mopar-powered racecar. We tested in Vegas and are eager to place what we learned on the Baytown track.”



Last year at the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Pritchett’s nitro-infused HEMI® dragster qualified sixth and proceeded to take down Scott Palmer in round one, then Doug Kalitta in the quarter-finals. When it came time for the semis, she had to face fellow DSR teammate Antron Brown, but she was in the groove and got the win. In the finals, she defeated Steve Torrence.



“We have developed immensely as a team since claiming a victory here, and believe we are more hungry and determined than ever to get our mojo back, and believe we’re on the right path and are looking forward to Houston. Although only four races in, we have not been stagnant. Crew chiefs are focusing on making power earlier, my focus is on not overthinking the tree which I have been, and just racing.”

You can catch Leah Pritchett and the rest the nitro Top Fuel and Funny Car teams burning rubber from Houston Raceway Park this Sunday, April 22, live on FS1 starting at 2:00 PM ET.

Rick

Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
Nitro Model: R/T 4X4 Stone White
CAT-BACK Exhaust, CAI, Projector Head Lamps
Fully-Equipped w/all factory options
rickaren is online now  
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