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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Mopar to Semifinal Finishes at Charlotte

Hagan, Pritchett Take Dodge//SRT, Mopar to Semifinal Finishes at Charlotte

Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett advance to final elimination quad in their respective categories at NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Hagan races Pennzoil Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to semifinals finish at NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte
Hagan maintains hold on second spot in NHRA Funny Car standings
Pennzoil Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Pritchett joins Don Schumacher Racing teammate Hagan as semifinalist at Charlotte
Kelly Mack, Dave Thomas take Dodge Top Finisher honors at Charlotte


April 28, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett powered their Pennzoil Dodge//SRT Mopar machines to semifinal finishes in Funny Car and Top Fuel, respectively, at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte on Sunday, April 28.

Starting from the No. 6 position, Pennzoil Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Hagan finished second out of four drivers in the opening round of the unique “four-wide” racing format to advance deeper in eliminations on the strength of a 3.953 second elapsed time (ET) at 325.14 mph, his quickest pass of the weekend. In the next four-driver pairing, Hagan posted the quickest pass to continue on to the final quad.

Hagan, the 2013 winner at Charlotte, matched up with Force, Robert Hight and Shawn Langdon in the final foursome of the day. Chasing his second win of the season, the two-time Funny Car World Champion smoked the tires early and was forced to settle for a semifinals finish, with Langdon taking the event win. Hagan remains second in the Funny Car point standings.

Pritchett was hoping to end the day at zMAX Dragway with her first Four-Wide Wally trophy, but a loss of traction in the final round dashed her hopes at her first triumph of the year.

Pritchett and her Pennzoil Mopar Dodge team posted the third-best run of the final qualifying session to secure a spot in the top-half of the field. In round one, Pritchett led her quad with a solid 3.775 E.T. In the second elimination session, a blower belt caused the seven-time Top Fuel winner to slow to a 3.947 but it was enough to earn a spot in the final elimination quad where she eventually fell to reigning Top Fuel world champ Steve Torrence and Clay Millican, recording a semifinal finish.

“Fast” Jack Beckman looked to be on a bee-line to the winner’s circle in the early going on Sunday at zMAX Dragway in his Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. After banking five total bonus points en route to the No. 2 qualifying spot, DSR driver Beckman was quickest in his first foursome grouping in eliminations, clocking a 3.925 ET at 324.83 mph to advance.

Unfortunately, the 2012 Funny Car World Champion’s run ended in round two, thanks to a dropped cylinder that forced Beckman to pedal his car to a losing 7.194 ET finish. Beckman's performance moved him up in the Funny Car standings, where he now sits tied for fourth.

Tommy Johnson Jr. entered the weekend seeking his first zMAX Dragway win and qualified the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat No. 4. He posted a 3.978 E.T., the quickest of the first round, to score the victory over his competition. In round two, Johnson found himself stacked against three former world champions. His machine was on a good pass before hazing the tires just past halftrack, allowing his lane four opponent to pull ahead and nab the win, ending Johnson’s day.

As the No. 10 qualifier, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Ron Capps faced tough competition in his round-one elimination quad, which included teammate Jack Beckman, Tim Wilkerson, and Dave Richards. Capps stood on the gas and his machine lost traction shortly after, slowing to a 5.172-second pass which wasn’t enough to set off the win light.

In NHRA Factory Stock Showdown competition, defending class champion Pritchett, once again pulling double duty in her Top Fuel and Factory Stock Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak machines at Charlotte, qualified in the ninth position. Pritchett left first in the opening round with a stellar .011 reaction time in her Drag Pak and maintained the lead at half track before opponent Bill Skillman was able to get past and beat her 7.945/173.21 run to nudge out Pritchett by three feet for the win.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
In Stock Eliminator, Kelly Mack from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, drove his FS/C 2009 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to a round three finish at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Motivating Mack’s Drag Pak to low 10-second ETs is a Mopar 6.1-Liter HEMIŇ engine. Despite running consistent all weekend, Mack bowed out on a redlight foul in the third round of eliminations after leaving the starting line a bit too early. For advancing the furthest in competition, Kelly earned Dodge Top Finisher honors in Stock Eliminator.

Dave Thomas from West Chester, Pennsylvania, drove his FSS/F 2011 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to a second round finish in Super Stock at Charlotte. Powered by a Viper V10 engine, Thomas qualified 11th out of 52 Super Stock entries with a run of 9.33 seconds and was looking strong during eliminations. Unfortunately, a slightly tardy reaction time against his opponent ended Thomas’ quest to advance to the next round. Thomas collected the Dodge Top Finisher award in Super Stock.

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

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

Matt Hagan, Pennzoil/Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.959 ET)

Rd.1: (.070-second reaction time, 3.953 seconds at 325.14 mph) beat No. 14 Cruz Pedregon (.038/4.671/184.02), No. 11 Jonnie Lindberg (.104/4.786/181.25)
Rd.2: (.133/3.997/316.30) beat No. 7 Tim Wilkerson (.080/4.062/290.07), No. 2 Jack Beckman (.090/7.194/99.31)
Rd.3: (.060/5.252/172.89) lost to No. 5 Shawn Langdon (.069/4.125/305.08), No. 1 Robert Hight (.054/4.159/242.89)

“We were just pushing a little bit too hard up there, really trying to run a number. You can Monday morning quarterback it all day long – it didn’t take that big a number to make it happen, I think a 4.12 won it – but everybody went up there with that same mentality to push hard, and that’s why everybody smoked the tires.

“The thing about it is, we’ve got a great race car. We’re going into Atlanta, we’re coming off of two finals right now, and I just really feel like this team is clicking and working really well. The parts and pieces are working and the guys are putting it (the car) together great. For Sandvik/Mopar/Pennzoil, It’s going to happen soon. Just keep doing what we’re doing. The car is responding to the decisions (crew chief) Dickie Venables is making good or bad. If it’s working, don’t change it.”

Leah Pritchett, Pennzoil/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.750 ET)

Rd.1: (.064-second reaction time, 3.775 seconds at 327.03 mph) beat No. 12 Richie Crampton (.054/4.851/153.72), No. 13 Lex Joon (.115/6.231/111.37)
Rd.2: (.092/3.947/271.30 mph) beat No. 4 Doug Kalitta (.079/4.736/163.65), No. 1 Mike Salinas (.076/5.423/149.81)
Rd.3: (.099/4.435/246.30) lost to No. 6 Steve Torrence (.061/3.778/323.19), No. 9 Clay Millican (.019/4.035/310.48)

“The bad news is that we didn’t get a win out of the final. The good news is, we’re done with four-wide racing for the year. I don’t think the four-wide particularly had too much to do with the result of our day. We raced in a lane we only previously had one run in since we had last pick. The highlight is first round we had the race car and driver come together and we were able to sweep past the competition and into the second round. It’s progress. Four-Wide throws a lot of curve balls as you as a driver and a crew chief.

“T-minus five days we’ll be in Atlanta and we’re definitely looking forward to that. It’ll be warm so we’re going to take everything we learned here and apply it there. I can personally say I’m frustrated. I’ve tried a lot of things, physically and mentally, to be where the competition is at with reaction times, and frustrated because it’s not working. I will continue to work towards a solution and I can’t wait to show out in Atlanta.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.891 ET)

Rd.1: (.092-second reaction time, 3.925 seconds at 324.83 mph) beat No. 15 Dave Richards (.106/5.044/175.32), No. 10 Ron Capps (.084/5.172/152.95)
Rd.2: (.090/7.194/99.31) lost to No. 3 John Force (.053/4.046/320.81), No. 6 Matt Hagan (.133/3.997/316.30)

“It seems our theme this year has been that we’re not dominant in qualifying, and we find a race day package that works. Then we come here, and now we’re stellar in qualifying, and the second best car first round on race day. And then as soon as I stepped on the throttle that round (the second round), it put a hole out. That’s going to happen when we get to these tracks. We have to figure out how to tune around it, because once we get into the heat of the summer months, we are going to be faced with it a lot.

“I’ve said all along we’ve got a great race car, but we need to prove that. At some point in the next couple of races, we need to push this thing into the winner’s circle. The good thing about having a race next weekend is that we only have to wait five days to dust ourselves off and do this again.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.938 ET)

Rd.1: (.087-second reaction time, 3.978 seconds at 321.35 mph) beat No. 13 Jeff Diehl (.184/4.492/236.09), No. 12 Terry Haddock (.255/11.602/69.75)
Rd.2: (.075/4.363/213.60) lost to No. 1 Robert Hight (.065/3.977/322.58), No. 5 Shawn Langdon (.059/4.311/248.93)

“Losing in the second round is not what we wanted, but we learned some things and it was still a productive day. We had a good race car but the track was really tricky. The quad we were in, only one car made a full run, the rest of us had issues. We’ll learn from this and take it to Atlanta. It’s only going to get hotter and if we can learn from this for the summertime, that’s great.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 4.025 ET)

Rd.1: (.084-second reaction time, 5.172 seconds at 152.95 mph) lost to No. 2 Jack Beckman (.092/3.925/324.83), No. 7 Tim Wilkerson (.076/3.954/317.27)

“The big story for us was dealing with an obstacle that you’re never really ready for during a race, and that is having to change cars during qualifying on Saturday. We’ll figure out what’s wrong with the car we were running and have a front-half done. To be thrown a curve ball like that, and I brag about the NAPA Know How with Tobler, and we had everything ready to go to make the switch and to go up there and make a run like that to qualify is awesome. This team isn’t far from the winner’s circle and I have the utmost confidence. The way this journey has been this year, that win will be very rewarding.”

Up Next: Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals
Next up for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is a trip to Atlanta Dragway for the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals, scheduled for May 3-5 in Commerce, Georgia. One of the longest-running events on the NHRA circuit, Leah Pritchett raced her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel machine to the event win last year, and will attempt to duplicate the feat this season.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 6 of 24 (Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car

1. Robert Hight (3) – 582
2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 440
3. John Force – 417
4t. J.R. Todd (1) – 394
4t. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 394
6. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 371

7. Tim Wilkerson – 339
8. Shawn Langdon (1) - 338
9. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 318
10. Bob Tasca III - 282

NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence (1) – 460
2. Doug Kalitta (1) – 426
3. Clay Millican – 394
4. Mike Salinas (1) – 384
5. Brittany Force (1) – 382
6. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 378
7. Antron Brown – 317
8. Terry McMillen – 309
9. Richie Crampton (1) – 296
10. Billy Torrence (1) – 265

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Ron Capps Races Dodge//SRT Mopar Funny Car to NHRA Southern Nationals Victory

Ron Capps Races Dodge//SRT Mopar Funny Car to NHRA Southern Nationals Victory

Ron Capps scores first NHRA Funny Car win of 2019 by racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to victory in the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway
Tommy Johnson, Jr. reaches semifinal aboard Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car for the second time in 2019
Defending Southern Nationals winner Leah Pritchett qualified fourth, advanced to second round behind wheel of the HEMI-powered DSR Top Fuel dragster
Jerry Hatch, Jack Zimmerman earn Dodge Top Finisher Awards at Atlanta



May 5, 2019 , Commerce, Georgia -

Ron Capps became the second driver to put a Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in the winner’s circle by racing the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) machine to victory in the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, on Sunday, May 5.

Capps, one of six Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers in Sunday’s field, earned his 62nd career win, first of 2019 and third career triumph at the track. Tommy Johnson, Jr. reached the semifinal while Jack Beckman, Matt Hagan, Cruz Pedregon, and Jim Campbell were unable to advance past round one. Leah Pritchett raced her HEMI-powered DSR Top Fuel dragster into the second round.


The victory for Capps was well earned for the 2016 Funny Car world champion. He started the day from the No. 11 position and opened eliminations by taking down last weekend’s Charlotte winner, Shawn Langdon, in the first round with a run of 4.076 seconds. Next in his path was 16-time champion John Force and their 101st career match-up. For the fourth straight year, Capps defeated Force in the Southern Nationals by making his best run of the day at 4.022 to Force’s pass of 4.312. In the semifinals, it was an all Mopar/DSR match-up with Capps out-dueling Johnson, Jr. with a run of 4.071 to reach his seventh career final at the facility.

The final pitted Capps versus Tim Wilkerson and it marked the third time in the past five years the duo would race for the Atlanta victory. Wilkerson won in 2015 and Capps was victorious in 2017. On Sunday, Capps was quicker off the starting line and he earned the holeshot victory with his run of 4.068 seconds compared to Wilkerson’s pass 4.052. The margin of victory was 0.0102 seconds (approximately 5 feet).

Despite coming up short in his semifinal matchup with Capps, Johnson, Jr. was extremely happy with the performance of the DSR Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. In the first round, he avenged his first-round loss in Houston to DSR teammate Matt Hagan with a run of 4.037 seconds and in round two, he defeated reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd with a smooth pass of 4.334 to win over Todd’s tire-smoking run of 10.638. By reaching the semifinal, Johnson jumped back up into the top-five in the championship standings heading to Richmond.

After finishing runner-up in Atlanta last May, Matt Hagan was looking to capture his second career victory at the track and score his second win of 2019. Qualifying proved to be difficult for everyone in the class Friday and Saturday with the changing weather conditions and the result was Hagan qualifying the Dayco Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in the bottom half of the field for the first time this season. He squared off with Johnson in the first round and his run of 4.113 seconds at 287.35 mph couldn’t keep pace with his DSR teammate’s Hellcat Funny Car. Hagan continues to rank second in the championship standings through seven events.

Two-time Southern Nationals winner Jack Beckman made his best run of the weekend in Sunday’s opening-round match-up with 16-time Funny Car world champion John Force, but it wasn’t quick enough to advance. Beckman muscled the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat down the Atlanta track at 4.040 seconds at 312.78 mph only to see Force deep stage, take the starting line advantage and lead throughout the run with his lap of 3.994 ET at 327.74 mph.

In other first-round action with Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars competing, Cruz Pedregon lost to Wilkerson and Jim Campbell wasn’t able to make a clean run versus J.R. Todd.

In Top Fuel, going back-to-back in Atlanta was the goal of the weekend for Leah Pritchett and her DSR team led by Neil Strausbaugh and Todd Okuhara. The 2018 Southern Nationals champion was looking to become only the fourth Top Fuel driver in the event’s 39-year history to score consecutive event wins in a rail car and first since Doug Kalitta accomplished the feat back in 2005 and 2006.

With Mother Nature knocking out the final qualifying session Saturday, Pritchett began her Atlanta title defense from the fourth position. She was machine-like in her opening round race with Audrey Worm, posting the fourth-best run of the session with her lap of 3.812 seconds at 317.79 mph to earn lane choice in round two. In the second round, Pritchett faced Jordan Vandergriff for the first time and she got the starting line advantage, but her run of 3.898/306.95 came up 0.0105 seconds (approximately 5 feet) short of earning her the victory. Pritchett gained two positions in the standings and heads to Richmond fourth.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Jerry Hatch and Jack Zimmerman added their names to the list of Dodge Top Finisher award winners at Atlanta. Lubec, Maine, native Hatch steered his 1970 Dodge Challenger to a third-round finish to claim the honors in Super Stock, while Zimmerman, hailing from Clemons, North Carolina, earned the honors in Stock in his 1971 Dodge Challenger.

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

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

Ron Capps, NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 11 Qualifier – 4.149 ET)

Rd.1: (.064-second reaction time, 4.076 seconds at 315.78 mph) beat No. 6 Shawn Langdon (.060/4.414/202.09)
Rd.2: (.071/4.022/317.57) beat No. 3 John Force (.078/4.312/220.80)
Rd. 3: (.047/4.071/317.19) beat No. 10 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (064/4.091/310.27)
Rd. 4: (.064/4.068/315.34) beat No. 4 Tim Wilkerson (.090/4.052/310.05)

“Today was amazing. It still hasn’t hit me yet. We know we can win from any position, but (starting from 11th) we didn’t have all of the confidence in the world. The NAPA Brakes Dodge was a car you dream about driving. It was going down the lane every time when other people were struggling; cars are having a hard time getting grip and then you have Rahn Tobler pulling out ‘vintage Tobler.’ At the end of the year, you look back on the moments that define the season. We’ve been struggling this year and as a driver, I’ve learned the crew chiefs need you more than ever when they’re searching. Rahn Tobler has made it look easy a lot over the past decade and I’ve been the lucky guy behind the wheel, but you’ve got to be good when they need you the most.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 4.031 ET)

Rd.1: (.087-second reaction time, 4.037 seconds at 309.84 mph) beat No. 10 Matt Hagan (.082/4.113/287.35)
Rd. 2: (.079/4.334/218.62) beat No. 2 J.R. Todd (.072/10.638/76.09)
Rd. 3: (.064/4.091/310.27) lost to No. 11 Ron Capps (.047/4.071/317.19)

“I thought we were going to be able to break our Atlanta curse today. We had a good running Dodge Charger SRT in hot conditions and just lost a close one. I’m excited because the summer races are coming and we are running well. It was a good points day, we moved up today. We need to maintain our consistency and stay in this thing and continue to do better. The hot races are coming and with the way we are running, I think our win is coming.”

Matt Hagan, Dayco Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 4.129 ET)

Rd.1: (.082-second reaction time, 4.113 seconds at 287.35 mph) lost to No. 7 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.087/4.037/309.84)

“This was a tricky race track for us this weekend. Obviously, we had some issues that we just couldn’t overcome. Usually, our hot rod is like a bracket car; put a 94 on it and go racing. The weather threw us for a loop this weekend and we just got behind the eight ball a little bit.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 14 Qualifier – 5.126 ET)

Rd.1: (.091-second reaction time, 4.040 seconds at 312.78 mph) lost to No. 3 John Force (.038/3.994/327.74)

“Tough weekend. Tough race track. There wasn’t a whole lot of success during qualifying in the Funny Car division and we never made it down. I think with us it was a case of too little, too late this weekend. We figured the car out for first round. We made the quickest run in the right lane and it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t quicker than the car in the other lane. We have to get better. And we want to get better and we will get better. I don’t know if that means staying and testing. Or just going and crunching notes before Richmond. We are so much better than this, but you can’t keep saying that when the race day results reflect it. We will fix the car. We figure out how a way to get win lights and we’ll get it back in the winner circle soon.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.764 ET)

Rd.1: (.068-second reaction time, 3.812 seconds at 317.79 mph) beat No. 13 Audrey Worm (.157/4.008/289.88)
Rd.2: (.068 /3.898/306.95) lost to No. 5 Jordan Vandergriff (.085/3.871/313.15)

“I think the real winners here today have been the fans. In that second round race, they got to see a real close drag race. We don’t take any of our competition lightly, especially that team. This was our one and only run on a hot track this weekend. We have been wearing more clutch than we wanted to and it kind of bit us right there. This was the hottest track we’ve run on all year. We’re going to take what we learned in that run and take it with us to the races coming up in the summer. We know we have a really good race car. We are all keeping our heads held up high, but we are disappointed. We wanted to go back-to-back with wins here at Atlanta and the fans have fueled that fire. We gave it everything we had and we’re going to keep hunting for more.”

Up Next: Virginia NHRA Nationals
Mopar and Dodge//SRT competitors will head next to the second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals, May 17-19 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Virginia. Two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan will look to score his first Funny Car triumph in his home state of Virginia and second of 2019 aboard his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 7 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (3) – 663
2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 472
3. John Force – 470
4. J.R. Todd (1) – 456
5. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat –445
6. Tim Wilkerson - 436
7. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 430
8. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 425

9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 365
10. Bob Tasca III - 338

NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence (2) – 579
2. Brittany Force (1) –483
3. Doug Kalitta (1) - 464
4. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 433
5. Clay Millican – 427
6. Mike Salinas (1) – 384
7. Antron Brown – 373
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 329
9. Terry McMillen – 319
10. Austin Prock - 288



Rick

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Back-to-Back Wins with Virginia NHRA Nationals Triumph

Capps Races Dodge//SRT Mopar Funny Car to Back-to-Back Wins with Virginia NHRA Nationals Triumph

Ron Capps scores second NHRA Funny Car win of 2019 by racing Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to victory in Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park
Victory is third this year for a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver
Tommy Johnson, Jr. reaches second consecutive semifinal aboard Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Thomas Auger and Stephen Comella earn Dodge Top Finisher Awards



May 19, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Ron Capps became the first 2019 repeat winner in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car competition Sunday, taking his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to victory in the second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals near Richmond.

Capps followed his Atlanta triumph two weeks ago with a run through the Funny Car field on an extremely warm day in Virginia to score his 63rd career victory, his 30th win with crew chief Rahn Tobler and his first Wally at Virginia Motorsports Park. The victory was also the third this season for a DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car pilot.


En route to the historic win Capps knocked out fellow DSR and Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson, Jr. in the semifinals while Jack Beckman, Matt Hagan, Cruz Pedregon and Jim Campbell also competed Sunday in Mopar-powered Funny Cars. Leah Pritchett qualified her DSR HEMI-powered Mopar Top Fuel dragster sixth, but wasn’t able to advance past the first round.

The march to victory for Capps in his NAPA Dodge began with a stout run in the opening round of 3.997 seconds at 313.58 mph to dispatch Jim Campbell, who smoked the tires approximately 300 feet into his run. Up next for Capps was a battle with current point leader Robert Hight in round two. This one was all about reaching the finish line first and the former champions staged a classic pedalfest with both cars losing traction multiple times, but it was Capps that was able to reach 1000 feet first. His lap of 6.173 was enough to advance for another semifinal match-up with Tommy Johnson, Jr. where Capps took the starting line advantage and pulled away for the victory despite losing a cylinder as Johnson went up in smoke just after the hit and never recovered.

In his 121 st career final, Capps was not to be denied as he left first on reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd and posted his second-best run of the day at 4.097 to capture the win. The victory moves Capps up to eighth all-time in wins with 63 and allowed him to jump from seventh to third in the championship standings.

Tommy Johnson, Jr. continued his success in hot climate this weekend aboard the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. After a runner-up finish earlier this season in Las Vegas and a semifinal appearance two weeks ago in Atlanta, Johnson and the Make-A-Wish team have proven their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car can handle the heat. He qualified second with his second run on Friday and took care of business seamlessly in his opening round match-up against Terry Haddock with his pass of 4.027 seconds at 316.52 mph. With track temperatures reaching over 140 degrees, Johnson and fellow Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Jack Beckman were on the spot right away in round two when their machines quickly lost traction. Johnson was able to recover almost immediately and cruised to a victory over Beckman with his pass of 5.356. The victory set up a second consecutive semifinal matchup with Capps. Johnson lost traction early again, but this time he wasn’t able to recover and Capps knocked him out for the second consecutive event.

Beckman’s bid for a second Virginia NHRA Nationals triumph was a bumpy one as his Infinite Hero squad were faced with the hottest conditions of the season. They struggled to get their footing during qualifying, eventually settling in the No. 10 starting position to secure a first-round draw with teammate Matt Hagan where both cars lost traction early and the two world champions were quick to get back on the throttle. Beckman was able to rein-in his Hellcat first and take the win. Beckman’s luck ran out when he lost traction again during his second round race with Johnson and couldn’t get his machine to recover in time to advance.

Two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan was looking for his second triumph of the 2019 this weekend in his home state of Virginia. After qualifying the DSR Shelor Motor Mile Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat seventh in the field, he matched up with teammate Jack Beckman and took the starting line advantage, but lost traction in a big way near the 800-foot mark. Beckman lost traction in his run as well, but Hagan wasn’t able to gather his machine back in time to capture the win. The two are now tied with 22 victories versus one another in their 44 career races.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett and her Mopar Dodge team led by Neil Strausbaugh and Todd Okuhara ventured to Virginia with high hopes. After losing in the second round two weeks’ prior in Atlanta, Pritchett was looking to utilize some valuable high heat data to make a deep run Sunday. She qualified sixth and that put her opposite of her DSR teammate Antron Brown to start the day. Unfortunately for Pritchett, her day was over almost as soon as it started. The tandem were the first pair to make a pass Sunday and Pritchett’s machine lost traction almost immediately after her launch. Brown drove away with the victory posting a lap of 3.872 seconds at 312.42 mph compared to Pritchett’s run of 5.388 seconds at 139.06 mph.

The weekend was Pritchett’s third of 2019 where she pulled double duty as the reigning Factory Stock Showdown champion. She qualified her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pack 12th before losing in the first round.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Thomas Auger and Stephen Comella earned Top Dodge Finisher Awards in Richmond. Auger, from Marco Island, Florida, drove his 1963 H/SA Dodge 330 to a pair of round wins in Stock Eliminator before being beat off the starting line in round three. Comella raced his original 1968 SS/AH HEMI Dodge Dart to through six rounds of competition in Super Stock before earning a runner-up finish. This was the second Dodge Top Finisher Award for the Webster, New York, driver after he collected one earlier this year at the 50th Annual Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

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

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

Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, FCA – North America
“The win today by Ron Capps and his team is the third this season for the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body. Capp's Virginia triumph is yet another validation of the extensive testing and development involved in unleashing the Charger SRT Hellcat body on the drag strip.”


Ron Capps, NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.927 ET)

Rd.1: (.081-second reaction time, 3.997 seconds at 313.58 mph) beat No. 14 Jim Campbell (.093/6.497/99.14)
Rd.2: (.067/6.173/251.11) beat No. 6 Robert Height (.092/6.204/270.75)
Rd. 3: (.063/4.212/301.94) beat No. 2 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.096/10.184/90.53)
Rd. 4: (.038/4.097/310.98) beat No. 4 J.R. Todd (.071/No Time)

“I can’t say enough. I’m so lucky to be driving this car. Two wins in a row. This is what dreams are made of. I told (Rahn) Tobler and those guys that I’ve never won at this track. And today, we added another one to the list. That says something about the people that I’m surrounded by. My NAPA guys, Autocare Center boys, Pennzoil, US Compression, and especially Dodge today. We could not have won a couple of those rounds without that Hellcat and its downforce. Don Schumacher gives us everything we need. And Rahn Tobler, this is our 30th win together since 2012. That’s craziness.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.922 ET)

Rd.1: (.095-second reaction time, 4.027 seconds at 316.52 mph) beat No. 15 Terry Haddock (.133/4.132/296.24)
Rd. 2: (.087/5.356/212.03) beat No. 10 Jack Beckman (.077/8.238/102.56)
Rd. 3: (.096/10.184/90.53) lost to No. 3 Ron Capps (.063/4.212/301.94)


“To say it was a tricky racetrack today would be a huge understatement. We had a nice run there in the first round and then the track got really tricky for everyone. To be able to win the second round on a pedal job was good. I was hoping Capps would smoke his tires too and we could pedalfest it out, but credit to those guys for getting down the track. We know moving forward the race tracks are only going to get hotter, so I’m glad we’ve run well in the heat. I feel like we are really close to having the right tune up for it.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 4.005 ET)

Rd.1: (.093-second reaction time, 4.649 seconds at 251.44 mph) beat to No. 7 Matt Hagan (.082/4.113/287.35)
Rd.2: (.077/8.238/102.56) lost to No. 2 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.087/5.356/212.03)

“Disappointing weekend. We got beat second round and only made it to the finish line one time, which means we really didn’t acquire any data here and as hot as this place was, we’re going to see a heck of a lot more of that in the summertime. We just had to cycle in a brand-new clutch disc and we really don’t have another option for its spot in the clutch pack, but we might have to rethink how we apply it. The silver lining is, we got a round win out of here so we didn’t take too bad of a beating in the points, but we’ve just got to figure out what this thing needs for power application, and we need to figure it out by Chicago.”

Matt Hagan, Shelor Motor Mile Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.991 ET)

Rd.1: (.082-second reaction time, 4.113 seconds at 287.35 mph) lost to No. 10 Jack Beckman (.087/4.037/309.84)

“It was a really hot, greasy weekend here in Richmond. We were hoping to get us a home state win here in Virginia, but we just could not get our Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat down the track clean in that race with Jack. He had some trouble too, but not as much as we did. It’s usually a little muggy out here and the humidity is crazy. Thanks to all of our fans that came out all weekend and especially today for the show everyone in NHRA puts on for them. Really looking forward to getting to Chicago. I’ve had a lot of success there. We have won that race several times and set some world records there. And we are just going to keep digging and do everything we can to put this Mopar Funny Car in the winner’s circle very soon.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.793 ET)

Rd.1: (.101-second reaction time, 5.388 seconds at 139.06 mph) lost to No. 11 Antron Brown (.064/3.872/312.42)

“The learning curve for these hot conditions is very steep. Unfortunately, we had to race our teammate in round one. We gave it everything we had. We knew they were bringing their A game, and we definitely thought that we were bringing ours. We had confidence in our tune-up. We’ve been chasing clutch wear issues and trying to make them as consistent as possible. At the beginning of this heat wave, we’re taking as much information as we can. This first round loss stings a little bit, but you won’t see another team work as hard as we are right now to find a solution and move past this as soon as possible.”

Up Next: Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Mopar and Dodge//SRT competitors will head next to the 22nd Annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals, May 31 – June 2 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. Two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, a three-time Route 66 Nationals Funny Car winner, will be joined by DSR’s Hellcat Funny Car contingent of previous Route 66 winners – Ron Capps, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson, Jr.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 8 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (3) – 701
2. J.R. Todd (1) – 556
3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 548
4. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 527

5. John Force – 524
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 506
7. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 477

8. Tim Wilkerson - 463
9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 404
10. Bob Tasca III - 369

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (3) – 717
2. Brittany Force (1) –541
3. Doug Kalitta (1) - 498
4. Clay Millican – 489
5. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 469
6. Antron Brown – 467
7. Mike Salinas (1) – 466
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 363
9. Terry McMillen – 352
10. Austin Prock - 341

Rick

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Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Johnson Qualifies No. 2 at Chicago, Leads Seven Mopar-powered Dodge Charger NHRA Funny Car Drivers into Elimination Rounds


Tommy Johnson Jr. will start No. 2 at Route 66 NHRA Nationals in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Five Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualify in top half of field at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago
Coming off back-to-back wins, Ron Capps posts his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge third
Jack Beckman takes Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to fifth starting position
Matt Hagan moves his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat from 12th to seventh
Leah Pritchett will start eliminations from the eighth spot in her Mopar-powered Top Fuel dragster


June 1, 2019 , Joliet, Illinois -

Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to the No. 2 starting spot at the 22nd Annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals near Chicago, leading a large field of seven HEMI®-fueled Dodge drivers into the elimination rounds at Route 66 Raceway on Sunday.

Johnson and his three Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge//SRT Mopar teammates earned berths in the top half of the field, as well as Dodge driver Cruz Pedregon, putting Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in five of the top eight positions.


An extended rain delay pushed the final qualifying session to an evening start, and Johnson took full advantage of the cooler temperatures and prime track conditions. After clocking a 3.933-second elapsed time (ET) to open Saturday as the only Funny Car to break into three seconds and earn the No. 3 spot, the Ottumwa, Iowa, native saved his best for last, unleashing a 3.882 ET at 326.84 mph to lock in the second position and end qualifying with a total of six bonus points.

Back-to-back NHRA event winner Ron Capps looks in strong position to keep the momentum going in his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat after earning the No. 3 spot for Sunday eliminations. Capps claimed the provisional pole on Friday with a sizzling 3.893-second elapsed time (ET) at 326.00 mph, the quickest and fastest run of the first session. He bettered that mark in his final qualifying hit with a 3.882, but it was only good enough for third in the ultra-quick final session. Capps also earned six bonus points during qualifying.

Jack Beckman banked two bonus points to open qualifying, part of a DSR Mopar Dodge 1-2-3 sweep in Q1 (Capps was No. 1, with Johnson No. 3.) The Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver and 2012 Funny Car World Champion wrapped up qualifying in fifth. Two-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan was ranked 12th after the first three qualifying rounds, but he cranked up his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the final session and uncorked a 3.936/323.97 pass to move up to No. 7.

Joining the DSR foursome in the race for the Route 66 Funny Car win tomorrow are a trio of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger pilots: Pedregon (No. 8), Paul Lee (No. 15) and Jim Campbell (No. 16).

Leah Pritchett, runner-up last year at Route 66 Raceway, placed her Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster in the top half of the field in the eighth position. The DSR star notched her spot with a 3.776/327.82 in the opening qualifying session.

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

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Paul Lee

Friday: (3.951 seconds at 323.04 mph – Q1); (7.265/85.34 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.933/323.81 – Q3); (3.882/326.84 – Q4)

“I’m super excited about Q3. Those were conditions where nobody was getting down the track, and we set low E.T., but I’m almost more excited about tonight’s run. We’ve struggled with night qualifying and to come out here in conditions like that and go No. 2 with similar conditions to what we’ll see tomorrow was awesome. We’ve been to the final here a few times so tomorrow if we can continue to run like that, we should maybe get another one.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Bob Bode

Friday: (3.893 seconds at 326.00 mph – Q1); (3.933/324.05 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.110/250.18 – Q3); (3.882/325.33 – Q4)

“Obviously, conditions change a lot. We saw (Austin) Prock, (Robert) Hight and my teammate Tommy Johnson and John Collins make big runs. I mean, everybody’s throwing these shots out there. To sit in the car and know that you have a chance to go up there and battle for the No. 1 spot – a horse to ride to get that No. 1 spot – and to end up third, we did a great job. We’re just trying to carry on these NAPA Brakes colors; the fans are enjoying it, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Blake Alexander

Friday: (3.940 seconds at 325.92 mph – Q1); (4.013/316.75 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.714/172.81 – Q3); (3.899/331.28 – Q4)

“We came off the trailer with the second-low E.T. run after testing in Richmond, and then we ended qualifying with a 3.89 which keeps us in the top-half of the field and I think that’s most important because tomorrow’s conditions are going to be unbelievable. It should be a cool, fast race track. We actually were going to face better conditions in Sunday than on any of our qualifying runs until we got this late Saturday rain-delayed run. I love the fact that we got test data. I feel really confident about our car. We’re getting a better handle on our car, I feel like I’m driving better, we’re getting close to that first win of the year.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 Bob Tasca III

Friday: (4.004 seconds at 318.24 mph – Q1); (7.540/87.38 – Q2)
Saturday: (6.708/101.48 – Q3); (3.936/323.97 – Q4)

“We finally got our race car back that last lap. We were struggling with some power issues a little bit earlier, but we got that problem figured out. Anytime you have some issues come up, it kind of puts you a little behind the eight-ball, but honestly, the confidence I have in (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) and Mike (Knudsen), I know we’re going to have a great racecar on Sunday. It’ll be a good race against Bob Tasca. He’s got a good car over there. But, at the end of the day, I feel like we can turn the win lights on.”

Leah Pritchett, Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 9 T.J Zizzo

Friday: (3.776 seconds at 327.82 mph – Q1); (6.358/104.47 – Q2)
Saturday: (6.110/114.63 – Q3); (3.785/327.82 – Q4)

“Of course, this is a hometown race for Don Schumacher, but for what everyone at DSM is doing back home in Brownsburg is just phenomenal. We’re running it loud and proud, we made it down in two out of four hits and we’re looking forward to eliminations tomorrow.”

Tune-in Info
Action from the Route 66 NHRA Nationals will air on FS1 on Sunday, June 2, with coverage scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET and the NHRA Sunday Finals broadcast kicking off at 5:30 p.m. ET. For complete information, visit www.nhra.com

Rick

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Johnson Captures First NHRA Funny Car Win

Johnson Captures First NHRA Funny Car Win of Season at Chicago, Third Consecutive for Dodge//SRT Mopar

Tommy Johnson Jr. powers to first victory since November 2017 at Route 66 NHRA Nationals near Chicago
Victory is third consecutive for a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver following back-to-back wins by Johnson’s Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate Ron Capps
Johnson collects 18th career win in second final of season, 50th final overall
Jack Beckman joins Johnson in putting a Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in semifinals at Route 66 Raceway
Capps bows out in quarterfinals at Chicago, ends impressive nine-round win streak
Matt Hagan advances to quarterfinals in Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Leah Pritchett exits in round one in Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster
Mike Cotten and Mike Wagner race to Dodge Top Finisher honors


June 2, 2019 , Joliet, Illinois -

Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to his first win of the season at the 22nd Annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals near Chicago on Sunday, June 2, moving up to second in the Funny Car point standings and bringing home the third consecutive win this year for a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car driver.

The win was the 18th of Johnson’s career in his 50th overall final and second this season, and marked his first victory since the NHRA Finals in November 2017, ending a 32-race drought. The triumph was also the second for the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver in five career final-round appearances at Route 66 Raceway.


The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) pilot led a field of seven Dodge//SRT Mopar Funny Car drivers into eliminations, with five advancing out of the opening round and two into the semifinals. Johnson’s Chicago win marks the third in a row for Dodge//SRT Mopar following victories at Atlanta and Richmond by DSR teammate Ron Capps, and is the fourth in nine races this year for the Charger SRT Hellcat.

Johnson kicked off race day from the No. 2 spot after a strong qualifying effort that saw the 2015 Chicago event winner collect six bonus points. He posted a steady 3.946-second elapsed time (ET) in round one to defeat fellow Dodge Charger driver Paul Lee, and was even better in the quarterfinals with the quickest pass of the round at 3.941-seconds to outrun DSR Mopar Dodge teammate Matt Hagan.

Johnson left first in the semifinals against John Force with a quicker .081-second reaction time to Force’s slower .137 mark, earning him the holeshot win on a 3.972/321.81 run and a spot against No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight in the final round. Hight knocked out three Dodge machines on his path to the final but Johnson ended that trend in dramatic fashion, overcoming a “boom and bang” under the hood to hold off Hight, who smoked the tires early, at the stripe.

The 2012 Funny Car world champion and Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver “Fast” Jack Beckman lived up to his nickname when he unloaded with a 3.930 ET at 329.18 mph against Blake Alexander in round one, which held up to be the quickest and fastest of race day.

In round two, Beckman ripped off another impressive run, a winning 3.962 ET over Jeff Arend. The semifinal round pitted Beckman against current point standings leader Hight. Beckman suffered an uncharacteristic miscue when he stood on the throttle early and activated the red light, handing the round win to his opponent.

Hagan used the final qualifying session on Saturday to jump his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car into the top half of the field at No. 7, and he carried that momentum into Sunday with a winning 3.954/328.46 first-round pass against Bob Tasca III. The three-time Chicago event winner was trailing in a close battle with DSR teammate Johnson in the quarterfinals when a dropped cylinder down track ended any hopes of yet another Route 66 Raceway victory by Hagan.

Back-to-back NHRA event winner Ron Capps, runner-up last year at Chicago, entered race weekend seeking his third consecutive victory. The Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver collected six bonus points in qualifying to begin race day from the No. 3 seed. Capps defeated Bob Bode in round one but the DSR driver’s streak of nine consecutive round wins would come to an end in the Joliet quarterfinals when he was defeated by Force during the 102nd head-to-head race day matchup between the two stars.

Cruz Pedregon, one of five Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers to qualify in the top half of the field, was also one of five Hellcat pilots to advance to the second round at Chicago. Pedregon took out Tim Wilkerson but bowed out against Hight in the quarterfinals. Dodge driver Jim Campbell also lost to Hight in round one.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett, runner-up last year at Route 66 Raceway, qualified eighth in her Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster. She faced off with T.J. Zizzo in round one and was first to leave the starting line, but as Pritchett neared halftrack mechanical issues resulted in a fiery engine “boom” and caused a rear tire to blow. She skillfully avoided the wall and was able to guide her car safely to rest, but her competitor drove to the round win.

Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Mike Cotten from Cave Creek, Arizona, qualified a strong No. 7 and drove his F/SA 1973 Plymouth Duster 340 to a solid round-four finish in Stock Eliminator at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals. Cotten was edged out of a semifinals appearance by about two feet, but earned the Dodge Top Finisher award in the class for his deep run in eliminations.

In the Super Stock class, Lapeer, Michigan, native Mike Wagner steered his 426 GEN III HEMI-powered FSS/D 2015 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to a round-two finish, good for Dodge Top Finisher honors.

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

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

Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, FCA – North America
“Congratulations to Tommy Johnson Jr. on his win today in Chicago. His victory is the third consecutive for a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver this year, and we hope it’s just one of many more visits to the winner's circle this season for our drivers and teams."

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.882 ET)

Rd 1: (.081-second reaction time, 3.946 seconds at 325.85 mph) beat No. 15 Paul Lee (.078/4.673/180.72)
Rd 2: (.071/3.941/323.81) beat No. 7 Matt Hagan (.078/4.071/274.16)
Rd 3: (.081/3.972/321.81) beat No. 11 John Force (.137/3.953/322.42)
Rd 4: (.062/4.175/229.86) beat No. 1 Robert Hight (.049/4.438/202.55)

“I felt it (the car) start spinning the tires and I didn’t see him (opponent Hight), and it’s been a long time since I’ve won, so I was going to leg it to the lights, I didn’t care. We were going to get that win. I’m just happy for everyone – Make-A-Wish, Mopar, Hangsterfers, our new partner Okuma. I drove my Dodge Hellcat to the track this weekend and I just drove this one to the winner’s circle, baby!

“It makes your heart stop for a second because you’re sitting there coasting and you know he’s (Hight) got to be there somewhere. It’s the longest coasting you’ve ever done in your life. You’re thinking ‘come on, get there,’ and then I saw the light come on and I was just so thrilled for the guys and (team sponsor) Doug Chandler. He continued this program, so I’m happy we could get this win for him. We’ve been close a lot – seven times we were there in the final and couldn’t get it done so it was nice to finally do that. You keep trying to get these wins and you come up short, and you come up short, but you keep fighting. I can’t thank my guys enough. They’ve done a great job.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.899 ET)

Rd 1: (.069-second reaction time, 3.930 seconds at 329.18 mph) beat No. 12 Blake Alexander (.074/4.250/222.77)
Rd 2: (.087/3.962/329.75) beat No. 13 Jeff Arend (.110/4.028/317.49)
Rd 3: (-.044/4.352/206.86) lost to No. 1 Robert Hight (.055/4.105/239.40)

“I feel about three inches tall right now. My job as a driver is to go up there and drive the car well, and I didn’t, and what makes it sting even worse is, we had the better car that round. Not to say we would’ve won the race but we certainly would’ve won that round and I gave it away with a red light. There’s no silver lining on that. I’m not going to beat myself up for two days because that doesn’t work. I’m going to go home and be dad for two days then get back on an airplane and head to Topeka, so I’ll be ready to go. I’ll think positive thoughts, I’ll practice at home, I’ll visualize and if we’re holding the trophy Sunday at Topeka, that’s probably the best salve for this.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.936 ET)

Rd 1: (.113-second reaction time, 3.954 seconds at 328.46 mph) beat No. 10 Bob Tasca III (.078/4.014/320.28)
Rd 2: (.078/4.071/274.16) lost to No. 2 Tommy Johnson Jr. (.071/3.941/323.81)

“We struggled a little bit in qualifying, but we found the problems and addressed those issues and ended up having a really good race car on race day. I got through round one and didn’t have lane choice. I just let it get a little inside, and it got sucked in and kind of pulled the tires loose. Once you get these things inside, it’s hard to get them back. Just a little combination of everything. This one falls on me this weekend, so I’ll have to do better in Topeka for my team. We’re looking forward to racing the next couple of weekends in a row. We’ve got a lot of data to accumulate and a lot of different racetracks to hit. Ready to do a little work at home, and then get back here and get busy again.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.882 ET)

Rd 1: (.083-second reaction time, 3.944 seconds at 325.53 mph) beat No. 14 Bob Bode (.116/4.349/215.51)
Rd 2: (.066/4.018/298.47) lost to No. 11 John Force (.054/3.961/325.53)

“The car fell off a lot during round two, and (crew chief Rahn) Tobler and the guys are trying to figure out what happened. It looks like it lost a little bit of fuel pressure, but we’ll find out and see what’s going on. The good thing is, we have back-to-back race weekends. Four races in a row can be fun if you’re running good and have a great car like we do. I’m excited to get back to our signature blue NAPA livery in Topeka and continue climbing back up in the Mello Yello points.”

Leah Pritchett, Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.776 ET)

Rd 1: (.071-second reaction time, 4.736 seconds at 137.39 mph) lost to No. 9 T.J. Zizzo (.087/3.821/313.22)

“First and foremost, unfortunately, we did not get the win light, which is disappointing. But man, we were on one heck of a pass going for a low 3.70 before we had a part malfunction which led to a chain of events eventually resulting in all hell breaking loose and a cut tire among other things. Every safety mechanism we had in place on the car did its job. I was able to get the car straight and stopped. Our crew chiefs and engineers are all working toward making sure a situation like that doesn’t happen again. We had the best-case scenario in a worst-case storm in regards to safety. Sometimes people lose sight of these cars and the fast show we put on that it could end a different way. I’m thankful for the team that I have and the guys back at the shop for developing a great chassis and parts. We’re keeping our sights on win lights, but for now, we’re focused on fixing this problem.”

Up Next: NHRA Heartland Nationals
Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers will head next to the second of four consecutive events, the NHRA Heartland Nationals, scheduled for June 7-9 at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas. DSR Funny Car drivers have enjoyed much success at the Midwest stop — Ron Capps owns four career wins at Topeka, while Jack Beckman has visited the winner’s circle twice and Matt Hagan once. For complete event information, visit www.nhra.com.

2019 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 9 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (3) – 818
2. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 650
3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 610

4. John Force - 596
5. J.R. Todd (1) – 593
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 559
7. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 553

8. Tim Wilkerson - 495
9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 435
10. Bob Tasca III - 401

NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence (4) – 820
2. Doug Kalitta (1) - 574
3. Mike Salinas (1) – 573
4. Brittany Force (1) - 572
5. Antron Brown – 544
6. Clay Millican - 523
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 497
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 410
9. Terry McMillen – 383
10. Austin Prock – 375

Rick

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NHRA Heartland Nationals Finals

Beckman Drives Dodge//SRT Mopar Funny Car to NHRA Heartland Nationals Finals in Topeka

Jack Beckman runs Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to second final of 2019 at NHRA Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas
For eighth time in 10 NHRA events this season, a Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver races for Wally
Tommy Johnson, Jr. follows Chicago victory by reaching fourth consecutive semifinal aboard Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Reigning Factory Stock Showdown champion Leah Pritchett pulls double duty in her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and Mopar-powered Top Fuel dragster
Gene Mosbek drives his SS/FA 1964 Plymouth Savoy to victory in Super Stock class at Topeka, earns Dodge Top Finisher Award


June 9, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Jack Beckman finished runner-up Sunday in the 31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka, Kansas, after becoming the fourth consecutive Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver to reach the final round in Funny Car competition.

Beckman’s run to his 59th career final round appearance followed a semifinal run last weekend in Chicago. The road to the final for the driver of the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat included encounters with a pair of former champions, including fellow DSR and Hellcat Funny car racer Matt Hagan, before Beckman lost in the final to current championship leader Robert Hight.


Tommy Johnson, Jr. reached the semifinals for the fourth consecutive race after knocking out DSR teammate Ron Capps. Cruz Pedregon and Jim Campbell also made Sunday’s field in Hellcat Funny Cars. Leah Pritchett qualified her DSR HEMI-powered Mopar Top Fuel dragster 10th, but was narrowly defeated by Doug Kalitta in the first round.

After qualifying 10th, Beckman found himself facing teammate Hagan in round one with both Mopar-powered machines making their quickest passes of the weekend, and it was Beckman that posted the win with his 3.912 E.T. versus Hagan’s 3.925. The two-time Topeka champion backed up his opening run with another stellar pass of 3.940 ET to knock out Tim Wilkerson and earn a semifinal contest with 16-time world champion John Force. Beckman’s consistency continued with his machine-like run of 3.970 to set up a rematch of the season-opening final in Pomona with Hight and mark eight times in the first 10 national events in which a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver advanced to the final.

Looking for revenge from his early season defeat, Beckman dug deep to try and even the score, ripping off a .029-second reaction time, but his lead did not last long. Hight pulled ahead almost immediately and held on for the win, ending Beckman’s chances at his first Funny Car triumph of the season and 29th of his career.

Arguably the hottest driver in the Funny Car class coming into the weekend was last week’s Chicago winner Tommy Johnson, Jr. After reaching the semifinals in Atlanta and Richmond behind the wheel of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Johnson sealed the deal last Sunday in the Route 66 Nationals. He was looking to make it back-to-back wins Sunday after qualifying fourth and underscored that statement with his best run of the weekend, 3.914 ET, in his round one victory over Terry Haddock setting up his 36th career matchup with DSR teammate Ron Capps.

After losing twice in the previous three races to Capps, Johnson got the starting-line advantage with his .039-second reaction time and took the holeshot victory after the two made identical 3.941 ET runs. In the semifinal, Johnson faced point leader Hight and his chance to defeat his opponent in consecutive events ended quickly when he left -0.102 early and turned on the red light before going up in smoke at the starting line. Johnson continues to rank second in the championship standings through 10 of 24 national events.

After qualifying in the top half of the field for the third consecutive event, Capps opened Sunday by powering the 11,000 horsepower NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat straight down track in 3.974 seconds to take the first round win and extend his record to a perfect 8-0 against fellow Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Campbell. In round two, it was another battle between Hellcat Funny cars as Capps faced Johnson for the third time in the last four races, but he couldn’t overcome Johnson’s starting line advantage and his shot for a fifth Topeka triumph was over.

Driving the Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Hagan secured a top-half qualifying position for his 250th Funny Car event and drew teammate Beckman in round one. Both Funny Car champions were nearly even launching off the line, and despite making his best pass of the weekend (3.925 seconds), Hagan was not able to outrun Beckman. In other first-round action with Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars competing, Cruz Pedregon lost to Bob Tasca III.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett was looking to make a deep run aboard the DSR Shell ROTELLA Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster Sunday after qualifying 10th. She drew Doug Kalitta in the first round and despite posting a pass of 3.779 ET at 327.98 mph, her best run of the weekend, Kalitta claimed his 13th victory in 20 career races with Pritchett. This was the fourth weekend in 2019 where Pritchett pulled double duty, as the reigning Factory Stock Showdown champion also qualified her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pack eighth before losing in the first round.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight

Gene Mosbek from Pine Lake, Minnesota, qualified No. 52 and drove his SS/FA 1964 Plymouth Savoy to six win lights en route to coming out victorious in the Super Stock class during Sunday's NHRA Heartland Nationals. His victory came following a nearly perfect .001 reaction time as he used his 426 Cubic-Inch Max Wedge V8 to capture his sixth NHRA national event win and earn him the Dodge Top Finisher award in the class.

In the Stock Eliminator class, Austin Williams from Waxahachie, Texas, qualified his E/SA 1972 Plymouth Duster 340 No. 20 and raced his way into the fourth round to score the Dodge Top Finisher honors.

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

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

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 4.018 ET)

Rd.1: (.067-second reaction time, 3.912 seconds at 326.24 mph) beat to No. 7 Matt Hagan (.070/3.912/326.40)
Rd.2: (.060/3.940/325.45) beat to No. 2 Tim Wilkerson (.056/3.956/320.58)
Rd.3: (.080/3.970/326.56) beat to No. 3 John Force (.053/4.001/323.74)
Rd.4: (.029/3.969/323.97) lost to No. 9 Robert Hight (.065/3.895/330.88)

“This is the nice thing about having back-to-back races. After me fumbling in the semis at Chicago, we had the chance to redeem ourselves this weekend. We did not look good in qualifying, but lately, that’s kind of been our M.O. It doesn’t matter how well we run Friday and Saturday, (co-crew chiefs Dean) Guido (Antonelli) and John (Medlen) just seem to find a way on Sunday. We kept plugging away at it, and nobody likes to lose in the final round, but I see our stock on the uptick right now, and I can’t wait for next week in Bristol and then the week after that in Norwalk. I think we finally have a car that can contend for the championship.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.948 ET)

Rd.1: (.086-second reaction time, 3.918 seconds at 317.05 mph) beat No. 13 Terry Haddock (.103/4.174/286.68)
Rd. 2: (.039/3.941/320.66) beat No. 5 Ron Capps (.058/3.941/320.13)
Rd. 3: (-.102/13.237/75.91) lost to No. 9 Robert Hight (-.100/3.900/330.63)

“This was another weekend where we had a really good car. Big picture wise we made it to another semifinal and leave here sitting second in points. I hate it that I made a mistake there at the starting line. I was just pushing. We knew Robert (Hight) was running well and we had to push hard. I pushed just a little too much. The bottom line is the Make-A-Wish Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat is a really good car right now. We’ll head to Bristol and hopefully go to another final round.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.952 ET)

Rd.1: (.098-second reaction time, 3.974 seconds at 317.57 mph) beat No. 12 Jim Campbell (.099/4.165/274.94)
Rd.2: (.058/3.941/320.13) lost No. 4 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.039/3.941/320.66)

“We qualified well, ran well, we just got beat by another car that’s running really, really well. I always say every time we race Tommy Johnson, I’m racing (Make-A-Wish crew chief) John Collins and Rahn Tobler because I feel like we’re running our own car over there. That’s a huge compliment to both crew chiefs. It’s a bummer to have not collected more points in Topeka, but everyone is so bunched up in the Funny Car point standings right now. The good thing is, we go right to Bristol. We only have a few days off, and when you have a car that’s running as good as our NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, you love back-to-back weekends.”

Matt Hagan, Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.987 ET)

Rd.1: (.070-second reaction time, 3.925 seconds at 326.40 mph) lost to No. 10 Jack Beckman (.067/3.912/326.24)

“Short race day, unfortunately. We had a really good race car, and it was running really well. I think it did everything (crew chief) Dickie Venables wanted it to do out there. It was just tough; we were going up against a really strong car. Not to take away from anybody else, but it makes it tough when you have to line up against a teammate first round.”

Leah Pritchett, Shell ROTELLA Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 10 Qualifier – 3.883 ET)

Rd.1: (.076-second reaction time, 3.779 seconds at 327.98 mph) lost to No. 5 Doug Kalitta (.072/3.737/331.69)

“We were definitely looking forward to the different conditions that we had today compared to what we had Friday and Saturday. This team is known for making very fast passes and things coming together. Unfortunately, today is a result of qualifying. We know that if we would have qualified better, we wouldn’t not have matched up in the first round with a final round type of competitor in Doug Kalitta. We were smart about our approach to today’s race and gave it all we had. We were just on the losing end of a really good drag race today. If there was ever more fuel to add to the drive for this team to have, this definitely adds to it. In the moments after, we are already thinking about how we can be better for next week. It’s disappointing we couldn’t make Sunday a long day, but there is a reason the season is 24 races. We learned a lot today and we will use that moving forward.”

Up Next: NHRA Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals
Mopar and Dodge//SRT competitors will head next to the 19th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 14-16 at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee. Ron Capps is the winningest Funny Car driver at Bristol and will be looking to make it three straight wins in Thunder Valley. Fellow Charger SRT Hellcat racers Tommy Johnson, Jr, a two-time Bristol winner, and 2015 Bristol winner Matt Hagan will also be chasing their second triumphs of 2019. For complete event information, please visit www.nhra.com.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 10 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car

1. Robert Hight (4) – 933
2. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 725
3. John Force – 681
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 666
5. J.R. Todd (1) – 656
6. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 645
7. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 592

8. Tim Wilkerson - 556
9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 468
10. Bob Tasca III - 455

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (5) – 949
2. Doug Kalitta (1) - 628
3. Brittany Force (1) –625
4. Antron Brown – 619
5. Mike Salinas (1) – 573
6. Clay Millican – 557
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 529
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 467
9. Austin Prock - 452
10. Terry McMillen – 417

Rick

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NHRA Thunder Valley

Dodge//SRT Mopar Drivers Beckman and Capps Power to NHRA Thunder Valley Semifinal Finishes

Jack Beckman drives Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to third consecutive semifinal of 2019 at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee
Ron Capps reaches third consecutive NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals semifinal and fourth 2019 semifinal aboard Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Leah Pritchett earns No. 2 qualifying position aboard Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster, bows out in round one
Mike Cotten and Michael Volkman race to Dodge Top Finisher honors



June 16, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates Jack Beckman and Ron Capps led the brigade of Dodge//SRT Mopar machines to semifinal finishes in the 19th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee on Sunday, June 16.

Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT drivers Capps and Beckman now sit fourth and fifth, respectively, in the standings just behind DSR teammate Tommy Johnson, Jr., who currently holds the third position.

“Fast Jack” Beckman and his Infinite Hero Foundation team followed last week’s run to the final in the NHRA Heartland Nationals with another consistent weekend in Bristol. Beckman piloted the Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the fourth position in qualifying and envisioned capturing his first Thunder Valley triumph with his strong run in the opening round of eliminations of 3.912 seconds at 326.24 mph to defeat Tim Wilkerson.


In round two, Beckman posted another stout run, a triumphant 4.076 ET over reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd. His third consecutive semifinal appearance pitted him against John Force where Beckman’s day ended approximately 60 feet after his launch when he lost traction. He tried to recover, but Force was gone..

Two-time defending Thunder Valley Nationals winner and NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Ron Capps began his run for a third consecutive Father’s Day triumph from the No. 7 position. He began the day by making a smooth run of 4.005 seconds to dispatch Blake Alexander and advance to round two.

Capps faced Shawn Langdon in the second round and used the quickest run of the quarterfinals at 4.039 seconds to capture the victory. With the round win, he faced Bob Tasca III in the semifinal where the two were nearly even off the starting line, but when his machine lost a cylinder near the midway point of the run it drifted near the centerline forcing Capps to end his run.

Johnson earned his position in the top half of Sunday’s field by closing qualifying with an impressive run of 4.003 seconds to grab the eighth position. It marked the second time in the last five events where Johnson and DSR teammate Matt Hagan squared off in round one. Johnson was on the money in this race posting his best run of the weekend, 3.964 ET, to capture his third consecutive win over a slowing Hagan. The momentum from his first-round victory was short lived as Johnson went up in smoke after the hit against John Force to end his chances of a second victory in three races.

After qualifying the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat ninth with his second round qualifying run of 4.012 seconds, two-time World Champion Hagan continued his recent trend of running into fellow DSR and Hellcat Funny Car racers during the early rounds of eliminations. He was paired against Johnson to open eliminations Sunday. Both left the starting line with identical .080-reaction times, but Hagan lost a cylinder near halftrack and his machine pulled hard toward the center line forcing him to take evasive action and his lap of 4.736 wasn’t enough to avoid his fifth consecutive loss against another Hellcat Funny Car.

In other first-round action with Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars competing, Cruz Pedregon lost to Robert Hight and Jim Campbell was defeated by Tasca.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett scored five bonus points during qualifying aboard the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster and started from the No. 2 position, her best of the season. Pritchett was eyeing her first career triumph at Bristol Dragway and first of the 2019 campaign. In her first-ever race versus Lex Joon, Pritchett left the starting line first but quickly had her hands full trying to pedal her machine down the track. Ultimately, she was able to get her dragster to recover, but not in time to catch Joon.

Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Sportsman Spotlight

In Stock Eliminator, Mike Cotten drove his F/SA 1973 Plymouth Duster 340 to a runner-up at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. The longtime Mopar Sportsman racer who hails from Cave Creek, Arizona, drove through six eliminator matchups of intense competition to reach his eighth final round appearance. Racing off an 11.18-second dial-in during the finals, Cotten had a great reaction time but unfortunately broke-out by a mere 0.007-second by running a 11.173 ET. With this performance, Cotton earned the Dodge Top Finisher award in the class.

Michael Volkman from Campobello, South Carolina, drove his 2000 GT/LA Chrysler Sebring to a round two finish in Super Stock at Bristol Dragway. Powered by a Mopar 318 cubic-inch V8, Volkman was looking to extend his quest for another victory until a redlight ended his day early. Volkman, a pervious multi-time Dodge Top Finisher winner in 2017 and 2018, once again collected the honors in Super Stock.

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

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

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.976 ET)

Rd.1: (.067-second reaction time, 3.912 seconds at 326.24 mph) beat to No. 13 Tim Wilkerson (.070/3.912/326.40)
Rd.2: (.060/4.076/315.64) beat to No. 5 J.R. Todd (.059/4.397/284.81)
Rd.3: (.073/7.532/319.90) lost to No. 1 John Force (.027/4.125/316.38)

“In the last three races, we have put seven round wins together and maybe more importantly we have a predictable car. Once you make it consistent you can lean on it and get quicker. What I see as confidence inspiring is that we are now able to make good runs on cool tracks and hot tracks. I don’t think it’s going to matter what conditions we face going forward, because I think we have a tune-up solution for that. I do know that if we keep running like this that our first race win of the season is going to come pretty soon. The good thing is that you don’t want to get to this part of the season and start struggling. We are on an upward trend and I expect that to continue.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 4.002 ET)

Rd.1: (.080-second reaction time, 4.005 seconds at 314.53 mph) beat No. 10 Blake Alexander (.052/4.383/212.16)
Rd.2: (.089/4.039/312.28) beat No. Shawn Langdon (.068/4.080/309.27)
Rd.3: (.065/4.216/258.86) lost to Bob Tasca III (.060/4.048/317.87)

“Obviously, we’re a little bummed we couldn’t get back to the final and have a shot at going three-in-a-row. Still, we’re exceptionally pleased with how we did on Saturday, getting down the track and earning lane choice with a 4.002 in the heat. And then to go three rounds today was good. In the semis, the car got out there a little bit, and then Tasca pulled ahead, and I shut the car off early. We haven’t had a cylinder drop like that early into the run in a long time, so we’ll look at the data and see why it did that.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 4.003 ET)

Rd.1: (.080-second reaction time, 3.964 seconds at 311.92 mph) beat No. 9 Matt Hagan (.080/4.736/223.50)
Rd. 2: (.134/8.529/88.42) lost to No. 1 John Force (.083/4.044/318.32)

“The track caught us off guard there in that second round run. It’s been pretty tricky all weekend and we weren’t expecting that. We tuned for the conditions and we’ve had a pretty good handle on it all weekend. We know we have a really fast Hellcat right now. We just need to keep doing what we are doing and we’ll go some more rounds. I really thought with today’s conditions we had a great chance, but sometimes they’ll surprise you. We’ll get right back at it in Norwalk in a few days and see if we can end this four-race deal the same way we started it… with a victory.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 4.012 ET)

Rd.1: (.080-second reaction time, 4.736 seconds at 223.50 mph) lost to No. 8 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.080/3.964/311.92)

“This was a really tough weekend and it all comes down to qualifying. We just have to have the results on Friday and Saturday to put us in a better position on Sunday. Top half would have been huge today. We struggled with that left lane and kind of fell victim to it. We’re going to test tomorrow and we are hoping we can make some runs to get ourselves squared away. That’s all we can really do is keep digging. We have a big responsibility to our sponsors in Mopar, Pennzoil and Sandvik and all the people that make this happen. We are going to have to turn things around and start making things happen.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.757 ET)

Rd.1: (.072-second reaction time, 4.972 seconds at 162.39 mph) lost to No. 15 Lex Joon (.120/4.536/205.41)

“We really had some good momentum coming into race day from some solid qualifying runs. We have been chasing clutch-wear inconsistencies and just when we think we’ve got it under control, boom, it shows its face again. But, we will conquer it; this I know for sure, just as I will conquer patience in pedaling of the car in warmer conditions. It’s difficult when you see your opponent having trouble, too. You just want to get to the finish line first, and fight mode comes in. These challenges are definitely making us a stronger team, and we will prevail.”

Up Next: Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Up next for Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers and teams is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, scheduled for June 20-23. The event concludes a stretch of four consecutive races for NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series competitors. Mopar Dodge driver Leah Pritchett will once again pull double duty in the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown classes, while Matt Hagan will attempt to defend his 2018 event win in the NHRA Funny Car class.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 11 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (4) – 990
2. John Force – 786
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 783
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 741
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 720

6. J.R. Todd (1) – 711
7. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 624
8. Tim Wilkerson - 587
9. Bob Tasca III (1) - 574
10. Shawn Langdon (1) - 528

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (5) – 1048
2. Doug Kalitta (1) - 709
3. Antron Brown – 676
4. Mike Salinas (2) – 691
5. Brittany Force (1) –663
6. Clay Millican – 611
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 571
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 499
9. Austin Prock - 486
10. Terry McMillen – 470

Rick

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NHRA Nationals at Summit Raceway Park

Dodge//SRT Mopar Funny Car Racer Capps Powers to No. 1 Qualifying Position at Norwalk

Ron Capps races his NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to No. 1 qualifying position in Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio
Three Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualified in top four positions
Leah Pritchett will start eliminations from the second spot in her Mopar-powered Top Fuel Dragster
Pritchett races Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak into Sunday’s Factory Stock Showdown field
Jack Beckman chases fourth Norwalk Funny Car triumph in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car from fourth position
Seven Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat drivers make Funny Car field at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

June 22, 2019 , Norwalk, Ohio -

Ron Capps captured Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) its first No. 1 qualifying position of the season with four consistent runs behind the wheel of his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car at the 13th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Capps and his DSR Dodge//SRT Mopar teammate, Jack Beckman, who qualified his DSR Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car fourth, lead seven Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers that qualified for Sunday’s elimination rounds.


Unseasonably cool temperatures Friday provided Capps, the 2016 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals winner, and the rest of the field excellent conditions during the weekend’s first two qualifying sessions. After posting the third-best run in session one, Capps closed the second qualifying session with a blazing 3.879-second elapsed time (ET) at 329.18 mph pass. His speed continued Saturday earning a pair of qualifying points in the third session and topping the final session giving the two-time 2019 Funny Car winner a total of 10 bonus points during qualifying en route to his 23rd career No. 1 qualifying position and first in Norwalk.

Beckman continued his mission of becoming the fourth driver to capture an NHRA Wally behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. The three-time Norwalk winner was the pacesetter in the opening round of qualifying at the northern Ohio speedplant with a 3.955/322.65 run and followed with a faster run of 3.915/329.26. Beckman earned four bonus points and landed in the top-half of the ladder for the seventh time this season.

Tommy Johnson, Jr. is chasing his second 2019 Funny Car triumph and first victory at Norwalk this weekend. The pilot of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car made his best run during Friday’s second session to earn the eighth position. Matt Hagan, the 2018 Norwalk winner, stopped the clock at 3.975 racing his Sandvik Coromant Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat to claim the 11th position. Johnson will meet Tim Wilkerson in the first round while Hagan begins his run toward a second consecutive Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals victory racing Bob Tasca III.

In addition to the DSR foursome in the race for the Norwalk Funny Car win tomorrow, Paul Lee qualified third with his final qualifying session run of 3.914 while Mopar-powered Dodge Charger pilots Dale Creasey and Cruz Pedregon rank 14th and 15th, respectively.

Leah Pritchett is pulling double duty for the fifth time this season and put both her machines in elimination ladders on Sunday. Pritchett qualified the DSR Mopar-powered Top Fuel Dragster second with her run of 3.714/325.45 in Friday’s second qualifying session. With an impressive pass of 8.017/170.11 early Saturday afternoon driving her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, Pritchett grabbed the 12th slot as she continues defending her 2018 Factory Stock Showdown championship.

Mopar Dodge//SRT Notes & Quotes
(best elapsed times below)


Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Bob Bode

Friday: (3.965 seconds at 322.65 mph – Q1); (3.879/329.18 – Q2) Saturday: (3.955/323.19 – Q3); (3.912/325.06– Q4)

“Everyone went up there to throw down and take the No. 1 spot from us in that last session. There’s nothing better than putting our Hellcat No. 1 and picking the pocket of (John) Force’s and his Chevy. I know that was an extra fist pump for (team owner) Don (Schumacher) last night in Q2. And then today in Q4, we knew Force went 91 right in front of us and then when I turned the corner after making the Q4 pass and the NHRA on FOX crew told me we had run a 3.912 and had snatched the three (bonus) points from Force, that was pretty cool. It’s just so much fun right now. I don’t want to get cocky or overconfident, but (crew chief Rahn) Tobler has had an extra pep in his step. He’s confident in the car.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Jonnie Lindberg

Friday: (3.955 seconds at 322.65 mph – Q1); (3.915/329.26 – Q2) Saturday: (4.405/202.85 – Q3); (3.965/318.69 – Q4)

“We were three out of four in qualifying, got some bonus points and maybe more important, we ran well enough on Friday that we got to play with some stuff on Saturday. This is the stuff that’s going to make a difference in the Countdown to the Championship. But first, we’ve got to get our first trophy out of the way, and I want to do that tomorrow.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 9 Tim Wilkerson

Friday: (5.345 seconds at 134.69 mph – Q1); (3.928/326.40 – Q2) Saturday: (6.994/95.85 – Q3); (3.953/322.65 – Q4)

“I know (crew chief) John (Collins) and the Make-A-Wish guys were looking for a little more in that final qualifying run. They were trying to step it up. We are doing a little testing. We have been running really well, but you don’t stay running well if you don’t try some things. The guys have been trying some things this weekend and we are learning some stuff. I’m sure we’ll put the car back the way it normally runs tomorrow and we’ll go out there and win some rounds.”

Matt Hagan, Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 11, will face No. 6 Bob Tasca III

Friday: (4.056 seconds at 322.50 mph – Q1); (3.975/325.22 – Q2) Saturday: (5.893/116.91 – Q3); (3.943/325.85 – Q4)

“We needed to bump up in that final qualifying session. If we didn’t we would have been racing Tommy (Johnson, Jr.) again in the first round. I’m tired of race my teammates. I think we’ve had that scenario the last four or five races. It was nice to change that. We’ll take that run for sure. It was important that we got down the track in that run and the results were all we could ask for.”

Leah Pritchett, Don Schumacher Racing/Mopar/Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Luigi Novelli

Friday: (3.805 seconds at 324.44 mph – Q1); (3.714/325.45 – Q2) Saturday: (3.802/321.04 – Q3); (3.795/321.50 – Q4)

“We are very impressed with the moment this team has built through making four solid qualifying passes. Starting from the two spot is advantageous to having a good solid day. As a good friend once said, better done than said, so now it’s up to us to make four good hits tomorrow. I can’t think of a better way to end this four-race swing than by getting started with a first round win. Overall, the vibe is amazing. The attitudes are high. The support of John who is here. I can’t wait to get race day underway.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
Qualified No. 12, will face No. 4 Bill Skillman

Friday: (8.133 seconds at 167.59 mph – Q1); (8.220/152.01 – Q2)
Saturday: (8.017/170.11– Q3);

“That 8.01 puts us in the field and this Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak gets to race on Sunday. That was some nerve-wracking stuff right there. The decision was between do you push hard to get in the show or do you try and make it down with a number that may or may not get you in the show. I’m super proud Kevin Helms and this team. We said we are going to give it everything we’ve got. It stuck on the starting line. Everything was good going down. All the points on target. 170 miles per hour at 8.01 and we get to race tomorrow.”

Rick

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Beckman Runner-Up in Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at Norwalk

Beckman Runner-Up in Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at Norwalk

Jack Beckman powers Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to third 2019 final at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio
DSR driver Tommy Johnson, Jr. races Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to sixth semifinal of 2019
Leah Pritchett charges Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster to semifinals
Halfway through the 2019 season, Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers hold three of the top five positions in the Funny Car standings
Four Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars advance to the quarterfinals
Reigning Factory Stock Showdown champion Leah Pritchett qualifies Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak 13th, bows out in first round


June 23, 2019 , Norwalk, Ohio -

Jack Beckman advanced to his third final round of the season and 59th of his career, finishing runner-up in his Dodge//SRT Mopar machine in the 13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

At the halfway point of the 2019 season, Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers own three of the top five positions in the Funny Car standings.

“Fast Jack” and his Infinite Hero Foundation team closed out an impressive four-race stretch, reaching the semifinals all four races, making two final rounds and climbing from seventh to fourth in the standings. Beckman wasn’t the only Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver to make a deep run Sunday. Tommy Johnson, Jr. powered his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the semifinals for the sixth time this season and Leah Pritchett turned on a pair of win lights in her HEMI-powered Top Fuel dragster.

Beckman’s quest for a fourth Norwalk triumph opened with a pass of 3.950 seconds, the second-fastest run of the first round, to defeat Jonnie Lindberg. After dispatching Shawn Langdon with a solid run in round two, it was an all-DSR/Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat battle in the semifinals with Beckman and Johnson. The 2012 Funny Car world champion did lose traction about halftrack, but he kept his machine going down the track to defeat Johnson, who lost traction immediately, and reach his fourth career final at Summit Motorsports Park.

In the final, Beckman was up in smoke at the hit of throttle and Bob Tasca III raced away for the win.


Before Johnson’s day ended abruptly versus Beckman in the semifinal round, he continued his dominance over Tim Wilkerson with a run of 4.288/215.62 to advance and face fellow DSR and Hellcat teammate Capps in round two. Johnson was clean from start to finish clocking a run of 4.058 and was never challenged by the No. 1 qualifier who lost traction at the hit.

After qualifying second for the second consecutive event, Pritchett was focused on advancing past the first round for the first time in six races. She accomplished that mission by chasing down Luigi Novelli with her run of 3.807/327.11. It took the best run of the second round, 3.821, for Pritchett to knock out three-time Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown. In the semifinal round, Pritchett went up in smoke at the launch and she wasn’t able to recover and lost to Pat Dakin.

After earning his first No. 1 qualifier and 23rd of his career, 2016 Funny Car world champion Capps opened competition with a smooth run of 3.961/318.69 in his Pennzoil-backed Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to dispatch Bob Bode in round one. His run for a second Norwalk triumph came to an end when he lost traction at the hit and was forced to watch DSR teammate Johnson drive to victory.

Two-time Funny Car world champion and 2018 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals winner Matt Hagan qualified the Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 11th and was eyeing a strong finish to the four-race stretch. Hagan faced last week’s winner Bob Tasca III in the opening round and he uncharacteristically stood on the gas prematurely and activated the red light to automatically hand the victory to Tasca.

In other first-round action with Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars competing, Cruz Pedregon lost to John Force and Dale Creasy was defeated by fellow Hellcat competitor Paul Lee, who also fell to Tasca.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
In Factory Stock Showdown, Leah Pritchett raced the DSR Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to the 13th position in the 16-car field at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. The reigning FSS champion took on Bill Skillman in the first round and Pritchett had the early advantage with her .036-second reaction time. Skillman drove around her with his pass of 7.919/172.72. Pritchett’s run of 8.047/171.60 wasn’t enough to score the round win.

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

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.915 ET)

Rd.1: (.072-second reaction time, 3.950 seconds at 324.75 mph) beat to No. 13 Jonnie Lindberg (.082/9.971/71.79)
Rd.2: (.069/4.015/318.77) beat to No. 12 Shawn Langdon (.056/4.075/313.95)
Rd. 3: (.088/4.980/234.45) beat No. 8 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.067/6.969/143.34)
Rd. 4: (.061/11.764/77.85) lost to No. 6 Bob Tasca III (.077/4.383/245.09)

“We had a really solid four-race swing, but we really need a trophy. That’s what sets in the minds of all the crew guys that ‘we can do this’. I’ll take all the runner-ups we can get in the Countdown, because then it’s about points. Right now, we really want that trophy and we are so close. It’s bittersweet to run this good, and then not put a good effort in the final round. In the last four races, we have won 10 rounds, which is about as good as anyone is doing in Funny Car. We are moving back up in the points. Our cars are making consistent runs and I think now we are one of the favored cars again. As a driver that always feels great. You drive better when you feel like you are on a faster horse. I feel that way right now and I wish we were racing next weekend.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.928ET)

Rd.1: (.071-second reaction time, 4.288 seconds at 215.62 mph) beat No. 9 Tim Wilkerson (.082/4.462/195.11)
Rd. 2: (.068/4.058/316.58) to No. 1 Ron Capps (.076/11.144/75.31)
Rd. 3: (.067/6.969/143.34) lost to No. 4 Jack Beckman (.088/4.980/234.45)

“We were hoping to have a shot at our first Norwalk win, but just overpowered the track there early and couldn’t get it back under me to chase down Jack. We can’t be too disappointed in the four-race stretch. We got a win and two semifinal appearances. We’ve got a really good Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat right now. It’s been a long four in a row and everybody is looking forward to a weekend off. We’ll regroup and come back swinging in Epping.”

Ron Capps, Pennzoil/NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.879 ET)

Rd.1: (.107-second reaction time, 3.961 seconds at 318.69 mph) beat No. 16 Bob Bode (.097/10.304/87.07)
Rd.2: (.076/11.144/75.31) lost No. 8 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.068/4.058/316.58)

“It hurts not to walk out of here with a Wally as good as this Hellcat was. That green hat we got for qualifying number one represents a crew chief and a crew that adapted to so many different conditions on Friday and Saturday. That’s a feather in the cap for those guys, but we really felt like we had a great car for race day. Smoking the tires at the hit of the throttle isn’t some our car does too often. We didn’t feel like we were pushing too hard. I think these little moments we are having at these tracks where we are exiting early are going to help us down the road. As we get rid of all these little issues, hopefully that will get us ready for the countdown.”

Matt Hagan, Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 11 Qualifier – 3.975 ET)

Rd.1: (-.041-second reaction time, 5.190 seconds at 147.23 mph) lost to No. 6 Bob Tasca III (.071/3.957/324.59)

“I messed up bad today. Red lit, double-stepped it. I was up there ready to go, and it seemed like a long light to me. My foot said ‘go,’ and the tree hadn’t fallen yet. I was a little too amped up, I guess. We have a little break (in the schedule) coming up. We’ll get back into the groove of things and have a fresh start in Epping. I’ve got some time to let the dust settle. We didn’t have a great four-race swing, but we still have a lot of racing to do.”

Leah Pritchett, Don Schumacher Racing/Mopar/Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.714 ET)

Rd.1: (.130-second reaction time, 3.807 seconds at 327.11 mph) beat to No. 15 Luigi Novelli (.010/4.600/167/53)
Rd.2: (.122/3.821/326.00) beat No. 7 Antron Brown (.042/3.981/304.39)
Rd.3: (.083/5.378/223.76) lost No. 14 Pat Dakin (.027/4.603/170.43)

“We’re definitely ending this four-race swing on a high note. We made six consistent full-pulls this weekend. That’s given this team not only the confidence that we’ve needed, but the performance heading into this next phase of the season. We haven’t been able to attribute what caused our tire-smoking situation yet; everything checks out. We made it to the semifinals today. That’s great for the guys and a great thing to build on heading into our next race.”

Up Next: NHRA New England Nationals
Following a week off, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel, Funny Car and Sportsman drivers and teams head to the East Coast for the New England NHRA Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire, scheduled for July 5 - 7. Mopar-powered Dodge drivers Matt Hagan (2017, 2018) and Ron Capps (2014, 2016) have won the Funny Car Wally four of the last five years.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 12 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (4) – 1,022
2. John Force – 869
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 856
4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 819
5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 809

6. J.R. Todd (1) – 764
7. Bob Tasca III (1) – 689
8. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 656
9. Tim Wilkerson - 619
10. Shawn Langdon (1) - 580

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (6) – 1164
2. Doug Kalitta (1) - 760
3. Brittany Force (1) –744
4. Antron Brown – 733
5. Mike Salinas (2) – 732
6. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 651
7. Clay Millican – 649
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 532
9. Terry McMillen – 524
10. Austin Prock - 518

Rick

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Hagan Powers to Third Straight NHRA New England Nationals

Hagan Powers to Third Straight NHRA New England Nationals Triumph in Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car

Matt Hagan conquers NHRA New England Nationals for third consecutive year in Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Victory at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire is Hagan’s second of year, fifth overall for a Dodge//SRT Mopar Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver
Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers have won five of last six Funny Car event titles in New England
DSR drivers own positions 3-4-5 in Funny Car standings
Richard Kay, John Shaul race to Dodge Top Finisher Honors



July 7, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Matt Hagan continued his dominance at the NHRA New England Nationals, driving the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to his third consecutive Funny Car triumph at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire.

While Hagan became the third driver to score multiple wins this season in the Funny Car class, his DSR teammates Tommy Johnson, Jr., Ron Capps, and Jack Beckman placed Dodge//SRT Mopar in three of the top five positions in the Funny Car standings following the New England event.

To score his 31st career Funny Car victory, Hagan was forced to take down the hottest competitors in the class. His run to victory started with a match-up versus fellow DSR and Charger SRT Hellcat pilot Beckman, who defeated Hagan in recent first round battles at Richmond and Topeka and would have again if the two-time Funny Car world champion wasn’t on his game. Hagan posted the quickest run of the weekend, a 3.958-second elapsed time (ET), to defeat a stout 4.016 run by Beckman.


Two-time 2019 winner and fellow Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Capps was the competition in round two. Again, Hagan and his Dickie Venables-tuned Charger SRT Hellcat was up to the task with Hagan leaving first and never trailing, posting a run of 3.991 to advance and face Bob Tasca III. In the semifinal, Tasca left first, but Hagan had the lead almost instantly and drove away for his 11th straight round win at Epping and 350th round win of his career to reach his 57th career final and fourth in 2019.

The two-time Funny Car champion was not going to be denied,and his .033-second reaction time in the final was proof. Hagan powered his way to victory over Shawn Langdon with a winning pass of 4.014/322.81 to notch his 12 consecutive round win at the Epping track.

The triumph for Hagan was the fifth win by a Dodge//SRT Mopar machine in the last six years at New England Dragway in the Funny Car class and fifth by a driver of a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in 2019 competition.

Two-time NHRA New England Nationals champion Capps was on a mission to take his red, white and blue Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat for a long Sunday drive after three consistent qualifying runs that landed the 2016 Funny Car world champion third on the elimination ladder. He flexed his muscle dispatching Mike Smith in the first round posting the first three-second run of the weekend with his pass of 3.980 to set up a second round battle with Hagan. In the race pitting winners of four of the previous five Funny Car Wally’s in Epping, Capps trailed slightly off the starting line and was on a good run before drifting toward the centerline near mid-track, forcing him to click off the run.

Beckman and his DSR Infinite Hero Foundation team have been the model of consistency over the past five races, advancing to a pair of finals and five consecutive semifinals. The 2012 Funny Car world champion used his first qualifying pass Friday to grab the 11th position on Sunday’s elimination ladder and made his best run of the weekend in his first round matchup with Hagan, but he wasn’t able to knock off his DSR teammate and advance.

For the second consecutive event, Johnson qualified his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat eighth in the field and faced Tim Wilkerson in the first round. Johnson, who was chasing his second 2019 victory and first-ever at Epping, lost traction early and was not able to recover to extend his recent run of five semifinal appearances in the previous six races.

In other round action with Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars competing, Jim Campbell lost in round one to Shawn Langdon, while Cruz Pedregon advanced to round two before being eliminated by Tasca.

Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Richard Kay from East Meadow, New York, drove his SS/BM 1969 Plymouth Valiant to a Super Stock runner-up finish at the NHRA New England Nationals. Powered by a 376 cubic-inch Mopar V8 engine, Kay raced his way through six rounds of competition to reach the finals. Kay is a prior recipient of the Dodge Top Finisher award.

In Stock Eliminator, John Shaul from Fultonham, New York, advanced to the third round with his A/SA 1964 Plymouth Fury, joining Kay as a Dodge Top Finisher honoree at Epping. Consistent low 10-second elapsed-times powered by his Mopar 426 Max Wedge V8 under the hood enabled Shaul’s Plymouth to turn on a pair of win lights.

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

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

Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, FCA – North America
“Matt Hagan’s victory today marks his third straight in New England and the fifth overall this season by a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver. Hats off to Matt and the entire Don Schumacher Racing organization on delivering our brands yet another triumphant weekend at the drag strip.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 4.051 ET)

Rd.1: (.070-second reaction time, 3.958 seconds at 326.24 mph) beat No. 11 Jack Beckman (.060/4.016/322.04)
Rd. 2: (.056/3.991/325.22) beat No. 3 Ron Capps (.090/4.101/262.64)
Rd. 3: (.071/4.000/) beat No. 2 Bob Tasca III (.067/4.478/219.12)
Rd. 4: (.033/4.014/322.81) beat No. 5 Shawn Langdon (.055/4.046/317.49)

“I’m really excited that we were able to pull down another win for Mopar in this Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. We needed this race to be a turning point for our season. You want to have that momentum going into the Western Swing, and then Indy and the Countdown. With this new combination we have, I feel like we’re making the right steps to move forward.

“It seems like I’ve had my teammates the past six races in a row. We can’t get away from them first round and they’re the hardest to get around and beat. I have so much respect for them; the drivers, the crew chiefs and the caliber of their cars. They’re always tough. I went through two teammates and Tasca, three really hard cars, to get to the final. My guys were flawless putting the car together today and I’m really proud of (crew chief) Dickie Venables and Mike Knudsen and the decisions they were making together today. We didn’t just get lucky; the car went down the race track every single time.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Batteries Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 4.039 ET)

Rd.1: (.087-second reaction time, 3.980 seconds at 315.19 mph) beat No. 14 Mike Smith (.124/7.299/84.21)
Rd.2: (.090/4.101/262.64) lost to No. 6 Matt Hagan (.056/3.991/325.22)

“We have a great race car. One good thing about our performance is that we put a target on our backs. Any time we go up there we have to be at our very best, because we put that pressure on other teams and it’s great. If you look at qualifying here in New England, to make all three runs between a 4.03 and 4.05 and gain five bonus points, that’s the kind of consistency we are used to having. It just hurts a little more to go down on race day, because we really felt like we had a consistent car and I really felt like we had a car that could rounds today.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 4.069 ET)

Rd.1: (.069-second reaction time, 4.559 seconds at 186.38 mph) lost to No. 9 Tim Wilkerson (.073/4.259/233.72)

“You’ll have a tough weekend now and then, and I’m glad it’s now instead of later in the season. We’ll learn from this and try and make the car better. I thought we had a good handle on it, but we never seemed to hit our stride this weekend. But, we’ll regroup and move on to Denver and hopefully start the Western Swing off on a strong note.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 11 Qualifier – 4.117 ET)

Rd.1: (.060-second reaction time, 4.016 seconds at 322.04 mph) lost to No. 6 Matt Hagan (.070/3.958/326.24)

“We qualified in the bottom half of the field. I’m not making excuses, but that rained out Q4 may have hurt us more than any other team. We had tried some stuff and wanted to go back to our combo for that final session, but we didn’t get the opportunity. We got a big dog, our teammate Matt Hagan, in the first round and we go out there and lay down the quickest losing time of the round. That gets you nothing. It’s frustrating to end our hot streak, but I don’t know that we ended it. We just suffered an early-round exit today. We still know that we have a great Hellcat. The guys will take a week off, go back and freshen up our parts and we are going to come out swinging at Denver.”

Up Next: Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
In two weeks,
Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA stars head west to begin the three-race Western Swing with the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presentedowered by Pennzoil at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, set for July 19 -21.

Now in its 31st year of FCA US sponsorship, the weekend begins with the 18th annual Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil on Thursday, July 18, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Golden, Colorado. Leah Pritchett leads the HEMI-powered drivers and teams back into action in the Rocky Mountains, looking for a second consecutive victory aboard her Mopar Dodge1320 “Angry Bee” Top Fuel dragster.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 13 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car

1. Robert Hight (4) – 1,079
2. John Force – 903
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 891
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 870
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 851

6. J.R. Todd (1) – 825
7. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 770
7. Bob Tasca III (1) – 770
9. Tim Wilkerson – 691
10. Shawn Langdon (1) – 675

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (7) – 1278
2. Doug Kalitta (1) - 799
3. Antron Brown – 781
4. Brittany Force (1) –777
5. Mike Salinas (2) – 732
6. Clay Millican – 730
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 651
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 612
9. Terry McMillen – 576
10. Scott Palmer 563

Rick

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