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Virginia NHRA Nationals

Pritchett and Schumacher Advance to Quarterfinals at Virginia NHRA Nationals, Parker Earns Stock Eliminator Victory


Leah Pritchett takes her FireAde/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to quarterfinals
No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher advances his U. S. Army Top Fuel Dragster to round two
Randy Parker races to Stock Eliminator overall win and Dodge Top Finisher award
Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman remains second in Funny Car post standings
Mopar Express Lane Funny Car driver Matt Hagan fourth in standings
Longtime Mopar Sportsman Racer Ed Longhaney earns Dodge Top Finisher in Super Stock


June 10, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Mopar Dodge//SRT Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) drivers Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher were the DSR drivers to reach the quarterfinals on Sunday, June 10, at the sold-out inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie, Va. In the NHRA Sportsman ranks, Randy Parker raced his Mopar-powered Dodge Mirada to the Stock Eliminator victory.

Leah Pritchett was the No. 5 Top Fuel qualifier in her FireAde/Mopar Dodge dragster and faced off against Clay Millican in round one. Pritchett advanced easily and gained revenge on her recent final-round loss to Millican in Chicago when he red-lighted and fouled out early, handing the win to the Mopar Dodge driver.

In the quarterfinals the Southern Nationals winner gave up lane choice to Doug Kalitta, the No. 4 qualifier. Kalitta got the holeshot with a .067 against Pritchett’s .074 and never trailed for the win with his quickest pass of the weekend at 3.817 E.T. versus Pritchett’s 4.023. The FireAde car hazed the tires and dropped a cylinder just past halftrack, ending Pritchett’s chances for a fourth semifinal appearance this season.



No. 1 Top Fuel qualifier Schumacher received a bye in the first round and came up against Richie Crampton in the quarterfinals. They had identical reaction times, but Crampton took the lead with his quickest pass of the weekend at 3.805 to Schumacher’s 3.823 E.T. and advanced to the semifinals.

First up in round one Funny Car eliminations was No. 3 qualifier, a multiple bonus points earner, and driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T, Ron Capps, facing No. 14 qualifier Tim Wilkerson. The veteran duo has faced each other, including today, a total of 59 times. Capps has won 39 of those meetings. However, the two-time Virginia runner-up (2000, 2007) from San Luis Obispo, Calif. couldn’t capture his 40th [WU1] win against Wilkerson this time out.

Wilkerson got off the starting line first and led to the 60-foot mark before Capps got by him and led to the 660-foot cone before losing traction about the 1/8-mile, as Wilkerson got by for the win.

Last week’s Chicago No. 1 qualifier and two-time Funny Car World Champ Matt Hagan qualified 11th in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T machine and faced No. 6 qualifier Jonnie Lindberg. Hagan entered the match with a record of three wins in five outings against Lindberg, and the Christiansburg, Va. native was anxious to return to his “home” track for the first time since 2009 in a 10,000-plus horsepower Dodge Charger R/T machine.

The two took part in a good side-by-side race, with Hagan off the line first with a slightly quicker .102 reaction time against Lindberg’s .109. However, Hagan dropped a cylinder and Lindberg picked up the win with a 4.095 against Hagan’s 4.251.

Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman, the No. 5 qualifier, had lane choice as he faced No. 12 Del Worsham. Beckman previously was a No. 1 qualifier in 2009 and 2008 runner-up at the now newly paved Dinwiddie track.

Both cars launched with close times and both cars smoked the rear tires. It was a pedalfest between the veteran drivers, as both were on and off the throttle. Worsham was able to pedal his car across the finish line first and collected the win with a 4.828 E.T. versus Beckman’s 4.972. Beckman will remain second in Funny Car point standings despite this weekend’s first-round loss.

The always popular Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver and No. 10 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr. faced four-time Richmond winner John Force. Quick out of the gate with a .059 mark to Force’s .070, Johnson was .050 seconds ahead at the 330-foot line, but Force started to close the gap and got by Johnson after the 660-foot marker to take the victory with a 4.141 E.T. to TJ’s 4.233.

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


Leah Pritchett, FireAde/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.830 ET)

Rd.1: (.081-second reaction time, 4.630 seconds at 187.94 mph) beat No. 12 Clay Millican (-.031/6.168/99.01)
Rd.2: (.074/4.023/247.02) lost to No. 4 Doug Kalitta (.067/3.817/323.89)

“That run against Clay (Millican) was our redemption round for last week at Chicago. Our power source shut off down the track and the car started feeling erratic. I wasn’t sure Clay red-lighted, so I stayed in it as long as I could, to make sure I got that win light, even though the car was acting up.

“What was difficult about our loss in the second round is that there is nothing we would’ve changed. For us, everything looked perfect. All of a sudden, to smoke at halftrack, that’s not a typical thing. I knew we put in a really hot tuneup. And then for it to surprisingly smoke like that, it was eventful. For us, we’re not letting it get us down even though we can’t change the circumstance of what happened. We feel good about what we came to race with. Ultimately, that’s going to set us up for championship contention, and we’ll take a lot of character and morale to Bristol.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.777 ET)

Rd.1: (.106-second reaction time, 3.825 seconds at 323.74 mph) BYE
Rd.2: (.068/3.823/315.93) lost to No. 8 Richie Crampton (.068/3.805/316.01)

“It was on a 77, 78 run and we spun the tires. There was no reason that far down the track to spin the tires. It was already through the clutch. And there’s nothing we would’ve done differently that could’ve changed what happened. It’s frustrating because we’ve got an amazing U.S. Army car and we’re running great. And it goes out there and it spins the tires on us on an amazing racetrack. We were on a great run, one that would’ve won the round easily, low for the session. And it spins the tires, like it hits a bump where there isn’t a bump. There are really only two explanations for it – I either drove through oil, or I drove through oil (laughs). And then we put a hole out and we lost by just a few feet at the line. It’s frustrating, but we know we’ve got a good car and sooner or later things are going to start going our way on Sundays.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 4.039 ET)

Rd.1: (.115-second reaction time, 4.152 seconds at 280.43 mph) lost to No. 14 Tim Wilkerson (.090/4.130/303.43)

“This is what NHRA Drag Racing is. You just never know. As well as we qualified, we never thought that we even had a chance at smoking the tires. The car has been so solid. When you run Tim Wilkerson, you know that it’s going to be a tough race. The car was running really well, and then it started slowly spinning the tires a little past halftrack and then slowly went into more tire smoke, and then I saw Wilkerson out next to me.

“Being the first pair out, we were pretty bummed. We feel like we beat ourselves. We didn’t feel like the car was even going to be close to smoking the tires but watching the rest of the Funny Car session that first round, it was really whoever could get down that track would win. The heat, the humidity; it was a tough first round.”



Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 11 Qualifier – 4.088 ET)

Rd.1: (.102-second reaction time, 4.251 seconds at 245.72 mph) lost to No. 6 Jonnie Lindberg (.109/4.095/310.77)

“Very, very tough weekend for Don Schumacher Racing. All four Funny Cars went out first round. We’re still looking at the data. The car is responding to everything we’re asking it to do. Talking to (crew chief) Dickie (Venables), I asked him if he was confident in everything we’re doing, and he said he is. We just needed more data and more runs in these conditions to be able to fill-in these graph sheets. Now that we have less glue and a different prep on the race track, we’ve had to revamp how we run these cars. It’s just taking more runs to get there. Some people are making some hero runs here and there, but really, no one has it totally figured out. We’re really trying hard to get it pinned down to where we can get some more consistency and try and find some more downforce.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 4.053 ET)

Rd.1: (.100-second reaction time, 4.972 seconds at 199.94 mph) lost to No. 12 Del Worsham (.083/4.828/228.46)

“The only silver lining today is just about all of the other Funny Cars near us in points lost early. It is the ‘upset nationals’ here at Richmond. Did not see that coming. Never bet on a Funny Car race; qualifying doesn’t matter, you don’t race them on paper. Anybody can win on Sunday. We were picking away towards getting back to our optimal tune-up. We did not see (our car) going up there and throwing us a curveball. We will check the data and we can redeem ourselves in just a few days.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 4.083 ET)

Rd.1: (.059-second reaction time, 4.233 seconds at 272.06 mph) lost to No. 7 John Force (.070/4.141/308.78)

“It was a frustrating weekend. We were off a little bit all weekend. We actually feel good and confident with the new car. We’re starting to figure it out. Heading into Bristol, it’s one of our favorite tracks and we’ve had a lot of success there. I think it’s probably going to be a good weekend for the Make-A-Wish team.”

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Randy Parker from Four Oaks, North Carolina, drove his I/SA 1980 Dodge Mirada to a Stock Eliminator victory during the inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park. Powered by a Mopar 360 small-block, Parker’s Dodge was consistent during all six-rounds of eliminations in reaching the finals, where he downed Eugene Monahan. The Wally trophy was Parker’s second NHRA national event career win, and also earned him $500 for being the Dodge Top Finisher in Stock Eliminator at Virginia.

Longtime Mopar Sportsman Racer Ed Longhaney from Wade, North Carolina, advanced to the second round of eliminations in his SS/KA 1974 Plymouth Duster 360. Unfortunately, Longhaney’s race weekend ended earlier when he left too early and red lighted in round two. For his efforts, Longhaney will receive $500 for being the Dodge Top Finisher in Super Stock at the inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals.

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





Up Next:
Next on the schedule for the Mopar and Dodge//SRT squad is the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, scheduled for June 15-17 at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn.

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 10 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car

1. Courtney Force – 856
2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 683
3. Robert Hight – 665
4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 633
5. J.R. Todd – 615
6. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T – 576
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. , Dodge Charger R/T – 554

8. John Force – 468
9. Shawn Langdon – 461
10. Cruz Pedregon – 454

NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence – 827
2. Clay Millican – 719
3. Doug Kalitta – 665
4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI – 641
5. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1)– 639

6. Antron Brown – 530
7. Terry McMillen – 521
8. Brittany Force – 518
9. Richie Crampton – 387
10. Scott Palmer – 383
 

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Mopar® Dodge//SRT® NHRA Sportsman Spotlight

Mopar® Dodge//SRT® NHRA Sportsman Spotlight





Randy Parker from Four Oaks, North Carolina, drove his I/SA 1980 Dodge Mirada to a Stock Eliminator victory during the inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park. Powered by a Mopar® 360 small-block, Parker’s Dodge was consistent during all six rounds of eliminations in reaching the finals, where he downed Eugene Monahan. The Wally trophy was Parker’s second NHRA national event career win, and also earned him $500 for being the Dodge Top Finisher in Stock Eliminator at Virginia.

Longtime Mopar Sportsman Racer Ed Longhaney from Wade, North Carolina, advanced to the second round of eliminations in his SS/KA 1974 Plymouth Duster 360. Unfortunately, Longhaney’s race weekend ended earlier when he left too early and red lighted in round two. For his efforts, Longhaney will receive $500 for being the Dodge Top Finisher in Super Stock at the inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals.

The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its second year, awards $500 to the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge, Chrysler or Plymouth racecar. The honor is awarded in both Sportsman categories at all 24 NHRA national events.
 

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Battle at Bristol in Factory Stock

Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Drivers Pritchett, Hometown Favorite Johnson Ready to Battle at Bristol in Factory Stock

Leah Pritchett to race in both Top Fuel dragster and NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak for third time in 2018
Tennessee native and 2012 Pro Stock champ Allen Johnson to compete in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Pritchett’s Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate Mark Pawuk to make Factory Stock Showdown debut in Drag Pak at Bristol Dragway


June 12, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -



Mopar Dodge NHRA Top Fuel dragster driver Leah Pritchett is set to double her fun at Bristol Dragway this weekend, as the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) star will also campaign her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown during the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, scheduled for June 15-17 at Bristol (Tennessee) Dragway.



Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak competitor Allen Johnson, the hometown favorite and longtime Mopar Dodge driver who hails from nearby Greeneville, Tennessee, will join Pritchett in the mix for the Factory Stock Showdown win. Pritchett’s new DSR teammate, Mark Pawuk, who announced his Factory Stock entry at the NHRA Charlotte event in April, will also make his Drag Pak debut at Bristol.

Pritchett will compete in both her Top Fuel and Drag Pak machines for the third time this season. She guided her 354-cubic-inch HEMI® engine-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to the No. 1 qualifying spot at the most recent Factory Stock event in Charlotte, and has raced to a win and a runner-up appearance in the last four events in her Top Fuel dragster.

Owner of six career wins in Top Fuel, Pritchett is hoping to claim her first Factory Stock Wally trophy this weekend.

“It’s Bristol, baby,” said Pritchett. “I always look forward to running in the Thunder Valley. We’ve got some good track history and data there, with a runner up finish last year. We have a fair amount of momentum happening right now, and even though Bristol presents a unique and difficult atmosphere for tuners, making as much Mopar power and putting it to the track is what I’m looking forward to for this team. Additionally, we’ve made some suspension changes to our Factory Stock program, and of course gearing changes to compensate for the altitude.

“We feel this program is getting stronger with every race. It will be (teammate) Mark (Pawuk’s) first race in FSXX, and I typically never weigh on the side of having any more particular experience in a car or class than a teammate, but I look forward to being the best teammate possible to Mark. He did great during licensing, as expected, and I look forward to his competition-side showing through as we both battle through that stacked field.”

For 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Johnson and his father and crew chief, Roy Johnson, the transition from the pro classes to Sportsman has been a learning process. The chance to shakedown their Drag Pak in recent test sessions at Bristol has the duo feeling optimistic heading into Father’s Day weekend.

“We were able to make 16 runs in testing at Bristol, and that’s got us feeling really positive heading into this weekend,” said Johnson, who stepped away from Pro Stock competition at the end of the 2017 season. “We think we’re a lot closer to where we need to be than where we were after the first two Factory Stock races.

“It’s always good to be home at Bristol and see all our old friends. No matter what class we’re competing in, the fans there have always supported us and had our backs.”

Driving the second Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak entry for DSR, Pawuk joins the elite team after an 11-year hiatus from NHRA competition. He previously competed in Pro Stock, where Pawuk raced to six victories before making his final Pro Stock appearance at Richmond in 2006. Like teammate Pritchett, Pawuk’s Drag Pak will also be prepped and maintained by three-time world champ NHRA Sportsman racer Kevin Helms.

“I never really retired, rather I just sort of stepped away,” said Pawuk, known as "The Cowboy" to fans. “I wasn’t quite ready to hang up my driving shoes for good just yet, and I felt like I had some unfinished business, so this was a great opportunity to give it another shot. My goal is to go out and get another Wally. I look forward to working with Kevin and my new teammate, Leah, to build this program for DSR and make it a very successful Factory Stock team.”
 

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Capps, Schumacher Score NHRA Bristol Wins

Capps, Schumacher Score NHRA Bristol Wins, Double Up for Mopar Dodge//SRT

Ron Capps rumbles to second consecutive NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals win in his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Capps’ victory is fifth consecutive win for a Mopar Dodge Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car at Bristol Dragway
Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher scores record sixth career win at Bristol
Victories by Capps and Schumacher are fifth of 2018 for Mopar Dodge//SRT in NHRA Nitro classes
Randy Parker, Ed Longhaney claim back-to-back Dodge Top Finisher awards


June 17, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

It was a Father’s Day to remember for Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers Ron Capps and Tony Schumacher, who raced to victory in the Funny Car and Top Fuel classes, respectively, at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee. Capps’ victory marked the fifth straight for a Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver at Bristol Dragway.



The win by Capps was also the third of 2018 for a Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car driver and moved him to fifth in the Funny Car standings. Along with Tony Schumacher’s victory, Mopar Dodge drivers have now claimed five wins in the NHRA Nitro classes this season.

Capps, the Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge Charger R/T pilot, picked up his second consecutive NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Funny Car Wally and first trophy of the 2018 season. The 2016 world champion defeated John Force, reigning world champ Robert Hight, J.R. Todd and Bob Tasca III on his way to becoming the most decorated Funny Car driver in Bristol Dragway history, with five victories at the picturesque facility.


Both Capps and Force entered the race weekend tied for the most Funny Car wins at Bristol Dragway, with four trophies each. No. 11 starter Capps was quick on the throttle against the veteran driver, launching his Dodge off the starting line in 0.049-seconds and never trailing for the win. Matched up in the quarterfinals against Hight, Capps was machine-like, gaining the holeshot start over his opponent. Hight was able to catch up early in the run, and the veteran drivers battled neck-and-neck until Capps was able to surge ahead and take the win with his 4.208 run.

Capps made a clean pass against Todd in the semifinals, driving right down the groove to take the win and advance to his second final round of the season and second in three races. Capps has now run for the Funny Car trophy 112 times — second only to John Force in Funny Car career final-round appearances.

In the finals, Capps quickly made up a small starting line advantage by Tasca and added to his lead all the way down to the finish stripe. The victory earned him his 58th Funny Car win, 59th overall and a milestone 300th nitro event Wally for DSR.

Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Schumacher notched the 301st Nitro event win for DSR. He led all DSR drivers in qualifying, racing to the No. 2 spot and earning two bonus points. “The Sarge” opened up against No. 15 Terry McMillen, and used the second quickest run of the first round to advance, then was quickest of the quarterfinal round with a 4.028 ET that knocked out Pat Dakin in a close race, decided by a margin of about five feet.

In the semifinals, Schumacher was first off the starting line with a .064 reaction time against Steve Torrence, and paired it with a 4.038/297.02 run to advance to his 150th final round and third of the season. With lane choice over Mike Salinas, Schumacher once again left first with a near-identical .065 reaction and never trailed. He wrapped up his Father’s Day with a sub-four second, 3.946/313.58 run to seize the first win of the season for the U.S. Army team.



The victory was a record sixth for Schumacher at Bristol, the most of any driver, and also the 84th of his career.

Jack Beckman, a two-time runner-up at Bristol Dragway, including at last year’s event, was quickest of the four-car DSR Funny Car squad in qualifying, posting his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T seventh. An event winner earlier this year at the NHRA Gatornationals, Beckman opened Sunday with a victory over Shawn Langdon, using a .055 reaction time to jump to a lead he would not relinquish.

Beckman waged a tight race against the higher-qualified No. 2 qualifier Todd in the second round, with both drivers making clean, solid runs down the hot dragstrip. Beckman trailed slightly off the starting line and stayed within striking distance, but the 2012 Funny Car World Champ was unable to reel in Todd.

Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. banked four bonus points during qualifying, earning a berth in the top half of the field in the No. 8 spot. The Ottumwa, Iowa, native entered Sunday gunning for his third win in the last five years at Bristol and was matched up in round one against Matt Hagan in a battle of Mopar-powered DSR Funny Cars. Johnson trailed slightly at the start but sailed solidly down the strip to collect the round win after Hagan smoked the tires.

Hoping for another even-year Bristol victory (his previous wins at the venue came in 2014 and 2016), Johnson lacked lane choice in the quarterfinals against pole-sitter Courtney Force. He put a cylinder out shortly after launch and encountered more trouble before shutting it down, as Force pulled away for the win.

Two-time Funny Car World Champion Hagan started from the No. 9 position in his Shell ROTELLA/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, after wrapping up qualifying on Saturday evening with a final 4.188-pass that was quickest of the session, earning the DSR driver three bonus points. The 2015 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals event champ faced off with teammate Johnson in the first round. Hagan left the starting line first, but lost traction at about the 200-foot mark and was on-and-off the throttle before he was forced to back off, while Johnson’s clean pass moved him on to the next round.

Leah Pritchett’s schedule was a full one at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, as she juggled duties in the seats of both her Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster and a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown class.

Pritchett, the 2017 event runner-up in Top Fuel at Bristol, drew Mike Salinas in round one after qualifying ninth. The two drivers had just one previous meeting, with Pritchett emerging the victor, but on Sunday at Bristol Dragway Salinas was able to even the score against the six-time Top Fuel winner. Both cars dropped cylinders, and both drivers stayed in it, but Pritchett’s machine encountered problems first and she was unable to catch up to her opponent.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
In NHRA Factory Stock Showdown competition, Joe Welch qualified No. 2 in his 2015 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and drove to the event win at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Welch’s 8.275/164.67 run in the final round knocked out Arthur Kohn to earn his first NHRA National event win.

Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Pritchett’s busy Bristol weekend included a round one Factory Stock win in her 354-cubic-inch HEMI engine-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. After qualifying 13th in the stacked 24-car field, the Mopar-powered driver raced to victory over Leonard Libersher to open eliminations, but fell to Kohn in a close side-by-side race in round two. Pritchett left first with a .030 reaction time, but Kohn just edged out her 8.330/165.46 effort at the stripe with a winning margin of approximately three inches.

After struggling to hit on the right combination in his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the first two NHRA Factory Stock events, longtime Mopar driver Allen Johnson raced to a qualifying spot in the top half of the field before his home crowd at Bristol Dragway. The Tennessee native qualified No. 7 in making his first Factory Stock eliminations field, before falling in round one to Bill Skillman.

Pritchett’s DSR teammate, Mark Pawuk, made his Factory Stock Showdown debut at Bristol. Pawuk posted a best qualifying attempt of 8.756 seconds in his Mopar Dodge Drag Pak but was unable to crack the top 16 and advance to the elimination rounds.



For the second race in a row, Randy Parker of Four Oaks, North Carolina, was the Dodge Top Finisher winner in Stock Eliminator. Parker drove his I/SA 1980 Dodge Mirada, powered by a Mopar 360 cubic-inch small block through two rounds of competition at Bristol.



Like Parker, Mopar Sportsman Racer Ed Longhaney from Wade, North Carolina, repeated as Dodge Top Finisher in Super Stock, after also winning the award last week at the NHRA Richmond event. Driving his fast and consistent SS/KA 1974 Plymouth Duster 360, Longhaney raced through six rounds of competition to reach the final round and earn a runner-up spot in the highly competitive Super Stock class.

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

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

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA
“The wins by Ron Capps and Tony Schumacher this weekend at Bristol reinforce the successful combination of Mopar and Dodge//SRT in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series competition. We look forward to carrying this momentum into the NHRA event in Norwalk next weekend.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America
“Congratulations to Ron Capps and Tony Schumacher on their victories this weekend at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Teamwork at the dragstrip between Dodge//SRT and Mopar has yielded multiple wins for our brands, and we feel we’re just getting started.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 11 Qualifier – 4.193 ET)

Rd.1: (.049-second reaction time, 4.243 seconds at 296.37 mph) beat No. 6 John Force (.073/5.824/128.57)
Rd.2: (.057/4.208/299.33) beat No. 3 Robert Hight (.073/4.233/300.73)
Rd.3: (.049/4.242/298.93) beat No. 2 J.R. Todd (.034/4.372/285.65)
Rd.4: (.061/4.234/296.37) beat No. 4 Bob Tasca III (.056/4.300/286.98)

“(Crew chief) Rahn Tobler looked so down on himself (on Saturday morning). We didn’t run well the night before, and he just had that look. Those are the times you have to play cheerleader, and that’s what I think my job is. I said, ‘Tobler, you’re going to find it today. Today is going to be like tomorrow (Sunday). You were the bar for the last three years. You were the one who went out and made other crew chiefs want to retire in these hot conditions,’ and he did. He found that clutch disc problem and away we went.”

On his first-round match against John Force:

“That’s a final round matchup. It’s a matchup for a championship, it always is. We didn’t have lane choice, we’re running John Force, and someone had just spilled oil in that lane, but typical Rahn Tobler, he put it right down the track, over the bump and it was just on a great run and set the tone for the rest of the day.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.830 ET)

Rd.1: (.079-second reaction time, 3.917 seconds at 316.82 mph) beat No. 15 Terry McMillen (.080/5.112/141.40)
Rd.2: (.090/4.028/288.64) beat No. 10 Pat Dakin (.088/4.041/298.14)
Rd.3: (.064/4.038/297.02) beat No. 6 Steve Torrence (.083/4.104/254.04)
Rd.4: (.065/3.946/313.58) beat No. 8 Mike Salinas (.093/5.251/152.18)

“(Crew chief) Mike (Neff) was telling me to get the fact it’s my 150th final round and his first (Top Fuel event win) out of my head, to just do what I do, get a 60 light, go down the racetrack, keep it in the middle and pull the parachutes. We’ve been in 150 final rounds, and people are going to win some of those against us. When you race in the final round, you have to be calm, relaxed, do your job and get that win. We try to be the best we can, try to be a machine and just replicate what we do best. I was definitely prepared to do my best on that last run today because he had run very, very close to us. I didn’t expect it to be an easy round by any means. So, great job for the Army team. It was Father’s Day, which makes it a big moment day and those are the kinds we’ve been the best at over the years.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 9 Qualifier – 4.001 ET)

Rd.1: (.092-second reaction time, 4.011 seconds at 287.72 mph) lost to No. 9 Mike Salinas (.062/4.023/295.53)

“We definitely felt hopeful – felt good – going into today after finishing with a strong qualifying effort. It’s been a little while since we’ve been the first pair out. There’s no sugar coating it at all. The numbers don’t lie. I was the weak link within our team and I wasn’t able to get to the finish line first. (Mike) Salinas had a jump on me out of the gate. I’ve been struggling with my reaction times all over the board and this weekend it got us.

“Our car was there. It was the quicker car in the best conditions of the day. When something happens with the car or the team, what I love the most about it is, whatever goes wrong or if we have a situation, someone takes responsibility for it and I take responsibility for this one. But, I tell you what, it’s not going to be pretty for whoever I line up against first at Norwalk. These things sting and I’m going to find my way around it and over it. Already, we’re moving on to Norwalk. It’s unfortunate for my team. They don’t deserve that. It’s a learning process and I’ll never stop learning.”

Matt Hagan, Shell ROTELLA/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T
(No. 9 Qualifier – 4.188 ET)

Rd.1: (.071-second reaction time, 5.381 seconds at 142.06 mph) lost to No. 8 Tommy Johnson Jr. (.093/4.253/291.26)

“It’s super-hot and we’re just trying to negotiate the race track. We had a blower belt break on Friday night and I think that kind of set the tone for qualifying and put us in the back side of the field. Not having lane choice going into race day was tough. Dealing with the track that’s out there, we’re pushing pretty hard to run some numbers, but it’s one of those things where we’re still learning these hot conditions. The race track is 140-degrees and we haven’t seen stuff like that. We’re learning as we go. Obviously, everyone wants results, but sometimes you just have to be patient and let it come to you.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 4.130 ET)

Rd.1: (.055-second reaction time, 4.283 seconds at 281.30 mph) beat No. 10 Shawn Langdon (.072/4.569/266.37)
Rd.2: (.082/4.333/277.49) lost to No. 2 J.R. Todd (.078/4.203/295.92)

“We’re better than a second-round car. We’ve got the best parts, we’ve got great people. What we have right now is an issue – we have a new chassis, we have a new clutch, and we have a different race track prep, with no data on any of the three. We’re racing while we’re collecting data, so we’re actually not doing a bad job of accruing points, and we’re going to get this Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger pointed in the right direction. The whole deal with this (series) is the first 18 races, you want to get some trophies. The championship will be decided in the last six, and I feel like we’re headed in the right direction to accomplish that.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 4.167 ET)

Rd.1: (.093-second reaction time, 4.253 seconds at 291.26 mph) beat No. 9 Matt Hagan (.071/5.381/142.06)
Rd.2: (.076/5.139/158.45) lost to No. 1 Courtney Force (.066/4.197/298.14)

“I thought we were running really well this weekend and had a car that would go down the racetrack, so I felt good about our chances. It’s unfortunate, we had a piston break at the hit of the throttle in the second round that cost us. But with the warm track conditions, I thought we had a really good setup. If the conditions are anywhere similar in Norwalk, I think we have a good shot at getting ourselves a win. We’re doing everything right to put ourselves in position to go rounds on Sunday, so I’m looking forward to it.”

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 21-24. The stop is the final race in a grueling stretch of four consecutive events 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 Jack Beckman will attempt to defend his 2017 event win in the NHRA Funny Car class.





2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 11 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Courtney Force — 937
2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 736
3. Robert Hight — 717
4. J.R. Todd — 6945. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 693
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 669
7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T — 606

8. Cruz Pedregon — 508
9. John Force — 502
10. Bob Tasca III — 500

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence – 896
2. Clay Millican — 786
3. Tony Schumacher, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 760
4. Doug Kalitta — 717
5. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 663
6. Antron Brown — 588
7t. Brittany Force — 552
7t. Terry McMillen — 552
9. Scott Palmer — 461
10. Mike Salinas — 421
 

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Mopar Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car Drivers Capps, Hagan Qualify in Top Three at N

Mopar Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car Drivers Capps, Hagan Qualify in Top Three at Norwalk

Ron Capps and Matt Hagan to start No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio
Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher to start No. 4
Dominant Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak drivers sweep top four spots in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown qualifying, all four advance to second round of eliminations
Mopar Dodge driver Pritchett qualifies No. 8 in Top Fuel and No. 3 in Factory Stock Showdown, will bid for two Wally trophies during Sunday eliminations



June 23, 2018 , Norwalk, Ohio -



Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Ron Capps raced to the No. 2 spot while teammate Matt Hagan claimed the No. 3 position in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car following two days of rain-shortened qualifying at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

The DSR duo were the only two drivers to post runs in the three-second range on Saturday and will lead a group of six Mopar-powered Dodge Funny Car drivers into elimination rounds. In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher paced the Mopar-powered entries by qualifying fourth in his U.S. Army machine, while teammate Leah Pritchett will start No. 8 in her FireAde/Mopar Dodge as she attempts to double up with victories in both Top Fuel and Factory Stock.


Capps, winner at the NHRA stop in Bristol, Tennessee, last weekend, was second quickest on Friday with a 3.961-second elapsed time (ET), earning two bonus points in his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge. After persistent rain showers washed out Friday’s evening qualifying session, Capps clocked a 3.976 ET on Saturday, banking another three bonus points. The final qualifying session was also lost to inclement weather. Capps, the 2016 Norwalk event winner, will square off against Jeff Diehl in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday at Summit Motorsports Park.

Hagan was listed No. 3 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T after the first day of qualifying, earning one bonus point thanks to a 3.981 run, and added another two on Saturday with a 3.989 that was second-quickest behind his stablemate Capps. The two-time Funny Car World Champion will begin race day against DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr.

Bristol Top Fuel winner Tony Schumacher remained hot on Friday, recording a 3.792 that earned him the provisional No. 2 spot and two bonus points, paired with a speed of 330.63 mph that was tops of the day. Shuffled down to fourth after Q3, “The Sarge” will face first-round foe Kyle Wurtzel.

Juggling double duty at Norwalk, Mopar Dodge DSR Top Fuel driver Pritchett ranked in the provisional No. 9 spot after her first qualifying attempt. She bumped into the top half of the field at No. 8 thanks to a 3.838 ET in Q3 and will go head-to-head against Doug Kalitta.

Defending Norwalk Funny Car event champion Jack Beckman drove his Mopar-fueled Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T to a 4.101 run and will start No. 11 against Tim Wilkerson. Johnson starts No. 14 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T and will face Hagan. Mopar-powered Dodge Funny Car racers Dale Creasy (No. 12) and Jim Campbell (No. 13) will also battle for the win on Sunday.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
A quartet of supercharged, 354-cubic-inch HEMI engine-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak drivers completely dominated in a historic clean sweep of the top four spots during NHRA Factory Stock Showdown qualifying, then added opening-round victories to advance deeper into elimination rounds on Sunday.


DSR star Pritchett, once again switching between seats in her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster and Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak machines, locked down the No. 3 spot on the strength of an 8.117 run. She faced Leonard Libersher in the first round of eliminations for the second straight weekend, and was quicker off the starting line with a .018 reaction time and at the finish with a 8.185/169.15 pass. Pritchett will meet Stephen Bell in round two tomorrow as she seeks to score Wally trophies in both Top Fuel and Factory Stock.

Carrying momentum from his Factory Stock Showdown victory last weekend at Bristol, Joe Welch captured the pole with an 8.092 ET and then advanced to round two of eliminations with a 8.113/169.00 against David Barton, who was disqualified on a red-light foul after leaving the line early. Welch will face Scott Libersher in round two. Pritchett’s DSR teammate Mark Pawuk, who made his Factory Stock debut at Bristol, qualified No. 2 and defeated a tough opponent in Arthur Kohn with a 8.167 ET at 167.76 mph, with Chuck Watson up next on his dance card for the second round.

Mopar Dodge fan-favorite and 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Allen Johnson ranked seventh after the single qualifying session on Friday, then moved to No. 4 with a 8.144 ET on Saturday. Johnson used a 8.193/168.05 effort to knock out Carl Tasca in the opening round and will lineup against Aaron Stanfield next.

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


Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Jeff Diehl
Friday: (3.961 seconds at 320.28 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.976/322.65 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)

“Obviously, having one shot on Friday, that’s why I brag about (crew chief) Rahn Tobler and what he’s done going back to the car that we had before. He can make a call like he made yesterday, on Friday, with the weather looming, not knowing what was going to happen and the weather changing minute-to-minute and to go up there and run the 3.96 and put us No. 2 was classic Rahn Tobler. To unload on Saturday for Q3 and to go up there again with the weather changing like it was and to get our three bonus points for going quickest of the round with another great run with a 3.98. It’s just proof that we made the right choice and now it just feels like we’re going to get our momentum back that we’ve had the last two years. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”



Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Tommy Johnson Jr.
Friday: (3.981 seconds at 325.22 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.989/323.43 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)

“Our Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger is running strong. (Crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is making some good calls out there. I really feel like we’re getting some confidence back this weekend. I think everybody is getting used to these conditions now. It’s just taken some runs and taken some time to do it, but we’re getting right back up to where we need to be. We talked about needing to be ‘top five’ qualifier at every race and that just puts us in a good position. It’s not always going to happen, but our goal is to go down the race track on the first run and set ourselves up for the rest of the weekend.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Kyle Wurtzel
Friday: (3.792 seconds at 330.63 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.793/329.02 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)

“We were trying to run a little quicker today, but I’ll take that run any day of the week. We went right down the track. The (data) lines look beautiful. Everything about the U.S. Army car is perfect. All the parts are good. We understand it’s not supposed to be cloudy and cool tomorrow, so that particular run is going to play right into our hands. Bottom line is that I don’t care what kind of weather we have tomorrow because I know I’m surrounded by an incredible team.”

Leah Pritchett, FireAde/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 9 Doug Kalitta
Friday: (4.099 seconds at 271.73 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.838/324.98 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)

“We were really looking forward to getting that final session in. We’ve been working through some data issues and feel like we had a handle on them heading the final session. Every run is important to us. All aspects matter. From the seat time to finding that baseline, every lap is critical. We were hoping to see where we were tonight, but we’ll just have to come back tomorrow and give it everything we have against Doug Kalitta. These guys are working extremely hard and I’m going to keep working on that tree.”

On her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Factory Stock Showdown Car
“For the Mopar Drag Paks to lock up the 'top four' qualifying spots is something of history. Today, a first round win, just like everybody, you're waiting all day for it. There were rain delays and you're constantly changing your tune-up and I'm really proud of our Mopar team for putting up some stout numbers. Of course, we're going to have some stout competition in our second round of eliminations, but we race the track and that competition.

"To be totally honest, a win light in Top Fuel and a win light in Factory Stock, they're different, but they both glow the same, and they both mean the same to me. It's a lot of hard work and dedication for both programs.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 11, will face No. 6 Tim Wilkerson
Friday: (4.101 seconds at 308.57 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (4.128/264.70 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)

“We’re not going to be a top-half car (in the qualifying field), and that hasn’t slowed us down. We’ve only got two first round losses all year long and one of them was a mechanical issue. I don’t think it matters where we qualify. Some might think we dug ourselves a little hole, but I think race day we’re a team that finds a way to win rounds.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 14, will face No. 3 Matt Hagan
Friday: (6.489 seconds at 101.17 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (4.209/245.81 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)

“It’s been a long weekend with only making two runs down the track. We’re getting closer on this tune-up each time we get an opportunity on the track and I think we’ll be fine for first round tomorrow.”



Tune-In Info
Three hours of eliminations coverage from the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 24.
 

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NHRA Funny Car Driver Hagan Triumphs at Norwalk

Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car Driver Hagan Triumphs at Norwalk

Matt Hagan earns win at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, second consecutive victory for a Mopar Dodge Funny Car competitor
Victory is second this season for Hagan and sixth of year for a Mopar Dodge//SRT racer in the NHRA Nitro classes
Hagan now tied for second in Funny Car standings with Mopar Dodge teammate Jack Beckman
Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak drivers dominate in Factory Stock Showdown, earn second consecutive class win
Todd Hoven powers Mopar HEMI®-powered 1965 Dodge Coronet to Stock Eliminator event win, Marshall finishes runner-up in Super Stock
Hoven, Marshall claim Dodge Top Finisher honors


June 24, 2018 , Norwalk, Ohio -



Matt Hagan capped off a win-filled weekend for Mopar Dodge//SRT at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, muscling his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to his second victory of the season at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Mopar-powered Dodge NHRA Sportsman racers also brought home Wally trophies in the Factory Stock Showdown and Stock Eliminator classes.

Hagan’s triumph was the second consecutive and fourth overall this season for a Mopar Dodge Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car driver, and the sixth win of 2018 in the NHRA Nitro classes. Hagan also leapfrogged into a tie for second in the Funny Car standings with DSR Dodge teammate Jack Beckman

Hagan, seeking a bit of redemption after first-round exits in the previous two events, began Norwalk eliminations with back-to-back battles against Mopar Dodge Funny Car DSR teammates. First up was Tommy Johnson Jr., with Hagan’s quick reflexes helping to score a close holeshot win by an ultra-thin margin of less than one-thousandth of a second. Hagan was again first off the starting line in an all-Mopar Dodge quarterfinals fight, pulling away to defeat Beckman with a 4.010/322.27 pass.

Hagan led from start to finish stripe in the semifinals, reeling off a 3.981/320.58 to defeat J.R. Todd and earn all-important lane choice against No. 1 qualifier Courtney Force in his fourth final round of the season and 51st of his career. Hagan saved his best reaction time for the money round, a .033-second mark that gave him a jump over Force that he would never relinquish, recording a winning 4.094/288.21 to his opponent’s losing 4.220/227.54 effort.

The victory was Hagan’s second of the season, 28th of his career and first-ever at Norwalk.

Leah Pritchett faced Doug Kalitta in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday morning. Kalitta had a slight advantage on the launch and led for nearly the entire span of the 1,000-foot stretch, but Pritchett charged hard in her Mopar-powered FireAde machine, chasing Kalitta down at the far end of the track to set off the win light. Her 3.794-second effort held up to be the second-best of the session.

The six-time Top Fuel winner powered to her best run of the weekend in the quarterfinals to claim the upset win over No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican and earn lane choice over semifinal opponent Blake Alexander. Pritchett was first on the throttle but encountered issues just past halftrack. The 2018 Atlanta winner pedaled the throttle and harnessed her FireAde machine enough to recover before giving way to a fireball, enabling Alexander to claim the win with his clean pass.

Ron Capps and his Mopar-fueled NAPA Dodge team entered Norwalk fresh off of a trip to the winner’s circle from the previous event. Picking up where they left off, the Rahn Tobler-led team dominated throughout qualifying. Two days of persistent rain showers meant nitro teams were permitted only two shots at the race track before race day fields were set. Capps collected bonus points during each session, running second-best in round one, and “best of class” in the second session.

Capps, a three-time runner-up at the venue, kicked off his 500th professional race day start with a matchup against No. 15 qualifier Jeff Diehl. Capps drove away with the immediate round win when Diehl stood on the gas early and fouled out. In round two, Capps faced J.R. Todd. The NAPA machine went up in smoke almost immediately, ending Capps’ chances at winning Norwalk’s coveted ice cream scoop trophy.

“Fast” Jack Beckman scored an upset in the opening round, taking his No. 11-qualified Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car past the higher-seeded No. 6 machine of Tim Wilkerson. Beckman, a three-time champion at Norwalk, easily claimed the round win with a 4.047/319.07 run after Wilkerson smoked the tires. The defending Norwalk event winner trailed off the starting line in an all-Mopar Dodge DSR quarterfinals matchup against Hagan, regained the lead briefly at the 60-foot mark but ultimately was unable to drive past his teammate for the round win. Beckman leaves Norwalk still ranked second in the standings (tied with Hagan) and as the winningest Funny Car driver in the facility’s history.

Tony Schumacher qualified No. 4 in his Mopar HEMI-powered U.S. Army dragster, seeking to follow up his recent Bristol win with another Sunday celebration. “The Sarge” began eliminations by defeating Kyle Wurtzel with a 3.807/327.66 mark, but a slow start in the semifinals against Blake Alexander ended Schumacher’s day.

Beginning eliminations from the No. 14 position, Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. faced off in an intra-squad battle with fellow DSR stablemate Hagan. Johnson overcame his teammate’s slight edge off the starting line (a .071 reaction time to Johnson’s .075) to put the nose of his Mopar Dodge out front at the 660-ft. mark, but Hagan surged ahead to beat Johnson’s quicker 3.990-second effort to the finish by a razor-thin margin of about five inches.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Following a historic qualifying performance in which four Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak drivers swept the top four starting positions, Mark Pawuk and Joe Welch made Factory Stock Showdown history again in the first-ever all-Mopar Dodge final round of the class, with Welch earning his second consecutive win in a close battle.

Welch qualified No. 1 and raced past David Barton, Scott Libersher and Stephen Bell before meeting Pawuk in a battle of Mopar Dodge Drag Paks. The two recorded nearly identical reaction times, with Welch holding a slight advantage on the way to a winning with a 8.107/168.07 run.



DSR driver Pawuk, making his first Factory Stock eliminations start in his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, notched a holeshot victory in the quarterfinals against Chuck Watson. Pawuk was quicker off the starting tree with a .081 reaction time to Watson’s slower .098, giving enough margin to make Pawuk’s 8.091/169.19 run pay off with a round win. In the semifinals, Pawuk used his supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI to overcome a slight deficit at the start, recording a quicker and faster 8.104/169.02 to knock out Aaron Stanfield’s 8.178/166.66 and advance to the final.

Shortly after winning her first round of Top Fuel competition, Leah Pritchett quickly hopped in her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and switched into Factory Stock Showdown mode for round two eliminations. Qualified in the top three, Pritchett trailed Stephen Bell at the start and was unable to catch his quicker 8.137 ET with her 8.179/168.98 effort.

Former NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson is getting comfortable in the seat of his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, qualifying No. 4 and earning his first career Factory Stock Showdown round win to advance to the quarterfinals. Johnson was a bit too quick on the trigger against Aaron Stanfield, leaving the line early and losing on a red-light foul.

A pair of 1965 Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Coronet “A990” package cars ran fast and hard to claim the Dodge Top Finisher award in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock at Norwalk. In the Stock Eliminator final, Todd Hoven from Milltown, New Jersey, drove his 1965 AA/SA Dodge HEMI® Coronet to the event victory. Hoven, who has a prior NHRA national event win and numerous divisional finals to his credit, was consistent all weekend.



Hoven has raced in the Stock Eliminator category since 1997 and has also competed in a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. In the final round, Hoven's Coronet had the starting line advantage over his opponent and ran right on his 10.08 ET dial-in. Hoven is also a first-time recipient of the Dodge Top Finisher award.


For the Super Stock category, lifelong Mopar racer Bob Marshall wheeled his 1965 SS/AA Dodge HEMI Coronet to the runner-up finish. The Columbus, Ohio, resident has been racing his “Dodge Material” HEMI Dodge Super Stockers for many decades and has earned numerous wins at the national event and divisional level. Marshall motored to his first Dodge Top Finisher award as he raced through six rounds of intense eliminations against some of the toughest drivers in the class.

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

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

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA
“It’s great to see the success that our Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers and teams are having this year. Thanks to Matt Hagan and his Mopar Express Lane Dodge team on bringing home a second consecutive victory for our brands, and their second win of the season.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America
“The victory today by Matt Hagan is the second consecutive win for a Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT team and yet another example of the successful combination of our two brands at the drag strip. A tip of the cap to the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T team and the entire Don Schumacher Racing organization on their performance this weekend.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.981 ET)

Rd.1: (.071-second reaction time, 3.994 seconds at 327.19 mph) beat No. 14 Tommy Johnson Jr. (.075/3.990/323.27)
Rd.2: (.058/4.010/322.27) beat No. 11 Jack Beckman (.075/4.022/321.73)
Rd.3: (.063/3.981/320.58) beat No. 7 J.R. Todd (.082/4.031/321.50)
Rd.4: (.033/4.094/288.21) beat No. 1 Courtney Force (.067/4.220/227.54)

“Super proud of my guys. These cats have been working hard and we’ve obviously had a track prep change that we needed to adapt to and it took (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) a few runs to get there, but that’s why I love him and I’m glad he’s in my corner. He always figures it out.

“We had a good, solid car all weekend. Qualified well, went down the race track pretty much every lap. It hazed the tires out there and I was legging it out, but it’s the finals, man, and I didn’t care if it was going to blow the body off of it or what. All I knew was I didn’t see her (opponent Courtney Force) beside me.

“You’re not due anything out here because you have to earn it, but you almost feel like you were due for a win. It’s been a while since we turned on four win lights, but it’s a nitro Funny Car and you never know what you’re going to get. I’m glad we were able to knock this (Norwalk) trophy off the checklist. For Mopar, for Pennzoil, Sandvik Coromant, and all of the folks that support us out here. I’ve been wanting one of these ice cream scoops (special trophies handed out at Norwalk), but I think mine is going to be a protein scoop (laughs). You know, two scoops of protein with this. We’re having fun, it’s good to see my guys be able to celebrate with the Wally.”

Leah Pritchett, FireAde/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.838 ET)

Rd.1: (.064-second reaction time, 3.794 seconds at 328.94 mph) beat No. 9 Doug Kalitta (.061/3.805/321.73)
Rd.2: (.068/3.788/327.74) beat No. 1 Clay Millican (.072/3.817/327.03)
Rd.3: (.060/4.185/254.28) lost to No. 12 Blake Alexander (.082/3.799/329.91)

“We started race day with all new information. We weren’t able to take a lot from qualifying. We made wholesale changes on Saturday night, and with that confidence coming into Sunday, the FireAde team output exactly what we input. We had two awesome and consistent, clean runs, and tight racing. It’s been a while since we had some real tight racing like that where the car was on point, I was on point, the team was on point, and we had no mechanical malfunctions.

“Unfortunately, we spun (the tires) in the semis against Blake (Alexander), who’s a great driver. We’re getting to that time, it’s halfway through the season. Everybody’s best is starting to shine and right now this FireAde team is starting to shine really bright. We needed that momentum. It’s good to end this swing on a semifinal finish. Of course, we wanted to finish with a win, but to see the adversity this team has gone through over this weekend – limited runs, runs that didn’t really count for us for anything, and taking a shot at it on Sunday and going some rounds is what we needed.”

On her Factory Stock Showdown performance:
“Pretty epic feeling to have my teammate (Mark Pawuk) race in the finals. Couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Mopar team and this Factory program. All win lights, they actually do feel the same, whether it’s in Top Fuel or Factory Stock, because the input of passion and effort is all still the same. With my car, we had it tuned up for E2 and that output wasn’t quite there but feeling good about the progress that we’ve made.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 11 Qualifier – 4.101 ET)

Rd.1: (.079-second reaction time, 4.047 seconds at 319.07 mph) beat No. 6 Tim Wilkerson (.061/9.812/93.13)
Rd.2: (.075/4.022/321.73) lost to No. 3 Matt Hagan (.058/4.010/322.27)

“We’re still in a brand-new car. I think it’s the fourth race for this new chassis, brand new clutch in our car, the pressure plate and the (recent changes) in track prep. You hate to say that you’re testing, but the definition of testing is trying to zero in on a combination that works, and we’re testing.

“We had a phenomenal car earlier in the year, could not seem to qualify any worse than fifth, and now some races we’re struggling to qualify in the top half, but we seem to be a very intelligent race-day crew. We seem to be able to beat out round wins no matter where we qualify. Now, if we qualify better, we’ll have more favorable race day pairings. We’ll stay tomorrow (in Norwalk) and test, and we will keep zeroing in on this thing. The changes that we made with the other clutch and the other chassis have different effects on this one, but every run we make we get data and we get better.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.961 ET)

Rd.1: (.086-second reaction time, 4.034 seconds at 315.05) beat No. 15 Jeff Diehl (-.050/6.384/106.92)
Rd.2: (.066/9.588/81.56) lost to No. 7 J.R. Todd (.058/4.004/321.27)

“We haven’t smoked the tires that early into a run in a very long time. We had so much momentum, we felt great about going in (to round one). The good thing is, if you take the silver lining on this cloud of losing second round is this race car we’ve been running is going into the DSR fab shop this week and getting a front half. We try to put a certain amount of runs on each of our Funny Cars at DSR, and it’s gotten more and more runs which is great, but as busy as DSR is with four Funny Cars and three dragsters, you sort of have to get in line and get on the list to get it done. It’ll almost be like a brand-new chassis. I’m excited, it’ll be like a new car and we’ll run that for the rest of the year.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.792 ET)

Rd.1: (.092-second reaction time, 3.807 seconds at 327.66 mph) beat No. 13 Kyle Wurtzel (.070/3.902/306.74)
Rd.2: (.146/3.779/330.31) lost No. 12 Blake Alexander (.054/3.798/330.15)

“The U.S. Army car just continues getting better. Credit Blake Alexander and his team. That run he made would have beaten everyone. It was a long tree. I was waiting on that tree really deep, and I’m staring at it and it didn’t come on when I thought it was going to. I hit it and came off of it, almost two stepped it. I heard something when I squeezed the throttle and I didn’t know if it was him or me so I pulled back and the light came on. This one is on me today. Mistakes happen. People are human. It’s unfortunate, but it’s racing. It’s just the level we are at. Everyone has to be so good. The best thing about where we are halfway through the year is that we have a great car. We brought Mike Neff in to lead this U.S. Army team and he’s doing exactly what we hoped he would. He and Phil (Shuler) have meshed really well and we have as good of car as anyone out here. I just really hate to let one slip away like we did today.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 14 Qualifier – 4.209 ET)

Rd.1: (.075-second reaction time, 3.990 seconds at 323.27 mph) lost No. 3 Matt Hagan (.071/3.994/327.19)

“It’s a frustrating loss. To run so well and lose by less than one-thousandth of a second, all you can say is it was a great drag race. It was really, really close and I was happy with the way the car ran, it was just qualifying that bit us. Only having two runs and not getting a good qualifying run in on those two. The guys did a great job of hitting the tune-up on Sunday, it was just nine-thousandths of a second too short.”

Up Next: NHRA New England Nationals
After a much-needed week off following a stretch of four consecutive events, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel, Funny Car and Sportsman racers will travel to the East Coast for the NHRA New England Nationals, set for July 6-8 at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire.

Fans have flocked to the venue since the inaugural NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series stop in 2013, and last year watched Matt Hagan celebrate the 2017 Funny Car win in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge. Ron Capps captured Funny Car Wally trophies in 2016 and 2014 in his Mopar-powered Dodge, while Tony Schumacher took HEMI power to the Top Fuel winner’s circle in 2014-2015.



2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 12 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Courtney Force — 1038
2t. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 788
2t. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (2) — 788

4. Robert Hight — 771
5. J.R. Todd — 767
6. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 755
7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T — 637

8. John Force — 577
9. Shawn Langdon — 537
10. Bob Tasca III — 532

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence – 964
2. Clay Millican — 847
3. Tony Schumacher, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 817
4. Doug Kalitta — 749
5. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 736
6. Terry McMillen — 643
7. Antron Brown — 622
8. Brittany Force — 594
9. Mike Salinas — 475
10. Scott Palmer — 471
 

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Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Matt Hagan celebrates his victory at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on Sunday, June 24, with his team and Mopar Motorsports Marketing Manager Eddie Olsen.
 

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New England Nationals Qualifying

Mopar Dodge//SRT Duo Pritchett, Hagan Score Poles in NHRA New England Nationals Qualifying

Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett locks down her second consecutive No. 1 spot at NHRA New England Nationals, ninth overall of her career
Defending Epping event winner Matt Hagan races his Mopar Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car to third pole of season, 33rd of his career
Mopar Dodge Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car drivers dominate with three of top four qualifying spots, record four quickest runs in final qualifying session on Saturday
Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel star Tony Schumacher earns No. 2 spot, seeks third career win at New England Dragway


July 7, 2018 , Epping, New Hampshire -

Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett and Funny Car racer Matt Hagan finished off an impressive two days of qualifying for Mopar Dodge//SRT competitors at the NHRA New England Nationals by maintaining their hold on the top starting spots in their classes heading into elimination rounds on Sunday, July 8, at New England Dragway.


Pritchett sped to her second pole of the season in her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel machine before a sellout crowd in Epping, New Hampshire, earning her second consecutive No. 1 qualifier spot at the venue and ninth overall of her career. The No. 1 qualifier spot in Funny Car was the third of the season for Sandvik Coromant Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Hagan, his first at New England Dragway and the 33rd of his career.

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) star Pritchett carried her factory-backed Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to the No. 1 position in the second qualifying session on Friday, using HEMI®-engine power to uncork a 3.742-second elapsed time (ET) at 324.51 mph that jumped her from sixth up to the top spot.

The Friday evening run also earned the six-time Top Fuel event winner three bonus points, and Pritchett added three more on Saturday when she was second quickest in her first qualifying attempt and third quickest in Q4. Gunning for her second win of the season, Pritchett will open eliminations on Sunday against Audrey Worm.

Carrying momentum from his victory at the most recent NHRA event in Ohio two weeks ago, Hagan earned two bonus points and was No. 2 after his first qualifying attempt. The defending Epping event winner added three more points and moved his DSR Mopar Dodge Funny Car up to No. 1 with a 3.932/320.20 pass that held up through Saturday’s two final qualifying rounds. Hagan was once again quickest on the charts in Q4, upping to eight his qualifying bonus points total.

Hagan now sits alone in second in the Funny Car standings and will match up first with Terry Haddock as he seeks his second consecutive win of 2018 and his second straight at Epping.

The entire DSR Funny Car squad dominated in qualifying, with Hagan leading all four Mopar Dodge drivers in posting the four quickest passes in the final qualifying session on Saturday. Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver “Fast” Jack Beckman followed close behind his stablemate during qualifying, banking two bonus points en route to locking down the No. 2 spot and a date with Jeff Diehl.

Ron Capps, a two-time Epping winner (most of any driver in the Funny Car class), collected four bonus points and parked another Mopar Dodge in a top-five starting spot by claiming the fourth positon. He’ll matchup in a must-see first round battle with current points leader Courtney Force. Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger driver Tommy Johnson Jr. made it four DSR entries in the top half of the Funny Car field and earned two bonus points with the second quickest run in Q4. Johnson will start No. 8 on Sunday and line up in the first round against Cruz Pedregon.

Tony Schumacher made it a 1-2 finish on the qualifying charts for Mopar-powered Top Fuel machines. The eight-time Top Fuel World Champion and two-time NHRA New England Nationals winner raced to the No. 2 spot and faces Jim Maroney in round one.

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


Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Audrey Worm
Friday: (4.194 seconds at 203.52 mph – Q1); (3.742/324.51 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.044/245.23 – Q3); (3.858/319.75 – Q4)

“I think the key to the momentum for anybody that’s playing for Sunday is to diversify their portfolio. The last time we were successful at that was in Atlanta when we won. Last year we always looked forward to Q2 because we had a solid Q1. We found some problems leading up to this race that let us get a solid run down on Q1 so we could throw everything at it, all the Mopar power on Q2. (That run) was exactly what we wanted and then we used Saturday as practice for race day. The momentum is there, and I have all the faith and confidence in this team. They never give up, they’re always persevering and our hard work is paying off. I’m really proud.

“We always have a good amount of confidence because of the organization that we’re with. We have a good pool of talent, but we do feel like now we have that extra level of confidence. Finally, our race car is doing what we tell it to do, and I know that’s been disheartening for (crew chief) Todd (Okuhara) who’s been frustrated by that. It’s been like a case of Unsolved Mysteries, and to solve a lot of that this weekend feels really good. The last time we qualified No. 1 was Houston and that’s when we were the Mopar car so it feels good for both Top Fuel and Funny Car to be on top for Mopar because they definitely put all of the power behind us.”



Matt Hagan, Sandvik Coromant Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Terry Haddock
Friday: (4.012 seconds at 304.67 mph – Q1); (3.932/322.04 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.112/311.05 – Q3); (4.027/318.47 – Q4)

“We’ve got a great racecar right now. It’s going down the racetrack every lap, it’s running on eight cylinders. (Crew chief) Dickie (Venables) has a really good handle on the tune-up right now and that builds confidence. That confidence carries over to me as a driver, just being able to focus on the lights up there and not thinking about whether the car is going to go down the track or not or whether I’m going to have to pedal or do what I have to do.

"Everything kind of sets itself up off of Q1. That’s what we’ve been saying all year long, if we go down Q1 you set yourselves up for Q2. Then once you’re there you get something to work off of Q1 and you can see Dickie kind of like ‘Okay we’re here, this is what we gotta do,’ and it just goes from there. You give the guy a run or two and he’s pretty deadly with it. Sometimes you miss it Q1 and then we’re behind the whole weekend. Being able to come out here and lay down a good number and be No. 2 out of the box, just having that to work off of was good.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Jeff Diehl
Friday: (4.066 seconds at 317.04 mph – Q1); (3.956/320.20 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.542/190.48 – Q3); (4.042/317.87 – Q4)

“Finally getting our tune-up back into that window where we have a predictable race car. Once you have a predictable race car, it’s not a big step to make it a quick race car. Right now I think we are making absolute strides. I think that Monday test in Norwalk helped us a bunch. I cannot wait to get into race day.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Jim Maroney
Friday: (5.193 seconds at 132.71 mph – Q1); (3.744/330.31 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.838/149.96 – Q3); (4.757/154.72 – Q4)

“You have to push the envelope sometimes to get ahead. That’s what this U.S. Army team does. We continue to push ourselves. Mike Neff and Phil Shuler aren’t going to back down and they are driven to make this team consistent winners. We were oh so close on that last run to making the exact lap we were trying to make. You have the heat today and everyone is factoring in that. We went back to what we did at Bristol, where were sliding down the track in hot conditions, and then you see a couple cars put up some mid 3.80s and you adjust to that. We just missed it slightly. I can feel how close the car is. We’re excited for tomorrow. Our goal for the second half of the season is to be our best on Sunday’s and we’ve got a great opportunity tomorrow.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Courtney Force
Friday: (4.384 seconds at 209.69 mph – Q1); (3.978/320.89– Q2)
Saturday: (4.099/310.41 – Q3); (4.040/319.67 – Q4)

“That’s the way it goes sometimes. The way I see it is we’ve been trying, we have six races to make up ground, and we want to be No. 1 going into the Countdown. It’s a long shot with her (Courtney Force) way out in front of us, but there’s only one way to do it and that’s take care of business ourselves and try to get that team out early. We don’t ask to race them, they’re a great team but there’s our chance now to make some ground up.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 9 Cruz Pedregon
Friday: (4.026 seconds at 316.82 mph – Q1); (4.023/322.58 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.222/238.68 – Q3); (4.036/317.49 – Q4)

“I think with race day conditions predicted to be similar to what we had here in the last run that’s a good run. We were second-best of the session to end qualifying, that should be pretty good. If we can continue our consistency on race day, two 4.02s and a 4.03, that should win some rounds.”



Tune-In Info
FOX Sports 1 will broadcast three hours of live eliminations coverage of the NHRA New England Nationals starting at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 8.
 

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Hagan Takes Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car from Pole to Second Consecutive Win at NHRA

Hagan Takes Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car from Pole to Second Consecutive Win at NHRA New England Nationals

Win by Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Matt Hagan is his second consecutive at New England Dragway and second consecutive of season
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Hagan’s victory is fifth of season for a Mopar//Dodge SRT Funny Car driver and seventh overall in the NHRA Nitro classes
Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers now own 2-3-4 spots in the NHRA Funny Car standings
Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett advances to semifinals, moves to fourth in points
DSR Mopar drivers Capps, Schumacher also advance to semifinals and move up in standings
Picillo, Gove Claim Dodge Top Finisher honors at Epping


July 8, 2018 , Epping, New Hampshire -



Mopar Dodge//SRT driver Matt Hagan completed a wire-to-wire weekend at New England Dragway, racing from the pole in dominant fashion to claim his second consecutive win at the NHRA New England Nationals, and his second win in a row of the season.

Hagan’s triumphant ride in Epping, New Hampshire, was the third consecutive and fifth of 2018 for a Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge//SRT Funny Car driver, and the seventh of the season for a Mopar Dodge in the NHRA Nitro classes. The win was Hagan’s third of the season and 29th of his career. He is currently second in the standings after making up nearly 100 points on the leader.


Sandvik Coromant Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Hagan, winner at the most recent NHRA stop in Norwalk, Ohio, qualified No. 1 and began his march to the event win by taking out Terry Haddock with a 4.066-second elapsed time at 316.15 mph that was the quickest of all competitors in round one. Next, in a fight with DSR Dodge teammate Tommy Johnson Jr., Hagan’s 4.237/245.90 was more than good enough for the win after Johnson encountered problems early.

The defending 2017 Epping winner drew a second teammate, Ron Capps, in another all-Mopar Dodge matchup in the semifinals. Hagan was first off the starting line and first to the finish with a .062 reaction time paired with a 4.114/311.05 pass to advance to his 52nd final round and fifth of the season. The two-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion remained on point in the final against Tim Wilkerson, recording a superb .042 reaction time in the money round and passing the finish line with a winning 4.156/292.01.

After earning her ninth career No. 1 qualifier spot, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett never trailed against No. 16 qualifier Audrey Worm on her way to the round win. Pritchett faced veteran Doug Kalitta in the quarterfinals and motored down the groove to the tune of 3.88/316.30, second quickest of the round, to advance to the semis with lane choice over Antron Brown.

Pritchett trailed slightly out of the gate but briefly nudged the nose of her Mopar Dodge into the lead before Brown was able to chase down her 3.945/304.80 pass for a holeshot win. With her run to the semifinals, Pritchett moved up one spot to fourth in the Top Fuel point standings.

Ron Capps may not have triumphed at Epping, but the Mopar-powered NAPA Intrepid Fallen Heroes Dodge Charger R/T driver’s strong weekend jumped him from sixth to fourth in the point standings. Capps also helped himself and the entire Funny Car field by taking down points leader Courtney Force in the first round with a straight-down-the-track 4.083/306.19.

Despite seeing the parachutes of his Funny Car pop out early, Capps was still able to send home another John Force Racing driver, Robert Hight, in the quarterfinals. The two-time Epping winner recorded a solid 4.122/311.20 in the semifinals but could not stop red-hot teammate and event winner Hagan.

U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster driver Tony Schumacher used a little help from Mopar HEMI power to put down the second-quickest run of the opening round in taking out newcomer Jim Maroney. In round two, “The Sarge,” left first with a .070 reaction and led from start to finish against Richie Crampton. Schumacher moved first again in the semifinals with a quicker .056 reaction time to Steve Torrence’s slower .068, but Torrence soon surged ahead for the round win. Schumacher climbed up one spot in the standings after his weekend at Epping, and now sits second.

Jack Beckman’s strongest qualifying performance since the NHRA Gainesville event in March placed his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the No. 2 position heading into eliminations. The 2012 Funny Car World Champion posted the second-quickest run of the opening round to send home Jeff Diehl and join his three DSR Mopar teammates in advancing out of round one.

In the quarterfinals, Beckman was within striking distance of Tim Wilkerson but was unable to beat his foe to the finish, falling short by about four feet. He leaves Epping third in the Funny Car standings.

Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T driver Tommy Johnson Jr., a Funny Car runner-up twice at Epping, qualified in the top half of the field and defeated Cruz Pedregon in round one. Johnson trailed slightly at the start but closed the gap and pulled away for the round win with a 4.131/297.94 mark. Johnson’s hopes to advance ended quickly in the quarterfinals against teammate Hagan after he smoked the tires early.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Justin Picillo earned the Dodge Top Finisher Award in the NHRA Stock Eliminator class at the NHRA New England Nationals, driving his FS/D 2010 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to the fourth round of eliminations. The Warwick, Rhode Island, native clocked a 9.799/129.62 run in round three to beat No. 1 qualifier Jim Marshall, who broke out, before losing to Randi Lyn Shipp.

Super Stock Dodge Top Finisher honors at Epping were claimed by Scott Gove, from Dennysville, Maine. Gove seized the No. 1 starting spot with a 7.922 ET that was 1.078 under index in his 1993 Dodge Daytona, but his day ended in the second round against Anthony Bongiovanni, despite a strong 7.864/173.29 run.

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

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

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA
“Congratulations to Matt Hagan and his Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team on capturing their second consecutive win of the season and at Epping, and bringing another Wally trophy home for Mopar, Dodge and Don Schumacher Racing.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America
“It’s great to see the success this weekend of Matt Hagan at Epping. With the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar right around the corner, we’re confident Matt and his Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car crew can carry their momentum from this victory right on into Denver.”



Matt Hagan, Sandvik Coromant Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.932 ET)

Rd.1: (.085-second reaction time, 4.066 seconds at 316.15 mph) beat No. 16 Terry Haddock (.154/6.490/113.11)
Rd.2: (.084/4.237/245.90) beat No. 8 Tommy Johnson Jr. (.076/4.741/179.23)
Rd.3: (.062/4.114/311.05) beat No. 4 Ron Capps (.082/4.122/311.20)
Rd.4: (.042/4.156/292.01) beat No. 10 Tim Wilkerson (.077/4.181/287.35)

“We just got a good race car. I think the biggest thing is (crew chief) Dickie Venables. The guy is smart. If you give him enough runs and enough opportunities at whatever it is, he’s going to figure it out. I think that’s why he’s been in the sport for over 50-some years. He’s been doing it since he was hanging on his dad’s leg. He’s somebody that I want to keep myself around as long as possible. He works hard, this is his life and it goes to show on the race car. There’s also luck and stuff, that last lap it was like a dirt track. My rear-end was sideways and coming back around and I could hear Timmy (Wilkerson) over there and you’re looking around to see where they’re at. That’s what makes it exciting in a fuel Funny Car, man. You never know what you’re going to get. I’ve never had the same lap back-to-back.

“This car has just been going down the race track. We turned four win lights on in Norwalk and we turned four win lights on here and we went down every lap in Norwalk and we went down every lap in qualifying here. We just pretty much have what you would call a bracket car in a fuel Funny Car. It’s just responding well to what they’re asking it to do. It makes my confidence grow. As a driver, it makes my lights come back around. I’m more focused on that and I’m not thinking about whether the car might come lose or what it’s going to do if I have to slap the tires. I’m proud of my guys. They just haven’t had any mistakes. This whole year my crew has really not faltered. They’ve been doing a great job wrenching.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.742 ET)

Rd.1: (.069-second reaction time, 3.945 seconds at 305.70 mph) beat No. 16 Audrey Worm (.311/9.559/82.04)
Rd.2: (.077/3.888/316.30) beat No. 9 Doug Kalitta (.064/4.900/212.46)
Rd.3: (.071/3.945/304.80) lost to No. 12 Antron Brown (.055/3.955/315.42)

“Incredible race car underneath me and an incredible team, no doubt. We were adapting every round to the situation, the competition just got more stout, tougher and tougher. I’m proud that we had our three DSR Top Fuel cars in the semifinals. I was feeling it today; the car was doing well. We kept backing the car up. I take the hit – you know, two hundredths late on the (starting) tree and a couple thousandths quicker off a car (against Antron Brown). When it’s that close, that’s when you look for those win lights, and the moment that you see it in the other lane, it’s devastation. But when you do get the first two win lights like we got today, I’m very proud of that and proud for the Mopar team and putting that Mopar power on the ground.

“There are always different situations. We haven’t run this combination before, we’re playing with our starting line setup. I’m down on myself, not in a negative way, but (to) keep trying something different, just like my team does with the race car. I went back and talked to (crew chief) Todd (Okuhara), and he actually apologized for a change we made to the car that we hadn’t done before, and I said, ‘It doesn’t matter, it is what it is.’ In order to win a championship, we’re all going to have to continue getting better at the same time. We’re going to do it. We win and lose as a team. Onward and upward to Denver.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Intrepid Fallen Heroes Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.978 ET)

Rd.1: (.083-second reaction time, 4.083 seconds at 306.19 mph) beat No. 13 Courtney Force (.069/4.489/200.11)
Rd.2: (.093/4.134/276.41) beat No. 5 Robert Hight (.070/7.226/98.83)
Rd.3: (.082/4.122/311.20) lost to No. 1 Matt Hagan (.062/4.114/311.05)

“We got the chance to put the NAPA Intrepid Fallen Heroes Dodge in the winner’s circle before, and it felt like we were going to get there this weekend. We certainly had our work cut out for us when we looked at the ladder after Saturday Q4 was over, because our side of the ladder was stacked. We had to go through some of the best cars we’ve seen all season. We got lucky a few of those rounds. These rounds in the summer are important, and we’re making progress in the NAPA Car. We’re going to head to Denver now, and we ran great there last year. We made up some ground on the points leader, and we leave her with everything in one piece, so all is good in our camp. Looking forward to the West Coast swing, with a lot of races on the FOX network.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.744 ET)

Rd.1: (.100-second reaction time, 3.878 seconds at 319.75 mph) beat No. 15 Jim Maroney (.059/4.841/154.72)
Rd.2: (.070/3.906/318.54) beat No. 10 Richie Crampton (.085/5.316/138.33)
Rd.3: (.056/3.963/314.97) lost to No. 3 Steve Torrence (.068/3.942/309.77)

“Great run. The car didn’t do what it was supposed to do. Something happened there. That’s a hard one to chew, but it is what is. We moved back into second. We have a good car. We’re going down the racetrack, we’re hard to beat. It takes a lot of luck and some small miracles to do this right now, and we haven’t had the luck. We’re saving it for the end when we need it.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.956 ET)

Rd.1: (.083-second reaction time, 4.075 seconds at 312.42 mph) beat No. 15 Jeff Diehl (.130/6.633/98.87)
Rd.2: (.074/4.252/294.05) lost to No. 10 Tim Wilkerson (.071/4.245/264.39)

“We are going rounds everywhere we go. We are holding tight in the points right now but we want the trophy. It’s frustrating and disappointing to know that you have a car good enough to win the race and not get at least into the final round. But what I said earlier is the key thing. We are back having a car that’s good enough to win the race. We wore a little too much clutch, took load off the engine, dropped a cylinder and we lost by ten-thousandths of a second. Right place at the right time — hopefully we’ll be there in Denver.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 4.023 ET)

Rd.1: (.058-second reaction time, 4.131 seconds at 297.94 mph) beat No. 9 Cruz Pedregon (.032/4.408/215.20)
Rd.2: (.076/4.741/179.23) lost to No. 1 Matt Hagan (.084/4.237/245.90)

“It’s showing promise, going a couple rounds here in Epping. I really thought maybe we had a car for today. It’s frustrating. The track changes so much between first and second and the conditions are so variable. We have to guess better and figure out what it’s going to take to get down these tracks. It’s frustrating right at this moment trying to figure out the tune-up to get down there without spinning the tires.”

Up Next: Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar
The DSR drivers and teams will get a week off before heading west to the Rocky Mountains for the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar, scheduled for July 20-22 at Bandimere Speedway. The busy weekend of activities will kick-off on Thursday, July 19, with the annual Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil in downtown, Golden, Colorado.


Hagan and Pritchett are both seeking their first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series victories on “Thunder Mountain,” while Beckman hopes to add to his trio of wins (2007, 2012, 2015) at Bandimere Speedway. Tony Schumacher is also a three-time visitor to the Bandimere Speedway winner’s circle (2005, 2008, 2016), while Capps (2009) owns one career win at the home-away-from-home for the Dodge and Mopar brands.

Qualifying coverage will air live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 21. Three hours of eliminations coverage will air live on the national FOX Network starting at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22.



2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 13 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Courtney Force — 1069
2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) — 914
3. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 847
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 834

5. Robert Hight — 829
6. J.R. Todd — 800
7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T — 692
8. John Force — 632
9. Shawn Langdon — 614
10. Bob Tasca III — 564

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence – 1086
2. Tony Schumacher, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 896
3. Clay Millican — 881
4. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 820
5. Doug Kalitta — 801
6. Antron Brown — 717
7. Terry McMillen — 679
8. Brittany Force — 634
9. Richie Crampton — 522
10. Mike Salinas — 506
 

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Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Preview | Dodge


Jul 12, 2018
There’ll be ground-shaking thunder on the mountain July 19 - 22 when Dodge muscles in to the 2018 Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado.
 

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Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals

Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar Thunders into Denver, Marks Milestone 30th Year of FCA US Event Sponsorship

Dodge//SRT brand celebrates first year as event title sponsor at long-running event at Bandimere Speedway
Dodge//SRT and Mopar will reveal two new race vehicles at NHRA press conference near Denver on July 19
New “Drag Strip Showdown” contest to kickoff in Denver, with fans competing head-to-head in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators for trips to Bondurant Drag Racing School
Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett lead DSR drivers into Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar, will duel on the track in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicles between qualifying rounds
Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil returns on July 19 for 17th year as “Official Starter” of Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar
Military heroes Sammy Davis, Neil Duncan to serve as event Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter, respectively
National FOX Network to broadcast live coverage of Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar elimination rounds on Sunday, July 22



July 16, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -



The Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar is rumbling into Bandimere Speedway near Denver on July 20-22, and the Dodge//SRT brand is marking its first year as title sponsor at Bandimere Speedway. The weekend will feature the reveal of two new race vehicles, the kickoff of a fan contest featuring the popular Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators and much, much more.

The Dodge//SRT brand’s involvement in 2018 also marks a three-decade milestone: it follows 29 years of title support by current presenting sponsor Mopar, making this the 30th consecutive season of FCA US event title sponsorship at Bandimere, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary.

The action at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar will begin on Thursday, July 19, with the unveiling of two new Dodge//SRT and Mopar race vehicles at a pre-race press conference near Denver. The vehicles will be on display to the public for the first time later that night in downtown Golden, Colorado, at the Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil.

“The Dodge//SRT brand has been setting records and winning drag racing championships going back to the 1960s. Our sponsorship of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals is a natural fit that connects us with our passionate fan base and allows us to carry on the 30-year tradition of FCA US support at Bandimere Speedway,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America. “The Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar is just the latest example of the Dodge//SRT brand’s commitment to the NHRA, and our growing involvement in the series allows us to further connect with grassroots racers and car enthusiasts who share our love of performance on the street and at the drag strip.”


Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulator “Drag Strip Showdown” to debut in Denver
Dodge//SRT is inviting enthusiasts and NHRA race fans to participate in the “Drag Strip Showdown,” a head-to-head competition in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators where the top four drivers with the best race times will win a trip to the Dodge//SRT Bondurant Drag Racing School near Phoenix. Winners will be paired up and coached by either Mopar Dodge Top Fuel racer Leah Pritchett or Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car driver Matt Hagan for a final competition that will take place at Bondurant in the actual 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicle – the most powerful muscle car ever.



The “Drag Strip Showdown” kicks off during the Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil on Thursday, July 19, in downtown Golden, Colorado, continues during the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar and will run through November 11 at Dodge-sponsored NHRA races throughout the country, as well as at the August 11 Motor Trend Group’s “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge” popular street drag racing and car festival on historic Woodward Avenue in Pontiac, Michigan, and the October 30-November 2 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.

Enthusiasts have another opportunity to attend the Dodge//SRT Bondurant Drag Racing School by entering the “Drag Strip Showdown” sweepstakes component of the promotion at Dodge Garage when the promotion begins July 19. Two additional winners will be randomly selected to receive gift certificates to the school at a date of their choosing.

Hagan, Pritchett lead DSR nitro racers into Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar
Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger NHRA Funny Car driver Matt Hagan and Mopar Dodge Top Fuel pilot Leah Pritchett will lead Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) drivers in the NHRA Nitro classes into competition at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar.

Hagan enters Denver on a hot streak with back-to-back wins and sits second in the Funny Car standings, while Top Fuel’s Pritchett, runner-up last year at Bandimere, is perched at fourth in the standings with one win on the season. Both are seeking their first Wally trophies at the venue, while their DSR teammates Jack Beckman and Tony Schumacher will look to bulk up their existing win totals. Beckman holds three Funny Car trophies in Denver in his Infinite Hero Dodge, while Tony Schumacher has also claimed three Wallys in the Top Fuel class.

Hagan and Pritchett will also resume their series of grudge match races in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicles, which began last year at Bandimere Speedway. The pair will square off in between qualifying rounds on Friday and Saturday. Last year, Pritchett was a perfect 2-0 at Denver in her Demon against Hagan.



17th annual Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil
For the 17th consecutive year, the Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil, scheduled for Thursday, July 19, from 6 to 10 p.m. MT, will serve as the “Official Starter” of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar race weekend.

The popular free-admission event, held on the streets of downtown Golden, Colorado, provides race fans the opportunity to meet their favorite Mopar Dodge Pennzoil NHRA drag racing stars in an hour-long autograph session. Attendees can experience virtual “rides” down the drag strip in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators and virtual spins in simulators located in the Pennzoil display, hear live music from the Steve Thomas Band and visit a variety of food, drink and merchandise tents.

Mopar and Dodge race and classic muscle cars will be on display, as well as Mopar-customized all-new Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 vehicles. Fans can enter to win $45,000 toward the purchase of any new FCA vehicle and can share photos from the event on social media by using #MoparBP18 or #MoParty. Popular Denver-area morning show host and Mopar fan Willie B. from KBPI 106.7 FM will serve as the event emcee. For complete information on the Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil, visit Mopar Big Block party powered by Pennzoil ? Mopar Blog.

Pair of military heroes to serve as event Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter
Two real-life military heroes, Sammy Davis and Neil Duncan, are set to serve as Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter, respectively, at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar.

Grand Marshal Davis served as an artillery man in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was wounded in 1967 during a harrowing firefight while setting up a forward support base. Despite his injuries, Davis continued to battle against advancing enemy forces. Hearing cries from three wounded GIs cutoff from his group, Davis bravely navigated across a river on an air mattress to rescue his compatriots. In 1968, Davis received the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon Johnson for his actions; years later, footage of Johnson putting the medal around Davis’s neck was used in the film Forrest Gump, with Davis’ head replaced by that of actor Tom Hanks via movie magic.

Honorary Starter and Ret. Army Sgt. Neil Duncan has climbed some of the highest mountains in the world, figuratively and literally. Leading a team of elite paratroopers deployed to southern Afghanistan in 2005, Duncan was gravely wounded by an IED. Despite losing both his legs, Duncan was soon up and running on high-tech prosthetic legs and, after intensive training, began a series of mountain-climbing challenges. In June 2010, Duncan and two other veteran amputees climbed 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak on the African continent, and he later climbed the tallest peak in South America, Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at 23,000 feet. Duncan also currently serves several veteran support organizations, including as part of the grant committee for the Infinite Hero Foundation.

Event Info: Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar
The Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar is scheduled for July 20-22 at Bandimere Speedway, with qualifying scheduled for Friday and Saturday, and elimination rounds on Sunday. Qualifying coverage will air live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21. Three hours of eliminations coverage will air live on the national FOX Network starting at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22.
 

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Debut New Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car

Wicked Fast: Mopar and Dodge//SRT Debut New Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car

New 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body to make competition debut this weekend
New body will be unveiled later today at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar pre-race press conference
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Matt Hagan will race new 10,000-plus-horsepower Funny Car at Bandimere Speedway
New body imports visual cues from production Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat while hitting race-specific Funny Car performance targets
New front splitter inspired by production vehicle increases downforce
Deeper bodyside scallops mimic production look and feel while assisting in exhaust header positioning
Burst panel relocated over engine compartment to release energy more efficiently
DSR drivers have wheeled current Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to 50 event wins and one NHRA Funny Car World Championship

July 19, 2018 , Denver -

A new, wickedly quick, Mopar-powered National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car version of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has been let loose and is coming soon to a drag strip near you.





The new 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body will make its competition debut this weekend at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, July 20-22. The Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands will show the new body for the first time this afternoon during a pre-race press conference.


“Our job at Mopar is to put the best race car underneath our drivers and keep them winning. We know this new body, developed in collaboration with the Dodge//SRT brand and Don Schumacher Racing, will do just that,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “The changes made to this new Funny Car body will improve on-track performance and help us carry on the Mopar brand’s long tradition of success at the dragstrip.”

“The Dodge//SRT brand is all about performance, and the introduction of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body showcases our commitment to performance and excellence at the dragstrip,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “We are looking forward to celebrating our brand’s first year as title sponsor of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar by treating fans to the competition debut of the new Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car.”

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car driver Matt Hagan will be the first to harness the new 10,000-plus-horsepower beast. The two-time Funny Car World champion will debut his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar. Hagan’s DSR teammates, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr., will make the transition to the new Funny Car body during the 2018 season.

“This new Funny Car body is something that Mopar and Dodge//SRT have put a lot of work and support behind, from R&D to wind tunnel testing,” said Hagan, who has spent all 10 years of his drag-racing career behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge Charger. “We improved on the body design. It was already a great design, a great body. But now, we’re going to have a little more downforce, a little more traction on these racetracks and it will be a huge performance advantage. We will be able to press harder with more downforce on the nose, which translates into huge amounts of downforce on the run.”

The new 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car pushes the envelope in importing as many visual cues and characteristics from the supercharged, 707-horsepower production Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world, while still hitting the demanding performance targets of a race car that reaches 330-plus mph and covers 1,000 ft. in less than four seconds.

The new body features major design changes in three key areas: the front end, bodysides and burst panel placement.



At the front, the shape of the nose has been tweaked and a new splitter, built of carbon fiber and Kevlar like the rest of the Funny Car body, has been added. The splitter substantially mimics the look and shape of the production vehicle’s splitter while generating greater downforce to help plant the Funny Car to the track.

The bodyside scallops have been redesigned to more closely identify with the production Hellcat while also enhancing on-track function and performance. The deeper character lines provide greater visual ties to the street version of the Hellcat, while also helping to mitigate the “body burn” common on all Funny Cars due to the close positioning of the exhaust headers.


The location of the burst panel on the hood has also been reworked. The panel is now centered over the top of the engine to more efficiently release energy and pressure in the event of engine issues, a common occurrence in race cars that are pushed to the razor’s edge of performance.

A production Charger SRT Hellcat was used as a template to create the unique vehicle graphics. Front end graphics recreate the distinctive Hellcat grille and badging, and decal markers also call out the air extractors and hood scoop of the production model.

The birth of the Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body featured a process that began more than a year ago, and stretched from the race shops of DSR and Don Schumacher Motorsports (DSM) in Indianapolis, Indiana, to the research and development facilities at FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, to a drag strip in Ohio.

Mopar and Dodge//SRT engineers worked in unison with the DSR team at each and every step of the process, from creation of the original body mold to wind tunnel testing to on-track vetting. The NHRA was also closely involved in the process, with Mopar, Dodge//SRT and DSR working with the sanctioning body to ensure the new Funny Car was in compliance with all specifications and guidelines.

“We are really excited to run the new Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body in competition, both in qualifying and the race itself at Denver,” said Don Schumacher, owner of the DSR team and a former Dodge Charger Funny Car driver himself in the 1960s. “It’s been a great project, working together with Mopar, Dodge//SRT, DSR and DSM to get the whole project finished and done in this period of time. We are really looking forward to how it’s going to change our program.”

The new Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body replaces the current generation Mopar Dodge Charger R/T race car. First introduced at the dragstrip in 2015, Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers have raced the Charger R/T to 50 wins to date — including back-to-back wins by Hagan leading into the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar — and 42 runner-up finishes, as well as 40 No. 1 qualifier spots. Ron Capps claimed his 2016 NHRA Funny Car World Championship in the current Charger R/T body.

Initial plans were to restrict the new body to just one or two qualifying sessions in its debut this weekend at Bandimere Speedway, due to the unique atmospheric challenges presented by the Mile-High venue. However, after a promising test session in late June following the NHRA event in Norwalk, Ohio, the call was made by Hagan’s Mopar Express Lane crew chief Dickie Venables to let the Hellcat prowl for all of qualifying and race day as well.

“We made four good, solid runs in testing at Norwalk,” said Hagan. “We put the body through a lot of different things and were really, really pleased with it. I really think it’s going to translate over to performance on the race track, and hopefully more win lights in the future.”

 

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2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320:

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320: Beware of the Angry Bee at the Drag Strip
Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 Is a Drag-oriented, Street-legal Muscle Car Designed With the Grassroots Drag Racer in Mind


Named for the quarter-mile distance (1,320 feet), the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is powered by the stalwart 392 HEMI® V-8 that delivers 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to the legendary TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, delivering reliable and cost-effective performance – run after run
Infused with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer with standard features, including SRT-tuned Adaptive Damping Suspension with Drag Mode, Line Lock, TransBrake, Torque Reserve and extreme-duty 41-spline half shafts
Standard interior features a driver’s seat only to help reduce weight; front passenger seat and rear seat are available as individual $1 options
Specially developed Nexen SUR4G Drag Spec 275/40R20 street-legal drag radial tires deliver maximum grip and offer repeatable quarter-mile times
Quarter-mile (1,320 feet) elapsed time (E.T.) of 11.7 seconds at 115 mph makes the showroom-stock 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 the fastest naturally aspirated, street-legal muscle car available
A new interpretation of the legendary Dodge Super Bee logo, the “Angry Bee,” marks the front fenders, illuminated Air Catcher headlamps, instrument panel and startup splash screen in the gauge cluster
Custom “Black Eye” high-impact exterior paint being used on the launch vehicle to gauge interest as potential future production exterior color
Special 1320-themed paint scheme on the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster driven by Don Schumacher Racing star Leah Pritchett will help commemorate the unveiling of the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 during the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar, July 20-22 at Bandimere Speedway in Denver


July 19, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -



Dodge//SRT engineers are regulars at the drag strip and well known for creating the record-setting Challenger SRT Demon. Now, once again, they are using their proven experience to create a new street-to-strip drag car. The result: the drag-oriented, street-legal 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320, unveiled today in Denver prior to the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar, taking place July 20-22 at Bandimere Speedway.

Named for the quarter-mile distance (1,320 feet), the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is powered by the 392 HEMI® V-8 that delivers 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to the quick-shifting TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission with class-exclusive TransBrake. It is equipped with specially developed Nexen SUR4G Drag Spec 275/40R20 street-legal drag radial tires that deliver maximum grip and offer repeatable quarter-mile times.

With a quarter-mile (1,320 feet) elapsed time (E.T.) of 11.7 seconds at 115 miles per hour (mph), the showroom-stock 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is the fastest naturally aspirated, street-legal muscle car available.


“All it takes is an evening spent at a local drag strip to learn that the grassroots drag-racing community is large and extremely loyal to their cars,” says Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “We created the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 for the heart of the sport, the bracket racer who wants to drive to the track, suit up, go fast and go home with a big smile and maybe a trophy in the trunk with minimal prep and upkeep.”

Bracket racing is one of the most popular forms of drag racing. It challenges competitors to race the clock, as well as each other, rewarding launch skill, consistency and racing within the preselected time target without “busting the bracket” by going too fast.

To that base, Dodge//SRT engineers added drag specific components and technologies to deliver a street-to-strip value package while producing quick launches when the Christmas tree goes green. Features include:

TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission – required equipment for the R/T Scat Pack 1320, replacing the standard manual transmission on the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack
TransBrake – locks the output shaft of the automatic transmission to hold the car stationary before a standing start
Torque Reserve – works in conjunction with the TransBrake by managing fuel flow to cylinders and controlling spark advance or retard to balance engine rpm and torque to maximize power delivery and launch performance
Nexen SUR4G Drag Spec 275/40R20 street-legal drag radials – all-new specially developed tires that deliver exceptional grip at the drag strip and on the street
Preproduction testing shows that the Nexen tires demonstrate consistent run times with minimal burnout preparation at the drag strip
SRT-tuned three-mode Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS) electronically retuned for the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320
Includes Drag Mode that, when engaged, optimizes weight transfer to the rear for best launch traction
Standard interior configuration has driver’s seat only to help reduce weight by approximately 114 pounds; front passenger seat and rear seat are available individually as $1 options
Performance-tuned asymmetrical limited-slip differential with 3.09 final drive
Extreme-duty 41-spline rear axle half shafts adopted from the Challenger SRT Demon
Line Lock – engages the front brakes to hold the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 stationary, but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires
Launch Assist – uses wheel speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, modifies the engine torque to regain full grip
Launch Control – controls tire slip during straight-line acceleration
Low Gloss Black 20 x 9.5-inch aluminum-forged wheels with knurled bead seats to minimize tire slip on the wheel
Brembo High-performance Brake Package with four-piston calipers


The Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 comes with the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen that enables the driver to engage Launch Control and Line Lock within the Performance Control app. It also lets the driver select modes, including Drag Mode and Adaptive Damping Suspension, while working with the steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles to activate the TransBrake.

As drag racers know, the results tell the story. In drag strip testing compared with a Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 shaves .3 seconds off the quarter-mile time to 11.7 seconds at 115 mph and cuts .3 seconds off the 0-60 mph acceleration time to 3.8 seconds.

Inside, the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is equipped with a long list of comfort and convenience equipment, including dual-zone automatic temperature control, electric power steering, power driver’s seat, keyless Enter ‘n Go, ParkSense rear park assist and ParkView rear backup camera.

A new interpretation of the legendary Dodge Super Bee logo, the “Angry Bee,” marks the front fenders, instrument panel, illuminated Air Catcher headlamps, startup splash screen in the instrument gauge cluster and key fob.

The Dodge//SRT team painted the first Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 a custom concept exterior color called “Black Eye,” following a survey of enthusiast attendees at the annual FCA-sponsored “Spring Festival 13” event in southern California earlier this year. The high-impact color was the top vote-getter from among 15 new concept exterior paints shown at the event and a subsequent online survey of FCA employees. Dodge//SRT will gauge feedback of the concept exterior color for future consideration.

To help commemorate the unveiling of the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320, there will be a special 1320-themed paint scheme on the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster driven by Don Schumacher Racing star Leah Pritchett.

The 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 Package adds $3,995 to the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $38,995 for the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack. The mandatory automatic transmission adds $1,595 and the destination charge adds $1,395. The 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 will be available for dealer orders in late 2018; vehicles are scheduled to start arriving in dealership in the first quarter of 2019.

Fourteen different distinct Dodge//SRT colors available across Challenger lineup
Dodge Challenger customers have a wide array of exterior colors and stripes from which they can choose to customize their muscle car. Fourteen different exterior colors are available:

B5 Blue
Destroyer Grey
F8 Green
Go Mango
Granite Crystal
Indigo Blue
Maximum Steel
Octane Red
Pitch Black
Plum Crazy
TorRed
Triple Nickel (NEW)
White Knuckle
Yellow Jacket
 

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New 2019 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car and 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat


Jul 19, 2018
John Fox, Head of Mopar Sales and Product Development, introduces the 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body. Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands - Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA - North America, introduces the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 in Golden, Colorado.
 

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Pritchett Buzzes to Provisional No. 1 Spot

Pritchett Buzzes to Provisional No. 1 Spot in Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Car at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar

Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett drives to provisional pole in final pass of Friday qualifying at Bandimere Speedway near Denver
Matt Hagan debuts new Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr. qualify Nos. 4-5, respectively, lead all Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Funny Car drivers
Pritchett wins grudge match duel over Hagan in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicles


July 21, 2018 , Morrison, Colorado -



Leah Pritchett claimed the provisional No. 1 spot at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar in dramatic fashion on Friday night, racing her Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster to the top spot in the final pair of qualifying at Bandimere Speedway near Denver.

Pritchett carried a special 1320-themed livery on her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to help mark the unveiling of the new Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320, geared for grassroots Sportsman racers, and unveiled with help from Pritchett during a press conference on Thursday, July 19.

With vehicle graphics that also included a new interpretation of the legendary Dodge Super Bee logo, the “Angry Bee,” Pritchett buzzed to the provisional top spot with a 3.806 elapsed time at 317.19 mph in the final pass of qualifying before a packed crowd at Bandimere Speedway.

“This is a huge weekend for us, you might as well put it up there with the U.S. Nationals,” said Pritchett, who qualified No. 1 at the most recent NHRA event in New Hampshire. “For all of Don Schumacher Racing, Dodge and Mopar, all the bigwigs in the house today, it’s been incredible. What’s exciting is, coming here to Bandimere, kicking it off with the (Mopar Big Block) Party, and the fans, this vibe is like none other.

“The crew did an awesome job. We felt real confident. It goes back to strategy; we were able to run late in the night and it was so cool, they made last minute changes and that’s what we saw on the track. They went for it, and that’s what this team is about. That’s what I love about (crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Joe (Barlam) is that when it’s time, they can put it down and they’re not afraid.

“Overall, man, that ‘Angry Bee,’ she stuck, she was going down that run, it felt amazing. I knew all the way that we had all eight (cylinders) lit. I got to the finish line, and it was definitely hunting for some more juice for sure. There’s more to be had tomorrow night, and I’m excited for it.

“This is Mopar nation, and we’re glad to be No. 1 tonight in Denver.”



Matt Hagan made history on Friday, steering the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car to its competition debut after a media reveal on Thursday. Coming off two consecutive race wins, Hagan ended Friday qualified in the No.15 spot and will look to move up the charts in the final two qualifying sessions tomorrow.

Hagan’s DSR teammates, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr., qualified their Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars in the top five on Friday. Capps was fourth with a 4.007 ET, while Johnson raced his Make-A-Wish Dodge to the fifth position with a 4.031 ET.



Prior to the first round of qualifying, Hagan and Pritchett also renewed their series of grudge match races in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicles. Pritchett was 2-0 against her teammate last year in the battle of the most powerful muscle cars ever, and she kept her record perfect by leaving first and beating Hagan to the stripe. Hagan will have a chance for revenge in a second and final match race tomorrow.

Tune-In Info
Qualifying coverage of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar will air live on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 21. Three hours of eliminations coverage will air live on the national Fox Network starting at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22.
 

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Mopar Big Block Party 2018 - Golden, Colorado


Jul 20, 2018
Fans packed the streets of downtown Golden, Colorado, for the 17th Annual Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil, held on the eve of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar.
 

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Pritchett Powers Mopar Dodge 1320 to Fastest Run Ever

Pritchett Powers Mopar Dodge 1320 to Fastest Run Ever at Bandimere, Keeps Top Fuel No. 1 Spot at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar

Leah Pritchett drives Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster to second consecutive pole of season, second in a row at Bandimere Speedway
Pritchett adds track speed record to 2017 ET record, earns 11 of 12 bonus points
Matt Hagan to drive brand-new Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body in its first race day start
Don Schumacher Racing Mopar Dodge Funny Car drivers Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps start No. 6 and No. 7, respectively
Hagan takes down Pritchett in final Dodge Challenger SRT Demon grudge match race


July 22, 2018 , Morrison, Colorado -



Leah Pritchett proved that her Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster with the “Angry Bee” logo packs plenty of sting, improving on her class-best Friday run and setting the track speed record at Bandimere Speedway near Denver to keep the No. 1 spot locked down at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar.

Pritchett dominated during qualifying, securing her second consecutive No. 1 at the venue, second consecutive of the season and tenth of her career. The Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel driver clocked the best pass of each round in three out of four qualifying sessions, yielding 11 out of a possible 12 bonus points and lane choice over first-round opponent Terry Totten.

Pritchett closed out Friday evening sitting in the t
op spot with her 3.806-second elapsed time (ET) at 317.19 mph. Right out of the gate on Saturday, the Todd Okuhara/Joe Barlam-led team threw down a stout 3.813/319.90 run. Pritchett, who entered the event with the track E.T. record after securing the No. 1 spot in 2017, added track speed record to her impressive list of accomplishments when she blasted to a 3.799-second at 327.19-mph in Q4, which held up to be low E.T. of the weekend.



Matt Hagan will steer the brand-new Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body to its first race day start from the No. 12 spot on Sunday. The two-time Funny Car champion worked to break in the new body over his first three qualifying attempts and appeared to make progress in his final run, taking the Hellcat to its first full pull with a 4.093 ET at 310.55.

Hagan will meet John Force in round one tomorrow in search of his third-consecutive win of the season and first overall at “Thunder Mountain.”

Jack Beckman, a three-time event champion in Denver, saved his usual mountain magic for his final pass. The Mopar driver jumped his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car from seventh all the way up to the second position with a 3.973 mark. Beckman will line up against Todd Simpson.

Mopar-powered DSR Dodge Funny Car drivers Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps joined teammate Beckman in the top half of the field. Johnson, runner-up last year at the big event for the Dodge and Mopar brands, also made his move in the final qualifying round, using a 4.003 ET to move his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T to No. 6. Johnson will open Sunday against Bob Tasca. Capps qualified No. 7 at 4.007 and will draw J.R. Todd.

Tony Schumacher, also a three-time winner at Bandimere Speedway, collected one bonus point and jumped to fifth with a 3.870 ET at 324.59 mph in Q3. Schumacher improved in Q4 with a 3.834 in his Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, but was knocked down to No. 7 in the lighting quick final qualifying session. “The Sarge” will face Doug Kalitta in round one tomorrow.

Teammates Hagan and Pritchett wrapped up their two-round grudge match races in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicles at Bandimere, with Hagan evening the scales at 1-1. Pritchett left early earning a red light foul, and Hagan motored down track to take the win. The series kicked off at Denver in 2017, with Pritchett claiming both wins over Hagan.

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


Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Terry Totten
Friday: (3.970 seconds at 310.34 mph – Q1); (3.806/317.19 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.813/319.90 – Q3); (3.799/327.19 – Q4)

“We were definitely putting the coals to it for sure, licking our chops. We’re on the mountain, it’s our sponsor’s race, we’re giving it every single thing we’ve got. Just like when we went No. 1 in Epping, that last run was pretty interesting, and Q4 right here was real interesting.

“We got a new front-half on our dragster after Epping, that’s typical after a certain number of runs, and I’m sure glad we did. At about halftrack I wasn’t sure if the front wheels were on the ground, that thing was just dancing and dancing, but I knew that we were cooking and getting it. The scoreboards are so far from the finish line at this track that you can pull the chutes, lift off the throttle and look right up at them. When I saw that 79, there’s very few times that you get to feel what your crew gets to feel when they see a number like that light up. It’s incredible, this game has been all about fuel curve for us and Todd and Joe have been patient with it and stepping up to it in the right ways.

“We’ve mastered qualifying, but tomorrow is an absolute brand-new day. None of us have run during the day this weekend so we’re taking this data and we’re going to go right back to an entire year ago and take that data too. I couldn’t be more incredibly proud of my team. They’ve worked very hard to get us back where we were at, and the momentum that we had and we’re looking forward to rolling up this mountain.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 12 will face No. 5 John Force
Friday: (4.933 seconds at 161.48 mph – Q1); (7.104/94.80 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.933/161.48 – Q3); (4.093/310.55 – Q4)

“It was good to get in the field solid. We’ve been struggling all weekend up here with the altitude. We just don’t have the tune-up for it but that’s something good to work off of for tomorrow. Obviously conditions and temperatures will be a little different, so we’ve just got to go racing, man. I think that we know how to race and we race smart. We’ll get a game plan together tonight and make things happen for our Mopar Funny Car powered by Pennzoil.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Todd Simpson
Friday: (4.262 seconds at 294.56 mph – Q1); (4.217/255.19 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.049/316.67 – Q3); (3.973/316.67 – Q4)

“I had to shut it off really early. It was skating around from half-track on and it was going to go over the centerline and I was going to be the guy steering it over there if I didn’t click it. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. We’ve improved every single run. We have a hot Mopar at the Dodge Mile High Nationals. Can’t wait for Sunday!”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 6, will face No. 11 Bob Tasca III
Friday: (4.079 seconds at 294.50 mph – Q1); (4.031/305.29 – Q2)
Saturday: (8.870/81.72 – Q3); (4.003/312.42 – Q4)

“That should have been our Q3 run. We had a mechanical issue in Q3 and had a cylinder out and I shut it off. But, I’m really confident in our car. We’ve improved almost every run throughout the problems. In Q3 we went quicker in every run and the guys got a really good handle on it. Going into tomorrow I’m pretty confident we got a really good consistent car and right in the hunt.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 Doug Kalitta
Friday: (4.980 seconds at 152.04 mph – Q1); (4.036/299.40 – Q2))
Saturday: (3.870/324.59 – Q3); (3.834/325.37 – Q4)

“It’s a great first-round matchup (versus Doug Kalitta). Those are the rise-to-the-occasion moments that are always good. Makes it good for the fans, makes it good for the teams, gets everybody pumped up. All I can say is, we’re going to show up for the game.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 J. R. Todd
Friday: (4.007 seconds at 320.81 mph – Q1); (4.622/182.33– Q2)
Saturday: (4.024/316.30 – Q3); (4.008/316.15 – Q4)

“I brag about being able to go out and run in conditions that really equal Wallys. That’s the heat we’re going to see on Sunday, like we haven’t seen. I feel great. Would have been nice to get a three second run but I’ll take a Wally on Sunday and a yellow hat over a three second run.”



Tune-In Info
Three hours of eliminations coverage from the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar will air live on the national Fox Network starting at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22.
 

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Pritchett Rockets to Victory at Dodge Mile-High NHRA

Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Driver Pritchett Rockets to Victory at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar

Leah Pritchett captures first win at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar in second consecutive final-round appearance at Bandimere Speedway near Denver
Victory is Pritchett’s second of year, 11th of career and moves her to third in the standings
Don Schumacher Racing Mopar Dodge Funny Car driver Ron Capps earns runner-up finish in third final appearance of season
Matt Hagan drives Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in race debut, exits in round one
Maddox, Bogner bank Denver Dodge Top Finisher honors


July 22, 2018 , Morrison, Colorado -



Leah Pritchett put the cherry on top of a dream weekend at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar, flying her Mopar Dodge 1320 “Angry Bee” Top Fuel dragster from the No. 1 spot to her first win at historic Bandimere Speedway. Her victory came in the first year with Dodge//SRT as headline sponsor and in the 30th consecutive season of FCA US event title sponsorship at the track near Denver.

The victory was Pritchett’s second of the year in three final rounds this season, the seventh overall of her career, and moved the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver to third in the point standings. The Wally trophy was also the eighth of the season for a DSR Mopar Dodge driver in the NHRA Nitro classes.

Pritchett also carried a special 1320-themed livery on her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to help mark the unveiling of the new Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320, geared for grassroots Sportsman racers, and revealed with help from Pritchett during a press conference on Thursday, July 19.


Pritchett’s Denver domination began in qualifying, where she knocked out a 3.799-second elapsed time (ET) at 327.19 mph, the fastest ever at Bandimere Speedway, to lock down the pole, her second straight of the season and second consecutive at Bandimere. Pritchett also collected 11 out of 12 possible qualifying points.

The Mopar Dodge 1320 driver opened eliminations with a steady 3.857/322.81 to outrun Terry Totten, and then unleashed the “Angry Bee” to the tune of 3.806/321.96, the quickest of the round, to send home Scott Palmer. Pritchett ran a 3.826/312.93 in the semifinals, matched by her opponent Clay Millican’s identical 3.826 ET, but Pritchett’s sharper .043 reaction time earned her the starting line advantage and the round win.

In her second consecutive final-round appearance at Denver and 11th overall of her career, Pritchett trailed briefly against Doug Kalitta but quickly put her Mopar Dodge 1320 in the lead and never looked back, laying down a HEMI®-powered 3.831/316.45 pass to Kalitta’s losing 3.852/319.82 effort.



Ron Capps, winner in 2009 on “Thunder Mountain,” started race day in the seventh position. The DSR driver took his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge to a first round win over J.R. Todd, leading off the starting line and carrying it to the finish. An all-Mopar Dodge matchup against DSR teammate Jack Beckman awaited Capps in the quarterfinals. The 2016 Funny Car champion had the advantage off the starting tree with a .072 reaction, and his 4.082/309.70 pass was more than plenty to beat Beckman, who lost a cylinder early.

In the semifinals, Capps earned the victory on the starting tree, taking the holeshot win thanks to a .036 reaction time compared to opponent Robert Hight’s slower .080. In the 115th final round of his career and third of the season, Capps and John Force, the two winningest Funny Car drivers in NHRA history, battled it out. Capps had won all three of their previous 2018 race day matchups, but despite a solid pass of 4.067-seconds, Force was able to snag the holeshot win with his 4.075 E.T. With his runner-up appearance, Capps moved to third in the Funny Car standings.

No. 12 qualifier Matt Hagan gave it his best shot at taking the new Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body to its first round win on Sunday. Coming into Denver off back-to-back wins, Hagan left first against John Force with a quick-trigger .033 reaction time to Force’s slower .050. Both drivers dropped cylinders, with Force managing to beat Hagan and the Hellcat to the finish line. Hagan leaves the event second in the standings.

DSR driver Tommy Johnson Jr. has come oh-so-close to the winner’s circle at Bandimere Speedway, racing to the final round four times in four separate classes, including a Funny Car runner-up last year. Johnson qualified No. 6 and wheeled his Mopar-fueled Make-A-Wish Dodge down the track to defeat Bob Tasca in the opening round. Johnson and reigning world champion Hight both made clean runs in the quarterfinals, but Johnson’s 4.117-second pass wasn’t enough to overcome Hight’s quicker 4.052 run.

Three-time event winner and Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman opened eliminations with a solo run after Todd Simpson was unable to make the call due to body damage. In the second round against DSR stablemate Capps, a dropped cylinder dashed “Fast” Jack’s hopes for a fourth Denver triumph.

Tony Schumacher squared off in his Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster with Doug Kalitta in a monster opening round matchup. The veteran drivers were nearly identical leaving the starting line and were neck-and-neck the entire 1,000-foot stretch, but Kalitta surged ahead and took the win, ending the U.S. Army team’s day by a mere one inch.



Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight


Craig Maddox drove his 2010 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to the Stock Eliminator semifinals, earning the Dodge Top Finisher award for the class. Powered by a GEN III 426 HEMI® engine and running in the FS/B class, Maddox’s Mopar Dodge Drag Pak qualified fourth in the field of 32 entries and his Dodge clicked off consistent 9.7 ETs all weekend. In round four, the weather and track conditions changed and Maddox dialed a 9.81. Unfortunately, his opponent had a better reaction time and got to the finish line first.


Marlin Bogner of Kearney, Nebraska, drove his 1968 SS/AH Plymouth HEMI Barracuda to the second round of eliminations at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, earning the Dodge Top Finisher award in Super Stock. Bogner, a long-time Mopar Sportsman racer and prior Dodge Top Finisher winner, had the starting line advantage over his opponent but took too much stripe at the end of the track and broke out by 0.023 of a second.

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

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

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA
“I can’t think of a better way for Mopar and Dodge to celebrate 30 years of support at Bandimere Speedway than with a win on Sunday. The win by Leah Pritchett at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar is just a little more special coming at our brand’s home-away-from-home.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America
“The victory today by Leah Pritchett and the Don Schumacher Racing team puts a perfect ending on our brand’s first year as title sponsor of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar. From the reveal of our new Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 for grassroots racers, to the competition debut of the new Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body to the winner’s circle on Sunday, this was a dream weekend for the Dodge and Mopar brands.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.799 ET)


Rd.1: (.068-second reaction time, 3.857 seconds at 322.81 mph) beat No. 16 Terry Totten (.125/4.156/276.18)
Rd.2: (.084/3.806 /321.96) beat No. 10 Scott Palmer (.092/3.890/317.34)
Rd.3: (.043/3.826 /312.93) beat No. 4 Clay Millican (.087/3.826/320.36)
Rd.4: (.075/3.831/316.45) beat No. 10 Doug Kalitta (.056/3.852/319.82)

“This is all because I have a phenomenal team and an incredible racecar. We have some incredible, stiff competition but, from Friday to Saturday to today, nobody had a better racecar because, in my opinion, nobody has a better team. To do it in this fashion, it’s a couple ways – this is the Dodge Mile-High Nationals powered by Mopar and Pennzoil, and we’re the 1320 Scat Pak R/T car and, on top of that, I was here in 1997 and got my very first Wally.

“I didn’t win the national championship in a Junior Dragster but my team did. And it is no different today – this team got me my first Wally here on The Mountain. To me, this win is bigger than winning the U.S. Nationals. Winning on The Mountain is doing something. The glory goes to God, it goes to Don Schumacher for giving me an incredible team, and everybody at Don Schumacher Racing who build these racecars giving me something so safe, so solid. There’s a reason I always dreamed of driving for Don Schumacher Racing and this is it.”

On winning her sponsor’s race:
“I think there is something different about pressure. You can look at it as, you have to do well at your sponsor’s race, or you have a partner who believes in you, and all the people there bring that vibe and that energy. Like I said, we have our own zip code on the Mopar midway, and pitting with Hagan and his new (Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) body. You can look at it two ways, as pressure or positive momentum, and that’s what happened this entire weekend.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 4.007 ET)


Rd.1: (.064-second reaction time, 4.101 seconds at 312.93 mph) beat No. 10 J. R. Todd (.081/4.133/311.27)
Rd.2: (.072/4.082/309.70) beat No. 2 Jack Beckman (.083/4.528/214.25)
Rd.3: (.036/4.052/313.88) beat No. 3 Robert Hight (.080/4.035/314.31)
Rd.4: (.057/4.067/308.71) lost to No. 5 John Force (.037/4.075/315.42)

“You can say all you want about him deep-staging, but he turned the win light on and that’s why he’s John Force. We’ll get a crack at him again soon, I’m sure. It was a great weekend to represent Dodge, Pennzoil and everyone on the mountain. My NAPA AutoCare guys were on it. We had some very quick turnarounds today, and they just kept plugging away. It was one of those days. You live and die by the sword. We won on a holeshot against Robert (Hight) and then we lost in the final. Both close races, but it was fun to watch (crew chief) Rahn Tobler incrementally make these changes to make the car quicker and quicker all day.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 12 Qualifier – 4.279 ET)


Rd.1: (.033-second reaction time, 4.279 seconds at 265.69 mph) lost to No. 5 John Force (.050/4.158/285.77)

“It was nice to shake the new Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body down some more. Obviously, the mountain has been brutal for us. It doesn’t show us much love up here but it’s one race out of the whole series, and it’s totally different from any of the other conditions we see. We come up here and we try some new things every year, some of it works, some of it doesn’t. We still have a phenomenal race car. We’re coming up at a point where things are starting to click at the right time. I don’t think this race is a reflection of what we’re capable of.

“We’ll get back down to sea level where we’ve been running good and strong. I’m excited for these next two races on the swing. Should be having a brand-new baby when I get home. We’re going to induce my wife on Monday night if she doesn’t have it before then, so it’s going to be a super exciting week for me. I’m looking forward to holding the baby for a little bit before we head back out. Things are just really good right now.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 4.003 ET)


Rd.1: (.077-second reaction time, 4.094 seconds at 308.28 mph) beat No. 11 Bob Tasca III (.044/4.998/167.99)
Rd.2: (.066/4.117/313.58) lost to No. 1 Robert Hight (.050/4.052/318.09)

“I told the guys, even though losing second round I feel like this was one of our better races that we’ve had in a while. The car was very consistent, ran very well, no parts damage and it kind of gives us some momentum for the rest of the swing. I think we are starting to figure the new track prep out, the car seems to be turning the corner and it gives me a lot of confidence going into the next two.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.973 ET)


Rd.1: (.085-second reaction time, 4.689 seconds at 182.21 mph) beat No. 15 Todd Simpson (No time)
Rd.2: (.083/4.528/214.25) lost to No. 7 Ron Capps (.072/4.082/309.70)

“Coming into Denver is always an anomaly. The tune-up is just so, so different here. We go up against our teammate (Ron Capps) second round, do our burnout and I’m starting to backup and I see a rain drop on the windshield. Not long after that, the starter gave us the signal to kill the car and that’s always a crap shoot. Whenever you have to shut the car off on the starting line and restart it, you just don’t know how much heat is in the clutch. Now both of us had to do it, but obviously our clutch just didn’t like it. The car went out there and dropped a cylinder and we lost. Qualifying second, we should be doing better than this on race day. We’ll come off the mountain, we’ll go back to our standard tune-up in Sonoma. We’re starting to wind up for Indy and the Countdown and I think we’re going to be peaking at the right time.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.834 ET)


Rd.1: (.064-second reaction time, 3.852 seconds at 321.12 mph) lost to No. 10 Doug Kalitta (.067/3.849/320.43)

“It was a phenomenal race – there’s no other way to look at it. You could be upset that the race is over, but you can’t be upset with what we did. It would’ve beat every other car but one with the reaction time and the ET (elapsed time) and we lost by one 10,000th of a second. The car ran what we wanted it to run, I left like I wanted to leave, it was a phenomenal race.”

Up Next: NHRA Sonoma Nationals
Next on the schedule for the Mopar and Dodge//SRT squad is the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, scheduled for July 27-29 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.





2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 14 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Courtney Force — 1156
2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) — 946
3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 930

4. Robert Hight — 911
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 906
6. J.R. Todd — 832
7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T — 746
8. John Force — 735
9. Shawn Langdon — 647
10. Bob Tasca III — 596

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence – 1132
2. Clay Millican — 959
3. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI (2) — 949
4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 930

5. Doug Kalitta — 893
6. Antron Brown — 750
7. Terry McMillen — 696
8. Brittany Force — 658
9. Richie Crampton — 576
10. Scott Palmer — 544
 

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Leah Pritchett celebrates with Mark Malmstead, Head of Dodge Brand Marketing & Communications, following her win in the Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar on July 22, 2018.



Leah Pritchett earned her second win of the year and seventh overall of her career at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar on July 22, 2018. Pritchett carried a special 1320-themed livery on her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to help mark the unveiling of the new Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320, geared for grassroots Sportsman racers, and revealed with help from Pritchett during a press conference on Thursday, July 19.
 

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NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Mopar Dodge//SRT Drivers Capps, Schumacher Race to Runner-up Finishes at Sonoma


Ron Capps captures 700th professional round win and fourth runner-up position of season NAPA/Mopar Dodge Funny Car, advances to second in points
Don Schumacher Racing’s Tony Schumacher jumps to second in Top Fuel points following runner-up finish
Tommy Johnson, Jr. advances to semifinals in Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Matt Hagan goes to second round in the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Irving and Kirby collect Sonoma Dodge Top Finisher honors


July 29, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -



Ron Capps took his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to a runner-up finish on Sunday at the sold out 31st annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, his second in a row. Along the way to his fourth final of the season, Capps clinched a Countdown to the Championship playoff berth and achieved a milestone 700th career round win.


In Top Fuel Tony Schumacher drove his Mopar-powered U.S. Army dragster to his 151st career final round, narrowly falling to Blake Alexander.

After defeating first round opponent Richard Townsend, Capps faced teammate Matt Hagan in round two. Against Hagan, Capps moved first and powered down the track in 3.969-seconds, earning the second-winningest driver in Funny Car history his 700th professional round win.


Capps then lined up against John Force in the semifinals for their 96th career matchup. Capps was able to avenge his final round loss to Force from one week prior by blasting down the track in 4.000-seconds, defeating Force’s 4.081-second run. The four-time Sonoma winner faced Robert Hight in the finals with the starting line advantage and led until the eighth mile when he dropped a cylinder and Hight was able to power to the win. Capps clinched a spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship and elevated himself to second in the standings.

Qualifying in the No. 4 spot, Schumacher faced Shawn Reed in the first round eliminations, making a 3.743-second, 330.88-mph pass for the victory. He lined up against Brittany Force in the second round and pedaled his way past her as she smoked tires.

In the semifinals he was opposite longtime rival Doug Kalitta for their 90th career face-off and took the win despite dropping a cylinder. Schumacher avenged last weekend’s first round loss to Kalitta in Denver, which came by a margin of one 10,000th of a second – or 1 inch at the finish line. Schumacher’s runner-up showing vaulted him to second in the Top Fuel standings and also clinched his spot in the NHRA Countdown.

Leah Pritchett, coming off her second Top Fuel victory of the season and 11th of her career last weekend at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar, wasn’t able to equal those results this weekend. The No. 2 qualifier, in her Jeb Allen-backed Palomar Builders/Mopar Top Fuel racer, double-stepped and red-lighted in first-round eliminations, giving the round win to No. 15 qualifier Bill Litton. Despite the early exit, Pritchett clinched her spot in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the third of her career.

Matt Hagan had a session-best 3.958-second pass in his Southwind Builders/Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in the first round against Jim Campbell. After running low E.T. of the round in just his second race in the new Hellcat, Hagan had to face his teammate, Ron Capps, in the quarterfinals. Capps and the NAPA team had been near-perfect throughout the entire race weekend, and round two was no exception. Capps ran a 3.969-second pass, defeating Hagan’s 4.512 effort. Hagan also clinched a spot in the NHRA Countdown, the fourth DSR driver to do so.

Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson, Jr., earned a position in the top-half of the Funny Car field at the site of his first career No. 1 qualifier position, Sonoma Raceway. He got past Cruz Pedregon after the eighth mile in the first round eliminations with a 4.102-second pass and win. He had lane choice for round two but had to face his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Jack Beckman. Johnson got off the line first and collected the round, although Beckman made a strong effort until a belt failed. In the semifinals Johnson faced Robert Hight, who had lane choice. The pair dueled in a great side-by-side race, but Hight had a small starting line advantage and took the win with a 3.956-second run over Johnson’s 3.990.

Jack Beckman, the 2015 Sonoma Nationals Funny Car winner, was the No. 2 qualifier this year in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T and faced defending champ J.R. Todd in the first round matchup, taking the win with a strong pass at 3.973-seconds. He had to face DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in round two with lane choice but lost a blower belt right before the lights to give the holeshot win to Johnson.

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

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.972 ET)


Rd.1: (.097-second reaction time, 3.995 seconds at 318.99 mph) beat No. 12 Richard Townsend (.118/10.192/85.25)
Rd.2: (.052/3.969/322.65) beat No. 4 Matt Hagan (.075/4.512/190.59)
Rd.3: (.087/4.000/321.04) beat No. 9 John Force (.056/4.081/321.42)
Rd.4: (.052/4.077/296.11) lost to No. 11 Robert Hight (.092/3.984/319.75)

“Great weekend. We’ve made huge strides lately. Coming out of Denver, we had a lot of confidence, that was one of the best Denver showings we’ve had in a long time. To come here and unload and have that consistency right off the bat, it just kept giving (crew chief Rahn) Tobler more and more confidence. The biggest thing was the two runs in the heat, and those three bonus points each run. Those are the biggest for us for a couple of reasons. Tobler was able to get a feel for the car for Sunday and try some things.

“This was another great weekend in points for us. We really felt like we were going to be in the winner’s circle today. Anytime you race Robert Hight and (his crew chief) Jimmy Prock, it’s a big matchup. We got out there, it moved around a little bit and spun, and they got by us. This is the time of year where we know we need to get into race form for the Countdown and it starts with the Western Swing. I joked about a month ago that we were over 300 points behind the leader and I said, ‘you watch, we’re going to make a run for it,’ and it’ll be three years in a row if we can get the points lead going into the start of the Countdown. We made a big jump today, and we’re going to keep collecting those Mello Yello points.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.747 ET)


Rd.1: (.097-second time, 3.743 seconds at 330.88 mph) beat No. 13 Shawn Reed (.091/4.776/157.04)
Rd.2: (.078/4.375/192.71) beat No. 5 Brittany Force (.122/4.985/144.77)
Rd.3: (.057/3.836/317.42) beat No. 9 Doug Kalitta (.070/3.837/274.44)
Rd.4: (.081/4.345/219.65) lost to No. 6 Blake Alexander (.157/4.004/287.41)

“It was a good points day. You know, I’ve had a pinched nerve in my shoulder. I can’t even move my right arm. To get to the final and cowboy through it all, I’m glad it’s done. I’m twitching everywhere. My right side’s in agony, I’ve had people working on it all day. Need to get that taken care of before next weekend at Seattle.

“We made up points on the leader and two positions. You know, I can say that nobody else has any business writing any speeches, yet, because this team has proven time and again that we know how to figure it out by the time it matters. That was an unfortunately 20 points that we didn’t get in that final. We ran so well yesterday that we felt like nobody was going to beat us today. We got a few lucky breaks, which we haven’t really had, and when you start running well and getting breaks, that’s how you win championships.”

Leah Pritchett, Palomar Builders/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.727 ET)


Rd.1: (-0.184-second reaction time, 8.725 seconds at 82.65 mph) lost to No. 15 Bill Litton (.081/4.169/219.76)


“We had some really good momentum coming into race day, by far. Qualifying No. 2, three pretty great passes. The team worked extra hard Saturday night repairing from Q4. Like anything, you wish you could put your thumb on why something like that happened, but I feel like I was in a little different mental state today, knowing that we clinched our way into the Countdown. Trying to elevate my level of performance to practice for the Countdown, I just anticipated the tree and I thought the route I went was the route I needed to go.

“Ultimately, though, a testament to the attitude of this team is, the moment that it happened and the amount of support I have from them has made it pass over sooner than I could’ve ever even imagined. As Joe Barlam, one of our great crew chiefs, says, there are two ways to deal with it and one of them is to get over it. I’m disgusted, by all means, but to live and die by the sword, you have to know where the sword’s at and today I found it. So, hopefully, from now on, we can just keep cutting it up. I could be salty here as anything here by the ocean, but the way Jeb (Allen, weekend sponsor), our partners, the team and I have handled today’s early exit shows a lot of fortitude and we can only build on it.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.988 ET)


Rd.1: (.146-second reaction time, 4.012 seconds at 321.58 mph) beat No. 10 Cruz Pedregon (.110/4.103/306.40)
Rd.2: (.066/4.016/323.35) beat No. 2 Jack Beckman (.081/4.013/314.83)
Rd.3: (.068/3.990/323.81) lost to No.11 Robert Hight (.059/3.956/322.04)

“It’s been a tough season. We’ve struggled and have not been as consistent as we’d like, but we’re starting to gain some traction and we’re starting to get the car real consistent and become really competitive. We went to the semis and would have liked to have gone further, but really happy with how the car is starting to come around. I think that’s super important because there’s just three races left before the countdown and it’s the right time to start making some headway. So, I’m really happy and look forward to going to Seattle and continuing.”

Matt Hagan, Southwind Builders/Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.956 ET)


Rd.1: (.085-second reaction time, 3.958 seconds at 320.89 mph) beat No. 13 Jim Campbell (.091/4.115/310.13)
Rd.2: (.075/4.512/190.59) lost to No. 5 Ron Capps (.052/3.969/322.65)

"Had a really good opening lap but a little loose in the second round. We need to move into Seattle. We've done well there a time or so and always seem to qualify there pretty well. So let's focus on that. This [race] is behind us now. [Ron] Capps might end up going around us now in points but it's going to be battle down to the end no matter what."

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.929 ET)


Rd.1: (.083-second reaction time, 3.973 seconds at 320.58 mph) beat No. 15 J.R. Todd (.065/4.242/225.18)
Rd.2: (.081/4.013/314.83) lost to No. 7 Tommy Johnson Jr. (.066/4.016/323.35)

“Our car didn’t run what it should have run second round and that’s disappointing because I really think we have a car right now that can hang with anybody. That being said, even though it didn’t run as quick as we wanted it to, we actually still made a decent lap, which tells me that we’re at a point in our tune-up window that even if we miss it, we still have a very, very good race car. So onward and upward. We’ll pack up and five days later in Seattle we’ll unload and win that one.”

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight

In Super Stock, Bakersfield, California resident Mark Kirby piloted his 1971 SS/JA Plymouth Duster 340 to the runner-up finish and Dodge Top Finisher honors. Kirby had qualified his potent small block Plymouth to the number 12 spot out of 37 entries and was running strong and consistent through six-rounds of intense and grueling eliminations. In the final round, he had a great reaction time but ran too fast for his dial-in and broke out by only 0.008 of a second.

In Stock Eliminator, second generation Mopar Sportsman racer Jon Irving from Henderson, Nevada, drove his 1971 D/SA Dodge Demon 340 to the quarterfinals at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. During round four Irving had an identical reaction time to his opponent and lost by mere inches at the finish line. The performance earned Irving the Dodge Top Finisher Award in the Stock class.

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



Up Next: CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals
Next on the schedule for the Mopar and Dodge//SRT squad is the CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals, scheduled for August 3-5 at Pacific Raceway in Kent, Wash.

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 15 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Courtney Force — 1197
2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 1032
3. Robert Hight — 1024
4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) — 1001
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 967

6. J.R. Todd — 863
7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T — 819
8. John Force — 807
9. Shawn Langdon — 680
10. Bob Tasca III — 656

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence – 1168
2. Tony Schumacher, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) — 1031
3. Clay Millican — 1025
4. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI (2) — 989
5. Doug Kalitta — 951
6. Antron Brown — 809
7. Terry McMillen — 728
8. Brittany Force — 697
9. Scott Palmer — 617
10. Richie Crampton — 608
 
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