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Discussion Starter #21
A Winning 2019 NHRA New England Nationals Race Recap!


Jul 7, 2019
The 2019 #NewEnglandNats are complete, with Matt Hagan taking home the Wally in Funny Car with his MOPAR Express Lane Dodge Hellcat teammates!

- Matt Hagan notches third consecutive NHRA New England Nationals Funny Car victory
- Hagan’s Epping win marked his second triumph of 2019 and 31st overall
- Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) advanced to the quarterfinals and each moved up one spot in the Countdown to the Championship point standings

...on to the Western Swing and the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Pennzoil!
 

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Pedregon Powers Dodge//SRT Mopar to Provisional No. 1 Spot in Funny Car

Pedregon Powers Dodge//SRT Mopar to Provisional No. 1 Spot in Funny Car at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil

Cruz Pedregon takes provisional pole aboard Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car through Friday’s opening two rounds of qualifying at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Leah Pritchett posts second-fastest qualifying lap behind wheel of her HEMI-powered 1320 Angry Bee Dodge Mopar Top Fuel Dragster
Matt Hagan tops opening qualifying session in Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Mopar CAP “Assemble Your Future” initiative hosts more than 40 enrolled students and instructors at Bandimere Speedway

New @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action on “Thunder Mountain”


July 19, 2019 , Morrison, Colorado -

Cruz Pedregon raced his Mopar-powered Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position Friday evening at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil at Bandimere Speedway near Denver.

Pedregon and Ron Capps posted the fastest two runs of the second session to lead six Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers in the preliminary ladder for Sunday’s elimination rounds. Pedregon’s pass of 4.002 seconds at 317.42 mph narrowly edged out Capps’ lap of 4.005/316.97.


“It feels great to go out and be No. 1 in our Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat,” said Pedregon, the 1993 and 2013 Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Funny Car winner. “I’m really happy for Dodge and Mopar. What they do for the sport is tremendous. I was part of the Mopar Block party last night for the first time and it was an incredible event. I really want to pay them back for their investment in me throughout the year. We’ve had some ups and downs, but I think that the needle is pointing up for us. The Snap-On Dodge is coming around. Bandimere Speedway has been really good to me through the years. It’s good to be No. 1 after Friday night.”

Matt Hagan paced the opening session, debuting his new Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car to capture three qualifying points, while Jim Campbell, Tommy Johnson, Jr. and Jack Beckman made qualifying passes to put them in the provisional field.

In Top Fuel, reigning Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals champion Leah Pritchett qualified the DSR 1320 Angry Bee-schemed Dodge Mopar Top Fuel dragster second with her run of 3.839 seconds at 330.31 mph in Friday’s second session.

Higher Education at 300 mph

The Mopar Career Automotive Program (Mopar CAP) “Assemble Your Future” initiative continued on Friday at Bandimere Speedway. More than 40 enrolled students and instructors from Araphoe Community College, Lincoln Tech and WyoTech were introduced to the world of the NHRA and given the opportunity to connect with representatives from 20 area FCA US dealers.

Mopar CAP Students heard from reigning Top Fuel Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil champion Leah Pritchett, two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan and Hagan’s assistant crew chief, Mike Knudson before touring the Don Schumacher Racing pit areas.
The Mopar CAP “Assemble Your Future” initiative is visiting four NHRA national events in 2019, including the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil in Reading, Pennsylvania, scheduled for mid-September. For more information on the Mopar CAP program, visit: www.MoparCap.com.



[B @dodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram[/B]
Hagan’s Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car is carrying the @dodgeMoparMotorsports logo on its hood as part of the channel’s formal launch during race weekend. The @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series such as the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Concept’s recent run in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Inside the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil


Jul 20, 2019
See the reveal of Matt Hagan's new 2020 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car and go behind the scenes at the Mopar Big Block Party Presented by Pennzoil in downtown Golden, Colorado.
 

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Pritchett Takes “Angry Bee” 1320 Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 Starting Spot

Pritchett Takes “Angry Bee” 1320 Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 Starting Spot at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil

Leah Pritchett rockets “Angry Bee” Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel car to No. 2 starting position at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, near Denver
Pritchett will attempt to capture her second consecutive win at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Tommy Johnson Jr. runs to No. 2 spot in Funny Car in his Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Charger SRT Hellcat drivers Cruz Pedregon and Ron Capps qualify in third and fourth spots, respectively
Matt Hagan races his 2020 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to seventh qualifying position
Field of six Mopar-powered Charger SRT Hellcat racers to battle for Funny Car win on Sunday
New @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action on “Thunder Mountain”


July 21, 2019 , Morrison, Colorado -

Leah Pritchett buzzed her “Angry Bee” Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster all the way to the No. 2 starting position heading into elimination rounds on Sunday at the 2019 Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil at Bandimere Speedway near Denver.

Pritchett, No. 1 qualifier last year at Denver, came oh-so-close to repeating that feat during an impressive qualifying outing in which steadily improved her performance in each session. Pritchett collected two bonus points on Friday and added another pair for being second-quickest in Q3 on Saturday with a 3.816-second elapsed time at 318.77 mph.


An hours-long rain delay pushed the final qualifying session to late Saturday evening, with 72-degree track temps providing prime conditions for posting low numbers. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver took full advantage, uncorking a 3.761-second elapsed time at 315.19 mph, which briefly earned Pritchett the pole before she was knocked down a spot.

The defending Top Fuel champ at Denver, Pritchett banked six bonus points in qualifying and will draw Terry Totten in round one as she attempts to take her “Angry Bee” to a second consecutive win on “Thunder Mountain.”

Tommy Johnson Jr. was quickest of a pack of six Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat drivers to make the Sunday field at Bandimere Speedway. The event is marking the 31st year with FCA US title-rights support, the longest continuous running sponsorship in NHRA and one of the longest in all of motorsports.

Johnson moved his DSR Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car up seven spots in his first qualifying shot on Saturday, rising from No. 13 to the sixth spot. In the final qualifying session, Johnson recorded his quickest run of the weekend at 3.978/317.72 to lock down the No. 2 position and earn two bonus points. A two-time runner-up at Bandimere Speedway, Johnson will look to capture his first Denver win starting with an opening-round date with Jeff Diehl.

Two-time Funny Car World Champion Cruz Pedregon soared to the provisional No. 1 spot in his Mopar-powered Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car on Friday evening thanks to a pass of 4.002 seconds at 317.42 mph. Pedregon maintained his spot after the first qualifying session on Saturday, but was shuffled down the ladder during the final session and denied his shot to reclaim the pole after more rain showers prevented Cruz and three other drivers from making their final qualifying passes. He will start third on Sunday.

That same fate befell NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver Ron Capps. Second quickest in Funny Car on Friday on the strength of a 4.005/316.97 pass, Capps struggled in Q3 and was hoping to move back up the ladder in Q4 until rain washed away any chances of a No. 1 spot. He settled for the No. 4 spot and will meet Todd Simpson in round one

Sporting brand-new graphics with his 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car, Matt Hagan jumped from No. 8 after the first day of qualifying up to the fifth position with a run of 4.054/283.07 in Saturday’s first session. Hagan struggled in Q4 and wrapped up qualifying in the seventh slot. Winner at the most recent NHRA event in New Hampshire, Hagan will face DSR teammate Jack Beckman in the opening round as he seeks back-to-back wins, and his first ever on “Thunder Mountain.”

No. 14 after Friday’s two sessions, Beckman climbed the qualifying charts to put his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the tenth spot. Jim Campbell will race his Charger SRT Hellcat from the No. 12 spot and meet Bob Tasca III in round one.


[B @dodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram[/B]
Hagan’s Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car is carrying the @dodgeMoparMotorsports logo on its hood as part of the channel’s formal launch during race weekend. The @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series such as the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Concept’s recent run in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Tune-in Info
Sunday Live coverage from the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil will air on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 21. Three hours of eliminations coverage will be broadcast live on the national FOX Network starting at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.


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

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Terry Totten

Friday: (4.213 seconds at 213.87 mph – Q1); (3.839/321.35 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.816/318.77 – Q3); (3.761/315.19 – Q4)

“We’re feeling awesome going into race day. The Dodge Mopar mountain magic is definitely showing its face. It’s awesome to have three solid runs out of four. We’ve been chipping away at it. We were a little light on the front end, which made it exciting to drive on that final round. We went into Q4 either smoking the tires or going for low E.T., and we were just a couple thousandths behind (No. 1 qualifier) Steve Torrence at half-track, and we feel good. Things are coming together. The fans have been out of this world, and the team has done a phenomenal job. We can’t wait for Sunday, race day. These moments of running quick passes in challenging conditions are what we live for. We're looking forward to running well on the mountain and going rounds on Sunday like we know how to do.”

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

Friday: (7.235 seconds at 89.20 mph – Q1); (6.619/97.96 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.091/300.86 – Q3); (3.978/317.72 – Q4)

“It’s tough to run up here and Friday proved that. Everybody struggled to try and get a handle on the tune-up. Luckily, we were able to get four qualifying runs in with the rain showers and refine the tune-up and get a handle on it. Tonight’s Q4 run was probably in a little bit better conditions than we’ll see tomorrow but it’s going to be close. It’s supposed to be nice and cool tomorrow. I was a little worried about running (E1) at 11:00 a.m. because we don’t have any data from 11:00 a.m., but this will be close. I’m excited. We hit the tune-up pretty good on that last run and we should have a solid car for tomorrow.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Todd Simpson

Friday: (5.245 seconds at 141.71 mph – Q1); (4.005/316.97 – Q2)
Saturday: (6.925/91.27 – Q3); (No Run – Q4)

“I always feel good going into race day, no matter the conditions. But, this has been an adverse weekend as far as crew chiefs and having to adapt. We saw super-hot temperatures Friday, and then Saturday, we had a storm come in, the temperature dropped and then the rain came in again and it just got pushed back to where the last two pairs of cars didn’t get to run in Funny Car. We were hoping to get a shot at the track after watching a couple of cars go 3.97, and we didn’t get that chance and ended up finishing fourth. But, no matter what, (crew chief Rahn) Tobler will be on it, and I just have to do my job, and hopefully, we’ll have another good weekend.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 Jack Beckman

Friday: (4.324 seconds at 232.43 mph – Q1); (9.089/80.22 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.054/283.07 – Q3); (13.239/76.54 – Q4)

“We’ll take it; top-half of the field, lane choice. It’s always tough up here on the mountain but we’ve got a new look and a new feel to the car and we’ll get after it tomorrow on race day.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 10, will face No. 7 Matt Hagan

Friday: (7.389 seconds at 93.95 mph – Q1); (7.299/101.90 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.151/296.96 – Q3); (4.099/308.92 – Q4)

We’ve been racing each other early far too much this year, and that’s just a by-product of one of us qualifying in the bottom half. I wish I could say ‘we’ve got lots of data to comb over tonight to figure this out for tomorrow,’ but we don’t have hardly any Denver data to comb over. And, conditions tomorrow will be radically different than they were at 10:00 p.m. tonight. We have data from last year. We ran well in different conditions. We’re going to have to go back and lean on some of that stuff. But I’ll tell you what I’m proud of. Friday night, this thing went out there and broke the x-member out of the chassis and could’ve really affected our race car chassis. The guys did some welding, did some parts replacement, rescaled the car, and we came out here Saturday and went out down the track two times.”
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Johnson Thunders to First-ever Denver Victory at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals

Johnson Thunders to First-ever Denver Victory at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil

Dodge//SRT Mopar racer Tommy Johnson Jr. runs to Funny Car victory at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, near Denver
Win is second consecutive for a Dodge driver at the brand’s headline event, second of year for Johnson and sixth of season by a Dodge//SRT Mopar Funny Car racer
Johnson climbs to No. 2 spot in Funny Car standings, leads three Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT drivers in top five
Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver Johnson cheered on by Honorary Starter and Wish Kid Porter Johnson of Arvada, Colorado
Defending event champion Leah Pritchett races “Angry Bee” Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster to quarterfinals showing at Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Matt Hagan exits in first round carrying new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody graphics package
Denver race kicks off opening week of Dodge Dragstrip Showdown
David Bogner and Austin Williams race to Dodge Top Finisher honors at Denver
New @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action on “Thunder Mountain”


July 21, 2019 , Morrison, Colorado -

Tommy Johnson Jr. ended his 35-year quest for a victory in Denver, driving his Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the win at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil on July 21, 2019, at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.

Johnson’s win on Sunday, his 19th career NHRA victory and second of 2019, was also the sixth triumph by a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat pilot in 2019, and fifth in the last eight events for a Mopar-powered competitor. It’s also the second consecutive win by a Dodge driver at the brand’s headline event, following Leah Pritchett’s 2018 Top Fuel win.


The run to victory in the event sponsored by Dodge and presented by Pennzoil, both partners of Johnson’s car owner Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), came in his 51st career final. His first final appearance came at Bandimere back in 1984, when at age 15 he raced to a runner-up finish while competing in Super Gas. Two years ago, Johnson lost in the Funny Car final, but Sunday he was not going to be denied.

Johnson, cheered on by event Honorary Starter and four-year-old Wish Kid Porter Johnson (no relation) from the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, started Sunday by driving his Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to an opening round win over Jeff Diehl to setup a quarterfinal matchup with fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Jack Beckman. A starting-line advantage was the difference in pushing Johnson past Beckman into his seventh semifinal of the season. Next in his way was Cruz Pedregon, another Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat foe, and Johnson raced to another consistent lap in the John Collins’-tuned Hellcat to advance to his third final of 2019.

Johnson was undefeated in seven previous meetings with Bob Tasca III and made it eight straight, and first in a final, by storming down the track with a final round pass of 4.102 seconds at 308.50 to capture his first Bandimere triumph.

Leah Pritchett returned to Thunder Mountain on a mission to become the fifth driver in Top Fuel to score back-to-back wins over the course of the 31-year title rights sponsorship by FCA US at Bandimere Speedway, and the first since Joe Amato accomplished it in 1999 and 2000.

After dominating last year’s Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals by qualifying No. 1 and powering to a Sunday triumph, Pritchett looked to make it two straight triumphs in the DSR “Angry Bee” Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster after qualifying second in the field. She opened her defense with a solid opening-round victory with her lap of 3.877 seconds at 310.98 mph to eliminate Terry Totten and advanced to the second round facing Clay Millican for the 18th time in her career. Millican got the jump at the starting line and Pritchett struggled to overtake him after losing a cylinder early in her run, ending her day prematurely.

Cruz Pedregon admitted Friday after leading the Funny Car field in qualifying after two sessions that Bandimere Speedway has always been good to the driver of the Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion and two-time Denver winner chased his first triumph of 2019 from the third position on the ladder. He defeated Terry Haddock in the opening round and followed that by eliminating John Force in the quarterfinal to reach his first semifinal of 2019. Pedregron grabbed the starting-line advantage, but lost traction early in the run and could not recover in time to track down Johnson.

Three-time Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Funny Car champion Jack Beckman had this weekend’s event circled on his calendar for quite some time. His DSR Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has been one of the fastest cars in the competitive NHRA Funny Car class over the course of the last eight events, and the 2012 world champion has been itching to score his first Wally of 2019.

Beckman began Sunday with an all-DSR/all-Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car matchup with the series’ most recent winner, Matt Hagan. Despite trailing Hagan off the starting line, Beckman raced his way around him to meet Johnson in the second round. The two met most recently in the semifinals at Norwalk, with Beckman prevailing, but on Sunday in Denver, it was Johnson that turned on the win light on the strength of his starting line advantage. Beckman continues to hold the fifth position in the championship standings.

Two-time Funny Car world champion Hagan was looking to carry the new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody graphics package with a flared-out feel on the DSR machine to his first career triumph at the Thunder Mountain venue on Sunday.

Hagan was quickest off the starting line in his fifth first round match up versus a DSR teammate in 2019, but his machine began to slow three quarters of the way through the race and came up short of advancing with his run of 4.177 seconds at 239.27 mph. The two-time 2019 Funny Car winner ranks eighth in the championship standings with four races remaining before points are reset for the “Countdown to the Championship.”

Capps, the 2009 Denver Funny Car champion, was looking for another productive Sunday in Denver and began his race day with a first-round matchup versus Todd Simpson. The two-time 2019 winner powered the NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat down the track in 4.078 seconds at 309.91-mph to dispatch Simpson and advance to round two. Against Bob Tasca III in the quarterfinals, Capps controlled the lead early, but a mechanical malfunction caused his machine to slow, enabling Tasca to drive around for the win to halt Capps’ run for a second consecutive run to the finals at Bandimere.

Cattleman’s Cut Dodge driver Jim Campbell had his sponsor’s spokesperson and event Grand Marshal, Carmen Electra, on hand to lend support, but was dealt a first-round loss by Tasca.

Dodge Dragstrip Showdown Debuts in Denver
Fans at Bandimere Speedway had the chance to go head-to-head behind the wheel of Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators in the debut of the second year of the Dragstrip Showdown.

Hosted all weekend in the Dodge//SRT display on Manufacturers Midway, the Dragstrip Showdown allows participants to test their skills and compete for bragging rights, with top run times listed on the DodgeGarage website. Winners will be announced after the NHRA Finals in Pomona in November, with top racers with the best ETs earning prizes including Dodge Challenger SRT Demon remote control cars and gift cards for Dodge swag.


[B @dodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram[/B]
Hagan’s Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car carried the @dodgeMoparMotorsports logo on its hood as part of the channel’s formal launch during race weekend. The @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series such as the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Concept’s recent run in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
David Bogner and Austin Williams collected Dodge Top Finisher honors in the Super Stock and Stock classes, respectively, at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil.

Bogner qualified No. 15 in his Mopar-fueled 1992 Dodge Daytona and battled his way through to the quarterfinals in Super Stock before a mechanical malfunction prevented him from making the call for the semifinals. Bogner was still able to join his father, Marlin, who also competed in Denver, as a member of the Dodge Top Finisher club.

Waxahachie, Texas, resident and decorated NHRA Sportsman racer Williams qualified tenth in his 1972 Plymouth Duster 340 and advanced to round two in Stock Eliminator, adding to his collection of Dodge Top Finisher trophies.

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

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

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.978 ET)

Rd.1: (.097-second reaction time, 4.156 seconds at 268.54 mph) beat No. 15 Jeff Diehl (.150/8.776/97.67)
Rd.2: (.076/4.059/316.01) beat No. 10 Jack Beckman (.087/4.092/316.30)
Rd.3: (.079/4.056/311.49) beat No. 3 Cruz Pedregon (.080/4.099/166.72)
Rd. 4: (.092/4.102/308.50) beat No. 5 Bob Tasca III (.059/4.158/302.14)

“Winning races is great, but winning the Dodge Mile-High Nationals, to me today, is my biggest victory ever. Thirty-five years ago in 1984 when I was a kid I got runner-up. I got runner-up three more times in three different categories. I wanted to win this race so bad, and I did it in my Dodge Charger Hellcat today. I knew we had a great race car and if we could control it on the track with the sun being out, we’d be good. The team did a great job. We’re so much of a better team than we have been in the past and we’ve really grown as a team. This has been the best season ever and I think we’re just getting started.”

“The Bandimeres are such a great family. I started coming here as a kid. My dad raced up here, I’m a Division 5 guy, so I ran the divisional race here a lot and got to know the Bandimeres really well."

On Wish Kid Porter Johnson:
“It speaks volumes of our whole program and what Doug Chandler is doing. Make-A-Wish is such a great organization and he funds this team and gives it away to raise awareness for that organization. We have Wish Kids out every Saturday and to see Porter come out today and also to see the sponsors get involved – that was a Mopar/Dodge decision to have a Make-A-Wish Kid as the honorary race starter – and it was cool to see everyone get behind this. It’s obvious what a great foundation Make-A-Wish is and all of the great things they do for the kids, so to be a part of it is very humbling.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.761 ET)

Rd.1: (.080-second reaction time, 3.877 seconds at 310.98 mph) beat No. 15 Terry Totten (.202/4.052/296.05)
Rd.2: (.059/3.988/260.71) lost to No. 7 Clay Millican (.058/3.861/320.13)

“We came into the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals with a hard, heavy charge up the hill. We felt good about making three good runs in qualifying and picking up those valuable points. Unfortunately, we had real high clutch wear at mid-track in that race with Clay Millican and it just started dropping cylinders. Our plan is to take this momentum we’ve created here on Thunder Mountain straight to Sonoma.

“Overall, representing Dodge and Mopar at this event in front of all of these great fans is a highlight of our season. I’m really impressed with the team’s preparation for this weekend. It proves we are the team that everyone expects us to be, and we’re looking to show it the rest of the way.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 4.005 ET)

Rd.1: (.105-second reaction time, 4.078 seconds at 309.91 mph) beat No. 13 Todd Simpson (.089/4.356/269.94)
Rd.2: (.083/5.597/130.49) lost to No. 5 Bob Tasca III (.079/4.097/313.29)

“This is such a hard place to do well at, and when you do go to the final round like we did last year, you feel that much better about conquering this mountain. It’s that tough racing here at Bandimere. We had a great first round and didn’t want to beat ourselves and unfortunately, we lost lane choice to (Bob) Tasca for the quarterfinals. But, the lane wasn’t an issue, the clutch might have grabbed the motor a little more than Tobler wanted it to, and you can’t make a mistake against a team that’s as good as Tasca is right now. We’re going to Sonoma, and that’s maybe my favorite track, and I can’t wait.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 4.099 ET)

Rd.1: (.090-second reaction time, 4.084 seconds at 316.23 mph) beat No. 7 Matt Hagan (.075/4.177/239.27)
Rd.2: (.087/4.092/316.30) lost to No. 2 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.076/4.059/316.01)

“It’s kind of the story of our year. When we lose, our run is usually good enough to win the other races in that round, but you are not going to survive on woulda, coulda, shoulda. We are still top-five in points. We have been a strong car throughout the year. We’ve had our ups and downs, but I feel like we are sorting this thing out. Denver is always an anomaly. Sometimes great cars do terrible up here and vice versa, just because it’s so hard to tune here. We did okay. We need to do better.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 4.054 ET)

Rd.1: (.070-second reaction time, 3.958 seconds at 326.24 mph) lost to No. 10 Jack Beckman (.060/4.016/322.04)

“It’s always a challenge up here on the mountain. You always have to change things up to make the cars run up here, and we struggled a little bit with our fuel curve this weekend. I think going back down to Sonoma we’ll be in good shape. Once we get off the mountain, we tend to do well. But, we made a lot of progress up here. We had a good race car first round. Our new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody was running really good early, we just had a pan pressure issue. We’ll dive into it and figure it out. I was feeling like we were going to win that one, and it’s just a helpless feeling when that thing goes silent, and you can hear him drive around you. I’m looking forward to Sonoma and Seattle and turning some more win lights on.”

Up Next: NHRA Sonoma Nationals
The Western Swing continues next week with the 32nd NHRA Sonoma Nationals, scheduled for July 26-28 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Capps leads the Dodge//SRT Mopar contingent back into action looking for his fifth career triumph at the track.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 14 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (4) – 1159
2. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) –1010
3. John Force – 958
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 927
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 904

6. Bob Tasca III (1) – 865
7. J.R. Todd (1) – 857
8. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 794
9. Tim Wilkerson – 724
10. Shawn Langdon (1) – 727

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (8) – 1407
2. Brittany Force (1) – 852
3. Antron Brown – 839
4. Doug Kalitta (1) - 831
5. Clay Millican – 813
6. Mike Salinas (2) – 763
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 714
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 666
9. Scott Palmer - 613
10. Terry McMillen – 607
 

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Hagan Powers to Runner-up Finish in NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Dodge//SRT Mopar Driver Hagan Powers to Runner-up Finish in NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Dodge//SRT Mopar racer Matt Hagan stormed to his fourth 2019 final at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California
Tommy Johnson, Jr. maintains No. 2 spot in Funny Car standings, leads three Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT drivers in top five
Jack Beckman qualifies third, advances to second round driving Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Leah Pritchett exits in first round; remains seventh in Top Fuel championship standings
Mike Kirby wins first NHRA event in Stock Eliminator and John Irving reached the final in Super Stock to score Dodge Top Finisher honors at Sonoma
dodge MoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action

July 28, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

For the second time in the last three NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, two-time world champion Matt Hagan reached the Funny Car final racing his Mopar-powered Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat to a runner-up finish at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on July 28, 2019, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.

Hagan’s charge to the final marked the fourth consecutive event where a Dodge//SRT machine was racing for the win. Last week’s Dodge Mile-High Nationals winner Tommy Johnson, Jr. reached the semifinals and continues to rank second in the championship standings, leading two other Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers inside the top-five.


The run to Hagan’s 58th career final began with a first round contest versus reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd. Hagan took the holeshot advantage and motored to victory with his run of 3.958 seconds over a tire-smoking Todd. In round two, it was a familiar foe as Hagan faced off with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate and fellow Dodge//SRT driver Jack Beckman. In the fastest race of the session, Hagan defeated Beckman and continued his quest for his first victory at Sonoma Raceway.

He made a solo run in the semifinals after John Force was not able to stage his car and Hagan’s lap of 3.995 seconds earned him lane choice in the final versus Robert Hight. In the duo’s eighth career finals meeting and second in 2019, Hagan wasn’t able to overcome a starting-line advantage for Hight and settled for his 27th career runner-up finish.

Johnson continued his career-best season behind the wheel of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. After qualifying fifth, he was chasing his third triumph of 2019 and faced fellow Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Cruz Pedregon in the opening round. Pedregon left early and handed Johnson the automatic victory to setup a rematch of last week’s final with Bob Tasca III in round two. Just like last weekend in Denver, Johnson again turned on the win light with a smooth run of 4.031 seconds at 318.47 mph to advance to his ninth semifinal of the season. Johnson’s consecutive round win run was halted at six when he couldn’t drive around Hight, but he heads to Seattle with momentum.

“Fast Jack” Beckman has been tantalizingly close to earning his first Wally of 2019 and the 2015 NHRA Sonoma Nationals winner was hoping to put it all together this weekend. Beckman motored his DSR Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to an opening-round victory over Jeff Diehl with a pass 3.996 seconds at 320.74 mph in his 700th career round of competition. The win earned Beckman a rematch with DSR teammate and fellow Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Hagan, who he defeated last weekend in the first round of the Dodge Mile-High Nationals. Beckman took the advantage at the starting line, but Hagan powered by as the two drivers posted the two best runs of the session.

Four-time Sonoma Raceway winner Ron Capps looked to continue his run of success close to home and the northern California native started Sunday’s run for a fifth NHRA Sonoma Nationals victory from the ninth position on the ladder. In his first-round race with Blake Alexander, Capps quickly pulled ahead and held the lead through the 330-foot mark before losing traction allowing Alexander race past him and reach the finish line first putting a quick end to the day for Capps.

Jim Campbell was the sixth Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver in Sunday’s field, but was knocked out in the first round by Tasca.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett and her HEMI-powered Okuma Top Fuel Dragster team looked primed for a long day of going rounds on Sunday after a pair of impressive runs during Saturday’s qualifying sessions. Pritchett made her best pass of the weekend (3.774 seconds) in the opening round versus Austin Prock, but came up short of advancing by half-a-car-length.

dodge MoparMotorsports on Instagram
For the second consecutive event, Hagan’s Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car carried the @dodgeMoparMotorsports logo on its hood during race weekend. The @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series such as the concept version of the recently introduced Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody making a recent run in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Mike Kirby and John Irving earned Dodge Top Finisher honors in the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes, respectively, at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
Kirby earned his first NHRA victory in the Stock Eliminator classes racing his F/SA 1973 Duster 340 to six rounds wins. The Bakersfield, Calif. native has two prior runner-up finishes.

Boulder City, Nevada competitor Irving drove his SS/KA 1971 Duster 340 to five round wins and came up .004 seconds short of earning the Super Stock trophy.
The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its third year, awards $500 to Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge, Chrysler or Plymouth race car at all 24 NHRA national events.

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

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.910 ET)

Rd.1: (.070-second reaction time, 3.958 seconds at 326.24 mph) beat No. 11 J.R. Todd (.060/4.016/322.04)
Rd.2: (.101/3.924/325.37) beat No. 3 Jack Beckman (.078/3.995/321.81)
Rd.3: (.093/3.962/322.42) beat No. 7 John Force (No Time)
Rd.4: (.061/4.030/316.90) lost to No. 1 Robert Hight (.052/3.973/325.45)

“This was a really good weekend for us. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody was really good. We put down some really impressive numbers on our way to the finals. It was important for us to win some rounds and improve ourselves in the standings with Indy coming up quickly. We gained a lot of confidence today and that’s huge at this point in the year. In the final, we just didn’t have the speed we needed to get that win, but we are right there. I think we have a really strong car right now. It’s driving well and responding to what we want it to do. Our goal now is just continue being consistent and hopefully we’ll pull down a win next weekend in Seattle.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.886 ET)

Rd.1: (.056-second reaction time, 4.084 seconds at 273.72 mph) beat No. 12 Cruz Pedregon (-.020/3.995/309.98)
Rd.2: (.075/4.031/318.47) beat No. 4 Bob Tasca III (.071/5.622/129.85)
Rd.3: (.079/4.056/311.49) lost to No. 1 Robert Hight (.080/4.099/166.72)

“I’m just extremely pleased with the way this Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is performing. Today’s result wasn’t a win like last weekend, but that was a solid semifinal drag race with Robert Hight. We are one and two in the points and we put on a great show for the fans here today. It was a really close race and things are going to get interesting. We are getting closer to the Countdown and this car is performing flawlessly. We just need a little bit more. The next couple of races leading up to Indy, hopefully we can get just a tick better. I think we are setting ourselves up for a really strong finish to this season.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.879 ET)

Rd.1: (.112-second reaction time, 3.996 seconds at 320.74 mph) beat No. 14 Jeff Diehl (.145/4.529/195.45)
Rd.2: (.078/3.995/321.81) lost to No. 6 Matt Hagan (.101/3.924/325.37)

“I think it’s probably a measure of respect for our team that we get low ET against us so often, but that just tells us we are going to have push harder relative to the racetrack. Dickie (Venables) and his team just opened a can of you know what on us in that run. I don’t know that any crew chief saw that coming. We have a great Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat right now. We made it down the racetrack six times in a row. This team is ready to celebrate on Sunday and we’re going to go win in Seattle.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 11 Qualifier – 3.800 ET)

Rd.1: (.074-second reaction time, 3.774 seconds at 324.44 mph) lost to No. 6 Austin Prock (.061/3.744/327.66)

“It was definitely the bad end of a great drag race today. It was a great show for the fans to watch, but man, we would’ve beat over three-quarters of our field. We had a fantastic race car. We made a great run, just got outran. Not sure what’s more difficult, getting a little bit of good luck on our side or toning down our clutch wear, but I believe we’ll find both in Seattle.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.960 ET)

Rd.1: (.095-second reaction time, 4.466 seconds at 197.22 mph) lost to No. 8 Blake Alexander (.064/4.010/314.75)

“I felt confident going into race day, but you have to remember that Blake is young and hungry. He won this race in Top Fuel last year. We didn’t take them lightly. We were pushing to run a mid-to-high 3.90, and it just didn’t hold. It’s very rare to see the NAPA car smoke the tires at that point on race day. We’ll service and pack it up and head to Seattle and get back to it on Friday.”

Up Next: CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals
The Western Swing concludes next week with the 32nd Catspot NHRA Northwest Nationals, scheduled for August 2-4 at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash. Capps returns to the Seattle-area as the defending event winner and leads the Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers back into action chasing his third career triumph at the track.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 15 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (5) – 1283
2. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) –1084
3. John Force – 1035
4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 964
5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 962

6. Bob Tasca III (1) – 924
7. J.R. Todd (1) – 889
8. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 888
9. Shawn Langdon (1) – 786
10. Tim Wilkerson – 757

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (8) – 1486
2. Clay Millican – 914
2. Antron Brown – 914
4. Brittany Force (1) – 894
5. Doug Kalitta (1) - 887
6. Mike Salinas (2) – 802
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 749
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 719
9. Austin Prock - 641
9. Terry McMillen – 641
 

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NHRA Northwest Nationals

Capps Keeps Dodge//SRT Mopar Finals Streak Going with Runner-up Result in NHRA Northwest Nationals

Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Ron Capps races to 121st career final and third in 2019 Sunday in NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle
Matt Hagan qualifies third, advances to semifinal round driving 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Tommy Johnson, Jr. holds No. 3 spot in Funny Car standings, leads three Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT drivers in top five
Leah Pritchett narrowly defeated in first round; holds seventh position in Top Fuel championship standings
Bill Bushmaker and Kelly Thomas pick up Dodge Top Finisher honors


August 4, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Defending NHRA Northwest Nationals winner Ron Capps came up just short in his bid to score back-to-back wins in Seattle racing his Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car on Sunday at Pacific Raceways near Kent, Washington.

The two-time 2019 Funny Car winner made a charge through the field to give Dodge//SRT Mopar its fifth consecutive opportunity to capture an event victory. Capps wasn’t able to overtake John Force in the final after knocking out fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Matt Hagan in the semifinals. DSR teammate Jack Beckman also advanced to the semifinals.


Tommy Johnson, Jr., Capps and Beckman give Dodge//SRT Mopar three drivers inside the top-five in the championship standings through 16 of 24 events.

Capps began his repeat bid from the seventh position and posted an opening-round win aboard his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The 2016 Funny Car world champion grabbed the starting-line advantage from J.R. Todd and raced away to setup his semifinal matchup with Hagan. Both drivers and teams were on their game, but it was Capps that moved on with his run of 3.974 seconds to advance to the final round. The historic final pitted the two winningest drivers in the category; in their 103rd career meeting Capps had a slight advantage on the tree, but it was Force that took the win. With his run to the final, Capps moved up to fourth in the championship standings.

After racing to the final last weekend in Sonoma, Hagan kept his momentum pointing in right direction qualifying his Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody third in the field. The two-time Seattle winner dispatched Gary Densham and Shawn Langdon before his thrilling battle with Capps.

Beckman continued his push to becoming a championship contender. The 2007 NHRA Northwest Nationals champion qualified eighth for Sunday’s elimination rounds where he drove the DSR Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to victory over fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Johnson, Jr., with a smooth pass of 3.937 seconds to start his run for a second Seattle triumph. Beckman then bounced Bob Tasca III to reach his fifth semifinal in the previous eight events where his opponent was Force. After the two had identical reaction times, Beckman slowed when his machine lost traction allowing Force to pull away for the victory.

After opening the Western Swing with a victory in the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Johnson was looking to make it two wins in three races. The driver of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat made the best lap of the weekend to close qualifying but found himself running fellow DSR and Hellcat Funny Car driver Beckman. Johnson defeated Beckman en route to Denver triumph, but the outcome was different Sunday when his machine went into tire-smoke just after 200 feet. Johnson, who clinched his spot in the Countdown last weekend in Sonoma, ranks third with two races remaining before the points are reset for the six-race championship battle.

Cruz Pedregon raced his Snap-On Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat into the field but was defeated in the first round by Langdon. Jim Campbell was the sixth Dodge//SRT Mopar driver in the field, but he lost a close race to Force in the first round.

For Top Fuel standout Leah Pritchett, it was a bit of déjà vu as she qualified her HEMI-powered [DR1] Sparkling Ice Top Fuel Dragster fifth in the field. In a rematch of last week’s first round race with Austin Prock, Pritchett lost ground at the starting line, but was closing on Prock before losing by 0.0192 seconds (approximately 9 feet).

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Bill Bushmaker and Kelly Thomas captured Dodge Top Finisher honors at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes, respectively.
Bushmaker, driver of a I/SA 1976 Plymouth Road Runner, qualified eighth in the field of 37 entries and the Auburn, Washington native took an opening-round victory before red-lighting in round two to close his day.

In Super Stock, Thomas raced his GT/LA 1969 Dodge Dart into round powered by Mopar 340 small block V8 that was consistently producing 10-second elapsed times all through the event.

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

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

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.898 ET)

Rd.1: (.093-second reaction time, 3.939 seconds at 327.35 mph) beat No. 10 Tim Wilkerson (.081/4.205/253.95)
Rd.2: (.066/3.992/322.58) beat No. 2 J.R. Todd (.070/5.277/153.40)
Rd. 3: (.072/3.974/323.58) beat No. 3 Matt Hagan (.080/3.982/327.27)
Rd. 4: (.082/4.018/309.91) lost to No. 4 John Force (.084/3.971/320.58)

“I’m very happy with the way the swing ended. You know (Rahn) Tobler … we did a little bit of testing Saturday and that really showed a lot of progress. And we beat some great racecars to reach the final round. Honestly, we thought we had the run to win, but for some reason our car did not run in the middle of the track like it had all day. It was down a little bit of mile an hour. I didn’t hear or see John Force until about halftrack and he popped out about a car length on us. Great weekend. Good points weekend. I think we are in a good position moving forward.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.888 ET)

Rd.1: (.081-second reaction time, 3.988 seconds at 328.22 mph) beat No. Gary Densham (.121/4.058/322.04)
Rd.2: (.057/3.970/325.53) beat No. 6 Shawn Langdon (.082/5.067/148.69)
Rd.3: (.080/3.982/327.27) lost to No. 7 Ron Capps (.072/3.974/323.58)

“I think our western swing has been pretty good considering we went to the finals in Sonoma and semifinals here in Seattle. Our Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is running really, really good. I’m really happy with the performance. It’s been consistent and is reacting to everything (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is telling it to do. When you get beat on the backside of a good drag race like what happened to us against Capps, that’s a whole lot easier to swallow than when you’re out here smoking the tires or not going down the race track. As these races progress, and as we move toward the Countdown, I feel really good about what we’re doing with this race team and race car.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.917 ET)

Rd.1: (.089-second reaction time, 3.937 seconds at 327.59 mph) beat No. 9 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.145/4.529/195.45)
Rd.2: (.086/3.973/323.04) beat No. 1 Bob Tasca III (.086/4.017/321.50)
Rd.3: (.071/4.480/197.65) lost to No. 4 John Force (.071/4.014/320.97)

“A frustrating end again. We have a top-five car. We ran into another top-five and it just becomes a battle of tuners and drives up there. Neither one of us ran particularly great, but our car just smoked the tires. And we know we have a car that is capable of winning a championship. We need to prove that we have a car that can win a race right now. The silver lining is that we leave here top-five in points. We gained some ground on the guys in front of us. The crew chiefs have a week off to go over some things and get us organized to go into Brainerd with the right frame of mind.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.886 ET)

Rd.1: (.083-second reaction time, 5.182 seconds at 141.86 mph) lost to No. 8 Jack Beckman (.089/3.937/327.59)

“Our qualifying position bit us more than anything. It hurt not having lane choice in the first round. The track became a one-lane-track pretty fast during that first round and not having lane choice was definitely a disadvantage. We’ll go home and put a new front-half on this car and go into Brainerd with a fresh car, and get our consistency back. I’d grade the swing a B for us, overall, with a win and a semifinal finish. You never like a first-round loss, and if we could have gone some rounds today, it would have been an A.”

Leah Pritchett, Sparkling Ice Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.725 ET)

Rd.1: (.086-second reaction time, 3.762 seconds at 325.30 mph) lost to No. 12 Austin Prock (.068/3.761/321.95)

“We have a great hot rod, and we really wanted redemption against (Austin) Prock after Sonoma. Unfortunately, we were on the short end of it once again. The Swing has definitely taken its toll, but we’re coming out of it stronger than we were going into it which gives us momentum heading into Brainerd. My favorite thing about this team is they don’t hang their heads low. My guys that are led by (crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Neal (Strausbaugh) have got this hot rod figured out. It’s been a great western swing and I can’t thank the fans enough as we close out this swing and head onto Brainerd.”

Up Next: Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Following a week off, the Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers will resume the 2019 campaign with the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota, August 15-18.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 16 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (5) – 1341
2. John Force (1) – 1155
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) –1117
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 1057
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 1039

6. Bob Tasca III (1) – 985
7. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 965
8. J.R. Todd (1) – 949
9. Shawn Langdon (1) – 840
10. Tim Wilkerson – 792


NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence (8) – 1587
2. Antron Brown – 966
3. Clay Millican – 955
4. Brittany Force (1) – 953
5. Doug Kalitta (1) - 940
6. Mike Salinas (2) – 883
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 786
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 753
8. Austin Prock (1) - 753
10. Terry McMillen – 676
 

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NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Pritchett and Capps Double Up for Dodge//SRT Mopar With NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car Triumphs at Brainerd

Leah Pritchett wins first Wally of 2019 racing the Don Schumacher Racing HEMI®-powered Dodge//SRT Mopar Top Fuel Dragster to victory in Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota
Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Ron Capps wins third race of 2019 and sixth career triumph at Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Tommy Johnson, Jr. reaches 50th career Funny Car final, fifth at Brainerd and fourth of 2019; moves up to No. 2 spot in Funny Car standings
Matt Hagan earns 35th career No. 1 qualifier, advances to semifinal round driving 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Dodge//SRT Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing drivers hold four of top six positions in NHRA Funny Car standings
Kevin Leinhart and Dan Zrust pick up Dodge Top Finisher honors

August 18, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Leah Pritchett and Ron Capps earned Dodge//SRT Mopar an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series double up with Top Fuel and Funny Car wins, respectively, in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota.

For Pritchett, the win Sunday was her first piloting the Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Top Fuel dragster in 2019 and first since winning the 2018 Dodge Mile-High Nationals, a span of 26 races. She scored her eighth career win by beating Kyle Wurtzel, Billy Torrence, Austin Prock and Mike Salinas.

Capps defeated fellow Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Tommy Johnson, Jr. racing the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to score his third Wally of the season, 64th of this career and a record sixth in Brainerd.


With the only the U.S. Nationals remaining before the points are reset for the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship, Dodge//SRT Mopar and DSR drivers hold the second through sixth positions in the Funny Car class – Johnson, Jr. (2nd), Capps (4th), Jack Beckman (5th) and Matt Hagan (6th).

It’s been a challenging season for Pritchett, but on Sunday her DSR team was the last standing after starting the day from the fourth position on the eliminations ladder. After being knocked out in the first round the previous two races, the first hurdle was cleared when Pritchett defeated Wurtzel by posting a lap of 3.744 seconds at 327.43 mph. She followed that win up by defeating the last two winners in consecutive rounds, first defeating Billy Torrence in the second round and then avenging consecutive loses to Austin Prock in the semifinals. By defeating Prock, she reached the final for the 15th time in her career and clinched her spot in the upcoming Countdown to the Championship. In the final, Pritchett left first and smoothly drove away to score her 130th career round win and second race win at Brainerd.

After finishing runner-up two weeks ago in Seattle, Capps was focused on continuing his successful summer run with a great performance in Brainerd. The path to victory was loaded with Countdown contenders and former world champions. He started with reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd in round one where he outran Todd by putting up a lap of 3.920 seconds to start the day. Next it was his teammate and No. 2 qualifier Beckman and the two put on a show with Capps besting his first round run with a lap of 3.918 to eliminate Beckman and reach his sixth semifinal of 2019. Capps was solid again in the semifinals while opponent Shawn Langdon smoked his tires to set up the all DSR final. The starting line was the difference and Capps surged to his 50th career win driving for Don Schumacher.

Johnson continued proving he is going to be a factor in the 2019 Funny Car championship chase Sunday with his runner-up finish. He raced the DSR Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car from the fifth position on the ladder and was victorious over Tim Wilkerson in the first round, Johnson followed that by defeating Robert Hight in the quarterfinals with his best run of the day at 3.910 seconds. In the semifinal, he squared off with No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan and used a tremendous light, .031 reaction time, and lap of 3.930 ET to keep his run for a second Brainerd triumph alive as he reached his 50th career Funny Car final and seventh in Brainerd. In the final, Capps had the starting line advantage and Johnson couldn’t recover despite making it close with a run of 3.947 compared to the winner’s pass of 3.946. Johnson has now finished in the runner-up spot four out of the last five years at Brainerd.

Two-time Funny Car world champion Hagan earned his 35th career No. 1 qualifier aboard the DSR 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car and clinched his spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship Saturday. He opened his quest for his first-ever victory in Brainerd Sunday by defeating Dale Creasy, Jr. with a run of 3.937 seconds to advance to the second round where he overpowered Bob Tasca III with another sub 4-second run of 3.954 ET and advanced to his seventh semifinal appearance of 2019. It was an all-DSR/all-Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat semifinal matchup pitting Hagan versus Johnson, Jr. The duo staged a terrific drag race and Johnson’s 3.930 was just enough to end Hagan’s run. Hagan was able to climb to sixth in the season championship standings.

After qualifying the DSR Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car second in the field for the third time in 2019, Beckman rocketed to an opening-round win over Terry Haddock by posting the quickest run and top speed of the weekend at 3.876 seconds at 329.75 mph to advance to the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, he matched up with fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Ron Capps for the first time head-to-head this season. Capps grabbed the starting-line advantage and Beckman couldn’t catch the four-time Brainerd champion despite posting a pass of 3.945 seconds. Sunday’s exit was the fourth in the previous five races where Beckman has been defeated by a DSR teammate.

Cruz Pedregon and Paul Lee also qualified for Sunday’s 16-car field driving Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars. Pedregon qualified his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 13th and was defeated by Hight, while Lee lost his first-round matchup with Langdon.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Kevin Leinhart and Dan Zrust were winners of the Dodge Top Finisher honors in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock, respectively, Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Leinart powered his way to a semifinal finish behind the wheel of his R/SA 1969 Dodge Dart. The Dakota City, Nebraska racer powered his Mopar 318 cubic-inch small block V8 through five rounds of Stock Eliminator competition before coming up just 0.18 seconds short of racing to the final.

Zrust, from Maple Grove, Minnesota, piloted his GT/AA 1968 Plymouth Barracuda to the semifinals before being eliminated because he left the starting line early and was disqualified.

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

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

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.756)

Rd. 1: (.091-second reaction time, 3.744 seconds at 327.43 mph) beat No. 13 Kyle Wurtzel (.112/6.758/85.34)
Rd. 2: (.065/3.764/326.79) beat No. 5 Billy Torrence (-.160/4.124/205.13)
Rd. 3: (.047/3.725/327.27) beat No. 8 Austin Prock (.045/4.002/299.33)
Rd. 4: (.058/3.732/321.04) beat No. 3 Mike Salinas (.074/4.066/235.72)

“It feels so good to finally get that win, not only for myself and my team, but for Don Schumacher and Dodge. Proud to be the one to put on that final round Top Fuel win light. This is the perfect time to be able to gain momentum heading into the playoffs. We made four incredible runs (today) and that’s something that (co-crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara and Neal Strausbaugh have worked hard to do consistently, and now it’s coming into play at a perfect time. Putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together, we could see, internally, that we were moving in the right direction, but now everyone could finally see it this weekend. We’re happy we can bring the Wally home for Dodge and Mopar, and are looking forward to more this year.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.092-second reaction time, 3.920 seconds at 327.03 mph) beat No. 10 J.R. Todd (.066/4.635/174.55)
Rd. 2: (.077/3.918/325.53) beat No. 2 Jack Beckman (.089/3.945/327.82)
Rd. 3: (.064/3.938/322/27) beat No. 6 Shawn Langdon (.076/4.377/201.43)
Rd. 4: (.055/3.946/324.28) beat No. 5 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.171/3.947/319.98)

“This is the time of year where you have to be at your best. Teamwork and great leadership from the top down are the reasons why we are here today. Every time I race Tommy Johnson’s car, I feel like I’m racing a mirror of myself. (Johnson’s crew chief) John Collins is a chip off the old block, he spent so many years working under Rahn Tobler; his approach is the same, and their car is set up almost identical to ours. The list of teams we beat today are teams you’re going to have to beat to win a world championship. I’m so happy we had so much success today, and we have a great running car. I feel really good leaving here.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.075-second reaction time, 3.944 seconds at 320.20 mph) beat No. 12 Tim Wilkerson (.070/4.519/191.87)
Rd. 2: (.068/3.910/323.50) beat No. 4 Robert Hight (.095/6.034/115.21)
Rd. 3: (.031/3.930/324.59) beat No. 1 Matt Hagan (.062/3.932/326.08)
Rd. 4: (.171/3.947/319.98) lost to No. 7 Ron Capps (.055/3.946/324.28)

“We had a big points day for the team and have a really good running Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. I just made a rookie mistake there in the final. A mistake that I shouldn’t have made, but all in all it was a good day. To be able to win the rounds we did and get to another final just builds confidence for this team. We have a lot of momentum going into to Indy and I’m ready.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.890)

Rd. 1: (.053-second reaction time, 3.937 seconds at 329.18 mph) beat No. 16 Dale Creasy, Jr. (.061/4.119/295.66)
Rd. 2: (.060/3.954/323.81) beat No. 8 Bob Tasca III (.045/4.092/267.16)
Rd. 3: (.062/3.932/326.08) lost to No. 5 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.031/3.930/324.59)

“It was a good weekend at Brainerd getting the pole and moving around (Bob) Tasca in the points, and obviously Indy is points-and-a-half. We’re making momentum with this Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car, and (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) has a really good handle on the tune-up of this Hemi in a lot of conditions. We won Epping and have been going rounds, and this team is peaking at the right time, and I like the way we’re progressing. It’s going to be a dog fight in the Countdown.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.095-second reaction time, 3.876 seconds at 329.75 mph) beat No. 15 Terry Haddock (.116/5.076/151.27)
Rd. 2: (.089/3.945/327.82) lost to No. 7 Ron Capps (.077/3.918/325.53)

“Our last win came here and we were kind of hoping this is where we were going to get over the hump this year because we do need a win. I’ll take six runner-ups in the Countdown if that’s enough to win the championship, but we need to get a trophy. To go out there first round and run low ET and top speed of the weekend and then come back and just flat get outrun by the NAPA team in second round … that’s kind of a testament to DSR teams and how hard we race one another. Most of the time our toughest competition comes from within our own camp. That doesn’t make me feel better, because we came here to take the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to four win lights. We’ll take the data and get ourselves prepared for Indy. That’s a marathon race and there’s nothing more that this team wants more than to go the distance at Indy.”

Up Next: U.S. Nationals
The Mopar Dodge//SRT Mopar contingent of racers and teams return to action in two weeks during the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Indiana. The event consists of six days of action beginning Thursday, August 29 and culminating Monday, September 2, with eliminations on Labor Day. The 19th annual NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge takes center stage Thursday and Friday, August 29-30, to open the U.S. Nationals.

2019 NHRA Championship – Point Standings Through 17 of 24 Rounds
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1.Robert Hight (5) - 1397
2. Tommy Johnson, Jr. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 1218
3. John Force (1) - 1199
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (3) –1171
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat - 1098
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (2) - 1047

7. 6. Bob Tasca III (2) - 1038
8. J.R. Todd (1) -981
9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 914
10. Tim Wilkerson - 824

NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence (8) - 1650
2. Brittany Force (1) - 1015
3. Doug Kalitta (1) - 1013
4. Clay Millican - 1009
5. Antron Brown - 998
6. Mike Salinas (2) – 986
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (1) - 903
8. Austin Prock (1) - 826
9. Richie Crampton (1) - 785
10. Terry McMillen - 708
 

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U.S. Nationals

Daniels Powers to first NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge Pole at U.S. Nationals

Three-time consecutive and defending NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge champion Jimmy Daniels races 1968 Dodge Dart to No. 1 qualifier position
Stephen Comella qualifies his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda second in field of 20 entries
2017 and 2018 No. 1 qualifier and 2018 race runner-up Gary Wolkwitz qualifies third
NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge parade and elimination rounds set for Friday, August 31 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
Drivers to compete for $15,000 winner’s purse and iconic HEMI Challenge Trophy

August 29, 2019 , Indianapolis -

After making the fifth-best quarter-mile pass in Wednesday’s opening qualifying session for the 19th annual NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, three-time consecutive and reigning champion Jimmy Daniels couldn’t wait to make his second and final qualifying run Thursday afternoon. The 23-year-old driver delivered the best run of the day powering his Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart to earn his first career No. 1 qualifier position at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

“I didn’t really think getting that No. 1 position was really possible with the warmer weather today,” said the Yardley, Penn. native, who will vie for his record-setting fourth straight triumph Friday. “We really worked on it coming into today. For us to come back tomorrow and win another Dodge HEMI Challenge, it’s going to take a lot of consistency, a lot of fine tuning by Ray and Dave Barton and I have to do a good job on the tree.”

Now in its 19th year, the HEMI Challenge contested during the NHRA U.S. Nationals continues to showcase Mopar-powered 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars. Drivers compete for the iconic 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy and $15,000 winner’s purse awarded after Friday’s elimination rounds.

Daniels held the fifth position following Wednesday’s first qualifying session and admitted some minor adjustments were needed today in order to claim the top spot. Daniels was spot on in the left lane Thursday afternoon after clocking a run of 8.473 to edge Wednesday’s provisional pole holder Steve Comella, who’s run of 8.480 seconds in his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda held up for the No. 2 spot. Comella’s 156.68 mph from Wednesday’s qualifying run topped the field.

Gary Wolkwitz, last year’s runner-up and No. 2 qualifier, raced his Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart to the No. 3 position ahead of Canadian runner Wendell Howes while inaugural 2001 HEMI Challenge winner Bucky Hess completed the top-five in his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda.

Qualifying spots sixth through 10 are Doug Fazzolare, Jim Pancake, Rich Locker, Stephen Hebert and Gus Mantas.

The field of HEMI Challenge cars will participate in a parade on Friday, August 30, prior to the first-round eliminations, with the championship final round slated for Friday evening, just before NHRA Nitro qualifying.

The NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge showcases Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) NHRA Sportsman class competitors battling on the quarter-mile in 1968 Mopar package cars, powered by the legendary 426 HEMI engine. The Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stockers are one of the earliest and most iconic iterations of the purpose-built vehicles created at the factory. The cars feature distinct race packages and are for use solely on the drag strip. The Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracudas are precursors to the modern-day package car — the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak.

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

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. Powered by the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. Its 797-horsepower supercharged HEMI® high-output engine makes it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car, reaching 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.4 seconds, and the fastest GT production car with a ¼-mile elapsed time (ET) of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. It also reaches a new top speed of 203 mph.

Joining the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with its more powerful 717-horsepower engine, and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, featuring fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody, which add 3.5 inches of width to the 485-horsepower Scat Pack’s standard body. Also new for 2019 is the Challenger R/T Scat Pak 1320 with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a drag-oriented, street-legal muscle car and a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer. The 2019 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with a best-in-class tow rating of 8,700 lbs., completes the brand's performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2019 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger — a showroom that offers performance at every price point.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Daniels Races to Record-setting Fourth Straight NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge Triumph at

Daniels Races to Record-setting Fourth Straight NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge Triumph at U.S. Nationals

Jimmy Daniels wins fourth consecutive NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge event behind the wheel of his Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
Daniels pockets $15,000 winner’s share after defeating Ohio’s Rich Locker in his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda
Winning streak by Daniels increases to 19 consecutive round wins during U.S. Nationals


August 30, 2019 , Indianapolis -

Making history in the NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge isn’t something new for Jimmy Daniels, and Friday night, the 23-year-old Pennsylvania native continued his undefeated streak at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis by driving his Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart to a record fourth consecutive event victory.

Daniels, the event’s No. 1 qualifier, defeated Ohio’s Rich Locker in his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda with a run 8.576 seconds at 156.01 mph in the final round of the 19th running of the special event, annually part of the U.S. Nationals. The victory was the sixth time a driver piloted the 1968 Dodge Dart to victory in the event. Daniel’s father, Jimmy Daniels, Sr., won the event in 2010 and David Barton won driving the same machine in 2000.


“We had some tough battles to get this fourth win, including that semifinal,” admitted Daniels. “This HEMI Challenge is everything. We work all year for this. It means a lot for us. Special thanks to Dodge for continuing to support these cars and to the NHRA for allowing them to have the HEMI Challenge here in Indy.

“Ray and Dave Barton provide us with awesome horsepower. If it wasn’t for them, we would not be able to do this. I’m surrounded by my family here this weekend – my father, my mother, my girlfriend and my grandfather. This race is probably the coolest win of the four for me. Earlier this year, I lost my grandmother unexpectedly. We know she was watching over us tonight.”

Daniels’ quest for win number four began with a bye run as a result of his qualifying effort Thursday. His pass of 8.494 seconds was the best of the opening round and launched him into round two where he delivered another smooth lap of 8.512 to defeat Doug Fazzolare. His 17th consecutive round win at Indy came over 2017 HEMI Challenge runner-up Wendell Howes advancing Daniels to the semifinals where he faced a very game Jim Pancake in an all-Dodge Dart matchup. Pancake posted an impressive .017-second reaction time, but Daniels was able to power by and turn on the win light with a margin of victory being a mere 0.0027 seconds and approximately 7 inches.

Locker qualified his Barracuda eighth and advanced to round two making a solo run of 8.660 seconds at 153.32 mph before defeating Louisiana’s Stephen Loeffler. He took advantage of a starting-line error by last year’s runner-up Gary Wolkwitz, who was disqualified for leaving the starting line early to advance to round three. Locker used a strong light to beat 2001 winner Bucky Hess on a holeshot with a margin of victory of .0242 seconds to advance.

In the final, Daniels grabbed the starting line advantage, but spun his tires just after the launch allowing Locker to grab the lead. Daniels’ gathered his machine under him and drove around Locker to secure the historic victory.

The NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge showcases Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) NHRA Sportsman class competitors battling on the quarter-mile in 1968 Mopar package cars, powered by the legendary 426 HEMI engine. The Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stockers are one of the earliest and most iconic iterations of the purpose-built vehicles created at the factory. The cars feature distinct race packages and are for use solely on the drag strip. The Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracudas are precursors to the modern-day package car — the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak.
 

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Beckman Earns First No. 1 Qualifier

Beckman Earns First No. 1 Qualifier of Season at U.S. Nationals, Leads Six Mopar-powered Dodge Charger NHRA Funny Car Drivers Into Elimination Rounds

Jack Beckman ran his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to No. 1 qualifier in the U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
Six Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualify for 16-car elimination field
Matt Hagan pilots Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody to second starting position
Coming off his Brainerd victory, Ron Capps will chase his first U.S. Nationals triumph in his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge Charger SRT from fourth
Leah Pritchett will start eliminations from the 7th spot in her Mopar-powered Top Fuel dragster
More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com


September 1, 2019 , Indianapolis -

Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Jack Beckman raced to his first No. 1 qualifier position of season this weekend during the 65th Annual U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, leading a contingent of six Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers into Monday’s elimination rounds for the NHRA’s biggest race of the season.

Beckman and his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge//SRT Mopar teammates Matt Hagan and Ron Capps earned positions inside the top-four and were joined in the field by fellow DSR teammate Tommy Johnson, Jr. and Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers Paul Lee and Cruz Pedregon.


Since qualifying began Friday night, the most consistent machine in the Funny Car class through the five sessions was Beckman’s Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. After posting a Friday night run of 3.875 seconds, the 2012 Funny Car world champion never relinquished the No.1 position, topping three of the five sessions and collecting 16 qualifying points. His run early Saturday evening of 3.861 earned Beckman the 25th No. 1 qualifier of his career. It was his second No. 1 at the U.S. Nationals, his first coming in 2015 setting up Beckman for his only U.S. Nationals crown.

Two-time world champion and 2016 U.S. Nationals winner Hagan made his best run of the weekend in the third qualifying session powering his Mopar-powered 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody to a lap of 3.874 to secure the second position. It’s the second time this season where he has qualified No. 2. The first came in Phoenix and he recorded the first of seven 2019 wins by Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers.

After earning his third NHRA Wally of the season two weeks ago in Brainerd, Capps followed the lead of Beckman making consistent runs throughout the five sessions and adding qualifying points in four of the five. He grabbed the fourth position on Monday’s elimination ladder with his run of 3.882 aboard the NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The 2016 Funny Car champion’s best Indy finish was a runner-up in 2017.

Johnson, Jr. is in the midst of a career season and his quest for a first U.S. Nationals win wasn’t as smooth as planned for the driver of the Riley’s Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. Through three rounds of qualifying, he was on the outside looking in, but his John Collins’ tuned Hellcat came through Sunday with a pair of runs, 3.909 and 3.912 seconds, to qualify in the 10th position.

Lee and Pedregon will race from the ninth and 12th spots, respectively.

Like Capps, DSR’s Leah Pritchett brings the momentum of winning in Brainerd to “The Big Go.” Pritchett, who’s best U.S. Nationals result was a semifinal run in 2017, began with a solid pass of 3.726 seconds at 325.22 mph Friday evening. Her run of 3.701 in session three was the best of weekend for the DSR HEMI-powered Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster.

Tune-in Info
Five hours of action from the U.S. Nationals will air on Monday, September 2, with coverage scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET for two hours before coverage switches over to FOX from 1 – 4 p.m. ET. For complete information, visit www.nhra.com


[B @dodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram[/B]
The @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

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


Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Justin Schriefer

Friday: (3.875 seconds at 328.46 mph – Q1); Saturday: (3.861/330.07 – Q2), (3.878/331.94 – Q3); Sunday (3.911/326.40 – Q4), (3.875/335.23 – Q5)

“I don’t want to say that we’ve been perfect all weekend, but I think we have our Dodge Hellcat Funny Car as close to perfect as it’s been in a while. Tomorrow’s conditions should be different. I don’t know if we have a huge advantage if the sun is out and the track is hot. I think psychologically everyone on our Infinite Hero team is revved up. I think that is so important to set the tone that you know that you can be the best. Tomorrow is race day and I feel like you have to be flawless, because you never know if you are going to go out there and smoke the tires against the number 16 qualifier. If you do, you have to be ready to catch it. Tomorrow it’s not about ET slips, it’s about win lights. You don’t have to be good, you just have to be better than the car in the other lane.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Bob Bode

Friday: (3.987 seconds at 287.84 mph – Q1); Saturday: (4.173/234.90 – Q2), (3.874/327.66 – Q3); Sunday (4.070/245.23 – Q4), (3.976/275.34 – Q5)

“I’m always just glad to be here racing at the Big Go. We’ve got a good race car, we’re coming off some solid finishes these last couple of races and I think we’ve got some momentum to do what we need to do. Right now, we’re still trying to dial-in the fuel curve on this car. We’ve been putting some pan pressure, cylinders out and things like that, but we’ll get all that addressed and I think we’ll have a really good race car tomorrow. Both lanes seem to be really nice and this MOPAR Hellcat Widebody is running really well.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Ray Martin

Friday: (3.882 seconds at 327.66 mph – Q1); Saturday: (4.206/221.13 – Q2), (3.896/329.18 – Q3); Sunday (3.891/328.22 – Q4), (3.891/329.10 – Q5)

“This is Indy. It’s so good to have a hot rod coming out of Brainerd. (Crew chief) Rahn Tobler and the NAPA AutoCare guys unloaded Friday and we made a great run. It really catapulted us to where we could go after low E.T. each session. It’s great putting two 3.89s up on Sunday going into race day. The conditions (today) kind of gave us a little inkling of what it’s going to be like on race day. I’m really looking forward to Labor Day.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Riley Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 10, will face No. 7 Shawn Langdon

Friday: (4.368 seconds at 200.71 mph – Q1); Saturday: (7.01/88.35 – Q2), (4.376/197.83 – Q3); Sunday (3.909/319.82 – Q4), (3.912/324.90 – Q5)

“We’ve got our car back. We had some issues at the beginning of qualifying but now the race car is back and we’re going to be a tough team to beat tomorrow.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 Shawn Reed

Friday: (3.726 seconds at 325.22.84 mph – Q1); Saturday: (8.789/84.02 – Q2), (3.701/322.42 – Q3); Sunday (4.711/155.70 – Q4), (3.713/324.98 – Q5)

"Today was U.S. Nationals Saturday 2.0 with a little bit better results. We were second-low of Q5 and that’s great to have that data setting up for race day. The issues we had in qualifying were slight mechanical hiccups that we found a solution to. Conditions tomorrow will be warmer than what we’ve seen so far. We look forward to putting this frost-bitten blue Mopar Top Fuel dragster in the winner’s circle one round at a time. We have a lot of great momentum coming in from Brainerd. We have a fast hot rod, a driver on her game and a crew that’s hungry to win. We’re going to start Labor Day off putting in all the work.”
 

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Beckman Races Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to Final at U.S. Nationals

Beckman Races Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to Final at U.S. Nationals

Jack Beckman comes up just short in final round in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car at U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis
Matt Hagan pilots Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody to fourth consecutive semifinal appearance
Tommy Johnson, Jr. leads four Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in top-six of NHRA Funny Car standings entering Countdown to Championship playoffs
Leah Pritchett qualifies 7th in Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster, upset in opening round; qualifies 7th in Countdown to Championship standings
More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com


September 2, 2019 , Indianapolis -

Jack Beckman was three-hundredths of second away from having in his words “a phenomenal weekend” at the 65th NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The driver of Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car raced to the Indy final for the third time in his career, but came up tantalizingly short of scoring a second U.S. Nationals triumph in NHRA’s signature event.

Beckman continued the run of Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars reaching the final to seven straight events, and 14 of 18 in 2019, and led a brigade of six Mopar-powered machines into eliminations Monday after securing his 25th career No. 1 qualifier. The run to his 60th career final appearance began with a fifth sub-3.9 second run of the weekend in a first-round victory over Justin Schriefer, but his elapsed time wasn’t enough to secure lane choice for his race with Bob Tasca III in the quarterfinals. Beckman leaned on his Dean Antonelli/John Medlen-led team and they delivered with a car that made it down the less-than desirable right lane with a time of 3.922 seconds to defeat Tasca’s run of 3.943. Next up was the two-time and defending champion J.R. Todd and Beckman powered to victory again in the right lane to push Beckman to his fourth final in 2019.

In the final, Beckman matched up with John Force and he was first to hit the gas. Force drove around the 2012 Funny Car world champion with his pass of 3.919 run to defeat Beckman and his lap of 3.940. The weekend provided Beckman with momentum heading to Countdown where he will start from the fourth position.


For two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, consistency has been the focus and that continued during the U.S. Nationals. After qualifying the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car second in the field, the 2016 U.S. Nationals champion opened his competition with a smooth run of 3.892 seconds to advance over Bob Bode, who wasn’t able to make a full pass. In the quarterfinals, Hagan made another clean pass of 3.939 seconds while his opponent Shawn Langdon went up in smoke. The result moved Hagan into his fourth consecutive semifinal where he faced John Force for the 43rd time in his career. Hagan raced from the right lane and lost traction almost immediately coasting to the finish with a run of 13.019 seconds. Hagan will start the Countdown to the Championship playoffs from the sixth position in Reading.

Ron Capps ventured into “The Big Go” with the single goal of finally tasting Indy glory in his NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The second-winningest Funny Car driver of all-time has been victorious at every stop along the current NHRA tour except for Lucas Oil Raceway. His qualifying efforts provided hope that Monday things would go his way when he earned qualifying points in four of the five sessions and locked into the No. 4 spot. In the first round, he faced off with newcomer Ray Martin where Capps took the early advantage and looked to be on his way to victory until his machine lost traction near half track and he was forced to give up the run allowing Martin to claim his first professional round win against the 2016 Funny Car world champion. Capps will begin the Countdown to the Championship in the fourth position.

After struggling during the first two days of qualifying, Tommy Johnson, Jr. put the Riley’s Kids Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat in the field Sunday with a pair of solid runs to grab the No. 10 position for Monday’s eliminations. Unfortunately, in his first round race with Shawn Langdon, the issues resurfaced when, despite leaving first, his machine overpowered the track and lost traction. Langdon was solid with his run of 3.895 to defeat Johnson, who coasted to a pass of 9.686 seconds at 88.23 mph. Johnson, a two-time 2019 Funny Car winner, will now turn his focus to the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals in Reading where he will continue chasing his first Funny Car championship from the third position in the Countdown standings.

Paul Lee and Cruz Pedregon put their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars in Monday’s field, but each lost in the first round.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett was looking to follow her victory in Brainerd two weeks ago with a strong performance in the U.S. Nationals. After qualifying the DSR Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster seventh in the field, she squared off with Shawn Reed in the first round. The two had five previous races with Pritchett winning them all. Pritchett took a starting line advantage, but immediately lost traction, knocked off the blower and coasted to a pass of 20.604 while Reed cruised to victory with his pass of 3.772. Pritchett will start her quest for a championship in two weeks from the seventh position in the Countdown standings.



[B @dodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram[/B]
The @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

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

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.097-second reaction time, 3.899 seconds at 328.86 mph) beat No. 16 Justin Schriefer (.093/No Time)
Rd. 2: (.070/3.922/325.61) beat No. 8 Bob Tasca III (.050/3.943/326.95)
Rd. 3: (.076/4.065/250.09) beat No. 5 J.R. Todd (.065/4.547/193.71)
Rd. 4: (.072/3.940/325.92) lost to No. 3 John Force (.079/3.919/324.44)

“I have to say the fan in me seeing John Force talking with TV after the race was like seeing Lou Gehrig doing an interview, but losing this race hurts. I don’t want to lose to Babe Ruth. I don’t want to lose to anybody. It’s the U.S. Nationals. We were poised for our first win of the year. We had an amazing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. We fought for what we got today. Due to all the delays in the first round, we couldn’t push and lost lane choice. So we were in the less preferred right lane in the second, third and final rounds. And we were the only car to continually get down that lane quickly. I’m so proud of the guys for doing that. We came up short in the final, but if we would have leaned on it too much and gone out there and smoked the tires you aren’t making a race out of it. I’m happy for what we did. We had a great weekend and I was three-hundredths away from having a phenomenal weekend.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.874)

Rd. 1: (.182-second reaction time, 3.892 seconds at 329.02 mph) beat No. 15 Bob Bode (.123/No Time)
Rd. 2: (.061/3.939/320.89) beat No. 7 Shawn Langdon (.050/12.468/68.70)
Rd. 3: (.072/13.019/75.31) lost to No. 3 John Force (.044/3.940/330.88)

“We really wanted to have a chance to win Indy and we did. We’ve got consistency and we are getting really close every weekend. It’s just a few little things here and there. That right lane was like the kiss of death. Keeping lane choice was critical today and we just lost it by a thousandth of a second or two. We have a great car. The team is working great. The boys made a great turnaround for the semifinal round. I just can’t say enough about how hard everyone is working. We’ve got six races and we are all in. It’s time to step up and go to work.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.882)

Rd. 1: (.109-second reaction time, 4.097 seconds at 270.86 mph) lost No. 13 Ray Martin (.133/3.979/323.04)

“This is one of the best cars we’ve had for a chance to win the U.S. Nationals. If things are going to pop up, they usually happen here. We see so many huge upsets in Indy, and we weren’t taking Ray Martin lightly. I know (crew chief Rahn) Tobler’s plan was to repeat what we did during qualifying and try and get lane choice for next round, and for whatever reason, we had an issue. The bright side is, we’re leaving Indy with a great race car, which really gives me a lot of confidence heading into the Countdown.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.701)

Rd. 1: (.094-second reaction time, 20.604 seconds at 20.91 mph) lost to No. 10 Shawn Reed (.129/3.772/320.51)

“We are in the discovery process of how and why we smoked the tires in the first round. We had every intention of going four solid rounds today. We are looking to test here tomorrow so that we are prepared for the Countdown. This is a numbers game and a math, engineering game and right now things aren’t lining up. We work really hard to be our best and we aren’t going to give up until we figure this out. I’m really proud of this team. As well as the partners we have and the fans that come out and support us. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the best of luck here in Indy, but we have had some good luck and solid performances in Reading and we are ready to finish this marathon with the strongest sprint.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Riley Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.053-second reaction time, 9.686 seconds at 88.23 mph) lost No. 7 Shawn Langdon (.081/3.895/328.70)

“It wasn’t the Indy we were looking for. We had a strong car coming in here and it was just one of those weekends where we just never hit it. We struggled all weekend with a lot of issues. Not the weekend you want that to happen, but at the same time if it’s going to happen let’s get it out of the way before we get to the Countdown where it’s really important. We’ll shake this off and go out to Reading and start the Countdown. We are going to start it in the best position we ever have and this team has a great chance at winning a championship. We’re excited to get to Reading and kick things off with the Mopar Mega Block Party and the activities that surround that race. Earlier this year in Denver, we were able to win the race for Dodge and Mopar and hope to do it again in Reading.”

Up Next: Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
The stakes get higher for the Mopar Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers and teams when they return to action in two weeks at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. The FCA-backed event kicks off the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff. The weekend begins with the fan-favorite Mopar Mega Block Party event Thursday, September 12.

2019 NHRA Championship – Point Standings Through 18 of 24 Rounds
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1.Robert Hight (5) - 1481
2. John Force (2) – 1376
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 1269
4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 1259
5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (3) –1234
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (2) - 1165

7. 6. Bob Tasca III (2) - 1116
8. J.R. Todd (1) -1095
9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 997
10. Tim Wilkerson - 863

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (8) - 1742
2. Doug Kalitta (2) – 1184
3. Antron Brown - 1109
4. Brittany Force (1) - 1108
5. Mike Salinas (2) – 1071
6. Clay Millican - 1058
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (1) - 957
8. Austin Prock (1) – 931
9. Richie Crampton (1) - 842
10. Billy Torrence (1) – 819
 

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Beckman Races Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to Final at U.S. Nationals

Beckman Races Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to Final at U.S. Nationals


Jack Beckman comes up just short in final round in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car at U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis
Matt Hagan pilots Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody to fourth consecutive semifinal appearance
Tommy Johnson, Jr. leads four Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in top-six of NHRA Funny Car standings entering Countdown to Championship playoffs
Leah Pritchett qualifies 7th in Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster, upset in opening round; qualifies 7th in Countdown to Championship standings
More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com


September 2, 2019 , Indianapolis -

Jack Beckman was three-hundredths of second away from having in his words “a phenomenal weekend” at the 65th NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The driver of Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car raced to the Indy final for the third time in his career, but came up tantalizingly short of scoring a second U.S. Nationals triumph in NHRA’s signature event.

Beckman continued the run of Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars reaching the final to seven straight events, and 14 of 18 in 2019, and led a brigade of six Mopar-powered machines into eliminations Monday after securing his 25th career No. 1 qualifier. The run to his 60th career final appearance began with a fifth sub-3.9 second run of the weekend in a first-round victory over Justin Schriefer, but his elapsed time wasn’t enough to secure lane choice for his race with Bob Tasca III in the quarterfinals. Beckman leaned on his Dean Antonelli/John Medlen-led team and they delivered with a car that made it down the less-than desirable right lane with a time of 3.922 seconds to defeat Tasca’s run of 3.943. Next up was the two-time and defending champion J.R. Todd and Beckman powered to victory again in the right lane to push Beckman to his fourth final in 2019.

In the final, Beckman matched up with John Force and he was first to hit the gas. Force drove around the 2012 Funny Car world champion with his pass of 3.919 run to defeat Beckman and his lap of 3.940. The weekend provided Beckman with momentum heading to Countdown where he will start from the fourth position.


For two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, consistency has been the focus and that continued during the U.S. Nationals. After qualifying the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car second in the field, the 2016 U.S. Nationals champion opened his competition with a smooth run of 3.892 seconds to advance over Bob Bode, who wasn’t able to make a full pass. In the quarterfinals, Hagan made another clean pass of 3.939 seconds while his opponent Shawn Langdon went up in smoke. The result moved Hagan into his fourth consecutive semifinal where he faced John Force for the 43rd time in his career. Hagan raced from the right lane and lost traction almost immediately coasting to the finish with a run of 13.019 seconds. Hagan will start the Countdown to the Championship playoffs from the sixth position in Reading.

Ron Capps ventured into “The Big Go” with the single goal of finally tasting Indy glory in his NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The second-winningest Funny Car driver of all-time has been victorious at every stop along the current NHRA tour except for Lucas Oil Raceway. His qualifying efforts provided hope that Monday things would go his way when he earned qualifying points in four of the five sessions and locked into the No. 4 spot. In the first round, he faced off with newcomer Ray Martin where Capps took the early advantage and looked to be on his way to victory until his machine lost traction near half track and he was forced to give up the run allowing Martin to claim his first professional round win against the 2016 Funny Car world champion. Capps will begin the Countdown to the Championship in the fourth position.

After struggling during the first two days of qualifying, Tommy Johnson, Jr. put the Riley’s Kids Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat in the field Sunday with a pair of solid runs to grab the No. 10 position for Monday’s eliminations. Unfortunately, in his first round race with Shawn Langdon, the issues resurfaced when, despite leaving first, his machine overpowered the track and lost traction. Langdon was solid with his run of 3.895 to defeat Johnson, who coasted to a pass of 9.686 seconds at 88.23 mph. Johnson, a two-time 2019 Funny Car winner, will now turn his focus to the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals in Reading where he will continue chasing his first Funny Car championship from the third position in the Countdown standings.

Paul Lee and Cruz Pedregon put their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars in Monday’s field, but each lost in the first round.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett was looking to follow her victory in Brainerd two weeks ago with a strong performance in the U.S. Nationals. After qualifying the DSR Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster seventh in the field, she squared off with Shawn Reed in the first round. The two had five previous races with Pritchett winning them all. Pritchett took a starting line advantage, but immediately lost traction, knocked off the blower and coasted to a pass of 20.604 while Reed cruised to victory with his pass of 3.772. Pritchett will start her quest for a championship in two weeks from the seventh position in the Countdown standings.



[B @dodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram[/B]
The @dodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

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

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.097-second reaction time, 3.899 seconds at 328.86 mph) beat No. 16 Justin Schriefer (.093/No Time)
Rd. 2: (.070/3.922/325.61) beat No. 8 Bob Tasca III (.050/3.943/326.95)
Rd. 3: (.076/4.065/250.09) beat No. 5 J.R. Todd (.065/4.547/193.71)
Rd. 4: (.072/3.940/325.92) lost to No. 3 John Force (.079/3.919/324.44)

“I have to say the fan in me seeing John Force talking with TV after the race was like seeing Lou Gehrig doing an interview, but losing this race hurts. I don’t want to lose to Babe Ruth. I don’t want to lose to anybody. It’s the U.S. Nationals. We were poised for our first win of the year. We had an amazing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. We fought for what we got today. Due to all the delays in the first round, we couldn’t push and lost lane choice. So we were in the less preferred right lane in the second, third and final rounds. And we were the only car to continually get down that lane quickly. I’m so proud of the guys for doing that. We came up short in the final, but if we would have leaned on it too much and gone out there and smoked the tires you aren’t making a race out of it. I’m happy for what we did. We had a great weekend and I was three-hundredths away from having a phenomenal weekend.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.874)

Rd. 1: (.182-second reaction time, 3.892 seconds at 329.02 mph) beat No. 15 Bob Bode (.123/No Time)
Rd. 2: (.061/3.939/320.89) beat No. 7 Shawn Langdon (.050/12.468/68.70)
Rd. 3: (.072/13.019/75.31) lost to No. 3 John Force (.044/3.940/330.88)

“We really wanted to have a chance to win Indy and we did. We’ve got consistency and we are getting really close every weekend. It’s just a few little things here and there. That right lane was like the kiss of death. Keeping lane choice was critical today and we just lost it by a thousandth of a second or two. We have a great car. The team is working great. The boys made a great turnaround for the semifinal round. I just can’t say enough about how hard everyone is working. We’ve got six races and we are all in. It’s time to step up and go to work.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.882)

Rd. 1: (.109-second reaction time, 4.097 seconds at 270.86 mph) lost No. 13 Ray Martin (.133/3.979/323.04)

“This is one of the best cars we’ve had for a chance to win the U.S. Nationals. If things are going to pop up, they usually happen here. We see so many huge upsets in Indy, and we weren’t taking Ray Martin lightly. I know (crew chief Rahn) Tobler’s plan was to repeat what we did during qualifying and try and get lane choice for next round, and for whatever reason, we had an issue. The bright side is, we’re leaving Indy with a great race car, which really gives me a lot of confidence heading into the Countdown.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.701)

Rd. 1: (.094-second reaction time, 20.604 seconds at 20.91 mph) lost to No. 10 Shawn Reed (.129/3.772/320.51)

“We are in the discovery process of how and why we smoked the tires in the first round. We had every intention of going four solid rounds today. We are looking to test here tomorrow so that we are prepared for the Countdown. This is a numbers game and a math, engineering game and right now things aren’t lining up. We work really hard to be our best and we aren’t going to give up until we figure this out. I’m really proud of this team. As well as the partners we have and the fans that come out and support us. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the best of luck here in Indy, but we have had some good luck and solid performances in Reading and we are ready to finish this marathon with the strongest sprint.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Riley Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.053-second reaction time, 9.686 seconds at 88.23 mph) lost No. 7 Shawn Langdon (.081/3.895/328.70)

“It wasn’t the Indy we were looking for. We had a strong car coming in here and it was just one of those weekends where we just never hit it. We struggled all weekend with a lot of issues. Not the weekend you want that to happen, but at the same time if it’s going to happen let’s get it out of the way before we get to the Countdown where it’s really important. We’ll shake this off and go out to Reading and start the Countdown. We are going to start it in the best position we ever have and this team has a great chance at winning a championship. We’re excited to get to Reading and kick things off with the Mopar Mega Block Party and the activities that surround that race. Earlier this year in Denver, we were able to win the race for Dodge and Mopar and hope to do it again in Reading.”

Up Next: Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
The stakes get higher for the Mopar Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers and teams when they return to action in two weeks at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. The FCA-backed event kicks off the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff. The weekend begins with the fan-favorite Mopar Mega Block Party event Thursday, September 12.

2019 NHRA Championship – Point Standings Through 18 of 24 Rounds
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car

1.Robert Hight (5) - 1481
2. John Force (2) – 1376
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 1269
4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 1259
5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (3) –1234
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (2) - 1165

7. 6. Bob Tasca III (2) - 1116
8. J.R. Todd (1) -1095
9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 997
10. Tim Wilkerson - 863

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (8) - 1742
2. Doug Kalitta (2) – 1184
3. Antron Brown - 1109
4. Brittany Force (1) - 1108
5. Mike Salinas (2) – 1071
6. Clay Millican - 1058
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (1) - 957
8. Austin Prock (1) – 931
9. Richie Crampton (1) - 842
10. Billy Torrence (1) – 819
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Ron Capps Muscles Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car to Track Record Speed and ET in Opening Round Qualifying of Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
  • Capps establishes new career-best elapsed time and speed at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.
  • Seven Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals provisional Funny Car field
  • Leah Pritchett races Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 provisional position through two rounds of qualifying
  • Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) “Assemble Your Future” initiative hosts 45 enrolled students and instructors
  • Mopar Mega Block Party raises monies for chosen charities


September 13, 2019 , Mohnton, Pennslyvania


Ron Capps opened the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway with a bang, powering the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the provisional pole with his track record-setting run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph in Friday night’s second provisional qualifying session.

With the run, Capps raised the bar for Funny Car class elapsed time and speed records at Maple Grove making the fastest run of his career and establishing the top speed by a Funny Car driver in 2019. The 2017 Reading champion opened qualifying with the fastest pass of the first session as well. Capps will lead the field back on track Saturday with two more qualifying sessions that will set the field for Sunday’s eliminations.


“I was just hoping to get the Countdown started on the right foot,” said Capps, a three-time Funny Car winner in 2019. “I didn’t expect it to be a 3.83 (elapsed time/seconds). To go 3.84 in that first lap, I knew (Rahn) Tobler was pretty apprehensive about what he was doing with the car. I felt like I almost had to pedal it that first lap, but it made it through there and put a cylinder out about 800 feet. We knew there was a lot there. And after seeing a couple high 3.80s and 3.90s early in that session, it paid off being at the back of the pack. This run, we have our new Hellcat body really trimmed out and Tobler went outside of his comfort zone since we had such a good first run. I knew it was going to be a handful. I knew we were on a good run and was hoping we could repeat our first session run. When they told me after the run we went 3.83 at 339 (mph), that was pretty neat. Any record you set now in this new track prep era is special. It means more now to go 3.83 and to go 339, because we just don’t have the track prep and grip we used to have.”

Leah Pritchett made the best of the track conditions Friday evening racing the DSR Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster to a lap of 3.673 seconds at 332.92 mph to capture the No. 2 provisional qualifying position.

Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers Tommy Johnson, Jr. and Matt Hagan hold the third and fifth positions, respectively. Jim Campbell, Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon and John Smith also have their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars in the provisional field of 16.

Education takes lead, Mopar CAP and YES events kick off Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals weekend
Before the professional drivers and teams began their first-round qualifying sessions today, education took center stage with the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) “Assemble Your Future” initiative and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Youth & Education Services (YES) program.

Mopar CAP, through a partnership with Pennzoil, hosted 45 students from five area schools. At the track, students visited with Hagan, toured the DSR pit areas and networked with representatives from 15 area FCA US LLC dealerships. Established in 1984, the program prepares students to begin their automotive technician careers upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution, such as a university, college, community college or technical center. Currently, FCA has more than 9,000 active students enrolled in its Mopar CAP program, with students completing more than 100,000 class courses.

The program is the third of four Mopar CAP “Assemble Your Future” initiative programs at NHRA national events in 2019, with the Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in late October, being the final event. For more information on the Mopar CAP program, visit www.MoparCAP.com.

As part of the NHRA YES initiative, more than 2,000 local high school students heard testimonials from Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Leah Pritchett and other industry spokespeople focusing on the importance of math, science and other skills that can lead to new career opportunities.

Hagan finished second in Home Run Derby at Mopar Mega Block Party
Thousands of Dodge//SRT Mopar and NHRA fans kicked off the race weekend at FirstEnergy Stadium, in Reading on Thursday, Sept. 12 at the fourth annual Mopar Mega Block Party. The free event included a full slate of family activities and concluded with a Mega Fireworks display. Two-time world champion Hagan provided plenty of hitting fireworks of his own during the home run derby, but the 2014 Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals winner came up just short of winning the event, which was eventually won by Julian Haynes from Pennzoil. Proceeds raised from this event benefited the Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero Foundations.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Ron Capps Muscles Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car to Track Record Speed and ET in Opening Round Qualifying of Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals

    • Capps establishes new career-best elapsed time and speed at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.
    • Seven Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals provisional Funny Car field
    • Leah Pritchett races Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 provisional position through two rounds of qualifying
    • Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) “Assemble Your Future” initiative hosts 45 enrolled students and instructors
    • Mopar Mega Block Party raises monies for chosen charities

September 13, 2019 , Mohnton, Pennslyvania


Ron Capps opened the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway with a bang, powering the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the provisional pole with his track record-setting run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph in Friday night’s second provisional qualifying session.

With the run, Capps raised the bar for Funny Car class elapsed time and speed records at Maple Grove making the fastest run of his career and establishing the top speed by a Funny Car driver in 2019. The 2017 Reading champion opened qualifying with the fastest pass of the first session as well. Capps will lead the field back on track Saturday with two more qualifying sessions that will set the field for Sunday’s eliminations.


“I was just hoping to get the Countdown started on the right foot,” said Capps, a three-time Funny Car winner in 2019. “I didn’t expect it to be a 3.83 (elapsed time/seconds). To go 3.84 in that first lap, I knew (Rahn) Tobler was pretty apprehensive about what he was doing with the car. I felt like I almost had to pedal it that first lap, but it made it through there and put a cylinder out about 800 feet. We knew there was a lot there. And after seeing a couple high 3.80s and 3.90s early in that session, it paid off being at the back of the pack. This run, we have our new Hellcat body really trimmed out and Tobler went outside of his comfort zone since we had such a good first run. I knew it was going to be a handful. I knew we were on a good run and was hoping we could repeat our first session run. When they told me after the run we went 3.83 at 339 (mph), that was pretty neat. Any record you set now in this new track prep era is special. It means more now to go 3.83 and to go 339, because we just don’t have the track prep and grip we used to have.”

Leah Pritchett made the best of the track conditions Friday evening racing the DSR Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster to a lap of 3.673 seconds at 332.92 mph to capture the No. 2 provisional qualifying position.

Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers Tommy Johnson, Jr. and Matt Hagan hold the third and fifth positions, respectively. Jim Campbell, Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon and John Smith also have their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars in the provisional field of 16.

Education takes lead, Mopar CAP and YES events kick off Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals weekend
Before the professional drivers and teams began their first-round qualifying sessions today, education took center stage with the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) “Assemble Your Future” initiative and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Youth & Education Services (YES) program.

Mopar CAP, through a partnership with Pennzoil, hosted 45 students from five area schools. At the track, students visited with Hagan, toured the DSR pit areas and networked with representatives from 15 area FCA US LLC dealerships. Established in 1984, the program prepares students to begin their automotive technician careers upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution, such as a university, college, community college or technical center. Currently, FCA has more than 9,000 active students enrolled in its Mopar CAP program, with students completing more than 100,000 class courses.

The program is the third of four Mopar CAP “Assemble Your Future” initiative programs at NHRA national events in 2019, with the Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in late October, being the final event. For more information on the Mopar CAP program, visit www.MoparCAP.com.

As part of the NHRA YES initiative, more than 2,000 local high school students heard testimonials from Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Leah Pritchett and other industry spokespeople focusing on the importance of math, science and other skills that can lead to new career opportunities.

Hagan finished second in Home Run Derby at Mopar Mega Block Party
Thousands of Dodge//SRT Mopar and NHRA fans kicked off the race weekend at FirstEnergy Stadium, in Reading on Thursday, Sept. 12 at the fourth annual Mopar Mega Block Party. The free event included a full slate of family activities and concluded with a Mega Fireworks display. Two-time world champion Hagan provided plenty of hitting fireworks of his own during the home run derby, but the 2014 Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals winner came up just short of winning the event, which was eventually won by Julian Haynes from Pennzoil. Proceeds raised from this event benefited the Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero Foundations.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Ron Capps Earns No. 1 Qualifier in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals with Record-setting run in Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car
  • Capps goes beyond No. 1 qualifier with new career-best and track-record setting elapsed time and speed at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.
  • Matt Hagan qualifies Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car ninth
  • Seven Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Funny Car field
  • Leah Pritchett races Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 position
  • Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals is first of six races in NHRA Countdown to the Championship
  • New @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action


September 14, 2019 , Mohnton, Pennsylvania -

Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Ron Capps launched his run to the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car world championship with a record-setting performance in qualifying for the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane at Maple Grove Raceway.

Capps captured his 24th career No. 1 qualifier on the strength of his track record-setting and career-best run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph in Friday night’s second qualifying session behind the wheel of the NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). The 2016 Funny Car world champion will take on Mike McIntire, Jr. in the opening round of Capps’ 550th professional event.


In the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship races, six other Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualified for Sunday’s 16-car field including Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson, Jr., Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon, Jim Campbell and John Smith.

Beckman, driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car, is coming off a runner-up finish in the U.S. Nationals and will start from the No. 3 position. Johnson and Hagan, qualified seventh and ninth, respectively.

Top Fuel pilot Leah Pritchett has her eye on claiming Sunday’s victory in her Countdown to the Championship run and continuing the trend of Maple Grove race winners going on to become NHRA Top Fuel world champions. Since 2013, the winner of this event has gone on to be crowned world champion at season’s end. Pritchett qualified the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster from DSR No. 2 in Sunday’s 16-car field and will face Lex Joon in the opening round of eliminations.

Tune-in Info
Three hours of action from the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals will air on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) Sunday, September 15, with coverage scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET. For complete information, visit www.nhra.com

Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals coverage at Dodge Garage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag racing news. The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise.

@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

Dodge//SRT Mopar Notes & Quotes
(qualifying times/speeds below)

Ron Capps, NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Mike McIntire Jr.

Friday: (3.849 seconds at 329.75 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.837/339.28 – Q2 = set new track and personal records); Saturday: (7.221/93.26 – Q3); Saturday (3.877/332.34 – Q4)

“We feel great going into race day. Starting from the No. 1 spot today allowed us to test a little bit in Q3, and then typical Rahn Tobler (crew chief), we went back up there for Q4 and wanted to make sure we didn’t lose the run. We did a little test mode on Q3, and it shook, so I’m sure that Q4 run was him just getting down the track. Sunday is going to be such a different day; sunny, mid-80s, it’s going to be similar to what it’s been the past two years here. But, I always brag about Rahn Tobler and his NAPA Know How, and how he is so good at adapting to conditions, and we’ll need every bit of his adaptability tomorrow. If you walk around the pits right now, you’d see a lot of parts coming off of cars and changes being made because the conditions will be so different than what they’ve been all weekend.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Lex Joon

Friday: (4.672 seconds at 155.52 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.673/332.92 – Q2); Saturday: (3.705/330.72 – Q3); Saturday (3.676/332.92 – Q4)

“They say momentum is key, and we’ll take it. This place is known to be fast, and we’ve been known to go fast here. I’m looking forward to improving upon our performance on Sunday. This Mopar hot rod is running clean, running nice. We came into this race with a strategy of qualifying well, finding our window. Q1 was a gnarly ride. We started over-center and backed it down and we feel very good about where we’re at. It’s going to be great conditions tomorrow, and starting off with the first win light is key.

“It’s an honor to be the Mopar flagship in Top Fuel and to lay down such incredible passes for the fans and for Mopar and Pennzoil. They’re supporting us and we have every intention to execute top-tier performance in every round tomorrow, and get this Countdown started off right.

“After yesterday’s wild ride in Q1, I nicknamed this car Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I think that’s fitting. Everybody is out for themselves in the Countdown. This hot rod, she showed that she’s hungry and we’ve been letting her eat, putting down three solid passes, and tomorrow is the first round of The Hunger Games.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Qualified No. 9, will face No. 8 Shawn Langdon

Friday: (10.049 seconds at 75.90 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.940/329.75 – Q2); Saturday: ( 3.919/333.00 – Q3); Saturday (3.913/333.66 – Q4)

“We won’t have lane choice, but it never matters if you don’t have it. So it’s one of those things where the car has been running pretty good, we’ve had three out of our four runs be very consistent – running 90s pretty much every time, so things look to be pretty equal. So unless something major happens or the weather changes drastically, I think we’ve got a pretty solid hot rod to at least get down the race track and give it a good shot.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Jim Campbell
Friday: (5.761 seconds at 133.10 mph – Q1); Friday: (8.313/79.06 – Q2); Saturday: (3.876/331.77 – Q3); Saturday (3.932 /297.09 – Q4)

“It was moving over toward the wall during the last qualifying run and we don’t need to bang up anything there so I clicked it early. I like our shot. We still have a good ET and we’ve got great data to go on. We went zero for two on Friday, and as far as I’m concerned two for two on Saturday. Now it’s time to go four for four on Sunday.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 J.R. Todd
Friday: (3.964 seconds at 315.42 mph – Q1); Friday: ( 3.905/326.95 – Q2); Saturday: (3.906/327.74 – Q3); Saturday (5.204/138.50 – Q4)

“We’ve got a really good Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. We tried some stuff in that last qualifying session just to see if we could get away with it. Now we know that didn’t work. We’ve got a good consistent car and that will go far tomorrow. I think conditions will be different tomorrow and having a consistent car is what you are going to need. We’re excited about this being a Mopar event and happy to have all the FCA executives out here with us. It worked out well in Denver and we’re hoping to have the same results here tomorrow. A consistent car might be the thing you need in those conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Ron Capps Earns No. 1 Qualifier in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals with Record-setting run in Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car

    • Capps goes beyond No. 1 qualifier with new career-best and track-record setting elapsed time and speed at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.
    • Matt Hagan qualifies Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car ninth
    • Seven Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Funny Car field
    • Leah Pritchett races Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 position
    • Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals is first of six races in NHRA Countdown to the Championship
    • New @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action

September 14, 2019 , Mohnton, Pennsylvania -

Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Ron Capps launched his run to the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car world championship with a record-setting performance in qualifying for the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane at Maple Grove Raceway.

Capps captured his 24th career No. 1 qualifier on the strength of his track record-setting and career-best run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph in Friday night’s second qualifying session behind the wheel of the NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). The 2016 Funny Car world champion will take on Mike McIntire, Jr. in the opening round of Capps’ 550th professional event.


In the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship races, six other Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualified for Sunday’s 16-car field including Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson, Jr., Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon, Jim Campbell and John Smith.

Beckman, driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car, is coming off a runner-up finish in the U.S. Nationals and will start from the No. 3 position. Johnson and Hagan, qualified seventh and ninth, respectively.

Top Fuel pilot Leah Pritchett has her eye on claiming Sunday’s victory in her Countdown to the Championship run and continuing the trend of Maple Grove race winners going on to become NHRA Top Fuel world champions. Since 2013, the winner of this event has gone on to be crowned world champion at season’s end. Pritchett qualified the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster from DSR No. 2 in Sunday’s 16-car field and will face Lex Joon in the opening round of eliminations.

Tune-in Info
Three hours of action from the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals will air on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) Sunday, September 15, with coverage scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET. For complete information, visit www.nhra.com

Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals coverage at Dodge Garage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag racing news. The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise.

@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

Dodge//SRT Mopar Notes & Quotes
(qualifying times/speeds below)

Ron Capps, NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Mike McIntire Jr.

Friday: (3.849 seconds at 329.75 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.837/339.28 – Q2 = set new track and personal records); Saturday: (7.221/93.26 – Q3); Saturday (3.877/332.34 – Q4)

“We feel great going into race day. Starting from the No. 1 spot today allowed us to test a little bit in Q3, and then typical Rahn Tobler (crew chief), we went back up there for Q4 and wanted to make sure we didn’t lose the run. We did a little test mode on Q3, and it shook, so I’m sure that Q4 run was him just getting down the track. Sunday is going to be such a different day; sunny, mid-80s, it’s going to be similar to what it’s been the past two years here. But, I always brag about Rahn Tobler and his NAPA Know How, and how he is so good at adapting to conditions, and we’ll need every bit of his adaptability tomorrow. If you walk around the pits right now, you’d see a lot of parts coming off of cars and changes being made because the conditions will be so different than what they’ve been all weekend.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Lex Joon

Friday: (4.672 seconds at 155.52 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.673/332.92 – Q2); Saturday: (3.705/330.72 – Q3); Saturday (3.676/332.92 – Q4)

“They say momentum is key, and we’ll take it. This place is known to be fast, and we’ve been known to go fast here. I’m looking forward to improving upon our performance on Sunday. This Mopar hot rod is running clean, running nice. We came into this race with a strategy of qualifying well, finding our window. Q1 was a gnarly ride. We started over-center and backed it down and we feel very good about where we’re at. It’s going to be great conditions tomorrow, and starting off with the first win light is key.

“It’s an honor to be the Mopar flagship in Top Fuel and to lay down such incredible passes for the fans and for Mopar and Pennzoil. They’re supporting us and we have every intention to execute top-tier performance in every round tomorrow, and get this Countdown started off right.

“After yesterday’s wild ride in Q1, I nicknamed this car Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I think that’s fitting. Everybody is out for themselves in the Countdown. This hot rod, she showed that she’s hungry and we’ve been letting her eat, putting down three solid passes, and tomorrow is the first round of The Hunger Games.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Qualified No. 9, will face No. 8 Shawn Langdon

Friday: (10.049 seconds at 75.90 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.940/329.75 – Q2); Saturday: ( 3.919/333.00 – Q3); Saturday (3.913/333.66 – Q4)

“We won’t have lane choice, but it never matters if you don’t have it. So it’s one of those things where the car has been running pretty good, we’ve had three out of our four runs be very consistent – running 90s pretty much every time, so things look to be pretty equal. So unless something major happens or the weather changes drastically, I think we’ve got a pretty solid hot rod to at least get down the race track and give it a good shot.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Jim Campbell
Friday: (5.761 seconds at 133.10 mph – Q1); Friday: (8.313/79.06 – Q2); Saturday: (3.876/331.77 – Q3); Saturday (3.932 /297.09 – Q4)

“It was moving over toward the wall during the last qualifying run and we don’t need to bang up anything there so I clicked it early. I like our shot. We still have a good ET and we’ve got great data to go on. We went zero for two on Friday, and as far as I’m concerned two for two on Saturday. Now it’s time to go four for four on Sunday.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 J.R. Todd
Friday: (3.964 seconds at 315.42 mph – Q1); Friday: ( 3.905/326.95 – Q2); Saturday: (3.906/327.74 – Q3); Saturday (5.204/138.50 – Q4)

“We’ve got a really good Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. We tried some stuff in that last qualifying session just to see if we could get away with it. Now we know that didn’t work. We’ve got a good consistent car and that will go far tomorrow. I think conditions will be different tomorrow and having a consistent car is what you are going to need. We’re excited about this being a Mopar event and happy to have all the FCA executives out here with us. It worked out well in Denver and we’re hoping to have the same results here tomorrow. A consistent car might be the thing you need in those conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Jack Beckman Delivers Victory for Dodge//SRT at Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
First win of 2019 season catapults Beckman to top of NHRA Countdown to the Championship points race
  • Beckman drives Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to 29th win of his career and third career triumph at Maple Grove Raceway
  • Matt Hagan reaches Funny Car quarterfinals in Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
  • Leah Pritchett qualifies Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster No. 2; upset in second round
  • Ron Capps earns No. 1 Funny Car qualifier with new career-best and track-record setting elapsed time and speed; advances to semifinals
  • Eighth consecutive race a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car from Don Schumacher Racing has reached final elimination round, with four class wins; 15 of last 19 Funny Car final rounds have included a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
  • Jimmy Daniels and David Barton earn Dodge Top Finisher honors in Sportsman classes
  • Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) “Assemble Your Future” initiative hosts 45 enrolled students and instructors
  • Mopar Mega Block Party raises monies for chosen charities

  • New @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action


September 15, 2019 , Mohnton, Pennsylvania -

The thrill of victory has been within his grasp several times in 2019, but Sunday in the final of the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Jack Beckman seized the opportunity and registered his first Funny Car class victory of the season.

Two weeks after coming up agonizingly close to victory in the final regular season event at Indianapolis, Beckman and his Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) were not going to be denied in the first of six Countdown to the Championship playoff races. Beckman defeated John Force in the final, capturing his 29th career victory and third career win at Maple Grove Raceway. With the win, Beckman quickly jumped to the top spot in the Countdown standings.


“Winning this one is extra special for a few reasons because we did it in the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals,” said Beckman. “It’s our first win in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body. We took over the points lead, and it’s been way too long since we’ve been to the winner’s circle. For a shot in the arm, for a psychological boost, for that mental edge, that intangible that I think you need to be able to win a championship, this might be the thing that is the first step for us.”

Beckman’s path to victory today started from the third qualifying position following consistent runs in sessions two, three and four, late Friday and Saturday afternoon. The 2012 Funny Car champion first defeated fellow Dodge//SRT driver Jim Campbell. Beckman then squared off with former champion Robert Hight, who led the Funny Car class point standings coming into the weekend, in round two. Beckman delivered another solid win from the left lane while Hight smoked the tires at the starting line. In the semifinal, the results were the same with Beckman charging his HEMI-powered machine cleanly down the left lane while his opponent, J.R. Todd lost traction and coasted to the finish.

In his 62nd career Funny Car final and eighth final-round appearance against Force, Beckman wasted little time by rolling in quickly and using his quick reflexes to post a .028 reaction time versus a .068 light for Force. Beckman’s fast start was the difference with his run of 3.958 seconds at 330.07 mph turning on the win light over Force’s slightly better run of 3.952 seconds at 328.78 mph, giving Beckman the holeshot victory and his first piloting a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Beckman’s appearance in the final marked the eighth consecutive race that a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car has competed for the class win; with four of the eight appearances resulting in wins for a DSR driver. A Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car has also appeared in 15 of 19 final rounds in 2019.

Five other Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers were part of Sunday’s Funny Car eliminations including DSR teammates Matt Hagan, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson, Jr. Leah Pritchett carried the Dodge//SRT Mopar torch in the Top Fuel class.

Capps opened his run for a second NHRA Funny Car championship by establishing a new track record for elapsed time and speed Friday night in qualifying behind the wheel of his NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. In eliminations, he stormed out of the gate with a run of 3.909 seconds to defeat Funny Car rookie Mike McIntire Jr., who smoked the tires during his run. It was a heavyweight DSR slugfest in round two with Capps and Hagan going to toe-to-toe. Capps was flawless again charging down the right lane with a 3.916-second run to advance to the semifinals to face Force. After a sizeable starting-line advantage, Capps’ machine lost traction causing him to lose any shot at the win.

Hagan ventured to Maple Grove Raceway eyeing a deep run to begin his 2019 Countdown to the Championship. The 2014 Reading winner opened eliminations Sunday in his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car versus fellow Countdown contender, Shawn Langdon, and it was clear Hagan’s crew chief Dickie Venables knew the importance of a strong first round run. The result was Hagan’s machine making a 3.899-second pass, which held up to be low E.T. of the round and race day.

The two-time Funny Car champion matched up with fellow Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car and DSR teammate Capps in the second round. The crucial second-round race was over quickly when Hagan smoked the rear tires as soon as he launched the car. He tried to pedal it, but Capps’ clean run ended Hagan’s shot at a fifth straight semifinal appearance.

After qualifying his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in seventh, Johnson’s first-round opponent was reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd. Johnson took a slight advantage at the starting line, but slowly lost ground during the race to the finish. Todd’s quicker run of 3.915 seconds at 329.58 mph was just enough to defeat Johnson, who posted a pass of 3.977 at 327.66 mph. The first-round loss dropped Johnson to fifth in the standings heading to the next race in St. Louis.

After closing out qualifying with three consecutive strong runs, Pritchett started her eliminations with another consistent run in the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster to score the opening-round triumph over Lex Joon with a pass of 3.731 seconds at 326.40 mph. In the quarterfinals, she took on Austin Prock for the fourth time in 2019. Pritchett was looking to make it consecutive wins over the rookie driver and she launched from the starting line first. Both Top Fuel Dragsters lost traction near the 150-foot mark and the pedalfest began. Pritchett got back in the throttle twice, ultimately resulting in the burst panels blowing out, activating the mandated NHRA safety mechanisms which included deploying the parachutes ending her chances of catching Prock. Pritchett heads to the second Countdown event in St. Louis holding the eighth position in the championship standings.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Jimmy Daniels and David Barton were winners of the Dodge Top Finisher honors in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock, respectively.

Daniels, the Yardley, Pa. racer drove his SS/AH 1968 Dodge HEMI Dart to a round-three finish in Super Stock. The 23-year-old driver recently won his fourth consecutive Dodge HEMI® Challenge victory at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Fellow Pennsylvanian and Mopar HEMI racer Barton raced his AA/SA 1965 Dodge Coronet to a round-two finish at the historic track in Mohnton, Pa.

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

Mopar CAP and NHRA YES events host student groups at Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
Before the first-round qualifying sessions at Maple Grove Raceway began on Friday, Sept. 13, education took center stage with the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) “Assemble Your Future” initiative and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Youth & Education Services (YES) program.

Mopar CAP, through a partnership with Pennzoil, hosted 45 students from five area schools. At the track, students visited with Hagan, toured the DSR pit areas and networked with representatives from 15 area FCA US LLC dealerships. Established in 1984, the program prepares students to begin their automotive technician careers upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution, such as a university, college, community college or technical center. Currently, FCA has more than 9,000 active students enrolled in its Mopar CAP program, with students completing more than 100,000 class courses.

The program is the third of four Mopar CAP “Assemble Your Future” initiative programs at NHRA national events in 2019, with the Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in late October, being the final event. For more information on the Mopar CAP program, visit www.MoparCAP.com.

As part of the NHRA YES initiative, more than 2,000 local high school students heard testimonials from Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Leah Pritchett and other industry spokespeople focusing on the importance of math, science and other skills that can lead to new career opportunities.

Hagan finished second in Home Run Derby at Mopar Mega Block Party
On Thursday, Sept. 12, thousands of Dodge//SRT Mopar and NHRA fans kicked off the race weekend at FirstEnergy Stadium, in Reading, Pa. at the fourth annual Mopar Mega Block Party. The free event included a full slate of family activities and concluded with a Mega Fireworks display. Two-time world NHRA Funny Car champion Hagan provided plenty of hitting fireworks of his own during the home run derby, but the 2014 Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals winner came up just short of winning the event, which was eventually won by Julian Haynes from Pennzoil. Proceeds raised from this event benefited the Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero Foundations.


@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.


Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals: Elimination Rounds Summary/Notes & Quotes

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.876)

Rd. 1: (.107-second reaction time, 3.908 seconds at 331.45 mph) beat No. 14 Jim Campbell (.110/4.204/249.21)
Rd. 2: (.076/3.927/331.61) beat No. 6 Robert Hight (.074/9.203/83.25)
Rd. 3: (.068/3.916/331.12) beat No. 10 J.R. Todd (.070/5.501/167.26)
Rd. 4: (.028/3.958/330.07) beat No. 5 John Force (.068/3.952/328.78)

“Our Sunday was perfect. Our Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat was consistent, and it was fast. To run numbers like we did as good as any other car out here, up and down the race track all four runs is pretty impressive. To win on a great side-by-side race, and to do it on a holeshot, that’s just awesome. If you’re going to win a race, the way to do it is a close side-by-side one like John (Force) and I had in the final. I’m sure Mopar is thrilled that we whooped up on a different manufacturer in the final, and the fact that’s it’s driven by the winningest driver in the history of the sport, probably doesn’t hurt.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.913)

Rd. 1: (.072-second reaction time, 3.899 seconds at 332.02 mph) beat No. 8 Shawn Langdon (.052/3.961/329.91)
Rd. 2: (.068/8.623/79.91) lost to No. 1 Ron Capps (.066/3.916/329.18)

“First round losses are the kiss of death with the Countdown. We got past the first round, and we have five races left going into St. Louis. It was a hot, greasy track today. Avoiding that first round loss is key, and we did that. We had a good, fast race car beside us with Ron (Capps) and we had to push it a little bit. They went 3.91, which was low of the session, and our lap wouldn’t hold. We’ll roll into St. Louis with a great Mopar team, and there’s a lot of racing left in 2019.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.837)

Rd. 1: (.116-second reaction time, 3.909 seconds at 327.51 mph) beat No. 16 Mike McIntire Jr. (.098/5.898/119.98)
Rd. 2: (.066/3.916/329.18) beat No. 9 Matt Hagan (.068/8.623/79.91)
Rd. 3: (.060/4.262/240.25) lost to No. 5 John Force (.102/3.929/329.42)

“This was a wild weekend. It was crazy for us to come here with a game plan to work on, knowing the cool temperatures that faced us on Friday and Saturday, especially since we’ll likely see similar conditions later in the Countdown. Then, to go out and set the track records, that was fun because I knew what we were trying to do, and it was neat to go out and watch a plan come together. We also knew that the conditions today were going to be completely different - mid 80s and hot. (Crew chief) Rahn Tobler is so good at adapting to the changing conditions, and it was fun to watch him approach today like he did.”

“We definitely made up some ground in the points, and that’s something we discussed heading into the Countdown. We want to gather up all the small points that we can. There are so many good race cars out here, but to be able to gain eight points during qualifying, that’s almost a full position. We’re off to a good start. We’ve said it before, you can’t win the Countdown in Reading, but you can certainly put yourself out of position to win it, and I think we had a good solid weekend.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.673)

Rd. 1: (.088-second reaction time, 3.731 seconds at 326.40 mph) beat No. 15 Lex Joon (.124/4.858/152.73)
Rd. 2: (.058/5.736/105.48) lost to No. 7 Austin Prock (.059/4.735/219.51)

“What an eventful weekend. Ultimately, we have a better car, package and team than our results show, and that is what is most frustrating. Our quick and consistent qualifying was no accident; neither was our first-round win. Our second-round elimination was not a factor of tuning up too far over-center for the competition, but merely blindly adapting to less track prep conditions than the previous two days of qualifying, which resulted in us smoking the tires against Austin Prock, one of our strongest rivals. We still believe we have a better package this last quarter, and we are excited about our full potential showing through in St. Louis as it did in Brainerd.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.905)

Rd. 1: (.076-second reaction time, 3.977 seconds at 327.66 mph) lost to No. 10 J.R. Todd (.077/3.915/329.58)

“Today certainly wasn’t ideal. We ran decent in qualifying and coming off of such a great season so far, I had high hopes for the Countdown, but starting off with a first-round loss isn’t what we had planned. Not totally demoralized by it, but we have our work cut out for us now. We’ll have to do exceptionally well at the last five to regain our position if we want any shot at the championship. I’m sure over the next week or so we’ll reevaluate and see if we can’t turn things around in St. Louis and keep a shot at the championship.”

Up Next: AAA Insurance Midwest NHRA Nationals
The playoff intensity continues in two weeks with the eighth annual AAA Insurance Midwest NHRA Nationals at Worldwide Technology Raceway, in Madison, Illinois. Beckman, a two-time St. Louis winner, leads the contingent of Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers and teams into the second of the six-race NHRA Countdown for the Championship takes place September 27-29.

2019 NHRA Championship Point Standings: Through 19 of 24 Rounds

(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 2,179

2. John Force (2) – 2,160
3. Robert Hight (5) – 2,155
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (3) – 2,136
5. Tommy Johnson, Jr. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 2,105
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (2) – 2,092

7. J.R. Todd (1) – 2,089
8. Bob Tasca III (2) – 2,072
9. Tim Wilkerson – 2,057
10. Shawn Langdon (1) – 2,043

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Doug Kalitta (2) – 2,180
2. Brittany Force (1) – 2,147
3. Steve Torrence (8) – 2,133
4. Antron Brown – 2,127
5. Richie Crampton (2) – 2,126
6. Mike Salinas (2) – 2,104
7. Austin Prock (1) – 2,094
8. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (1) – 2,093
9. Clay Millican – 2,092
10. Billy Torrence (1) – 2,032
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Leah Pritchett Powers to Top Fuel Semifinal Run in St. Louis at NHRA Midwest Nationals

    • Leah Pritchett races Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) HEMI®-powered Top Fuel Dragster to fourth semifinal appearance of 2019 in AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis
    • Matt Hagan qualifies DSR Precision Machining Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody No. 2 before being upset in first round
    • Pritchett pulls double duty qualifying DSR Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak seventh in Factory Stock Showdown, advances to second round
    • Jacob Pitt and James Caro earn Dodge Top Finisher honors in Sportsman classes
    • New @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action

September 29, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich.

- Leah Pritchett led the Dodge//SRT Mopar contingent of drivers in the eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, powering the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Okuma Dodge Top Fuel Dragster to the semifinals at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis. By doing so, Pritchett jumped up three positions in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship standings.

Two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan led five other drivers of Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars into Sunday’s action by qualifying No. 2, with Ron Capps advancing the deepest of the six by racing into the quarterfinals.

Pritchett qualified the DSR Okuma Dodge Top Fuel Dragster sixth and found herself opposite three-time world champion and DSR teammate Antron Brown to open eliminations Sunday. Brown left first but was immediately in tire smoke while Pritchett made a clean run of 3.764 seconds, advancing to the second round for a matchup with Top Fuel rookie Austin Prock. Pritchett was looking to avenge a quarterfinal loss to Prock two weeks ago in the Countdown opener in Reading, Pennsylvania. Pritchett was smooth and cruised to victory with her pass of 3.835 seconds to reach her second consecutive St. Louis semifinal. She was looking to reach her second final in four events and had the starting-line advantage on Billy Torrence before her machine overpowered the track and started losing cylinders, ultimately allowing Torrence to secure the win.

Capps, who earned his first NHRA Funny Car victory in St. Louis in 1997, qualified fifth and drew No. 12 qualifier Blake Alexander in round one. The two were side-by-side until just before the finish line when Capps pulled ahead to take the win with his 3.966-second pass versus Alexander’s 3.997-second effort. The victory marked Capps’ 30th round win of the season and set up a quarterfinal battle with fellow Countdown contender and former world champion Robert Hight. In the quarterfinals, the pair of veteran drivers were nearly even until just before half-track when Capps hazed the tires and Hight was able to drive away with the win.

After making three strong runs Friday and Saturday to earn the No. 2 qualifying position driving the DSM Precision Machining Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car, two-time world champion Funny Car driver Matt Hagan was poised to make a deep run through eliminations Sunday. First up was a run versus Jim Campbell and his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. Campbell grabbed an early starting-line advantage but Hagan powered by and was looking good until his machine lost traction nearing the 330-foot mark. Hagan pedaled it and was able to regain traction but Campbell drove around Hagan and held him off with a run of 4.197 seconds at 249.39 mph to top Hagan’s pass of 4.204 seconds at 265.06 mph. The first-round defeat drops Hagan from sixth to ninth in the championship standings heading to Charlotte in two weeks.

“Fast Jack” Beckman opened the Countdown two weeks ago with a thrilling triumph in the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals and he was looking to maintain his position on top of the standings after this weekend in St. Louis. The 2012 Funny Car champion was only able to make two cleans runs in qualifying, which resulted in the two-time St. Louis winner landing the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in the ninth position. Beckman faced reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd in the first round, where he was looking to extend his streak to five straight wins in the opening round of eliminations over Todd. Todd left the starting line first but Beckman drove around him. Todd pulled back even at the 660-foot mark before edging Beckman by 0.0024 seconds (about 14 inches). Beckman now ranks third in the championship standings with four races remaining in the Countdown.

Tommy Johnson Jr. has been solid through the 2019 campaign powering the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to a pair of wins and two runner-up finishes. He qualified seventh and paired up against Shawn Langdon in the first round. Johnson made an impressive run of 3.898 seconds, the quickest elapsed time of the session, but Langdon’s quicker reaction time resulted in a holeshot loss for Johnson and his third straight first-round exit.

Pritchett was pulling double duty as the defending winner of this event in Factory Stock Showdown. She qualified the DSR Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to the seventh position in the 16-car field. Pritchett defeated Ryan Priddy in round one to advance to the quarterfinals where she lost on a holeshot to Arthur Kohn.

Also in Factory Stock Showdown, Mark Pawuk qualified the DSR Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak second, beat Scott Libersher in the first round before losing traction in his race with Jesse Alexandra.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Jacob Pitt and James Caro were winners of the Dodge Top Finisher honors in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock, respectively, and both will receive $500 awards.

Pitt drove his C/SA 1969 Plymouth Barracuda to a fifth-round finish in Stock Eliminator. The Fort Worth, Texas, racer used his Mopar 440-cubic-inch Super Commando V-8 to turn on four win lights in eliminations.

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



@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals: Elimination Rounds Summary/Notes & Quotes

Leah Pritchett, Okuma Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.709)

Rd. 1: (.064-second reaction time, 3.764 seconds at 326.87 mph) beat No. 11 Antron Brown (.052/6.001/116.41)
Rd. 2: (.064/3.835/321.88) beat No. 3 Austin Prock (.050/3.925/309.06)
Rd. 3: (.069/5.290/132.79) lost to No. 2 Billy Torrence (.094/3.769/322.96)

“We definitely have a lot of momentum and that’s what we’re focusing on right now. It felt good to get two win lights. We picked up a couple of spots in the points and that’s what we’re focused on. We have a good hot rod and we keep opening up our possibilities just like Okuma stands for. Immediately after our semifinal loss, the amount of in-depth research to figure out how and why we had a malfunction that caused that loss was immense. We’re pushing really hard and that’s what the Countdown takes. We’ll regroup and focus on getting our hot rod back in the winner’s circle.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.877)

Rd. 1: (.089-second reaction time, 3.966 seconds at 328.86 mph) beat No. 12 Blake Alexander (.077/3.997/319.29)
Rd. 2: (.078/4.272/225.52) lost No. 4 Robert Hight (.058/3.988/323.27)

“The interesting thing about this race was how many big-time Countdown match-ups there were early in the day. It’s going to be like that from here on out; this is playoff racing right now and everyone is on high alert. You can feel the energy in the staging lanes. It’s everything you’ve worked at all year long. We went out and ran great against Blake Alexander in the first round and then faced Robert Hight and (crew chief) Jimmy Prock in round two. That’s one of those ‘down to the finals at the last race of the season’ kind of match-ups. They’re a team we always get up for. We were out in front of Robert but the car just pulled the tires loose at about 400 feet. We just didn’t take enough power out of it. But we’ve got a heck of a hot rod so I’m excited about these next couple of races.”


Matt Hagan, DSM Precision Machining Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.854)

Rd. 1: (.095-second reaction time, 4.204 seconds at 265.06 mph) lost to No. 15 Jim Campbell (.051/4.197/249.39)

“First round losses are always devastating. There are a lot of good cars out here in this class right now and we just have to get our stuff together. And do better. This team is better than that and we are better than we showed here today in St. Louis. We showed how good we were in qualifying, grabbing that No. 2 spot and went down the race track every run Friday and Saturday. What happened today was unexpected. I was glad it recovered and we pedaled it to the finish but it just wasn’t enough. It’s unfortunate. I apologize to our sponsors. I apologize to our fans. That’s just not the results we are accustomed to putting up. It’s crunch time. We have to do better. It’s just that simple.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.889)

Rd. 1: (.113-second reaction time, 3.898 seconds at 324.44 mph) lost to No. 10 Shawn Langdon (.047/3.907/330.72)

“These first two races of the Countdown have not gone the way we had hoped. The car had been off a little bit and then we got the car back and then I’m off, so we’ve all got to get on the same page and get the job done. It’s just frustrating, you never want to lose that way but we have a strong race car again, so we’ll go back and see if we can’t finish out the year strong.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.894)

Rd. 1: (.096-second reaction time, 3.944 seconds at 326.56 mph) lost No. 8 J.R. Todd (.084/3.954/327.27)

“We missed the beat here this weekend. We made it down the track two of four qualifying sessions and our car the last two races has been absolutely stellar. I don’t think by any means we were lost. I was very confident heading into race day. The bottom line is this one goes down as a holeshot loss and that was on me. Had my right foot been three-thousandths of a second quicker we wouldn’t be talking about this and heading into the next round and racking up points. I feel like I let the team down. I just needed to have a faster light. If you lose by a bunch you shrug your shoulders and look at data and go on. When you lose by two-thousandths of a second you second guess yourself a whole bunch. I think we’ve got to move past that and unload in Charlotte and get ready to win that one.”

Up Next: NHRA Carolina Nationals
The action continues in two weeks with the 12th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. Capps is the defending event winner while Hagan and Beckman have also scored previous Countdown wins in Charlotte. Johnson will look to join them in race three of the six-race NHRA Countdown for the Championship scheduled for October 11-13.

2019 NHRA Championship Point Standings: Through 20 of 24 Rounds
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (5) – 2,235
2. John Force (2) – 2,222
3. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 2,211
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (3) – 2,191

5. J.R. Todd (1) – 2,182
6. Bob Tasca III (2) – 2,156
7. Shawn Langdon (2) – 2,155
8. Tommy Johnson, Jr. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 2,138
9. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (2) – 2,132

10. Tim Wilkerson – 2,109

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Doug Kalitta (2) – 2,232
2. Steve Torrence (8) – 2,230
3. Mike Salinas (2) – 2,191
4. Brittany Force (1) – 2,184
5. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (1) – 2,170
6t. Antron Brown – 2,159
6t. Richie Crampton (2) – 2,159
8. Austin Prock (1) – 2,153
9. Billy Torrence (1) – 2,152
10. Clay Millican – 2,125
 

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Jack Beckman Earns No. 1 Qualifier in NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals Aboard Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car

    • Jack Beckman tops Funny Car field to earn second No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and first at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
    • Matt Hagan qualifies his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car third
    • Three Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers earn top-five starting positions in NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals Funny Car field
    • Leah Pritchett races Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 position in Top Fuel ladder
    • NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals is third of six races in NHRA Countdown to the Championship
    • New @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action


- Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Jack Beckman drove the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) to the top spot in Sunday’s elimination ladder for the 12th annual NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals with his qualifying run Friday night at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.

Beckman earned his 26th career No. 1 qualifier position and first at zMAX Dragway with his run of 3.873 seconds at a track-record speed of 334.07 mph, marking the second time in the last four races the 2012 Funny Car champion has set the pace in qualifying. Beckman looks to become the first two-time 2019 Countdown winner after scoring the victory at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals to open the six-race championship playoffs last month. He begins his chase for career win number 30 facing off against No. 16 Dale Creasy.

In the third of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship races, five other Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualified for Sunday’s 16-car field: Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson, Jr., Cruz Pedregon and Jim Campbell.

Hagan, pilot of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car, put up his best pass of the weekend in the final qualifying session to snare the third position. Capps, the defending NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals winner, joined Beckman and Hagan in the top-five and will start from fourth. Johnson saved his best run for the final qualifying session and ranks eighth heading into Sunday’s eliminations.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett posted a monster run driving the Okuma Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster of DSR to close qualifying Saturday and grabbed the second position in the elimination ladder. She faces No. 15 “The Greek” Chris Karamesines in the opening round of eliminations.

Tune-in Info
Four hours of action from Charlotte will air on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) on Sunday, October 13, with coverage scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET. For complete information, visit www.nhra.com


@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

Dodge//SRT Mopar Notes & Quotes
(qualifying times/speeds below)

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Dale Creasey
Friday: (6.004 seconds at 121.27 mph – Q1) (3.873/334.07 – Q2); Saturday: (4.759/166.46 – Q3) (3.888/324.59 – Q4)

“I’m damn proud of this green No. 1 qualifier hat because of the points that come with it. We got 13 points out of qualifying this weekend. We’ve got a great hot rod right now. In fact, the two runs we missed the tune-up, we were able to gather data. If you go out there and blow the tires off right at the hit, you get no data. If the car makes it to 800-feet you get tons of data, and usually somewhere in between is where you’re going to smoke the tires. We got good data off of both of those runs. We were pushing where the limits were and we found some more things on the car on the two runs we didn’t make it.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Dave Richards
Friday: (6.674 seconds at 121.27 mph – Q1) (3.906/328.22 – Q2); Saturday: ( 3.940/328.78 – Q3)(3.880/331.69– Q4)

“This Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car is going down the race track. We found some stuff earlier today with the clutch. I think (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is getting more consistency with that. All in all, we have a good car and we have to have a really strong run this weekend or we will be out of the championship picture. We need to go some rounds tomorrow. We need to win this race and keep the hunt alive. We are five rounds back and we have a long way to go.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Nightvision LED Lamps Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Jim Campbell

Friday: (3.968 seconds at 326.00 mph – Q1) (3.882/330.55 – Q2 = set new track and personal records); Saturday: (7.221/93.26 – Q3); (3.894/332.18 – Q4)

“Obviously winning last year with the NAPA NightVision Lamps car was big in the Countdown. This is, I think, a race that’s going to be decisive in who wins the championship, and you need momentum coming out of here. We’ll see what we can do.”

Leah Pritchett, Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Chris Karamesines
Friday: (6.346 seconds at 95.64 mph – Q1) (6.463/105.20 – Q2); Saturday: (3.766/323.50 – Q3); (3.714/331.20 – Q4)

“I knew it was going to be low. I’m about half-track and we slingshotted out there and I thought ‘Man, I going to hit my chutes. I was happy. This Okuma team keeps opening up possibilities. We’re looking forward to tomorrow, it’s a tough field behind us right now, but this is what the team is about. We’re not even worried about points or anything, just about this race – winning it.”

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

Friday: (4.233 seconds at 219.08 mph – Q1) (4.238/217.28 – Q2); Saturday: (4.585/327.74 – Q3) (3.950/321.65) – Q4)

“Qualifying was a bit of a struggle for us. We had a really good, quick car early in the run but couldn’t make it to the finish line. Fortunately we got it up in the top half of the field on that last shot. Hopefully tomorrow, with a bigger weather change, we’ll be able to adjust for that and get the car to show it’s whole potential, not just the first half-track. Even though we didn’t show it in qualifying, I think we have a really good racecar for race day.”
About Dodge//SRT
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. Powered by the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. Its 797-horsepower supercharged HEMI® high-output engine makes it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car, reaching 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.4 seconds, and the fastest GT production car with a ¼-mile elapsed time (ET) of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. It also reaches a new top speed of 203 mph.

Joining the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with its more powerful 717-horsepower engine, and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, featuring fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody, which add 3.5 inches of width to the 485-horsepower Scat Pack’s standard body. Also new for 2019 is the Challenger R/T Scat Pak 1320 with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a drag-oriented, street-legal muscle car and a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer. The 2019 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with a best-in-class tow rating of 8,700 lbs., completes the brand's performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2019 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger — a showroom that offers performance at every price point.
 
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