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Jan 30, 2018
 

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Mopar and Dodge//SRT Team Up, Announce Expanded Support of Pritchett and Hagan in 201

Mopar and Dodge//SRT Team Up, Announce Expanded Support of Pritchett and Hagan in 2018 NHRA Title Chase
Brands set to debut new 4,800-square-foot combined display on NHRA Midway

Mopar and Dodge//SRT boost primary sponsorship of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) NHRA Top Fuel star Leah Pritchett to seven events in 2018
Brands mark decade as sponsor of DSR driver Matt Hagan’s Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car
4,800-square-foot Mopar Dodge//SRT display, one of largest on NHRA Midway, to debut at season-opening NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 8-11 in Pomona, California
NHRA Sportsman racer support continues with long-running Mopar Contingency Program, second year of Dodge Top Finisher Award
New Dodge Garage (Dodge Garage | Home), a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches; will include highlights from NHRA season


January 30, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Mopar and Dodge//SRT are once again teaming up and taking aim at world titles in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, armed with an increased commitment to Top Fuel star Leah Pritchett and renewed support of two-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan for the 2018 season, which commences at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, February 8-11.

The brands will take primary placement on Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Pritchett’s 330-plus mph NHRA Top Fuel Dragster at seven of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA schedule, more than triple from two races last season as primary sponsor.


“Mopar and Dodge have a winning heritage at the drag strip, and our brands are working even closer together in 2018 to continue that tradition with a lineup that includes Leah Pritchett, Matt Hagan and the entire Don Schumacher Racing organization,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “From the professional classes to the Sportsman ranks to the enthusiast experience, we are committed to connecting with NHRA racers and fans who are passionate about horsepower both at the track and on the street.”

“If you’ve ever been to an NHRA race, you can feel the energy and enthusiasm the crowd has for both the drivers and our Dodge performance machines,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America. “That passionate NHRA fan base is very well aligned with our enthusiasts, so expanding our presence to three times the number of NHRA races this year really helps us connect with our customers where they live and breathe. And with the increased number of Drag Paks, supported by our SRT Engineering team, competing each week, the technology transfer from what we learn on the strip to what we are putting into our production cars – like the 840-horsepower Demon and 707-horsepower Hellcats – continues to grow at a rapid pace.”



The brands will also share sponsorship of Pritchett, who earned four wins and a fifth-place finish in the 2017 standings, with Pennzoil for two events.

“It’s something I’ve been excited about, and something that was hard to keep quiet about over the off-season,” said Pritchett. “It’s such an incredible fit, for Mopar and Dodge to expand their presence with the Top Fuel team for Don Schumacher Racing.

“For one, the car looks amazing, for two, the technology that we have been developing with Mopar and Dodge//SRT on all types of fronts, both Top Fuel and Funny Car — I think it’s just an absolute perfect match, and I couldn’t be more excited for the growth.”

Hagan, who also captured four wins and the fifth spot in the 2017 standings, will celebrate a decade behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered DSR Dodge Funny Car in 2018. The brands will serve in a primary sponsorship role for 14 races during the 2018 season as Hagan seeks his third career NHRA Funny Car title.

“Where does the time go?” said Hagan. “Ten years, that’s a chunk out of your life. I was very fortunate to get hooked up with Don Schumacher. He surrounds himself with the best, and Mopar and Dodge are key sponsors. It has been good for me to be able to carry that banner. It’s a huge honor.

“We didn’t get it done last year, on the Funny Car or Top Fuel side, and that’s just not characteristic of DSR. I know we’re going to come back here in 2018 super strong, I expect big things this year. We’re going to try really hard to buckle down and come out strong. The biggest thing is, you can have a couple of good races, but we need to be more consistent.”

Hagan’s DSR teammates, Ron Capps, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr., will also battle for the crown in Mopar HEMI®-engine-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car machines. Capps led the class with eight victories last season and finished runner-up in the standings, narrowly missing back-to-back championships. Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car champ, raced to two victories and finished fourth in points, while perennial title contender Johnson also took home two event wins in 2017, including the season-ending NHRA Finals. NHRA legend and eight-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher will join Pritchett in competing with Mopar power in the Top Fuel ranks.

Hagan and Pritchett will look to defend their NHRA Winternationals titles, as the pair doubled up to bring home victories in the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes at the season-opening event last year.

New 4,800-square-foot Display to Debut on NHRA Midway
Yet another demonstration of the continued NHRA teamwork between the Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands will debut at the NHRA Winternationals — a massive 4,800-square-foot exhibit that combines each brand’s rig to form one of the largest displays on NHRA Manufacturers Midway.

The display rigs will be positioned head-to-head, joining fan-friendly exhibits and show vehicles together under one footprint. Also new for this year, starting at the NHRA Gatornationals, an elevated viewing area atop the Dodge rig section of the combined display will give VIP fans the chance to get a unique aerial view of the midway and track not offered at any other display.

The crowd-favorite Challenger SRT Demon simulators will return, giving enthusiasts a virtual seat behind the wheel of the 840-horsepower, most powerful muscle car in history. Fans can also enter to win prizes, learn more about Mopar parts and accessories and meet their favorite NHRA stars in autograph sessions staged at the rig during each race.

The new display will be present at 15 NHRA national events throughout the 2018 season.

Mopar Contingency Program, Dodge Top Finisher Award Deliver Continued Support to NHRA Sportsman Racers
For the 2018 season, the Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands will continue to recognize and reward NHRA Sportsman racers who compete and win.

As it has for decades, the long-running Mopar Contingency Program will provide monetary awards for drivers who win or finish runner-up while running a Mopar contingency decal and utilizing the brand’s valve covers, intake manifolds and cylinder heads.

In addition, the Dodge Top Finisher award, first introduced in 2017, awards $500 to the Stock and Super Stock competitors behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered vehicle who advance the furthest at all 24 national events.

Dodge Garage Serves as New Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans now have a new one-stop destination for Mopar and Dodge drag racing news. Dodge Garage (Dodge Garage | Home) is a digital content hub and premier destination for drag racing and muscle car enthusiasts. Fans can view daily updates curated from content across the automotive spectrum, with access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise.

The first of a three-part video series, “Chasing the Title,” debuts January 30 on the Dodge Garage site. The series features interviews with Pritchett, her DSR team and NHRA legend and DSR team owner Don Schumacher, and offers fans a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the DSR team in action.
 

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Leah Pritchett | Chasing the Title | Dodge


Jan 30, 2018
Are you ready for the 2018 NHRA season? Leah Pritchett and Don Schumacher Racing are ready to chase the title.
 

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NHRA Top Fuel Star Pritchett to Drive Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

NHRA Top Fuel Star Pritchett to Drive Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in Full Factory Stock Showdown Schedule

NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett to also race in all seven SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events in 2018
Pritchett to drive Don Schumacher Racing (DSR)-prepped, supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak starting at NHRA Gatornationals in March
New DSR employee and NHRA Stock Eliminator World Champion Kevin Helms to serve as crew chief for Pritchett’s Factory Stock Showdown team
Fans can vote to pick Pritchett’s vehicle graphics at motorsports lifestyle website https://www.hoonigan.com/LP
New Dodge Garage (Dodge Garage | Home), a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches, will include highlights from NHRA season


February 5, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -





It’s shaping up to be a busy 2018 season for Leah Pritchett. In addition to the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) star’s responsibilities behind the wheel of her Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Top Fuel Dragster, Pritchett will also steer a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in the full slate of 2018 SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events.

Pritchett’s 354-cubic-inch HEMI® engine-powered Drag Pak will be prepped and maintained by the DSR team, led by crew chief and new DSR employee Kevin Helms. Helms brings years of experience driving and tuning a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to his new role, including a 2015 NHRA Stock Eliminator World Championship and 2017 NHRA Stock and Super Stock runner-up finishes.


“We’re excited that, in addition to competing under the banner of the Mopar and Dodge brands in the NHRA Top Fuel class, Leah Pritchett will also carry our colors into NHRA Factory Stock Showdown competition,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “Leah is a fierce competitor and a great brand ambassador, and we look forward to cheering her on in double-duty at seven events this year.”

Pritchett first tasted Factory Stock Showdown competition last year, racing at two events in the popular NHRA Sportsman category. That exposure stoked her competitive fires to embark on a full 2018 schedule.

“You should see the smile on my face, whether I’m talking about it or my team is talking about it,” said Pritchett, who in 2018 will also mark her second full year in a Top Fuel dragster. “It’s a dream come true. The double-duty aspect, I had a taste of it last year and honestly, I think it makes me a better racer overall. When we roll out in 2018, the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak will be put on the track by Don Schumacher Racing, which makes me feel fulfilled in every way. We have proven to have a very competitive racecar, and the goal is to be the quickest and fastest in both silos (Factory Stock and Top Fuel).

“To have a three-time World Champion Sportsman racer like Kevin Helms (as crew chief) is definitely an ace in my pocket, and I’m just being a student of his. We have had a pretty good off-season of development. The test sessions we’ve had, I never experienced a crew chief that was a driver and tuner before, so the dynamic is very exciting and compelling to me. Kevin is definitely a very large asset to the program, which gives me a ton of confidence.”

Fan Vote to Pick Pritchett’s Drag Pak Graphics at Hoonigan.com
Starting today, fans also have the power to choose the look of Pritchett’s NHRA Factory Stock Showdown racecar. A pair of Mopar and Dodge//SRT-themed livery concepts, designed by motorsports lifestyle brand Hoonigan, will be featured on a special section of Hoonigan’s website, https://www.hoonigan.com/LP, for a fan vote that will end at 11:59 p.m. ET on February 8.

Pritchett will carry the winning design at all seven NHRA Factory Stock Showdown races, starting at the first event, the NHRA Gatornationals, scheduled for March 15-18 in Gainesville, Florida.
 
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