- Jack Beckman qualifies Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car second at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California
- Four Don Schumacher Racing teammates Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., Matt Hagan and Ron Capps place their Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car machines in top five
- Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Hagan chasing third consecutive season-opening Winternationals triumph
- Leah Pritchett looking to win second Winternationals in three years aboard her Mopar Dodge NHRA Top Fuel Dragster
- For information on Dodge//SRT and Mopar in NHRA, visit www.DodgeGarage.com
February 9, 2019, Pomona, California – Jack Beckman led a four-car parade of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car machines in qualifying to start the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series campaign, taking the No. 2 qualifying position at the season-opening 59th annual NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.
Beckman closed qualifying with a powerful 3.900-second elapsed time (ET) during the final qualifying session on Saturday at Auto Club Raceway to earn the second spot heading into Sunday eliminations and was joined in the top-five by fellow Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) and Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers Tommy Johnson, Jr. (third), Matt Hagan (fourth) and Ron Capps (fifth).
Following a morning rain shower, cooler temperatures and a cloud-cluttered sky provided competitive conditions and the results showed it for the Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat contingent.
Beckman’s run moved him from the 11th position up to second overall and became even more impressive as the final session proceeded. He will face Phil Burkart in the first round of Sunday’s elimination rounds.
Johnson improved from fourth to second in qualifying session three with his pass of 3.904 ET behind the wheel of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. He will face Tim Wilkerson in Sunday’s first round.
Two-time NHRA Funny Car champion and two-time defending Winternationals winner Hagan followed Johnson’s lead and posted his best pass of the weekend in Q3. The Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat stopped the clock at 3.909 ET and Hagan will face John Force in round one Sunday.
Capps, the 2016 Winternationals champion, holds down the fifth spot with his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The 2017 Funny Car champion held the provisional top position after Friday’s first qualifying session and will take on Gary Densham Sunday.
In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett improved her times Saturday but failed to make it cleanly to the finish line. Pritchett looked to be on a stout pass early Saturday afternoon, but couldn’t complete her run under full power and posted a mark of 3.963 ET. She closed qualifying with a lap of 4.011 ET and holds the 12th position on the qualifying ladder. Pritchett will begin her quest for a second Winternationals triumph in the last three seasons by facing her DSR teammate Antron Brown in Sunday’s first round of eliminations.
To follow Dodge//SRT and Mopar during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, visit Dodge Garage, a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts.
Mopar Dodge//SRT Notes & Quotes
(best elapsed time in bold)
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Phil Burkart
Friday: (5.014 seconds at 168.58 mph – Q1); (4.044/253.37– Q2)
Saturday: (8.296/82.73 – Q3); (3.900/330.23 – Q4)
“I’m totally satisfied. We went three-for-four, and when you’ve ran as good as we’ve ran, you can afford to take a shot on the hero runs. We probably just put in a little bit too much on that run and that’s fine. We know where the limit is. Each day has gotten cooler and better out here, so bring it on. There’s a whole lot of bad Funny Cars ready to run tomorrow.”
Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Tim Wilkerson.
Friday: (8.010 seconds at 79.35 mph – Q1); (3.929/314.61 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.904/327.03 – Q3); (8.695/80.93 – Q4)
“We started the 2018 NHRA World Finals from No. 3 and made it to the final round. It’s basically the same race car that we brought back out this weekend here at the Winternationals and it’s running just as good. I’ve got all of the confidence in the world that we’ll go out there and lay down some good runs tomorrow, but it’s going to be tough as cold as it’s going to be so we’ll have to learn from that first session.”
Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 John Force
Friday: (3.971 seconds at 323.19 mph – Q1); (3.981/321.81 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.909/326.79– Q3); (7.679/86.58– Q4)
“We had three good laps in qualifying. It’ll be a good race (in round one against John Force). I’m looking forward to it. Any time you race John, you always have to come for it.”
Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Gary Densham
Friday: (3.915 seconds at 304.87 mph – Q1); (7.198/89.83 – Q2)
Saturday: (7.717/86.88– Q3); (8.497/82.85 – Q4)
“We came in here without any pre-season testing and with a brand-new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body. A lot of new things. It was kind of interesting and fun because that first session, (crew chief Rahn) Tobler wanted to make sure everything was okay and told me to run it down there and shut it off at the 800-foot mark. I shut it off at about 840 feet and it ran 3.91 and put us No. 1 qualifier at that point, so that made it fun. It doesn’t matter who you run on race day. Gary Densham is one of the guys I fear the most out here because he’s cagey, he knows how to get down the track. I’ve raced him a lot. I think tomorrow will bring completely different conditions than what we’ve seen already.”
Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge/Sparkling Ice Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 12, will face No. 3 Antron Brown
Friday: (7.912 seconds at 85.25 mph – Q1); (6.406/96.46 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.963/214.59 – Q3); (4.011/212.86 – Q4)
“The silver lining in our qualifying results is that we feel really confident in our tune-up window. There is definitely a difference between a mechanical malfunction and tune-ups. Today, we were right there to be in line with the low qualifiers before two totally different isolated incidents caused some pretty colorful damage. Fortunately, this Mopar team is built to succeed and we’ll be ready to go into race day with a solid car.
“Right out of the gate, 2019 isn’t starting with smooth sailing, but we knew the competition was going to make it tougher than ever. You never want to face your teammate unless it’s the final and we have Antron Brown in round one. It’s like they say in NHRA racing, you can’t tip toe into anything. You have to come out swinging. We know that’s what Antron and his guys are going to do and we’ve got confidence in our car to come out and do the same.”
FOX Sports 1 will broadcast three hours of eliminations coverage of the 59th annual NHRA Winternationals starting at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 10.
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s mainstream performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2019, the 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, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, which features fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody and adds 3.5 inches of width to Scat Pack’s footprint, as well as and the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. Infused 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. fills out the brands’ 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.
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide. Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide. Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.