NHRA U.S. Nationals
Event 18 of 24 (Indianapolis)
Lucas Oil Raceway
Aug. 30 – Sept. 2, 2019
DSR Indianapolis Elimination Highlights:
- Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Jack Beckman capped off a near-perfect race weekend with a runner-up finish
- Semifinalist Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) lead the DSR brigade heading into the start of the Countdown to the Championship, with both drivers starting from the No. 3 position.
- Beckman and Ron Capps (Funny Car) join Brown and Johnson with ‘top five’ rankings
- Funny Car pilot Matt Hagan raced to his fourth consecutive semifinal appearance
- Factory Stock Showdown Series No. 1 qualifier Mark Pawuk led the DSR Drag Pak duo by racing to a quarterfinal finish
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 1 (3.861 E.T. at 330.07 MPH)
E1: 3.899 E.T. at 328.86 MPH defeated Justin Schriefer (Broke, No Time)
E2: 3.922 E.T. at 325.61 MPH defeated Bob Tasca III 3.943 E.T. at 326.95 MPH
E3: 4.065 E.T. at 250.09 MPH defeated J.R. Todd 4.547 E.T. at 193.71 MPH
E4: 3.940 E.T. at 325.92 MPH defeated by John Force 3.919 E.T. at 324.44 MPH
‘Fast’ Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation team seemed unstoppable as they dominated throughout the four-day marathon NHRA U.S. Nationals race weekend. Beckman and the Dean Antonelli/John Medlen-led team put together a string of impressive runs right out of the gate to earn 16 bonus points and their first No. 1 qualifying position of the season.
Starting from the top of the field for the 25th time in his career, Beckman faced Justin Schriefer in round one. Beckman launched his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat down the track in 3.899 seconds, his fifth sub-3.9 second run of the weekend, while a mechanical malfunction prevented Schriefer from making it off the starting line.
Without the advantage of lane choice in round two, the Infinite Hero team found themselves in the less-desirable right lane versus opponent Bob Tasca III. The Antonelli/Medlen duo was able to pull off what every other Funny Car but one had failed to do in the first two rounds – make a clean pass in the right lane. Beckman’s 3.922 E.T. edged past Tasca’s 3.943 to set up a semifinal matchup with two-time defending Indy champ, J.R. Todd. Once again, the Infinite Hero team was back in the right lane, and once again, they persevered, becoming the first team to thwart Todd’s Indy reign of dominance.
It was a classic DSR-JFR matchup in the finals, with Beckman squaring off against John Force. Beckman was first on the throttle, but Force was able to inch away and score the win with his 3.919 E.T. versus Beckman’s solid 3.940-second run. Although he came up just short of going wire-to-wire at Indy, Beckman’s runner-up finish propelled him from fifth up to fourth to start the Countdown.
“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.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Starting Positions:
1. Steve Torrence – 1742
2. Doug Kalitta – 1184
3. Antron Brown – 1109
4. Brittany Force – 1108
5. Mike Salinas – 1071
6. Clay Millican – 1058
7. Leah Pritchett – 957
8. Austin Prock – 936
9. Richie Crampton – 842
10. Billy Torrence – 819
1. Robert Hight – 1481
2. John Force – 1376
3. Tommy Johnson Jr – 1269
4. Jack Beckman – 1259
5. Ron Capps – 1234
6. Matt Hagan – 1165
7. Bob Tasca III – 1116
8. J.R. Todd – 1095
9. Shawn Langdon – 997
10. Tim Wilkerson – 863
About Don Schumacher Racing:
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 335 NHRA national event titles and 17 world championships since opening its doors in 1998.
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields seven professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the MOPAR/Pennzoil/Sparkling Ice dragster driven by Leah Pritchett and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher’s machine. In Funny Car, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, the Mopar Express Lane/Pennzoil/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat piloted by Matt Hagan, and in Terry and Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars,’ 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and Tommy Johnson Jr. behind the wheel of the Make-A-Wish Dodge.
DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pritchett, the 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Series champion, and former Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at Shoeracing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.