Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Event 9 of 24 (Chicago)
Route 66 Raceway
May 31 – June 2, 2019
DSR Chicago Elimination Highlights:
- Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to his first win of 2019 at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals and advanced to second in the Funny Car point standings
- Johnson’s victory marked the third consecutive Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car triumph and fourth of the season
- Antron Brown and Jack Beckman recorded semifinal finishes
- All four DSR Funny Cars advanced to the quarterfinals
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 5 (3.899 E.T. at 331.28 MPH)
E1: 3.930 E.T. at 329.18 MPH defeated Blake Alexander 4.250 E.T. at 222.77 MPH
E2: 3.962 E.T. at 329.75 MPH defeated Jeff Arend 4.028 E.T. at 317.49 MPH
E3: 4.352 E.T. at 206.86 MPH defeated by Robert Hight 4.105 E.T. at 239.40 MPH
The 2012 Funny Car world champion drew Blake Alexander as his round-one opponent after qualifying in the No. 5 seed for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals. ‘Fast’ Jack Beckman lived up to his nickname when he unloaded with a 3.930-second at 329.18-mph run against the part-time racer, which held up to be the quickest and fastest of race day.
In round two, Beckman ripped off another impressive run – a winning 3.962-second E.T. against fellow Frank Hawley Drag Racing School instructor, Jeff Arend.
The semifinal round pitted Beckman against the current point leader, Robert Hight. Against Hight, Beckman suffered an uncharacteristic miscue when he stood on the throttle early and activated the red light, handing the round win to Hight.
“I feel about three inches tall right now. My job as a driver is to go up there and drive the car well, and I didn’t, and what makes it sting even worse is, we had the better car that round. Not to say we would’ve won the race but we certainly would’ve won that round and I gave it away with a red light. There’s no silver lining on that. I’m not going to beat myself up for two days because that doesn’t work. I’m going to go home and be dad for two days then get back on an airplane and head to Topeka. Our car is getting down the track consistently. I think staying on Monday at Richmond and testing probably helped us a bunch. I’m going to get back in the car five days from now in Topeka and get this out of my head. I’ll think positive thoughts, I’ll practice at home, I’ll visualize and if we’re holding the trophy Sunday at Topeka, that’s probably the best salve for this.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1. Steve Torrence – 820
2. Doug Kalitta – 574
3. Mike Salinas – 573
4. Brittany Force – 572
5. Antron Brown – 544
6. Clay Millican – 523
7. Leah Pritchett – 497
8. Richie Crampton – 410
9. Terry McMillen – 383
10. Austin Prock – 375
1. Robert Hight – 818
2. Tommy Johnson Jr – 650
3. Ron Capps – 610
4. John Force – 596
5. J.R. Todd – 593
6. Matt Hagan – 559
7. Jack Beckman – 553
8. Tim Wilkerson – 495
9. Shawn Langdon – 435
10. Bob Tasca III – 401
About Don Schumacher Racing:
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 325 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.