AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals
Event No. 9
October 16-18, 2020
DSR Elimination Highlights:
- The DSR Funny Car championship battle continues to intensify heading into the final two events of the 2020 season after Jack Beckman raced to victory at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals on Sunday evening
- The triumph was Beckman’s first at Texas Motorplex, third of the season and 33rd overall
The final round featured DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars (Beckman vs. Matt Hagan) going head-to-head for the fifth time in the first nine races in 2020, and ensured DSR kept its undefeated streak of 12 Funny Car victories alive
- Hagan maintained his point lead in the championship standings but Beckman is hot on his heels, sitting a mere four points out of first
- Funny Car quarterfinalist Tommy Johnson Jr. occupies the No. 3 spot in the rankings, and semifinalist Ron Capps sits fourth
- In Top Fuel, both Leah Pruett and Tony Schumacher advanced to the quarterfinals and Pruett remains in championship contention sitting in third
- Mark Pawuk led the DSR Drag Pak Factory Stock Showdown duo by recording a semifinal finish; Pawuk sits second in the FSS point standings
Beckman Captures Elusive First Dallas Victory; DSR Funny Car Championship Battle Intensifies
ENNIS, Texas (October 18, 2020) – The Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car championship battle continues to intensify heading into the final two events of the 2020 season after Jack Beckman raced to victory at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals on Sunday evening.
Driving Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Beckman defeated teammate and current point leader Matt Hagan in the final round of eliminations to capture DSR’s 12th consecutive Funny Car trophy and deny Hagan the opportunity to extend his point lead. Starting from the No. 6 spot, Beckman battled through a stacked field to keep DSR’s undefeated Funny Car streak alive and claim his third trophy in 2020, and 33rd overall. After besting Cruz Pedregon in round one of eliminations, Beckman posted the second-quickest pass of E2 to defeat Tim Wilkerson before clocking the quickest E.T. in the semifinals to outrun Bob Tasca III and set up an all-DSR Funny Car final round showdown for the fifth time this season. Versus Hagan, the Infinite Hero crew chief tandem of Dean Antonelli and John Medlen tuned Beckman’s machine to its third consecutive 3.90-second pass to activate the win lights. Beckman’s FallNationals triumph was his first at Texas Motorplex, and held special meaning for the SoCal native who has been making the trek to Ennis, Texas for 35 years.
“I got to stomp on the pedal, but this is truly a group effort,” said Beckman of his Sunday victory. “I have wanted to win Dallas since I first came here in 1985 and drove 500 miles with my buddy to come to Billy Meyer’s ‘super track.’
“I had a really good feeling most of the day. I felt like if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen today. Coming up against Hagan and his guys in the final is a big deal. They’ve been dominant lately and to stop them in their tracks today and tighten the points chase was fantastic. This was maybe the best weekend ever. I mean doubling up at Indy in 2015 is going to be awfully hard to exceed, but I so wanted to win at Dallas. My dad (Bob Beckman) lives close to here and he’s been supporting me my whole career and he’s 83-years-old. It’s going to be extra special to give him that cowboy hat from the (Texas) Motorplex. It’s perfect. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a better weekend at a drag strip than this. The Infinite Hero team got the trophy and my dad gets the cowboy hat. Doug Chandler, thanks for making all this possible.”
A scant four points stand between Beckman and Hagan, ensuring the championship chase will come down to the wire as DSR’s four Dodge Funny Car pilots continue to jockey for position heading into Houston next weekend and the season-finale in Las Vegas which features a points-and-a-half format. Beckman, the 2019 Funny Car runner-up, will be vying to reclaim his No. 1 ranking in Houston, a position he enjoyed throughout six of the first nine races, as he seeks to deliver the 2020 championship trophy to the Chandler family in the final year of DSR’s ‘giving car’ program.
Qualified: No. 6 (3.917 E.T. at 328.70 MPH)
E1: 3.933 E.T. at 326.16 MPH defeated Cruz Pedregon 3.981 E.T. at 324.98 MPH
E2: 3.908 E.T. at 327.35 MPH defeated Tim Wilkerson 4.796 E.T. at 164.43 MPH
E3: 3.903 E.T. at 329.34 MPH defeated Bob Tasca III 3.934 E.T. at 328.22 MPH
E4: 3.908 E.T. at 328.46 MPH defeated Matt Hagan 3.943 E.T. at 324.20 MPH
NHRA Camping World Countdown to the Championship Standings (unofficial):
1. Steve Torrence – 764
2. Doug Kalitta – 713
3. Leah Pruett – 616
4. Billy Torrence – 598
5. Shawn Langdon – 491
6. Antron Brown – 458
7. Justin Ashley – 453
8. Terry McMillen – 436
9. Clay Millican – 381
10. Tony Schumacher – 294
1. Matt Hagan – 762
2. Jack Beckman – 758
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 685
4. Ron Capps – 588
5. Tim Wilkerson – 538
5. Bob Tasca III – 538
7. J.R. Todd – 526
8. Alexis DeJoria – 414
9. Paul Lee – 351
10. Cruz Pedregon – 335
About Don Schumacher Racing:
Established in 1998 as a single-car Top Fuel team, Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) has grown to become the winningest organization in NHRA Drag Racing history. Including team owner Don Schumacher’s five NHRA Funny Car titles from the 1970s, DSR’s current win count stands at 354, and DSR is one of a very small handful of teams in the motorsports industry to surpass the 350 milestone. DSR owns 17 world championships in three different NHRA categories.
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR currently fields seven professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the Mopar/Pennzoil dragster driven by Leah Pruett, and the Okuma/Sandvik Coromant machine driven by eight-time world champion, Tony Schumacher. In Funny Car, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, the Mopar Express Lane/Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat piloted by two-time series title-holder Matt Hagan, and in 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 MD Anderson Dodge.
DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pruett, 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.