NHRA New England Nationals
Event 13 of 24 (Epping)
New England Dragway
July 5-7, 2019
- Matt Hagan returns as the defending Funny Car event champion and seeks his third consecutive Epping victory after racing to the win in 2017 and 2018
- Hagan claimed the No. 1 qualifier honors at the 2018 event
- Antron Brown has been to the Epping final round the past three years, winning in 2016 and finishing as the runner-up in 2017 and 2018
- Ron Capps will banner a special patriotic NAPA Batteries paint scheme to raise awareness for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (additional details provided below)
Important note regarding Leah Pritchett:
Since the start of the 2019 season, the NHRA New England Nationals has been an open event on Leah Pritchett’s schedule. She is unfunded at this race and will not compete at New England Dragway this weekend. Pritchett and her team will return to the track at the next event on the NHRA schedule, the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil, where they will continue their quest to contend for the 2019 Top Fuel championship.
“There’s never any good time for bad news, but unfortunately, our Top Fuel team will not be racing in Epping this weekend. We started the year knowing we could potentially miss a small handful of races due to a shortage of funds, but through the hard work of so many, we haven’t missed one yet, until now. We’re a championship contending team, and as much as it pains us to have to sit this one out, we know it is a necessary decision as we prepare to hit the Western Swing hard with everything we’ve got. We appreciate everyone’s continued support and look forward more than ever to returning to racing in Denver and continuing the points battle.”
-Leah Pritchett, DSR Top Fuel Dragster driver
DSR Driver Information:
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
2018 Epping Recap:
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jeff Diehl in E1; defeated by Tim Wilkerson in E2)
Last Event (Norwalk):
Qualified fourth; Event runner-up (defeated Jonnie Lindberg in E1, Shawn Langdon in E2, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E2; defeated by Bob Tasca III in E4)
2019 Season Statistics:
20 round wins; ranked fourth in points
312 races; 28 wins; 24 No. 1 qualifiers
“I feel like right now we have one of the best cars in Funny Car. Even though we have yet to win a race, in the last four events we’ve won ten rounds, and we’ve climbed from seventh up to fourth in the points. We’ve got a much better handle on our hot rod, but we still have a couple of things to prove. One is, we need to make it consistent for four rounds on Sunday. One time or another, it’s gone out and smoked the tires, and we’re going to have to be better than that. The second thing is, we’re going to be contenders all the way through the end of the year, and I think the only way to throw our ring in the hat and make a statement like that is by bagging our first trophy.
“We’re entering the first race of the second half of the year, and it couldn’t come too soon for me. I literally can’t wait to get back out there and get strapped into the Infinite Hero Foundation Hellcat. It’s a fast hot rod, it’s a consistent hot rod, and everybody is motivated.”
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.