DSR Gainesville Pre-Race Report
Marc Gewertz/NHRA

DSR Gainesville Pre-Race Report

NHRA Gatornationals
Event 3 of 24 (Gainesville)
Gainesville Raceway
Gainesville, Fla.
March 13-15, 2020


Highlights:

  • NHRA’s winningest team is approaching 350 victories (currently at 347), and by campaigning cars in three different categories (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Factory Stock) during the weekend, achieving that milestone is within reach during the NHRA Gatornationals
    • DSR last “tripled-up” at the 2006 Las Vegas II event with winning entries coming from the Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock categories
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour after having raced to victory at the previous event in Phoenix
  • Johnson’s NHRA career began at the 1984 Gatornationals when he made his racing debut while competing in Super Gas at 15-years-old
  • Funny Car point leader Jack Beckman won the season-opener in Pomona and finished as the runner-up in Phoenix. He is seeking his third consecutive final round in 2020
  • Doug Chandler’s “giving cars,” with Beckman behind the wheel of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and Johnson piloting the MD Anderson Dodge, have won the last three events, beginning with Pomona II 2019
  • Matt Hagan is seeking his third consecutive Funny Car No. 1 qualifier
  • Funny Car ace Ron Capps spent his most recent off-weekend at the 62nd annual March Meet in Bakersfield, Calif. where he took home the trophy in the AA/Fuel Altered class for the first time
  • Antron Brown made his NHRA debut at the 1998 event, competing in Pro Stock Motorcycle
  • The first of eight Factory Stock Showdown events of 2020 will be contested at the Gatornationals. DSR’s Dodge Challenger Drag Pak duo is comprised of Mark Pawuk, and 2018 FSS series champion Leah Pruett
  • Pruett will pull double-duty in Gainesville, competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown categories

    Note:

    At this weekend’s event, DSR will debut a season-long trackside program to benefit MD Anderson. For a minimum donation of 50 dollars, fans have the opportunity to place an  “in honor of” sticker on Johnson’s MD Anderson Dodge Funny Car for that particular race weekend. Fans may pose for a photo by the sticker. Proof of donation is required. Please ask for Judy at the MD Anderson Funny Car pit. To donate, visit http://www.mdanderson.org/myfundraising and use the DSRFC solicitation code. (Image of the sticker is available at the bottom of this report)

DSR Driver Information:

Funny Car:
JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Gainesville Event Highlights:

  • 2018 event champion
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2016, 2018)
    2019 Gainesville Recap:
    Qualified sixth; Semifinal finish (defeated J.R. Todd in E1, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E2; defeated by Tim Wilkerson in E3)

Last Event (Phoenix):
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Jim Campbell in E2, John Force in E3; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E4)

2020 Season Statistics:
One event win; seven round wins; ranked first in points

Career Statistics:
326 races; 31 wins; 27 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • Won the season-opener in Pomona and finished as the runner-up in Phoenix. He is seeking his third consecutive final round in 2020

Quotable:
“Saying that I’m looking forward to the Gatornationals would be a huge understatement. We’ve had two-and-a-half weeks off, and to me, this seems like it’s going by slower than the two months we had off in the off-season. I guess a lot of that is due to the tremendous start we’ve had to the season. When you have a car that’s running this good, and I feel like I’m driving good, you almost want to be in it every single weekend. With the way the schedule works, the Gatornationals is kind of on its own island. You have two-and-a-half weeks before it and two-and-a-half weeks after it that you’re off, and then we start hitting the season hard and heavy. So, I can’t think of a better way to punctuate the east coast opener than to leave there with a Wally, and I feel like with the way that everything is jelling on our car, we’re the odds-on favorite to win it. That being said, it’s incredibly difficult to beat four people on race day, but if I was going to be driving for any team, or any car, it’d be that Infinite Hero Dodge Charger, so I’m very much looking forward to this weekend.”


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 347, and DSR is looking forward to reaching the “350 milestone” early in the 2020 season. DSR owns 17 world championships in three different NHRA categories.

Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR currently fields six 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, and the Mopar/Pennzoil/Okuma dragster driven by Leah Pruett. 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 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.

Read full DSR article here