Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil
Event No. 10
Houston Raceway Park
October 24-25, 2020
DSR Elimination Highlights:
- Don Schumacher Racing doubled-up for the 66th time on Sunday during the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil, sweeping the nitro categories and upping the trophy count to 356 for drag racing’s winningest organization
- Tony Schumacher and Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to victory in their respective categories
- Schumacher picked up his first win since returning to the seat of a Top Fuel dragster earlier this summer after a year-and-a-half hiatus
- Johnson kept the DSR Dodge Hellcat undefeated streak alive, earning the 13th consecutive Funny Car triumph for DSR
- Johnson’s victory, his third of the season and 22nd overall, was achieved in MD Anderson’s backyard
- The final round featured DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car pilots (Johnson vs. Ron Capps) going head-to-head for the sixth time in the first 10 races in 2020
- Capps’ final round appearance was his third of the season
- DSR’s quartet of Dodge Funny Car pilots continue to dominate the championship rankings, occupying spots 1-2-3-4
- 43 points separate the top three ranked drivers – Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr., and Jack Beckman – setting up a heated three-way ‘down to the wire’ title chase at the points-and-a-half season finale in Las Vegas next weekend
- Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Mark Pawuk (Factory Stock Showdown) both posted semifinal finishes, with Pawuk remaining solidly in second on the FSS leaderboard
DSR Doubles-Up for 66th Time; Schumacher and Johnson Victorious in Houston
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 1 (3.884 E.T. at 328.14 MPH)
E1: 5.012 E.T. at 207.88 MPH defeated by Ron Capps 4.158 E.T. at 320.51 MPH
By qualifying No. 1 for the SpringNationals, Jack Beckman set himself up for a first-round battle rife with championship implications. Beckman, who was looking to pick up his second consecutive win and regain the point lead currently occupied by teammate Matt Hagan, drew No. 16 qualifier Ron Capps, who was fighting to keep his 2020 championship hopes alive. The former champions launched their DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcats off the line and into tire smoke. Both Beckman and Capps were on-and-off the throttle, but Capps was able to cross the finish line first, forcing his stablemate to continue his day as a spectator and watch as Hagan, his biggest threat to capture the Funny Car title, advanced to the semifinals.
Beckman departs Houston sitting in third on the Funny Car leaderboard and with a deficit of 43 points that he will work to overcome at the Las Vegas points-and-a-half season finale next weekend.
“A lot of cars struggled out there and we just didn’t capitalize on it. And you can say (Matt) Hagan was fortunate, but you can also say he did a good job catching the car and getting it to the finish line. This is the back-breaker about drag racing. There’s no do-overs. You don’t get to go back out for the rest of the race and earn some points. It’s sudden death, and that’s a bitter pill. To have such a good car and come out here and qualify No. 1, our fate is not in our hands right now. That’s the nature of our sport.”
NHRA Camping World Countdown to the Championship Standings (unofficial):
1. Steve Torrence – 868
2. Doug Kalitta – 767
3. Billy Torrence – 675
4. Leah Pruett – 670
5. Shawn Langdon – 544
6. Antron Brown – 534
7. Justin Ashley – 485
8. Terry McMillen – 436
9. Tony Schumacher – 415
10. Clay Millican – 414
1. Matt Hagan – 842
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 800
3. Jack Beckman – 799
4. Ron Capps – 679
5. Bob Tasca III – 595
6. J.R. Todd – 584
7. Tim Wilkerson – 570
8. Alexis DeJoria – 489
9. Cruz Pedregon – 388
10. Paul Lee – 382
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 356, 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.