Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Event 23 of 24 (Las Vegas II)
Countdown Event 5 of 6
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
November 1-3, 2019
DSR Las Vegas II Elimination Highlights:
- MOPAR Funny Car pilot Matt Hagan raced to victory at the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
- By winning his second consecutive Countdown race, Hagan has moved within two rounds of the point leader and cemented himself as a viable threat to contend for the championship
- Following a semifinal finish, Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Jack Beckman maintained his No. 2 ranking in the point standings and sits 46 points out of first
- Sunday marked the 11th time in 12 consecutive events DSR has contested a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the final round
- Quarterfinal finisher Leah Pritchett heads to the final race of the 2019 season ranked inside the Top Fuel top five
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 1 (3.835 E.T. at 331.94 MPH)
E1: 3.879 E.T. at 329.67 MPH defeated Terry Haddock 4.048 E.T. at 306.81 MPH
E2: 3.907 E.T. at 325.92 MPH defeated Robert Hight 3.891 E.T. at 329.75 MPH
E3: 3.915 E.T. at 330.07 MPH defeated by Jonnie Lindberg 3.930 E.T. at 325.30 MPH
Jack Beckman entered the race weekend with one goal in mind – narrow the gap between him and current point leader Robert Hight. As the No. 2 ranked Funny Car driver, Beckman began his weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway sitting 70 points out of first.
After resetting both ends of the track record during qualifying, Beckman earned the pole position for the third time in 2019. The momentum from his strong qualifying performance carried into race day as Beckman rocketed the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to low E.T. of round one to dispatch opponent Terry Haddock and advance to round two.
The quarterfinal round pitted the winner of the first Countdown event against Hight. In a matchup rife with championship implications, both drivers made solid passes, but it was Beckman’s throttle foot that earned him the holeshot win and allowed him to cut the point leader’s day short at round two. Next up for the 2012 Funny Car world champion was Jonnie Lindberg. This time it was his opponent who got the holeshot. Beckman attempted to reel him in, but Lindberg was able to cross the finish line first.
Beckman moves into the final race of the 2019 season 46 points out of the lead as he continues his pursuit of a second Funny Car world championship.
“It’s a gut punch. There’s no other way to spin it. The car did its job, the crew did their jobs, and I just flat didn’t do my job. I started to stutter-step against (Robert) Hight in the second round and caught myself, and then you try and get your head back in the game, and I was just slow on the tree in the semis. If I were two-hundredths better on the tree, we would’ve won that race. That’s what I get paid to do. It’s a tough loss to absorb, and it could have major implications at Pomona. If we had won that round, we’re within one round going into Pomona. Now we have to go two rounds further unless we can dominate qualifying and Hight stumbles. And Hagan is right back in the race now, too. It’s going to come down to four or five cars in Pomona, and I need to get my act together. The Dodge Infinite Hero team deserved a better performance from me.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Starting Positions:
1. Steve Torrence – 2488
2. Brittany Force – 2472
3. Doug Kalitta – 2433
4. Billy Torrence – 2402
5. Leah Pritchett – 2353
6. Austin Prock – 2330
7. Mike Salinas – 2322
8. Antron Brown – 2279
9. Richie Crampton – 2261
10. Clay Millican – 2241
1. Robert Hight – 2494
2. Jack Beckman – 2448
3. Matt Hagan – 2438
4. John Force – 2422
5. Bob Tasca III – 2390
6. Ron Capps – 2334
7. J.R. Todd – 2312
8. Tommy Johnson Jr – 2306
9. Shawn Langdon – 2274
10. Tim Wilkerson – 2223
About Don Schumacher Racing:
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 335 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.