Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Event No. 8
World Wide Technology Raceway
October 2-4, 2020
DSR Elimination Highlights:
- Tommy Johnson Jr. delivered the 11th consecutive Funny Car victory for Don Schumacher Racing, making drag racing’s winningest organization the first in NHRA history to go 11-in-a-row in a single category
- Johnson’s triumph was his second of the season, 21st of his career, and places him solidly in the thick of the Funny Car championship hunt with his teammates
Matt Hagan, who posted a runner-up finish, moved into the Funny Car point lead, and DSR maintains its stronghold on the category by occupying the top four spots in the standings
- 34 points separate No. 1 ranked Hagan, No. 2 ranked Jack Beckman, and third-ranked Johnson, setting the stage for what could be a fierce three-man championship showdown between Hagan and Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars’
- Leah Pruett walked away unharmed after a wild ride in the Top Fuel quarterfinals. She remains third in the point standings
- All seven DSR nitro-burning pilots advanced to the quarterfinals, and Tony Schumacher cracked into the ‘top 10’ in the Top Fuel standings
Cold temperatures prevented Factory Stock Showdown Series competitors from taking to the track on Sunday. NHRA Midwest Nationals Factory Stock competition is set to resume at the upcoming Houston event. It is to-be-announced whether qualifying from the St. Louis event will carry over into the Houston race.
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 5 (4.750 E.T. at 185.03 MPH)
E1: 3.885 E.T. at 332.10 MPH defeated Blake Alexander 6.630 E.T. at 95.37 MPH
E2: 3.890 E.T. at 329.50 MPH defeated Dan Wilkerson 3.976 E.T. at 314.97 MPH
E3: 3.903 E.T. at 330.80 MPH defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. 3.896 E.T. at 327.98 MPH
Starting from the fifth seed, Jack Beckman, a two-time 2020 event champion, kicked off his race day by speeding through the 1,000-foot timers in 3.885 seconds at 332.10 mph to clock low E.T. of round one and trailer his first opponent, Blake Alexander. Beckman then faced Dan Wilkerson in the second round and used the quickest run of the quarterfinals at 3.890 seconds to capture the victory. The round win set up a semifinal match between Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars’ with Beckman set to square off against teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. Aboard the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, Beckman made another stellar sub-four-second run, but his 3.903 E.T. couldn’t keep pace with Johnson’s 3.896-second pass, ending Beckman’s day.
After carrying the Funny Car point lead throughout six of the first seven events, Beckman ceded the top spot to teammate Matt Hagan on Sunday. Beckman occupies the No. 2 spot on the leaderboard and trails Hagan by 16 points.
“It’s not the way I thought the day would end. I really thought we had the car to beat. Guido (Dean Antonelli) and (John) Medlen tuned perfect for today’s conditions. We were low E.T., low E.T. and in the semis second-low E.T. The problem was the car we pulled up next to, Tommy Johnson, was low E.T. The silver lining is a DSR Dodge Funny Car wins for the 11th straight race for Don Schumacher. The upside for us is that we have three more chances to get trophies and the way our car is performing I wouldn’t put it past us.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1. Steve Torrence – 642
2. Doug Kalitta – 640
3. Leah Pruett – 562
4. Billy Torrence – 506
5. Terry McMillen – 436
6. Justin Ashley – 433
7. Antron Brown – 425
8. Shawn Langdon – 415
9. Clay Millican – 347
10. Tony Schumacher – 234
1. Matt Hagan – 659
2. Jack Beckman – 643
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 625
4. Ron Capps – 527
5. Tim Wilkerson – 480
6. J.R. Todd – 473
7. Bob Tasca III – 465
8. Alexis DeJoria – 375
9. Paul Lee – 319
10. Cruz Pedregon – 303
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 353, 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.