NHRA Arizona Nationals
Event 2 of 24 (Phoenix)
Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
February 21-23, 2020
DSR Phoenix Elimination Highlights:
- Tommy Johnson, Jr. drove the MD Anderson Funny Car to its very first event win on Sunday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, delivering the second consecutive victory for team sponsor Doug Chandler in 2020
- Johnson defeated fellow ‘giving car’ driver and the winner of the season-opener, Jack Beckman, in the final round to earn his 20th NHRA victory and second at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
- By securing the win, Johnson moved into second in the Funny Car point standings behind Beckman, the current point leader
- Beckman’s final round appearance was his third in a row (Pomona 2 2019, Pomona 1 2020, Phoenix 2020)
- Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Antron Brown (Top Fuel) advanced to the semifinals
- Tommy Johnson, Jr. Earns 20th NHRA Victory, and First for MD Anderson
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 6 (3.889 E.T. at 329.42 MPH)
E1: 4.051 E.T. at 318.02 MPH defeated Cruz Pedregon 6.254 E.T. at 109.34 MPH
E2: 3.895 E.T. at 329.42 MPH defeated Jim Campbell 8.959 E.T. at 70.61 MPH
E3: 3.882 E.T. at 329.91 MPH defeated John Force 3.917 E.T. at 326.63 MPH
E4: 6.156 E.T. at 119.31 MPH defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. 3.883 E.T. at 326.40 MPH
Jack Beckman entered the race weekend as the Funny Car point leader after winning the season-opener two weeks prior. He was looking to extend his win streak to three-in-a-row and came oh-so-close by advancing all the way to the final round where he faced his ‘giving car’ teammate Tommy Johnson Jr.
Beckman has had Johnson’s number in previous final rounds, never allowing his teammate the win. But on Sunday afternoon, Johnson was able to narrow the score to 1-4. Beckman initially had the advantage as they launched off the starting line but lost traction in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and, while he made efforts to pedal it, was unable to recover control quickly enough.
Beckman’s runner-up finish to his teammate still keeps him atop the Funny Car championship standings with 220 points.
“How do you hang your head? We still have the best car, and the points are showing that. We didn’t have the best car here this weekend. We actually struggled a little bit, but it goes to show you great teams pull out all the stops on race day and figure out how to make it happen. I’m happy for my teammate and his MD Anderson car. We didn’t give it to them. They earned it. But we’re going to be tough to beat the entire rest of the year.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1. Doug Kalitta – 212
2. Brittany Force – 153
3. Leah Pruett – 137
4. Austin Prock – 131
5. Steve Torrence – 121
6. Justin Ashley – 108
7. Antron Brown – 103
8. Shawn Langdon – 91
9. Clay Millican – 85
10. Shawn Reed – 83
1. Jack Beckman – 220
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 175
3. John Force – 173
4. Ron Capps – 128
5. Matt Hagan – 124
6. Tim Wilkerson – 107
7. Robert Hight – 100
8. Alexis DeJoria – 99
9. Bob Tasca III – 87
10. Paul Lee – 65
10. J.R. Todd – 65
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 year. 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.