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Credit: DSR

DSR Houston Pre-Race Report

Houston Pre-Race Report
NHRA SpringNationals
Event 5 of 24 (Houston)
Royal Purple Raceway
Baytown, Texas
April 20-22, 2018


Noteworthy:

  • Don Schumacher Racing ‘doubled up’ winning in both Top Fuel and Funny Car at the 2017 event:
    • Top Fuel winner- Leah Pritchett
    • Funny Car winner- Ron Capps
  • Antron Brown won his first Top Fuel event at the 2008 Houston race
  • Matt Hagan won his first Funny Car event at the 2010 race
  • Jack Beckman enters the event as the Funny Car points leader
  • Texas transplant Tony Schumacher resides in Austin

DSR Driver Information:
Funny Car:

JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

NHRA Houston Event Highlights:
Three-time Houston runner-up (2009, 2014, 2015)
2015 No. 1 Qualifier

2017 Houston Recap:
Qualified sixth; Semifinal finish (defeated Matt Hagan in E1, John Force in E2; defeated by Ron Capps in E3)

Last event (Las Vegas I):
Qualified 13th; Event runner-up (defeated Robert Hight, Ron Capps in E1, Jonnie Lindberg, Gary Densham in E2, Courtney Force, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E3; defeated by J.R. Todd in E3)

2018 Season Statistics:
Eight round wins; ranked No. 1 in points

Career Statistics:
280 races; 27 wins; 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Notable:
Enters the event as the Funny Car points leader

Quotable:
“Entering Houston, I’m going to be the leader in Funny Car points and that’s exciting. We have every reason to be optimistic coming off of a win and runner-up in the last two races.

“The fact that they just repaved the entire Houston race track means a lot of our past Houston notes might not be usable, and that’s exciting from a crew chief and driver standpoint.”

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger/Sandvik Coromant R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 320 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

Credit: DSR

DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Post Race Recap

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event 4 of 24 (Las Vegas I)
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
April 6-8, 2018

 


DSR Las Vegas Race Day Highlights:

  • Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Jack Beckman (Funny Car) earned runner-up finishes
  • Jack Beckman moved into the Funny Car points lead
  • Antron Brown competed in his 1,000th professional round on Sunday
  • Don Schumacher Racing had four cars (two Top Fuel, two Funny Car) in the final elimination quad

(Excerpt)

Funny Car:
JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 13 (4.028 E.T. at 310.05 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Jack Beckman 4.082 E.T. at 305.56 MPH
Gary Densham 5.304 E.T. at 149.66 MPH
Robert Hight 6.165 E.T. at 109.93 MPH
Ron Capps 6.697 E.T. at 78.55 MPH

E2:
Jack Beckman 4.013 E.T. at 317.05 MPH
Courtney Force 4.126 E.T. at 298.67 MPH
Jonnie Lindberg 4.674 E.T. at 188.65 MPH
Gary Densham 5.379 E.T. at 136.72 MPH

E3:
J.R. Todd 4.041 E.T. at 317.05 MPH
Jack Beckman 4.052 E.T. at 312.21 MPH
Courtney Force 4.007 E.T. at 300.53 MPH
Tommy Johnson Jr. 3.978 E.T. at 311.70 MPH

Race Recap:
Jack Beckman started race day from the No. 13 seed, unfamiliar territory for the 2012 Funny Car world champion who hasn’t qualified outside of the ‘top three’ for the past six events, dating back to Dallas 2017.
In the first quad of eliminations, Beckman faced his teammate Ron Capps, reigning world champion Robert Hight, and Gary Densham. Beckman wheeled his Dodge Funny Car straight down the groove to take the round win and advance to the second session.

In round two, Beckman had the starting line advantage and powered Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation machine to another smooth pass, never trailing for the win.

The most recent Funny Car event champion (Gainesville) was hoping to go back-to-back and pick up his second win of the year, and third ‘four-wide format’ victory (Charlotte I 2011, 2015). In the final elimination quad, Beckman was once again quick off of the line and raced to a hole shot runner-up finish. Although he wasn’t able to leave as the inaugural Las Vegas Four-Wide Funny Car champion, he was able to move into the points lead for the first time in 2018.

Quotable:
“It wasn’t the best weekend after qualifying Saturday night. We had problems, we were dropping cylinders, we were the spinning tires, we ended up 13th. We haven’t qualified out of the Top 3 in the last six months and it’s certainly not what our potential is, but we left here with a runner-up. We got our act together on race day and we leave here with the points lead, so I think we did a great job of figuring out what was ailing our car and making the appropriate adjustments and going out there and gobbling up a bunch more points. Of course you want to win in the final round but I’m confident that the things we did here today are going to help us have a better performing car for the rest of the season and we’re going to stay and test tomorrow.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
338 points, ranked No. 1
Leads second ranked Courtney Force by 36 points

 


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger/Sandvik Coromant R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 320 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Credit: Mopar

Mopar-powered Drivers Beckman and Schumacher Earn Runner-up Finishes in…

· Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. advance to final four in Funny Car, with Beckman earning runner-up honors

· Beckman departs Vegas at top of Funny Car points championship standings

· Tony Schumacher qualified No. 1, takes runner-up position in Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

· Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster driver Leah Pritchett had the quickest pass of her quad and finished as runner-up in round one

· Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers Ron Capps and Matt Hagan qualified well but out in round one

· Four Mopar drivers in Top Five in Funny Car point standings

· Larry Gilley and Mike Cotton earn Dodge Top Finisher awards

· More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com

· New Dodge Garage (http://www.dodgegarage.com/), a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches; will include highlights from NHRA season


April 8, 2018, Las Vegas, Nevada – Mopar and Dodge//SRT drivers Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) posted runner-up finishes Sunday at the 19th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Schumacher was only about 4 feet shy of a Wally after the finals in Top Fuel, and Beckman was only about 9 feet short at the end of the Funny Car competition. The latter saw Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate and fellow Mopar driver Tommy Johnson Jr. run the quickest pass of the quad, but foul out on a red light after leaving the starting line too early. Beckman was second out of the gate and held on for the runner-up position.

The exciting finals were viewed by a packed house assembled to see the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ first event west of the Mississippi River, featuring four lanes of action simultaneously instead of two lanes. The Four-Wide Nationals only require three rounds to crown a winner, with two drivers advancing from each quadrant of four until an event champion emerges in the final round. The fans turned out in droves to see it, as NHRA and the drag strip’s officials announced two sellout crowds on Saturday and Sunday, a first for the facility’s spring race.

Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Mopar-powered Top Fuel dragster, was that division’s top qualifier, the 86th of his career, second of the 2018 season and 11th at The Strip in Las Vegas, with a sizzling 328.46 miles per hour pass. He won his first round of eliminations convincingly over Steve Chrisman, but on the top end of that run Schumacher’s engine let go with a fireball when a fuel line broke.

He and Chrisman advanced to round two to face Clay Millican and Steve Torrence. The latter won that round but after an intense engine change after first round eliminations by the U.S. Army team, “The Sarge” came through as the runner-up, despite having to pedal it a couple of times. Schumacher turned in an excellent pass in the finals for the division’s runner-up honors, just getting edged by Torrence, who took home the Wally.

Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster driver Leah Pritchett had the quickest pass of her quad with a 3.793 E.T. while finishing second in round one of eliminations to No. 2 qualifier Anton Brown. She was No. 7 qualifier and helped oust Terry Totten and Mike Salinas in the first Top Fuel quad run.

Her runner-up spot earned her lane choice for round two and a big dose of confidence, but she just missed the finals when her 11,000-horsepower machine lost traction.

Jack Beckman started race day from the No. 13 seed. It was unfamiliar territory for the 2012 Funny Car world champion, who hasn’t qualified outside of the top three for the past six events, dating back to Dallas 2017.

In the first quad of eliminations, Beckman faced his teammate Ron Capps, reigning world champion Robert Hight, and Gary Densham. Beckman wheeled his Dodge Funny Car straight down the groove to take the round win and advance to the second session. In round two, Beckman had the starting line advantage and powered the Infinite Hero Foundation machine to another smooth pass, never trailing for the win.

The most recent Funny Car event winner (Gainesville) was hoping to go back-to-back and pick up his second victory of the year, and third “four-wide format” victory (Charlotte in 2011 and 2015). In the final elimination quad, Beckman was once again quick off of the line and raced to a hole shot runner-up finish. Although he wasn’t able to leave as the inaugural Las Vegas Four-Wide Funny Car winner, he was able to move into the points lead for the first time in 2018.

Tommy Johnson Jr. was set up to repeat his victory at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from last spring. He entered race day qualified second with his time of 3.932 at 318.84-mph.

During the first session of competition, Johnson drove Terry and Doug Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge to a 4.030 -second at 316.01-mph to advance to the second round. Johnson then ran the best lap of the session in round two with his stout 4.007-second pass to advance to ​the final quad along with his DSR teammate, Beckman. Unfortunately, during the finals Johnson was eliminated from competition when he left the starting line early and fouled out.

Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team qualified in the top half of the field among a stacked 20-car entry list. As the No. 4 qualifier, Capps faced teammate Beckman, Robert Hight and Gary Densham in the first elimination quad. Unfortunately, Capps would not be one of two drivers to advance to the second round of eliminations when a dropped cylinder and early deploying parachutes ended his chances at winning the first Western four-wide event.

Matt Hagan, driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, qualified seventh but was instantly disqualified in round one when he got on the throttle before the tree indicated to start, causing a red light foul. He’ll put that rare miscue behind him and get ready for the next event even more determined to do well.

The Las Vegas track is known to be one of the most difficult ones on the NHRA circuit for drivers and tuners alike due to the facility’s elevation and unique setting, forcing many to gamble on setups between each pass.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 1 Qualifier —3.765 ET at 328.46 mph

Rd. 1: (0.078-second reaction time, 3.899 seconds at 257.43 mph), defeats No. 16 Steven Chrisman (0.140/4.111/284.81), No. 9 Terry McMillen (0.073/4.697/173.01) and No. 8 Scott Palmer (0.076/7.975/94.17)

Schumacher and Chrisman advance to round 2; Schumacher had the third choice of lanes.

Rd. 2: (0.057/4.297/249.49) lost to No. 5 Steve Torrence (0.062/3.763/326.08) and beat No. 16 Steven Chrisman (0.192/4.568/216.24) and No. 13 Clay Millican (0.069/5.970/108.82).

Torrence and Schumacher advance to the finals.

Finals: (0.058/3.790/325.22) lost to No. 5 Steve Torrence (0.069/3.771/326.63), and defeated No. 6 Doug Kalitta (0.040/3.914/273.27) and No. 2 Antron Brown (0.051/4.097/252.52)

“The problem is our car is awesome but the track’s too long – we should’ve won (laughs). Seriously, it was an excellent weekend for the Army car. There’s nothing easy about this. We had a runner-up finish with four amazing cars in the final. We’ll regroup, we’ll go to Houston and we’ll do it again. We moved up in points (to second), so that’s a good thing.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel Dragster

No. 7 Qualifier — 3.798 ET at 323.35 mph

Rd. 1: (0.115-second reaction time, 3.793 at 324.05) lost to No. 2 Antron Brown (0.058/3.797/327.35) and defeated No. 15 Terry Totten (0.122/4.139/278.17) and No. 10 Mike Salinas (0.091/4.398/191.81).

Brown and Pritchett advanced to round two, where Pritchett had lane choice.

Rd. 2: (0.070/5.391/149.51) lost to No. 6 Doug Kalitta (0.056/3.864/320.13), No. 2 Antron Brown (0.071/4.0050/278.58) and No. 11 Richie Crampton (0.042/4.261/261.47)

“Sometimes we’re able to come back from a run and know what we did right, like we did on elimination round number one. We were the quickest car of the four. It brought confidence back to the team; we felt like we had our hot rod back. Just as soon as you believe that, round number two comes up and sometimes you’re able to see immediately if you got it right or of you didn’t, decipher exactly why. We’re still in the process of understanding why we smoked the tires because we weren’t trying for any record or to be the quickest of the day. We were just trying to get down the track on all eight [cylinders], and instead, for a reason we’re still trying to figure out, it didn’t want to take one of the clutch arms out of play so we ended up smoking the tires. But, the progression has been upward, so that’s positive, although not at the accelerated rate that we would like.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 13 Qualifier — 4.028 ET at 310.05 mph

Rd. 1: 0.084-second reaction time, 4.082 seconds at 305.56 mph, defeated No. 12 Gary Densham (0.117/5.304/149.66), No. 5 Robert Hight (0.072/6.165/109.93) and No. 4 Ron Capps (0.080/6.697/78.55).

Beckman and Densham advance to round two.

Rd. 2: (0.076/4.013/317.05) to defeat No. 1 Courtney Force (0.113/4.126/298.67), No. 9 Jonnie Lindberg (0.101/4.674/188.65) and No. 12 Gary Densham (0.101/5.379/136.72).

Beckman and Courtney Force advance to the finals.

Finals: (0.057/4.052/312.21), lost to No. 3 J.R. Todd (0.050/4.041/317.05) and defeated No. 1 Courtney Force (0.103/4.007/300.53) and No. 2 Tommy Johnson Jr. (-0.008 (R)/3.978/311.70).

“It wasn’t the best weekend after qualifying Saturday night. We had problems, we were dropping cylinders, we were spinning tires, and we ended up 13th. We haven’t qualified out of the top three in the last six months and it’s certainly not what our potential is, but we left here with a runner-up. We got our act together on race day and we leave here with the points lead, so I think we did a great job of figuring out what was ailing our car and making the appropriate adjustments and going out there and gobbling up a bunch more points. Of course you want to win in the final round but I’m comfortable with the things we did here today are going to help us be a better car for the rest of the season, and we’re going to stay and test tomorrow.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 2 Qualifier — 3.932 ET at 318.84 mph

Rd. 1: (0.072-second reaction time, 4.030 seconds at 316.01 mph) to defeat No. 15 Del Worsham (0.090/4.496/244/25), No. 10 Tim Wilkerson (0.079/4.855/172.36) and No. 7 Matt Hagan (-0.003 (R)/5.899/117.68)

Johnson and Worsham advance to round two. Johnson had the third choice in lanes.

Rd. 2: (0.063/4.007/314.68) to defeat No. 3 J.R. Todd (0.068/4.054/314.17), No. 11 John Force (0.087/4.050/315.34) and No. 15 Del Worsham (0.091/4.049/307.93).

Johnson and Todd advance to the finals.

Finals: (-0.008 (R)/3.978/311.70) lost to No. 3 J.R. Todd (0.050/4.041/317.05), No. 13 Jack Beckman (0.057/4.052/312.21) and No. 1 Courtney Force (0.103/4.007/300.53).

“The car was running flawless and just performed exceptionally well this weekend. We found a problem after Gainesville and I’m super excited about what we’ve got in store for us. We were just a little short on completing a great weekend but I’m not disappointed whatsoever. Once you get running well you want to try to keep that going and with three in a row there’s a good chance we can go out there and win all three of those. I’m just super excited about the way this team is performing.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 4 Qualifier — 3.953 ET at 321.50 mph

Rd. 1: (0.080-second reaction time, 6.697 ET at 78.55 mph, lost to No. 13 Jack Beckman (0.084/4.082/305.56), No. 12 Gary Densham (0.117/5.304/149.66) and No. 5 Robert Hight (0.072/6.165/109.93).

“We’re not sure what happened just yet. We’re trying to analyze the run. It definitely had a cylinder go out at the hit of the throttle, which immediately shoved my NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge to the right towards Robert Hight’s lane. I was able to turn the steering wheel and get it back towards the center. You don’t know what’s going on in the other three lanes, so you have to stay in the throttle; that’s part of the four-wide race day strategy, and in this case, it ended up backfiring so we were done for the day.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 7 Qualifier — 3.987 ET at 322.96 mph

Rd. 1: (-0.003 red lighted)/5.899/117.68); lost to No. 2 Tommy Johnson Jr. (0.072/4.030/316.01), No. 15 Del Worsham (0.090/4.496.244.25) and No. 10 Tim Wilkerson (0.079/4.855/172.36)

“I think we had a racecar that could have done some stuff out here today, but we won’t know until next year. It’s a hard pill to swallow, obviously after the final in Gainesville, having a .60 light, when I’m usually .50s or .40s in the finals. We’ve got stuff we’ve got to work on with the car too. I put a lot of pressure on myself. It takes all of us to do everything. It all plays a part. I’ll get my mind right and get focused and hit the practice tree and get right with it.”

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight

Former Dodge Top Finisher winner and 2018 NHRA Winternationals champ Larry Gilley drove his 1969 Dodge Dart GTS to the final round of Stock Eliminator at the 2018 DENSO Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Powered by a Mopar 340 cubic-inch small block, Gilley’s Dart GTS was dialed-in all weekend as he raced through six-rounds of heated competition only to lose by 0.0035 seconds (approximately 7 inches) in the finals. For advancing the furthest in Stock Eliminator, Larry Gilley received the Dodge Top Finisher award that includes $500.

Mopar Sportsman Racer and previous Dodge Top Finisher winner, Mike Cotten of Cave Creek, Ariz., piloted his 1970 big-block Mopar powered Plymouth ‘Cuda to four-rounds of intense eliminations. Cotton’s ‘Cuda was consistent on race day but came up just a little short and lost by 0.018 seconds. For advancing the furthest in Super Stock, Mike Cotten received the Dodge Top Finisher award that includes $500.

The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its second year, awards $500 to Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered car at all 24 NHRA national events.

Dodge Garage: New Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans now have a new one-stop destination for Mopar and Dodge drag racing news. Dodge Garage (http://www.dodgegarage.com) is a digital content hub and premier destination for drag racing and muscle car enthusiasts.

Fans can view daily updates and get access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge Garage features include exclusive content, such as a three-part video series “Chasing the Title,” that offers fans a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse at Pritchett and her DSR team in action.

For information on Mopar on and off the track, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog, http://blog.mopar.com.

Up Next: NHRA Spring Nationals
Next up for the Mopar and Dodge//SRT race teams is the NHRA Spring Nationals, scheduled for April 20-22 at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown (Houston), Texas.

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 4 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (2) –333

2. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI — 300

3. Antron Brown — 290

4. Clay Millican — 255

5. Doug Kalitta (1) — 248

6. Richie Crampton (1) —215

7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI — 202

8. Scott Palmer — 195

9. Brittany Force — 158

10. Terry McMillen — 148

NHRA Funny Car

1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) — 338

2. Courtney Force (1) — 302

3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) —301

4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T —265

5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T — 258

6. J.R. Todd (1) — 235

7. Robert Hight — 222

8. Shawn Langdon — 205

9. Jonnie Lindberg — 171

10. Del Worsham — 167

About Dodge//SRT
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is FCA North America’s mainstream performance brand, and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the company in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2018, the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the fastest quarter-mile production car in the world and most powerful muscle car ever, is taking the world by storm, along with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, and the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. These new SRT ultimate performance models join a brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

About Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

Credit: DSR

DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Qualifying Report

DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals
Qualifying Report
NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event 4 of 24 (Las Vegas I)
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
April 6-8, 2018

 


DSR Las Vegas Qualifying Highlights:

  • Tony Schumacher earns his 86th No. 1 qualifier
  • Saturday marks the 150th time Schumacher has qualified either No. 1 or No. 2 in his career
  • Ron Capps is one of only three Funny Car drivers to have earned bonus points at each of the first four races in 2018

(Excerpt)
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (April 7, 2018)

Funny Car:
JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 13

The Competition:
No. 4 Ron Capps
No. 5 Robert Hight
No. 12 Gary Densham

The Results:
Q1: 4.201 E.T. at 228.15 MPH
Q2: 4.028 E.T. at 310.05 MPH
Q3: 4.083 E.T. at 306.12 MPH
Q4: 4.062 E.T. at 308.85 MPH

Quotable:
“Past performance is no guarantee of future results. We have a great race car, but we haven’t shown it here in Vegas. We haven’t qualified outside of the top five since [St. Louis, 2017] and here we’re going in 13th. I’d be awfully concerned if I was one of the higher qualified cars in the stanza tomorrow. We’re going to put our heads together and figure out why we haven’t been getting the results that we’re capable of, and we should be back on track tomorrow.”


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger/Sandvik Coromant R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 320 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Credit: DSR

DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Friday Qualifying Report

DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals
Friday Qualifying Report
NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event 4 of 24 (Las Vegas I)
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
April 6-8, 2018

 


DSR Las Vegas Friday Qualifying Highlights:

  • Antron Brown leads Friday qualifying at the inaugural Las Vegas NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. celebrated his 50th birthday by running low E.T. of the second qualifying session
  • Leah Pritchett and Ron Capps also made bonus point-worthy runs
  • Defending Top Fuel Event Champion Antron Brown off to a Hot Start on Friday

(EXCERPT)
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (April 6, 2018)

Funny Car:
JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

Q1: 4.201 E.T. at 228.15 MPH
Q2: 4.028 E.T. at 310.05 MPH

Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 8


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger/Sandvik Coromant R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 320 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Credit: DSR

DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Pre-Race Report

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (Las Vegas I)
Pre-Race Report
NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event 4 of 24 (Las Vegas I)
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
April 6-8, 2018

 


Noteworthy:

(Excerpt)

  • Don Schumacher Racing ‘doubled up’ winning in both Top Fuel and Funny Car at the 2017 event, marking the organization’s 300th victory
  • Jack Beckman enters the event fresh off of his first Funny Car victory of 2018 (Gatornationals)
  • Inaugural Las Vegas Four-Wide event
  • Beckman has had great success mastering the Charlotte Four-Wide with two wins and one runner-up finish
  • DSR-Owned Track Records:
    • Top Fuel, E.T.: 3.673-seconds, Schumacher (Las Vegas II, 2017)
    • Funny Car, E.T.: 3.854-secs, Beckman (Las Vegas II, 2017)
    • Funny Car, speed: 335.57-mph, Beckman (Las Vegas II, 2017)

(Excerpt)

Funny Car:

JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

NHRA Las Vegas I Event Highlights:
2016 No. 1 Qualifier
Made his NHRA debut at the 2005 event (Top Fuel)

2017 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified fifth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1; defeated by Jonnie Lindberg in E2)

Last event (Gainesville):
Qualified No. 1; Event champion (defeated Jim Campbell in E1, Del Worsham in E2, Shawn Langdon in E3, Matt Hagan in E4)

2018 Season Statistics:
Six round wins; ranked second in points

Career Statistics:
279 races; 27 wins; 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Notable:
Enters the event as the most recent Funny Car winner
Owns the Las Vegas Funny Car E.T. and speed records
E.T.: 3.854-secs, Las Vegas II, 2017
Speed: 335.57-mph, Las Vegas II, 2017
Career-best
Raced to his first professional victory (Funny Car) at the 2006 Fall event

Quotable:
“There are a hundred reasons to be excited about rolling into Vegas for this race. It’s the first time at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that we’ll have a four-wide event. I can’t wait to see the upgrades they’ve made to the track.

“The Infinite Hero team just came off of our first win of the year, a huge victory at the Gatornationals. It’ll be exciting to try and continue that momentum at Vegas.”

FULL ARTICLE LINK

 

Credit: Mopar

Mopar-powered Driver Beckman Wins All-Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car…

Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman outruns Matt Hagan to win from pole at Gainesville Raceway


  • Victory is 27th of Beckman’s career and second this season for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver
  • Points leader Hagan wraps up wild weekend with runner-up showing in Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T in his 500th round of racing
  • Trio of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers advance to semifinals at Gainesville Raceway
  • Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster driver Leah Pritchett’s day ends in quarterfinals
  • Pritchett takes Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to second round in Factory Stock Showdown to cap solid weekend
  • Nichols, Kay earn Dodge Top Finisher awards at Gainesville
  • More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com
  • New Dodge Garage (http://www.dodgegarage.com/), a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches; will include highlights from NHRA season

March 18, 2018 , Gainesville, Florida – Jack Beckman capped off an amazing weekend for Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers by racing from the pole to defeat teammate Matt Hagan and take the victory in an all-Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car final round at the 49th Annual NHRA Gatornationals.

Beckman’s victory was the second for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver this year, as well as the second from the No. 1 spot. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Funny Car pilots also claimed three of four spots in the semifinals, and own the top two spots in the Funny Car standings, as well as three of the top four positions.

En route to his 27th career win and his first at historic Gainesville Raceway, Beckman got down the track to make eight solid runs in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T during qualifying and eliminations, including a 3.911-second elapsed time to claim the No. 1 spot.

He kicked off eliminations by leaving first and leading all the way against fellow Dodge driver and No. 16 qualifier Jim Campbell. In round two, Beckman’s 3.973-second run at 318.54 mph helped him quickly overcome a slight starting line advantage by opponent Del Worsham. Beckman was slower in the semfiinals but his 4.478-second pass was enough to hold off Shawn Landon, who smoked the tires.

The all-DSR Mopar Dodge battle between Beckman and Hagan was a thriller, with Beckman off the line first but with Hagan closing the gap. In the end, Beckman was able to hold off the hard-charging Hagan, taking the holeshot win with a quicker .051 reaction time paired with a 4.035/323.58 pass to his teammate’s slower .062 reaction time and 4.034/322.04 mark. His performance this weekend also moved Beckman into the second spot in the point standings.

Hagan’s run to the final round in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge included a first-round win over Tim Wilkerson and then a wild, fiery ride against Robert Hight in the quarterfinals. Hight’s engine exploded near the 660-ft mark, with his Funny Car body flying apart. As Hagan raced by in the right lane his engine did the same, sending the car body flying high in the air, but Hagan was able to cross the line at 4.027/291.26 to earn a hard-fought round win.

The Mopar Express Lane Dodge team and crew chief Dickie Venables thrashed and dug deep to get a backup car ready for Hagan to face DSR teammate and Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T driver Ron Capps in the semifinals. The hard work paid off as Hagan, the Funny Car points leader, posted a solid 4.056/310.91 to advance to his 49th career final round and reach a remarkable milestone, his 500th career round of racing.

Capps’ road to the semifinals included a first-round victory over Bob Tasca III that earned him lane choice in round two versus Courtney Force. In the quarterfinals, the 2016 Funny Car champion was first off of the starting line and never trailed for the win with a 4.060-second pass. The fourth DSR team member, Tommy Johnson Jr., the most recent Funny Car runner-up, defeated Cruz Pedregon in round one, but in the quarterfinals Johnson’s opponent Shawn Langdon was able to pull ahead early and take the win against Johnson’s tire smoking effort.

Mopar-powered NHRA Top Fuel dragster DSR teammates Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher were dealt similar fates on Sunday at Gainesville Raceway, as both bowed out in round two.

Pritchett clocked a 3.735/321.50 in her Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge dragster to knock out Terry Haddock to open eliminations, and also showcased her quick trigger reflexes with a .053 reaction time at the starting tree, quickest of the round. Pritchett’s day ended in the quarterfinals with a 3.779/327.51 that was second-quickest of the session but wasn’t enough to overcome teammate Antron Brown’s even quicker and faster 3.793/324.20 run.

After resetting the Gainesville Raceway speed record earlier in the weekend and running low E.T. of the first qualifying session, defending event champion Tony Schumacher looked primed for a repeat. The U.S. Army dragster driver took down Brittany Force in round one with a 3.717/329.26 pass. In the quarterfinals, Schumacher’s starting line advantage quickly evaporated after he smoked the tires, preventing the “Sarge” from chasing down round winner Shawn Reed.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA

“Two wins at the first three events is a great start to the season for the Mopar and Dodge brands. This victory is a testament not only to HEMI engine power, but also to the talent and skill of Jack Beckman, his team and the entire Don Schumacher Racing organization.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America

“Congratulations to Jack Beckman on racing his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to the win today at the NHRA Gatornationals. Jack’s victory really showcases how the increased teamwork between Dodge and Mopar this NHRA season is already paying dividends.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.911 ET)

Rd. 1: (.061-second reaction time, 3.934 seconds at 327.43 mph) beat No. 16 Jim Campbell (.138/4.183/305.29)
Rd. 2: (.081/3.973/318.54) beat No. 9 Del Worsham (.060/4.032/315.56)
Rd. 3: (.083/4.478/199.35) beat No. 4 Shawn Langdon (.143/9.414/81.39)
Rd. 4: (.051/4.035/323.58) beat No. 6 Matt Hagan (.062/4.034/322.04)

“The Gatornationals came on the schedule in 1970 when NHRA went from four races to seven. That was the super season, the first year they crowned a Funny Car champion. 1970 was a big year for our sport, and it’s been at this track ever since then, and I’ve never gotten close. It was such a bucket list thing (to win here).

“I flew in a day earlier, and on Thursday I went to the Hall of Fame (dinner), and I got to present Johnny Gray with the Pat Garlits award in honor of Terry Chandler, who is still on the side of our car and made all of this possible. There are 21 of us who have jobs today because of Terry Chandler and how big her heart was, and now her husband Doug wants to carry it on. He’s loving it because he knows Terry is looking down and saying, ‘Alright — my boys did it.’”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.941 ET)

Rd. 1: (086-second reaction time, 3.976 seconds at 328.38 mph) beat No. 11 Tim Wilkerson (.073/7.821/131.27)
Rd. 2: (.066/4.027/291.26) beats No. 3 Robert Hight (.073/4.067/265.53)
Rd. 3: (.088/4.056/310.91) beats No. 7 Ron Capps (.072/9.134/81.86)
Rd. 4: (.062/4.034/322.04) lost to No. 1 Jack Beckman (.051/4.035/323.58)

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest. I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville. We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps, then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.

“These guys put a great race car together. We ran a really close race out there. It was within one [thousandth of a second] but it was one of those deals where I just got left on by Jack Beckman. You have to go home and work on that and not let these guys down who worked all day long to get you there. We’ll take these next few weeks and revaluate and focus and move forward.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.944 ET)

Rd. 1: (.083-second reaction time, 3.959 seconds at 324.28 mph) beat No. 10 Bob Tasca (.076/3.981/325.30)
Rd. 2: (.074/4.060/317.64) beat No. 2 Courtney Force (.096/8.255/88.83)
Rd. 3: (.072/9.134/81.86) lost to No. 6 Matt Hagan (.088/4.056/310.91)

“You know, it’s such a big race, the Gatornationals. These big races seem to take a little bit more to get over. And the further you go on Sunday, like we did getting to the semifinals, you feel like you have a good shot. The way I look at it, the more runs you give (crew chief) Rahn Tobler, the more competitive our car is going to get, and I really felt like we had a handle on it. For some reason, it (the car) smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle, and we haven’t done that in a long time. We’ll have to look and see what it did, and go on to the next race.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.933 ET)

Rd. 1: (.062-second reaction time, 3.995 seconds at 325.69 mph) beat to No. 12 Cruz Pedregon (.073/4.083/298.87)
Rd. 2: (.056/4.841/172.10) lost to No. 4 Shawn Langdon (.078/4.025/313.37)

“We’re making a little progress, but we’re going to have to keep working at it. We’ve got good data on the six-disc (clutch). When track conditions are good we run well and qualify well. We just need to keep learning on what adjustments to make when the track conditions change and it gets hot out. So, we’re making some strides, we’re still going a round or two. If we can continue this progress, we’ll get better and better.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.811 ET)

Rd. 1: (.053-second reaction time, 3.735 seconds at 321.50 mph) beat No. 11 Terry Haddock (.134/4.032/284.75)
Rd. 2: (.098/3.779/327.51) lost to No. 3 Antron Brown (.067/3.793/324.20)

“We are still making progress. I feel like we have our gremlins out of the way. Our hot rod is back and it showed it on the track today. I take the blame for losing to my U.S. Army teammate Antron Brown. He came out stronger. It’s extremely frustrating. I missed it. I’ve been on it all weekend in both cars and missed it when it counted most. We win together as a team and it feels great. The highs are high and the lows are low. This has been an exciting, very high-paced weekend in Gainesville. I’m disappointed it ended early, and on my shoulders, but we’ll bounce back.”

“I feel like weekends like this where I have the chance to stretch my capabilities will only continue to help me in the future. Learning how to differentiate between cars (her Top Fuel and Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak) in a moment’s notice is something that requires a lot of focus and versatility. We’re getting better at it and I’m excited to have a handful more weekends like this ahead of me in 2018.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.785 ET)

Rd. 1: (.060-second reaction time, 3.717 seconds at 329.26 mph) beat No. 13 Brittany Force (.085/3.742/329.10)
Rd. 2: (.069/4.604/200.77) lost to No. 12 Shawn Reed (.094/4.027/245.58)

“We worked hard all weekend to put ourselves in a good position today and that showed in the first round when we made our best pass of the weekend. This U.S. Army team won’t quit. We all want to win so bad. We’ll get back after it and just keep plugging away. This was a great weekend for the fans of NHRA and we were just hoping to make Gatornationals history today. We’ll have to come back next year and try again.”

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Leah Pritchett’s busy schedule at the NHRA Gatornationals included an entry in the NHRA Sportsman Factory Stock Showdown category in the seat of a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, along with her usual Top Fuel duties.

The DSR star drove to the No. 7 qualifying spot and a victory in the first round of eliminations. Pritchett was first off the starting line with a .038 reaction time in round two against Randy Taylor (.110), but was unable to beat her opponent to the stripe, posting a 8.353/163.91 pass to Taylor’s 8.189/165.99 run.

A pair of Mopar-powered NHRA Sportsman racers came away with Dodge Top Finisher awards at the NHRA Gatornationals. Jim Nichols from Centerburg, Ohio, drove his high-flying AA/SA HEMI-powered 1965 Plymouth Belvedere to the second round at the NHRA Gatornationals, earning the award and $500 bonus in Super Stock.
In the Stock category, Richard Kay of East Meadow, New York, raced his small block Mopar engine-powered SS/BM 1969 Plymouth Valiant to a third-round finish. Kay, who claimed a Dodge Top Finisher award in 2017, scored his second at Gainesville.


Dodge Garage: New Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans now have a new one-stop destination for Mopar and Dodge drag racing news. Dodge Garage (http://www.dodgegarage.com) is a digital content hub and premier destination for drag racing and muscle car enthusiasts.

Fans can view daily updates and get access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge Garage features include exclusive content, such as a three-part video series “Chasing the Title,” that offers fans a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse at Pritchett and her DSR team in action.

For information on Mopar on and off the track, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog, http://blog.mopar.com.

Up Next: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Next on the schedule for the Mopar and Dodge//SRT squad is the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, scheduled for April 6-8 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will be the first at the venue since the dragstrip was reconfigured to accommodate the unique “four-wide” drag racing format, which features drivers competing in four separate lanes simultaneously.


2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 3 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 268
2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 247
3. Courtney Force (1) – 219
4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T – 218
5. Robert Hight – 185
6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T – 182
7. Shawn Langdon – 174
8t. Jonnie Lindberg – 117
8t. J.R. Todd – 117
10. Del Worsham – 116

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (1) –217
2. Antron Brown – 210
3. Clay Millican – 204
4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI – 198
5. Doug Kalitta (1) – 182
6. Richie Crampton (1) – 163
7. Scott Palmer –161
8. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI – 147
9. Brittany Force – 117
10. Terry McMillen – 116


About Dodge//SRT
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is FCA North America’s mainstream performance brand, and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the company in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2018, the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the fastest quarter-mile production car in the world and most powerful muscle car ever, is taking the world by storm, along with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, and the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. These new SRT ultimate performance models join a brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.


About Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

Credit: NHRA

Crampton, Beckman, T. Gray and Krawiec Are Winners at…

– Richie Crampton secures first Top Fuel victory since Dallas 2015
– Jack Beckman locked-in his first career event win at Gainesville
– Tanner Gray becomes a third-generation Pro Stock event winner
– Eddie Krawiec opens Pro Stock Motorcycle season with sixth event win


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Richie Crampton took home the Top Fuel victory Sunday afternoon at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also winners in their respective categories at the third of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Crampton got the uncontested win when he piloted his Kalitta Air/DHL dragster to the winning run of 3.854 seconds at 314.90 mph after Shawn Reed had to shut off his dragster on the starting line. This is Crampton’s first Wally since Dallas 2015, first event victory at Gainesville Raceway, and eighth overall.

“This is probably one of my most rewarding wins, ever,” Crampton said. “All I ever wanted to do was stand in the winner’s circle with (team owner) Connie Kalitta. Not a lot of people have had that luxury and I’m not taking this one lightly.”

Reed, who raced to his first career final round, started from the No. 12 position and defeated Pat Dakin, Tony Schumacher, and No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican before the final.

Beckman claimed his first Funny Car victory at Gainesville with a hole-shot win of 4.035 at 323.58 in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T against teammate Matt Hagan. After earning the No. 1 qualifier on Saturday, Beckman secured his first victory since St. Louis 2017.

“Winning this race was such a bucket-list thing,” Beckman said, “The Gatornationals came on the schedule in 1970, that year was a big year for our sport and it has been at this track ever since and I’ve never gotten close.”

Beckman raced against Jim Campbell, Del Worsham, and Shawn Langdon before entering his first final round of the season.

Hagan and Robert Hight experienced side-by-side explosions during the quarterfinals destroying the Funny Car bodies of both competitors. Hagan brought out a back-up car to defeat teammate Ron Capps in the semi-finals to advance to his second final round of the season.

In Pro Stock, Gray powered his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro to victory with a run of 6.588 at 210.18 to defeat defending category world champion Bo Butner in the final round. This is his first career win at Gainesville and is a third-generation event winner.

“We’ve been struggling since the beginning of the season,” Gray said. “Today was our first-round win of the season. It has definitely been a struggle, but I think it is starting to come around.”

Gray was the first driver since 2015 to win from the No. 11 qualifier position and defeated Deric Kramer, Chris McGaha, and Vincent Nobile. Butner qualified in the fifth position and bested Jeg Coughlin Jr., Alan Prusiensky, and Drew Skillman before facing Gray.

Defending event and world champion Eddie Krawiec rode his bike to winner’s circle with a pass of 6.824 at 198.44 on his Screamin’ Eagles Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. This is his sixth event victory and third consecutive win at Gainesville.

“Right now, I’m riding with the confidence that no one can beat me,” Krawiec stated. “I have a great motorcycle underneath me and a great team behind me. Anytime a rider or a driver has confidence it just makes them that much better.”

Krawiec was the No. 2 qualifier and was victorious against LE Tonglet, Steve Johnson, Hector Arana, the No. 1 qualifier, and teammate Andrew Hines in the final round.

The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway April 6-8 in Las Vegas


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Final finish order (1-16) at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. The race is the third of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:
1. Richie Crampton; 2. Shawn Reed; 3. Clay Millican; 4. Antron Brown; 5. Leah Pritchett; 6.
Terry McMillen; 7. Tony Schumacher; 8. Mike Salinas; 9. Brittany Force; 10. Doug Kalitta; 11.
Scott Palmer; 12. Pat Dakin; 13. Terry Haddock; 14. Terry Totten; 15. Audrey Worm; 16. Steve Torrence.

FUNNY CAR:
1. Jack Beckman; 2. Matt Hagan; 3. Ron Capps; 4. Shawn Langdon; 5. Del Worsham; 6. Robert Hight; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8. Courtney Force; 9. Bob Tasca III; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. Gary Densham; 12. Jim Campbell; 13. John Force; 14. Tim Wilkerson; 15. Dave Richards; 16. J.R. Todd.

PRO STOCK:
1. Tanner Gray; 2. Bo Butner; 3. Drew Skillman; 4. Vincent Nobile; 5. Chris McGaha; 6. Val Smeland; 7. Alan Prusiensky; 8. Greg Anderson; 9. Deric Kramer; 10. Jeg Coughlin; 11. Alex Laughlin; 12. John Gaydosh Jr; 13. Erica Enders; 14. Wally Stroupe; 15. Kenny Delco; 16. Jason Line.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Andrew Hines; 3. Hector Arana; 4. Scotty Pollacheck; 5. Cory Reed; 6.
Steve Johnson; 7. Karen Stoffer; 8. Angelle Sampey; 9. Jerry Savoie; 10. Angie Smith; 11. Ryan Oehler; 12. Hector Arana Jr; 13. Jim Underdahl; 14. Joey Gladstone; 15. Mark Paquette; 16. LE Tonglet.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Sunday’s final results from the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. The race is the third of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Richie Crampton, 3.854 seconds, 314.90 mph def. Shawn Reed, Broke.

Funny Car — Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.035, 323.58 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.034, 322.04.

Pro Stock — Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.588, 210.18 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.605, 210.34.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.824, 198.44 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.853, 197.19.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Chris Demke, 5.305, 273.33 def. Josh Hart, 5.313, 270.70.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.460, 268.28 def. Annie Whiteley, Camaro, 5.483, 270.43.

Pro Modified — Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.794, 249.76 def. Mike Janis, Camaro, 6.597, 159.91.

Top Fuel Harley — Tii Tharpe, Dixie, 6.313, 230.29 def. Bob Malloy, Buell, 6.546, 172.89.

Competition Eliminator — Frank Aragona, Dragster, 7.332, 181.52 def. Greg Kamplain, Dragster, 6.829, 194.02.

Super Stock — Kevin Riner, Chevy Camaro, 11.014, 101.01 def. Pat Clifford, Chevy Cavalier, 10.009, 119.96.

Stock Eliminator — Jeff Taylor, Chevy Camaro, 9.816, 129.40 def. Kenneth Miele, Ford Mustang, 8.864, 150.33.

Super Comp — Greg Slack, Dragster, 8.911, 170.75 def. Ray Miller Jr., Dragster, 8.910, 185.87.

Super Gas — Jim Perry, Chevy S-10, 9.912, 158.69 def. Michelle Furr, Chevy Corvette, 9.933, 154.95.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Ronnie Proctor, Ford Mustang, 8.583, 123.64 def.
Lester Johnson, Chevy Bel Air, Foul – Red Light.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Alan Kenny, Dragster, 6.291, 188.75 def. Steve Cohen, Dragster, Broke.

Factory Stock Showdown — Stephen Bell, Chevy Camaro, 8.176, 167.47 def. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 14.967, 77.46.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Final round-by-round results from the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the third of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing
Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Shawn Reed, 3.830, 322.65 def. Pat Dakin, 3.892, 296.96; Terry McMillen, 3.763, 328.46 def. Scott Palmer, 3.777, 325.53; Leah Pritchett, 3.735, 321.50 def. Terry Haddock, 4.032, 284.75; Antron Brown, 5.162, 191.05 def. Audrey Worm, 8.482, 63.53; Mike Salinas, 3.793, 327.98 def. Steve Torrence, Foul – Centerline; Clay Millican, 3.792, 330.88 def. Terry Totten, 8.175, 78.08; Tony Schumacher, 3.717, 329.26 def. Brittany Force, 3.742, 329.10; Richie Crampton, 3.776, 317.49 def.Doug Kalitta, 3.769, 327.98;
QUARTERFINALS — Crampton, 4.413, 258.81 def. Salinas, Foul – Centerline; Millican, 3.758, 331.28 def. McMillen, 3.831, 325.37; Reed, 4.027, 245.58 def. Schumacher, 4.604, 200.77; Brown, 3.793,
324.20 def. Pritchett, 3.779, 327.51;
SEMIFINALS — Crampton, 5.097, 204.85 def. Brown, 6.132, 196.62; Reed, 4.030, 301.94 def. Millican, 4.934, 156.21; FINAL — Crampton, 3.854, 314.90 def. Reed, Broke.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.995, 325.69 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.083, 298.87; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.894, 330.55 def. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 8.232, 85.43; Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.003, 277.20 def. John Force, Camaro, 4.218, 232.71; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.934, 327.43 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.183, 305.29; Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.943, 324.75 def. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.145, 273.61; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.976, 328.38 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 7.821, 131.27; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.959, 324.28 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.981, 325.30; Del Worsham, Camry, 4.013, 324.75 def. J.R. Todd, Camry, Broke; QUARTERFINALS — Capps, 4.060, 317.64 def. C. Force, 8.255, 88.83; Hagan, 4.027, 291.26 def. Hight, 4.067, 265.53; Beckman, 3.973, 318.54 def. Worsham, 4.032, 315.56; Langdon, 4.025, 313.37 def.
Johnson Jr., 4.841, 172.10; SEMIFINALS — Hagan, 4.056, 310.91 def. Capps, 9.134, 81.86; Beckman, 4.478, 199.35 def. Langdon, 9.414, 81.39; FINAL — Beckman, 4.035, 323.58 def. Hagan, 4.034, 322.04.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.571, 211.66 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.757, 208.39; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.568, 210.14 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 11.537, 76.81; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.577, 210.77 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.569, 210.24; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.573, 210.54 def. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.602, 207.34; Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.731, 206.64 def. Jason Line, Camaro, 25.114, 29.77; Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.733, 205.60 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.567, 210.41 def. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 7.049, 196.93; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.603, 210.93 def. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.656, 207.88; QUARTERFINALS — Gray, 6.612, 209.69 def. McGaha, 6.621, 210.08; Butner, 6.593, 210.14 def.
Prusiensky, 6.905, 169.38; Nobile, 6.614, 209.88 def. Smeland, 6.679, 207.18; Skillman, 6.613,
210.28 def. Anderson, 9.278, 106.32;
SEMIFINALS — Gray, 8.315, 179.52 def. Nobile, 12.836, 81.64; Butner, 6.623, 209.39 def. Skillman, 6.642, 210.05; FINAL — Gray, 6.588, 210.18 def. Butner, 6.605, 210.34.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.935, 194.69 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.880, 196.13; Angelle Sampey, 6.902, 194.94 def. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.943, 191.29; Cory Reed, 6.953, 191.95 def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.945, 198.38; Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 8.303, 115.65 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.844, 197.86 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 9.070, 102.07; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.809, 199.52 def. Mark Paquette, 7.008, 190.43; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.914, 195.70 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.005, 190.16; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.920, 196.10 def. Angie Smith, Buell, Foul – Red Light; QUARTERFINALS — Pollacheck, 6.875, 196.44 def. Reed, 6.925, 192.30; Arana, 6.874, 197.88 def.
Stoffer, 6.981, 192.36; Krawiec, 6.852, 197.80 def. Johnson, 6.929, 194.46; Hines, 6.857, 197.71 def. Sampey, 7.077, 165.46; SEMIFINALS — Hines, 6.868, 196.96 def. Pollacheck, 7.044, 193.54; Krawiec, 6.852, 197.68 def.
Arana, 6.969, 197.25;
FINAL — Krawiec, 6.824, 198.44 def. Hines, 6.853, 197.19.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Point standings (top 10) following the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the third of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence, 217; 2. Antron Brown, 210; 3. Clay Millican, 204; 4. Tony Schumacher, 198; 5. Doug Kalitta, 182; 6. Richie Crampton, 163; 7. Scott Palmer, 161; 8. Leah Pritchett, 147; 9.
Brittany Force, 117; 10. Terry McMillen, 116.

Funny Car

1. Matt Hagan, 268; 2. Jack Beckman, 247; 3. Courtney Force, 219; 4. Ron Capps, 218; 5. Robert Hight, 185; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., 182; 7. Shawn Langdon, 174; 8. (tie) Jonnie Lindberg, 117; J.R. Todd, 117; 10. Del Worsham, 116.

Pro Stock

1. Bo Butner, 245; 2. Jason Line, 232; 3. Chris McGaha, 213; 4. (tie) Deric Kramer, 190; Drew Skillman, 190; 6. Greg Anderson, 186; 7. Tanner Gray, 176; 8. Alex Laughlin, 175; 9. Vincent Nobile, 170; 10. Erica Enders, 166.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Eddie Krawiec, 123; 2. Andrew Hines, 107; 3. Scotty Pollacheck, 76; 4. Hector Arana, 71; 5.
(tie) Steve Johnson, 53; Angelle Sampey, 53; 7. Karen Stoffer, 52; 8. Cory Reed, 51; 9. Joey Gladstone, 39; 10. Hector Arana Jr, 38.

Credit: DSR

Jack Beckman Wins the NHRA Gatornationals

DSR Gainesville Post Race Recap
NHRA Gatornationals
Event 3 of 24 (Gainesville)
Gainesville Raceway
Gainesville, Fla.
March 16-18, 2018


DSR Gainesville Race Day Highlights:

  • Jack Beckman wins the 2018 NHRA Gatornationals (Funny Car)
  • Beckman becomes the third consecutive Funny Car driver to win from the No. 1 spot
  • Beckman recorded his first career win at Gainesville Raceway
  • Beckman’s win was DSR’s 320th national event victory
  • All DSR Funny Car final round (Jack Beckman vs. Matt Hagan)
  • Hagan retained the Funny Car points lead

Jack Beckman Wins the NHRA Gatornationals

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery

GAINESVILLE, Florida (March 18, 2018) – Jack Beckman got to cross an item off of his bucket list on Sunday afternoon – winning the NHRA Gatornationals. Entering the weekend, the drag racing veteran had 26 Funny Car event wins to his credit, but none of them were from historic Gainesville Raceway.

After making four solid qualifying runs, and setting off four win lights on Sunday, Beckman can officially add ‘winning the Gatornationals’ to his impressive resume.

“The Gatornationals came on the schedule in 1970 when NHRA went from four races to seven. That was the super season, the first year they crowned a Funny Car champion. 1970 was a big year for our sport, and [the Gatornationals have] been at this track ever since then, and I’ve never gotten close. It was such a bucket list thing,” said Beckman, who started race day from the No. 1 spot, making him the third consecutive Funny Car driver to win from the top seed.

Along his way to the Winner’s Circle, Beckman defeated Jim Campbell, Del Worsham and Shawn Langdon before squaring off against his DSR teammate, Matt Hagan, in the final round. It was Beckman’s 54th Funny Car final, and first at the Gatornationals.

Hagan and Beckman made nearly identical runs in their Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars powered by Pennzoil, but Beckman’s reaction time advantage earned him the win, with his 4.035-second pass edging Hagan’s 4.034.

Not only did Beckman get to finally achieve his goal of winning ‘the Gators,’ but Sunday’s victory was also a sentimental one for the driver of Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car.

“I flew in a day earlier, and on Thursday I went to the Hall of Fame [dinner]. I got to present Johnny Gray with the Pat Garlits award in honor of Terry Chandler, whose name is still on the side of our car and is the one who made all of this possible. There are 21 of us who have jobs today because of Terry Chandler and how big her heart was, and now her husband Doug wants to carry it on. He’s loving it because he knows Terry is looking down and saying, ‘Alright — my boys did it.’”

Sunday’s win was the 27th of Beckman’s professional career and first of 2018. He moved from sixth to ranked second in the NHRA Funny Car points standings.
Qualified: No. 1 (3.911 E.T. at 332.18 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.934 E.T. at 327.43 MPH defeated Jim Campbell 4.183 E.T. at 305.29 MPH
E2: 3.937 E.T. at 318.54 MPH defeated Del Worsham 4.032 E.T. at 315.56 MPH
E3: 4.478 E.T. at 199.35 MPH defeated Shawn Langdon 9.414 E.T. at 81.39 MPH
E4: 4.035 E.T. at 323.58 MPH defeated Matt Hagan 4.034 E.T. at 322.04 MPH

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
247 points, ranked No. 2
Leads third ranked Courtney Force by 28 points
Trails points leader Matt Hagan by 21 points

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 3 (3.751 E.T. at 327.74 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 5.162 E.T. at 191.05 MPH defeated Audrey Worm 8.482 E.T. at 63.53 MPH
E2: 3.793 E.T. at 324.20 MPH defeated Leah Pritchett 3.779 E.T. at 327.51 MPH
E3: 6.132 E.T. at 196.62 MPH defeated by Richie Crampton 5.097 E.T. at 204.85 MPH

Race Recap:
After qualifying third, the 2013 NHRA Gatornationals Top Fuel event champion faced rookie Audrey Worm in round one. Brown, the 2017 Gatornationals runner-up, had the advantage at the step. The car smoked the tires early into the run, and Brown pedaled it down the Gainesville Raceway stretch to pick up an ugly round win over Worm who encountered problems right at the hit.

In the quarterfinals, the three-time Top Fuel champion went to battle with his DSR/Army Racing teammate, Leah Pritchett. Both drivers made solid runs, but Brown was able to edge past Pritchett for the win.

Brown’s day ended with a semifinal matchup versus Richie Crampton. For the third round in a row, Brown had the better reaction time. Unfortunately, his dragster went up in smoke almost immediately and Crampton was able to pick up the round win.

Quotable:
“It was tricky out here. The track got hot. It just kept getting worse and worse during the day. We were trying to keep up with it and we were getting close. We made a good lap in the second round and then we backed it off for the third round. We just didn’t back it off enough. With that being said, we’re going rounds and we’re picking things off one at a time. We just need to keep improving.”

“Our Matco Tools/U.S. Army Toyota team is starting to get our feet under them. We’re taking it one step at a time and it’s coming. We’re going to be fine. We just need a little bit of time.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
210 points, ranked No. 2
Leads third ranked Clay Millican by six points
Trails first ranked Steve Torrence by seven points

LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde Top Fuel Dragster
Also Competed in the Factory Stock Showdown

Top Fuel:
Qualified: No. 6 (3.811 E.T. at 325.77 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.735 E.T. at 321.50 MPH defeated Terry Haddock 4.032 E.T. at 284.75 MPH
E2: 3.779 E.T. at 327.51 MPH defeated by Antron Brown 3.793 E.T. at 324.20 MPH

Race Recap:
Pritchett clocked a 3.735-second at 321.50-mph pass in the Papa John’s/FireAde Top Fuel dragster to knock out Terry Haddock in the opening round of eliminations. She showcased her quick reflexes with a .053 reaction time at the starting tree, the quickest light of the round.

Pritchett’s day ended in the quarterfinals with a 3.779-sec run. Despite making the second quickest pass of the session, it wasn’t enough to overcome teammate Antron Brown’s even quicker and faster 3.793-sec run.

Quotable:
“We are still making progress. I feel like we have our gremlins out of the way. Our hot rod is back and it showed it on the track today. I take the blame for losing to my U.S. Army teammate Antron Brown. He came out stronger. It’s extremely frustrating. I missed it. I’ve been on it all weekend in both cars and missed it when it counted most. We win together as a team and it feels great. The highs are high and the lows are low. Having to sit on that for two weeks waiting for Las Vegas isn’t going to be fun, but we get to switch gears and put ourselves in the Four-Wide mindset. This has been an exciting, very high-paced weekend in Gainesville. I’m disappointed it ended early, and on my shoulders, but we’ll bounce back.
“To be able to come out on Sunday and post our best two runs of the weekend shows that we qualified with strategy. That’s what this entire season is all about. Today’s runs were an accumulation of what was learned in the four qualifying runs. That shows that the overall big picture is what’s important. We aren’t out here to show out on occasion, we are here for the long haul.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
147 points, ranked No. 8
Leads ninth ranked Brittany Force by 30 points
Trails seventh ranked Scott Palmer by 14 points

Factory Stock Showdown:
Qualified: No. 7 (8.109 E.T. at 168.22 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 8.183 E.T. at 166.50 MPH defeated Daniel Condon 8.204 E.T. at 165.52 MPH
E2: 8.353 E.T. at 163.91 MPH defeated by Randy Taylor 8.189 E.T. at 165.99 MPH

Race Recap:
Pritchett was first off of the starting line in both rounds of Factory Stock Showdown competition. Despite her reaction time advantage, her second round opponent Randy Taylor was able to take the lead and cross the line first, ending Pritchett’s first Factory Stock Showdown event of the year with a quarterfinal finish.

TONY SCHUMACHER
Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 4 (3.785 E.T. at 329.67 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.717 E.T. at 329.26 MPH defeated Brittany Force 3.742 E.T. at 329.10 MPH
E2: 4.604 E.T. at 200.77 MPH defeated by Shawn Reed 4.027 E.T. at 245.58 MPH

Race Recap:
After resetting the Gainesville Raceway speed record earlier in the weekend and running low E.T. of the first qualifying session, the defending event champion looked prime for a repeat.

Schumacher began his race day with a round one matchup versus Brittany Force. Force made her best run of the weekend, but it was no match for Schumacher’s 3.717-second pass, which held up to be best of the raceday.

The winningest Top Fuel driver in Gainesville Raceway history faced Shawn Reed in the quarterfinals. Schumacher was first off of the line but an electrical short inside the cockpit prevented him from making a clean run, and it was Reed’s race to win.

Quotable:
“We had an electric issue right when I staged the car. I’ve never had that happen before. I hit the gas and the timers never worked. I smoked the tires because none of the timers were doing anything. I pedaled it once. Pedaled twice and I wasn’t going to catch him, so I shut it off. That’s when I saw the smoke and small fire inside the cockpit. I smacked it and put it out with my hands, but just like that our day was over. It’s frustrating to have something like that happen. We worked hard all weekend to put ourselves in a good position today and that showed in the first round when we made our best pass of the weekend. This U.S. Army team won’t quit. We all want to win so bad. We’ll get back after it and just keep plugging away. This was a great weekend for the fans of NHRA and we were just hoping to make Gatornationals history today. We’ll have to come back next year and try again.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
198 points, ranked No. 4
Leads fifth ranked Doug Kalitta by 16 points
Trails third ranked Clay Millican by six points

Funny Car:

RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 7 (3.944 E.T. at 325.06 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.959 E.T. at 324.28 MPH defeated Bob Tasca III 3.981 E.T. at 325.30 MPH
E2: 4.060 E.T. at 317.64 MPH defeated Courtney Force 8.255 E.T. at 88.83 MPH
E3: 9.134 E.T. at 81.86 MPH defeated by Matt Hagan 4.056 E.T. at 310.91 MPH

Race Recap:
The three-time Gatornationals Funny Car champion earned a spot in the top half of the field after running low E.T. of qualifying rounds three and four, picking up six valuable bonus points.

On race day, Ron Capps’ first opponent was Bob Tasca III. Tasca and his team weren’t taking Capps lightly, when they clocked their best run of the weekend (3.981), but it was no match for Capps’ 3.959.

In round two, the 2016 World Champion had lane choice versus Courtney Force. Capps was first off of the starting line and never trailed for the win. He drove his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T down Gainesville Raceway in 4.060-seconds and into the semifinal round.

It was a battle of the DSR Dodges in round three as Capps took on his teammate Matt Hagan. Capps pulled away first but hazed the tires early. Unfortunately for Capps, Hagan was able to make a clean pass, setting off the win light and ending Capps’ day.

Quotable:
“You know, it’s such a big race, the Gatornationals. These big races seem to take a little bit more to get over. And the further you go on Sunday, like we did getting to the semifinals, you feel like you have a good shot. The way I look at it, the more runs we give [crew chief] Rahn Tobler, the more competitive our car is going to get, and I really felt like we had a handle on it. For some reason, it smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle, and we haven’t done that in a long time.

“We’ll have to look and see what it did and go on to the next race. It was a tough track, tough weekend for crew chiefs, with the weather changing day in and day out. We’ll take the semifinals and go on, but we really felt it was our shot to get the NAPA AutoCare guys into the Winner Circle.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
218 points, ranked No. 4
Leads fifth ranked Robert Hight by 33 points
Trails third ranked Courtney Force by one point

MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 6 (3.941 E.T. at 328.22 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.976 E.T. at 328.38 MPH defeated Tim Wilkerson 7.821 E.T. at 131.27 MPH
E2: 4.027 E.T. at 291.26 MPH defeated Robert Hight 4.067 E.T. at 265.53 MPH
E3: 4.056 E.T. at 310.91 MPH defeated Ron Capps 9.134 E.T. at 81.86 MPH
E4: 4.034 E.T. at 322.04 MPH defeated by Jack Beckman 4.035 E.T. at 323.58 MPH

Race Recap:
Hagan’s run to the final round in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge included a first-round win over Tim Wilkerson and then a wild, fiery ride against Robert Hight in the quarterfinals. Hight’s engine exploded near the 660-ft mark, with his Funny Car body flying apart. As Hagan raced by in the right lane his engine did the same, sending the car body flying high in the air, but Hagan was able to cross the line at 4.027/291.26 to earn a hard-fought round win.
The Mopar Express Lane Dodge team and crew chief Dickie Venables thrashed and dug deep to get a backup car ready for Hagan to face DSR teammate and Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T driver Ron Capps in the semifinals. The hard work paid off as Hagan posted a solid 4.056/310.91 to advance to his 49th career final round and reach a remarkable milestone, his 500th career round of racing.

Quotable:
“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest. I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville. We kind of started off with a whole new game plan from qualifying and the track conditions were pretty good. We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round. Then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, and to turn a win light on against Capps then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.
“These guys put a great race car together. We ran a really close race out there. It was within one [thousandths of a second] but it was one of those deals where I just got left on by Jack Beckman. It’s one of those deals were you put that in the bank there and you don’t forget it. You have to go home and work on that and not let these guys down who worked all day long to get you there. We’ll take these next few weeks and revaluate and focus and move forward.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
268 points, ranked No. 1
Leads second ranked Jack Beckman by 21 points

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 5 (3.933 E.T. at 327.27 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.995 E.T. at 325.69 MPH defeated Cruz Pedregon 4.083 E.T. at 298.87 MPH
E2: 4.841 E.T. at 172.10 MPH defeated by Shawn Langdon 4.025 E.T. at 313.37 MPH

Race Recap:
After qualifying in the top half of the field, the most recent Funny Car runner-up faced Cruz Pedregon in round one. Johnson was first out of the gate and never trailed, driving Terry and Doug Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T to the win with a clean and straight pass.

In round two, Johnson once again had the starting line advantage. Unfortunately for Johnson, his opponent Shawn Langdon was able to pull ahead early into the run and take the win against Johnson’s tire smoking effort.

Quotable:
“We’re making a little progress, but we’re going to have to keep working at it. We’ve got good data on the six-disc [clutch]. When track conditions are good we run well and qualify well. We just need to keep learning what adjustments to make when the track conditions change and it gets hot out.

“So, we’re making some strides, we’re still going a round or two. If we can continue this progress, we’ll get better and better.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Vegas. We went there and won last year, and it’s always one of my favorite tracks, where we seem to do well. It’s a good racetrack to go to and rebound, get some round wins, get some more data on the six-disc clutch and hopefully top it off with another win.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
182 points, ranked No. 6
Leads seventh ranked Shawn Langdon by eight points
Trails fifth ranked Robert Hight by three points

Credit: DSR

DSR Gainesville Qualifying Report

DSR Gainesville Qualifying Report
NHRA Gatornationals
Event 3 of 24 (Gainesville)
Gainesville Raceway
Gainesville, Fla.
March 16-18, 2018


DSR Gainesville Qualifying Highlights:
(Excerpt)

  • Jack Beckman claimed his first No. 1 qualifier of 2018
  • All DSR entries qualified in the top half of the field
  • Ron Capps ran low E.T. during Saturday’s two qualifying sessions
  • Jack Beckman Starts Race Day from the No. 1 Spot

GAINESVILLE, Florida (March 17, 2018) – No one was able to top Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car team during day two of the NHRA Gatornationals. The Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh-led team’s 3.911-second Q2 pass held up to be best of the weekend, earning Beckman his first No. 1 qualifier of the year, and 24th of his career. It is the 2012 Funny Car World Champion’s second pole at Gainesville Raceway.

After two class-best runs on Friday, Beckman made two more respectable runs during the third and fourth qualifying rounds on Saturday. While not low E.T. of the session, their 4.025-second pass was fourth best of the round, and their 4.007 from Q4 earned the team one bonus point for third quickest.

“Our two runs today we went 4.00,” said Beckman, a 26-time Funny Car winner. “The first one, we dropped a hole at 300-feet, and in the second one we just backed it up too much. We were still ‘top four’ in both sessions and made it down the track every run.”

With four solid runs in the books and conditions that promise to be similar to Friday, Beckman feels confident in his team’s abilities to put Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T in the Winner’s Circle on Sunday.

“I love the fact that we did everything pretty darn good for four runs over the course of the two days here. I think it gives us a leg up going into tomorrow. We’ll have lane choice and we’ll get to pick when we’re going to run. We could make a poor decision, but I like that it’s our decision to make.

“I think by and large, you make your own luck. The team services the car perfectly, the crew chiefs put their heads together, go over data from past runs with similar conditions and make an educated tune-up there, and then you try and outdrive the person in the other lane. You race the race track. We have to do everything a little bit better than they do, but in our lane.

“It is a difficult track. The conditions for first round will be very similar to yesterday’s first qualifying session, and I think we will tune off of that one.”

Beckman’s campaign for his first Gatornationals Wally begins with a matchup versus No. 16 qualifier, Jim Campbell.

Qualified: No. 1 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Jim Campbell

The Results:
Q1: 3.958 E.T. at 325.61 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.911 E.T. at 332.18 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.025 E.T. at 316.15 MPH
Q4: 4.007 E.T. at (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Seven

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