Mopar Express Lane NHRA Spring Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Event No. 10
Houston Raceway Park
October 24-25, 2020
- The DSR Funny Car championship battle continues to intensify heading into the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Spring Nationals Presented by Pennzoil, the penultimate event of the 2020 season, after No. 2 ranked Jack Beckman defeated point leader Matt Hagan in the Dallas final round at the previous event
- A scant four points separate Hagan and Dallas
- DSR carries a streak of 12 consecutive national event Funny Car wins into Houston
- While they jostle for position atop the leaderboard, No. 1 ranked Hagan, No. 4 ranked Ron Capps, No. 2 ranked Beckman and No. 3 ranked Tommy Johnson Jr. will also be looking to extend DSR’s current undefeated Funny Car streak to a record 13 victories
- Each driver has contributed at least two Wally trophies to the string of 12 wins that dates back to October 2019. DSR previously set the consecutive win record in a single class at 10 races during the 2017 season with the same driver lineup
- Johnson is looking to deliver a ‘hometown victory’ for MD Anderson, headquartered in Houston
- In Top Fuel, Leah Pruett occupies the No. 3 spot in the point standings. Sitting 148 points out of first, Houston is a ‘must-do-well’ for Pruett to remain solidly in championship contention.
- Mark Pawuk leads the DSR Drag Pak Factory Stock Showdown duo in the championship rankings, sitting in the No. 2 spot. Pawuk’s No. 1 qualifier from the unfinished St. Louis race will carry over into Houston to start the weekend
- Antron Brown won his first Top Fuel race at the 2008 Houston event
- Hagan won his first Funny Car Wally trophy at the 2010 event
On Saturday, just prior to the first nitro qualifying session, Beckman will join Infinite Hero Foundation representatives on the starting line to present an iBot, a personal mobility device, to Richard Carson, Army Combat Medic (retired). The iBOT donation is made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of DSR sponsor Doug Chandler and the TLC Foundation, the Parasol Foundation, and the incredible fans who give so generously to support the Infinite Hero Foundation.
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Houston Event Highlights:
- Three-time runner-up (2009, 2014, 2015)
- 2015 No. 1 Qualifier
2019 Houston Recap:
Qualified eighth; First round exit (defeated by Bob Tasca III in E1)
Last Event (Dallas):
Qualified sixth; Event champion (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Tim Wilkerson in E2, Bob Tasca III in E3, Matt Hagan in E4)
2020 Season Statistics:
Three event wins; 22 round wins; ranked second in points
333 races; 33 wins; 27 No. 1 qualifiers
On Saturday, just prior to the first nitro qualifying session, Beckman will join Infinite Hero Foundation representatives on the starting line to present an iBot, a personal mobility device, to Richard Carson, Army Combat Medic (retired).
Beckman enters the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Spring Nationals Presented by Pennzoil as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour after defeating teammate Matt Hagan in the Dallas final
Beckman is DSR’s top trophy earner in 2020 with three victories in the first nine races
“How could any driver not want to hop right back into the car I got out of after winning Dallas? Our crew is just absolutely beyond-words-fantastic, and our race day wasn’t without its challenges. We had an issue with the clutch pressure and we hadn’t completely tracked it down, and we just tuned around it. We had a hiccup warming-up for the final round and we thought we may have backfired or hurt the engine, and then the car goes up there and runs exactly what it’s supposed to, and as a driver, that gives you so much confidence. I had been to Dallas 16 times to get one nitro win, and that track was one that I considered to be a ‘must win.’ I’ve just crossed that one off the list, and I haven’t won Houston yet so I’ve got my Sharpie ready to cross that one off the bucket list too.”
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 354, 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.