Mopar Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car Drivers
Capps, Hagan Qualify in Top Three at Norwalk
- Ron Capps and Matt Hagan to start No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio
- Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher to start No. 4
- Dominant Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak drivers sweep top four spots in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown qualifying, all four advance to second round of eliminations
- Mopar Dodge driver Pritchett qualifies No. 8 in Top Fuel and No. 3 in Factory Stock Showdown, will bid for two Wally trophies during Sunday eliminations3
- More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com
- Dodge Garage (http://www.dodgegarage.com/), a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches, features highlights from NHRA season
June 24, 2018, Norwalk, Ohio – Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Ron Capps raced to the No. 2 spot while teammate Matt Hagan claimed the No. 3 position in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car following two days of rain-shortened qualifying at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
The DSR duo were the only two drivers to post runs in the three-second range on Saturday and will lead a group of six Mopar-powered Dodge Funny Car drivers into elimination rounds. In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher paced the Mopar-powered entries by qualifying fourth in his U.S. Army machine, while teammate Leah Pritchett will start No. 8 in her FireAde/Mopar Dodge as she attempts to double up with victories in both Top Fuel and Factory Stock.
Capps, winner at the NHRA stop in Bristol, Tennessee, last weekend, was second quickest on Friday with a 3.961-second elapsed time (ET), earning two bonus points in his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge. After persistent rain showers washed out Friday’s evening qualifying session, Capps clocked a 3.976 ET on Saturday, banking another three bonus points. The final qualifying session was also lost to inclement weather. Capps, the 2016 Norwalk event winner, will square off against Jeff Diehl in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday at Summit Motorsports Park.
Hagan was listed No. 3 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T after the first day of qualifying, earning one bonus point thanks to a 3.981 run, and added another two on Saturday with a 3.989 that was second-quickest behind his stablemate Capps. The two-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion will begin race day against DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr.
Bristol Top Fuel winner Tony Schumacher remained hot on Friday, recording a 3.792 that earned him the provisional No. 2 spot and two bonus points, paired with a speed of 330.63 mph that was tops of the day. Shuffled down to fourth after Q3, “The Sarge” will face first-round foe Kyle Wurtzel.
Juggling double duty at Norwalk, Mopar Dodge DSR Top Fuel driver Pritchett ranked in the provisional No. 9 spot after her first qualifying attempt. She bumped into the top half of the field at No. 8 thanks to a 3.838 ET in Q3 and will go head-to-head against Doug Kalitta.
Defending Norwalk Funny Car event champion Jack Beckman drove his Mopar-fueled Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T to a 4.101 run and will start No. 11 against Tim Wilkerson. Johnson starts No. 14 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T and will face Hagan. Mopar-powered Dodge Funny Car racers Dale Creasy (No. 12) and Jim Campbell (No. 13) will also battle for the win on Sunday.
Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
A quartet of supercharged, 354-cubic-inch HEMI engine-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak drivers completely dominated in a historic clean sweep of the top four spots during NHRA Factory Stock Showdown qualifying, then added opening-round victories to advance deeper into elimination rounds on Sunday.
DSR star Pritchett, once again switching between seats in her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster and Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak machines, locked down the No. 3 spot on the strength of an 8.117 run. She faced Leonard Libersher in the first round of eliminations for the second straight weekend, and was quicker off the starting line with a .018 reaction time and at the finish with a 8.185/169.15 pass. Pritchett will meet Stephen Bell in round two tomorrow as she seeks to score Wally trophies in both Top Fuel and Factory Stock.
Carrying momentum from his Factory Stock Showdown victory last weekend at Bristol, Joe Welch captured the pole with an 8.092 ET and then advanced to round two of eliminations with a 8.113/169.00 against David Barton, who was disqualified on a red-light foul after leaving the line early. Welch will face Scott Libersher in round two. Pritchett’s DSR teammate Mark Pawuk, who made his Factory Stock debut at Bristol, qualified No. 2 and defeated a tough opponent in Arthur Kohn with a 8.167 ET at 167.76 mph, with Chuck Watson up next on his dance card for the second round.
Mopar Dodge fan-favorite and 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Allen Johnson ranked seventh after the single qualifying session on Friday, then moved to No. 4 with a 8.144 ET on Saturday. Johnson used a 8.193/168.05 effort to knock out Carl Tasca in the opening round and will lineup against Aaron Stanfield next.
Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Jeff Diehl
Friday: (3.961 seconds at 320.28 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.976/322.65 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)
“Obviously, having one shot on Friday, that’s why I brag about (crew chief) Rahn Tobler and what he’s done going back to the car that we had before. He can make a call like he made yesterday, on Friday, with the weather looming, not knowing what was going to happen and the weather changing minute-to-minute and to go up there and run the 3.96 and put us No. 2 was classic Rahn Tobler. To unload on Saturday for Q3 and to go up there again with the weather changing like it was and to get our three bonus points for going quickest of the round with another great run with a 3.98. It’s just proof that we made the right choice and now it just feels like we’re going to get our momentum back that we’ve had the last two years. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Tommy Johnson Jr.
Friday: (3.981 seconds at 325.22 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.989/323.43 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)
“Our Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger is running strong. (Crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is making some good calls out there. I really feel like we’re getting some confidence back this weekend. I think everybody is getting used to these conditions now. It’s just taken some runs and taken some time to do it, but we’re getting right back up to where we need to be. We talked about needing to be ‘top five’ qualifier at every race and that just puts us in a good position. It’s not always going to happen, but our goal is to go down the race track on the first run and set ourselves up for the rest of the weekend.”
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Kyle Wurtzel
Friday: (3.792 seconds at 330.63 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.793/329.02 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)
“We were trying to run a little quicker today, but I’ll take that run any day of the week. We went right down the track. The (data) lines look beautiful. Everything about the U.S. Army car is perfect. All the parts are good. We understand it’s not supposed to be cloudy and cool tomorrow, so that particular run is going to play right into our hands. Bottom line is that I don’t care what kind of weather we have tomorrow because I know I’m surrounded by an incredible team.”
Leah Pritchett, FireAde/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 9 Doug Kalitta
Friday: (4.099 seconds at 271.73 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (3.838/324.98 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)
“We were really looking forward to getting that final session in. We’ve been working through some data issues and feel like we had a handle on them heading the final session. Every run is important to us. All aspects matter. From the seat time to finding that baseline, every lap is critical. We were hoping to see where we were tonight, but we’ll just have to come back tomorrow and give it everything we have against Doug Kalitta. These guys are working extremely hard and I’m going to keep working on that tree.”
On her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Factory Stock Showdown Car
“For the Mopar Drag Paks to lock up the ‘top four’ qualifying spots is something of history. Today, a first round win, just like everybody, you’re waiting all day for it. There were rain delays and you’re constantly changing your tune-up and I’m really proud of our Mopar team for putting up some stout numbers. Of course, we’re going to have some stout competition in our second round of eliminations, but we race the track and that competition.
“To be totally honest, a win light in Top Fuel and a win light in Factory Stock, they’re different, but they both glow the same, and they both mean the same to me. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication for both programs.”
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 11, will face No. 6 Tim Wilkerson
Friday: (4.101 seconds at 308.57 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (4.128/264.70 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)
“We’re not going to be a top-half car (in the qualifying field), and that hasn’t slowed us down. We’ve only got two first round losses all year long and one of them was a mechanical issue. I don’t think it matters where we qualify. Some might think we dug ourselves a little hole, but I think race day we’re a team that finds a way to win rounds.”
Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 14, will face No. 3 Matt Hagan
Friday: (6.489 seconds at 101.17 mph – Q1); (Cancelled due to weather – Q2)
Saturday: (4.209/245.81 – Q3); (Cancelled due to weather – Q4)
“It’s been a long weekend with only making two runs down the track. We’re getting closer on this tune-up each time we get an opportunity on the track and I think we’ll be fine for first round tomorrow.”
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.
Three hours of eliminations coverage from the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 24.
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Photos courtesy of Mopar, driver photos courtesy of NHRA