Pritchett to Start No. 3 in Mopar Dodge 1320 ‘Angry Bee’ Top Fuel Dragster at Dodge NHRA Nationals
- Leah Pritchett seeks second win with special Mopar Dodge 1320 graphics on her Top Fuel dragster
- Pritchett debuted the Mopar Dodge 1320 graphics in July by taking the pole and the win at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver
- Five-time Maple Grove Raceway event winner Tony Schumacher qualifies No. 2 in his Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster
- Tommy Johnson Jr. qualifies third to lead the Mopar Dodge//SRT Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car team at the Dodge NHRA Nationals
- Jack Beckman (No. 4) and Ron Capps (No. 5) join DSR teammate Johnson in top half of Funny Car field
- DSR Mopar Dodge//SRT Funny Car drivers sweep bonus points in final qualifying session
- Matt Hagan qualifies No. 10 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
- Pritchett sweeps Hagan in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon grudge match races at Maple Grove Raceway
- 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, features highlights from NHRA season
September 15, 2018, Mohnton, Pennsylvania – Leah Pritchett will start from the No. 3 spot in elimination rounds on Sunday, September 16, at the Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pennsylvania, with the goal of making it two-for-two in the win column for her Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster.
Pritchett last carried the special Mopar Dodge 1320 graphics on her dragster when she debuted her “Angry Bee” at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver in late July. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver collected the No. 1 qualifier spot and the race win at that event in the “Angry Bee” 1320 graphics, which celebrate the new street-to-strip Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 drag car, geared for Sportsman racers.
After joining her fellow Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers in helping to kick-start the Dodge NHRA Nationals at the Mopar Mega Block Party on Thursday, September 13, Pritchett made the second quickest run in the evening qualifying session on Friday, earning two bonus points. She’ll begin eliminations No. 3 on Sunday in the first race of the six-event NHRA Countdown to the Championship with a first-round battle against Audrey Worm.
Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher, a five-time event winner at the Dodge NHRA Nationals, rocketed up to the No. 2 spot in his final qualifying attempt. “The Sarge” earned two bonus points and will meet Dan Mercier to open up Sunday.
Tommy Johnson Jr. paced the four-driver Mopar Dodge DSR Funny Car team in qualifying, locking down the No. 3 spot in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T. Johnson earned one bonus point in Q2, and then wrapped up qualifying with the quickest run of the session to reclaim the third spot and an additional three bonus markers. Johnson will face Jim Campbell in the first round on Sunday.
“Fast” Jack Beckman opened qualifying on Friday with the quickest pass of the round and ended it on Saturday with the second quickest of the session, earning a total of five bonus points. The DSR driver posted his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the No. 4 spot and will square off with Cruz Pedregon to open Sunday. Ron Capps, the defending 2017 Dodge NHRA Nationals Funny Car winner, qualified No. 5 in his NAPA Dodge Charger R/T with consistent runs in the three-second range and drew Jonnie Lindberg in round one.
Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat pilot Matt Hagan, coming off a runner-up appearance at the NHRA U.S Nationals, will start No. 10 and lineup against John Force.
The DSR duo of Pritchett and Hagan also entertained fans in a pair of “grudge match” races in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicles in between qualifying rounds on Friday and Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. Pritchett swept both races, completing the season series with a 3-1 edge over her teammate. The pair also dueled to a 1-1 tie in the most powerful muscle car ever at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals event.
Mopar Dodge//SRT Notes & Quotes
(best elapsed time in bold)
Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 3 will face No. 14 Audrey Worm
Friday: (6.696 seconds at 100.11 mph – Q1); (3.758/312.50 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.799/325.45 – Q3); (3.799/308.50 – Q4)
“I feel like the Countdown is Christmas and whoever can feel like it’s Christmas the longest is going to be the champion. We get excited about going fast and we pushed super hard in Q4. Our plan was to merge Q1 and Q2 and it stuck for a little while until we had some issues at the top end. Starting Sunday off in the third position … that’s incredible. That’s what we want. It gives us lane choice and the ability to concentrate on one round at a time. A lot of people want to put added pressure on these Countdown races. I think that consistency is going to be the biggest component and we’ve shown that we have that throughout qualifying this weekend.”
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Dan Mercier
Friday: (3.806 seconds at 324.98 mph – Q1); (3.776/329.67 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.792/328.94 – Q3); (3.754/328.86 – Q4)
“We have a great U.S. Army team and just closed qualifying with a great run. We’ve been gun-shy and finally it was time in that last run; we had the opportunity we needed. The conditions were good. We already knew how to make an average run, but we needed to make a fast one. We made a lot of changes and the car was extremely fast. I give a lot credit to (crew chief) Mike (Neff) and (assistant crew chief) Phil (Shuler) and all the U.S. Army guys. They never gave up and continued to work. We want to win this race tomorrow. To win a championship, you have to win races and we have a great opportunity tomorrow.”
Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Jim Campbell
Friday: (8.590 seconds at 83.07 mph – Q1); (3.939/326.00 – Q2)
Saturday: (5.225/134.51 – Q3); (3.921/324.90 – Q4)
“I tell you what, you try and come out and finish strong, you kind of sacrifice a little in the middle and test and figure things out. The guys did a great job, we haven’t run like we should have all season, but we’re running like we should be when it counts.”
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Cruz Pedregon
Friday: (3.954 seconds at 322.88 mph – Q1); (3.993/284.51 – Q2)
Saturday: (NO TIME – Q3); (3.939/328.22 – Q4)
“We did exactly what we had to do. In Q3, we towed up, fired up the car and it spit an O-ring out in the fuel line. We had a leak and had to shut it off. I cannot remember ever not making a qualifying run except for in New Hampshire in 2016 when we blew the car up so bad it made every highlight reel. We just don’t skip qualifying sessions. And then you get not only one run behind, but you can’t try stuff, so it really kind of painted us into the corner. The guys did a phenomenal job getting our Infinite Hero Dodge back on track. Not only did we move way up to fourth, we were second quickest of the session, we got two more bonus points and we’ve got a car that can win the race tomorrow.”
Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Jonnie Lindberg
Friday: (3.996 seconds at 302.96 mph – Q1); (3.948/326.56 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.972/323.89 – Q3); (3.942/321.19 – Q4)
“This is definitely NHRA Countdown fever. Going into that last session, hearing (announcer Alan) Reinhart on the PA talking about every time a pair of cars went down the track how it would be big, big names matched up first round tomorrow, and it kept moving every time someone would step up. You’d be a damn fool to try and pick a name out of the ladder and think you’d rather run them than someone else because that’s when it bites you. I’m a huge Jonnie Lindberg fan, love the kid. Jim Head is such a good racer. Those guys have got all of the good parts and they can run as good as anybody on the ground, so you don’t overlook anyone. I’m just happy we made three-second runs during all four qualifying sessions. That’s classic (crew chief) Rahn Tobler.”
Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 10, will face No. 7 John Force
Friday: (8.756 seconds at 77.86 mph – Q1); (3.960/321.12 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.556/189.52 – Q3); (4.973/154.23 – Q4)
“Tomorrow’s race day, it’s the Countdown, anything can happen. Got a good team behind us, working hard, and we’re going to put this Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the winner’s circle.”
Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can catch Dodge NHRA Nationals coverage at Dodge Garage (www.dodgegarage.com), the one-stop destination for Mopar and Dodge//SRT drag racing news.
The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge Garage features include exclusive content, such as the “Chasing the Title” video series, which offers fans a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse at DSR drivers and teams in action on and off the track.
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 Dodge NHRA Nationals will air on FS1 starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 16.
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.
Photos courtesy of Mopar, driver photos courtesy of NHRA