DSR Pomona II Friday Qualifying Report
Auto Club NHRA Finals
Event 24 of 24 (Pomona II)
NHRA Countdown, Event 6 of 6
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – Pomona, California
November 9-11, 2018
DSR Pomona II Friday Highlights:
- Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) occupy the provisional No. 1 spots after day one of qualifying
- Pritchett and Johnson swept Friday qualifying, running low E.T. of both Q1 and Q2 in their respective categories
- Antron Brown holds the provisional No. 3 Top Fuel spot going into Saturday
- Jack Beckman (No. 2) and Ron Capps (No. 5) join Johnson in the top half of the Funny Car field
DSR Dominates Friday Qualifying at Auto Club NHRA Finals
POMONA, California (November 9, 2018) – Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) lead the nitro classes after day one of the 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. The Mopar-powered teammates swept Friday qualifying, launching to session-best passes during both sessions.
Pritchett navigated the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to a Q2 run of 3.649-seconds at 329.34-mph to secure the provisional No. 1 position. The Todd Okuhara/Joe Barlam-led team held the top spot going into the second session after laying down a session-best 3.774 at 312.64 in the first round of qualifying.
“The biggest thing is win lights, of course, but when you have this kind of weather, you can just feel the energy; you get to execute what you set out to do,” said Pritchett of racing to the provisional No. 1 spot at her hometown track.
“We knew it was out there. When we ran that 77 in Q1, we knew that there was so much more in it, so we built off of that. That 3.64 is a testament to some new chassis work we were able to do back at the DSR shop. We were able to put that power to the ground, and we did it in leaps and bounds. These are the moments, besides eliminations, that you can’t wait for because that’s the epitome of all of the power and all of the work coming down to that ‘Olympic moment.’
In Funny Car, Johnson is seeking his fourth consecutive No. 1 qualifier of 2018 and is well on his way to accomplishing that goal after the John Collins/Rip Reynolds tuning duo dialed the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T to a 3.960 at 317.42-mph pass during round one, and then backed it up with a stout 3.881 at 328.54 to hold on to the top spot in round two.
“We’ve had three No. 1’s in a row, and we come here, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t do that again,” said Johnson of his impeccably consistent Dodge Funny Car. “Tonight, I’m in the car and I’m listening to what the other teams ran before us and thought ‘okay we should be able to go 88’ and John said I’m going to try and get it to go 281 (mph) at half-track, that speed should get us to where we need to be. Sure enough, it ran 281 at half-track and went 3.88.”
Johnson, who raced to the No. 1 qualifying position at Dallas, Charlotte II, and Las Vegas II, hopes to retain his top-of-the-pack standing going into Sunday as he attempts to capture the Auto Club NHRA Finals Wally for the third year in a row.
“We came in here so confident,” said Johnson who captured the event win in 2016 and 2017 and finished as the runner-up in 2015. “When you’ve had that much success at one track, it’s hard to beat it because you’re not beating yourself. I feel comfortable here. I’ve been fortunate here; I wish more of them were like this.”
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster
Q1: 3.774 E.T. at 312.64 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.649 E.T. at 329.34 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Eight
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 1
Tommy Johnson Jr.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Q1: 3.960 E.T. at 317.42 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.881 E.T. at 328.54 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Eight
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 1
Driver of the Matco Tools Maximus 3.0/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.791 E.T. at 325.37 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.704 E.T. at 329.50 MPH (Two bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Five
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 3
Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.792 E.T. at 326.24 MPH (Two bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: 6.748 E.T. at 98.23 MPH
Bonus Points: Two
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 11
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Q1: 4.317 E.T. at 217.04 MPH
Q2: 3.901 E.T. at 323.35 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Three
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 2
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Q1: 6.172 E.T. at 111.99 MPH
Q2: 3.948 E.T. at 320.66 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 5
Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Q1: 4.256 E.T. at 214.62 MPH
Q2: 7.246 E.T. at 91.65 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 13
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 SRT Hellcat, 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 also campaigns two Sportsman teams. The two-car Factory Stock Showdown duo is piloted by Pritchett and veteran Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk. Both drivers compete in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks.
DSR has won 333 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing, Driver photos: NHRA