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Don Schumacher Racing Final Qualifying Report: Gainesville


DSR 18DSR Gainesville Qualifying Report

50th annual NHRA Gatornationals
Event 3 of 24 (Gainesville)
Gainesville Raceway -Gainesville, Fla.
March 15-17, 2019

DSR Gainesville Saturday Highlights:

  • The DSR Top Fuel dragsters will start race day at the 50th running of the NHRA Gatornationals seeded in the top five
  • The four-car DSR Funny Car squad qualified in the top-half of the field with Tommy Johnson Jr. leading the way in third
  • Both Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett made top three runs in Q3 to earn bonus points
  • Johnson powered to the quickest run of Q3 and earned three bonus points
  • Matt Hagan banked a point when he clocked the third quickest pass of the final Funny Car qualifying session

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

antron brownANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Richie Crampton

The Results:
Q1: 4.010 E.T. at 246.30 MPH
Q2: 4.743 E.T. at 156.21 MPH
Q3: 3.726 E.T. at 330.23 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.728 E.T. at 328.30 MPH

Bonus Points: One

“We struggled a little bit on Friday, but we had two good back-to-back runs today, although, we would have liked to have run a little better in the last run. The track was really good today and it’s going to be good tomorrow. We’re just going to push hard and see what we can do. Our Matco Tools Toyota boys are doing a good job and I think we’re in a good position for Sunday.”

leah pritchettLEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Pat Dakin

The Results:
Q1: 3.818 E.T. at 321.88 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 6.918 E.T. at 100.84 MPH
Q3: 3.724 E.T. at 325.22 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q4: 6.434 E.T. at 105.36 MPH

Bonus Points: Four

“We like to be in the position we’re in where we’re capable of pushing. That’s where you learn, where you grow. No. 4 is a good qualifying spot. Both lanes are great. They’re nice and smooth. I feel good about our chances tomorrow, especially if we get back to where we can throw down those really big numbers. That’s what we get excited about. We learned a lot in Q4 even though the numbers didn’t show it and I think that’s going to set us up for a lot of momentum come race day. Conditions look like they’ll be favorable. We’re here to break records, break hearts and be a part of history. No better time than the 50th anniversary to bring some gold home.”

Funny Car:

jack beckmanJACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 11 J.R. Todd

The Results:
Q1: 5.075 E.T. at 147.46 MPH
Q2: 7.996 E.T. at 89.17 MPH
Q3: 14.702 E.T. at 44.17 MPH
Q4: 3.900 E.T. at 323.74 MPH

On his Q4 pass: “I picked up 180-miles per hour for the first time here at Gainesville and it felt good. We struggled. I screwed up the first run. We were too aggressive on one run. We were too soft on one run. Man, going into Sunday, we knew were going to qualify with only 16 cars. We are the defending event champions. You don’t want to go in with a whimper. We went in with some authority.”

ron cappsRON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 8 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 9 Bob Tasca III

The Results:
Q1: 4.017 E.T. at 313.00 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.965 E.T. at 308.14 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 7.802 E.T. at 84.75 MPH
Q4: 3.933 E.T. at 318.77 MPH

Bonus Points: Four

“We used Q3 for a little test and those are the conditions you want to do it in. We sacrificed making a run, but we learned a bunch. I’ve bragged about showing up 16th and still having a car I’m confident to win in and we’ll just have to wait and see what the conditions are tomorrow. It’s been different every day so far here in Gainesville. I’m so proud of this NAPA team. We’ve got a lot of executives here. The Wilson’s from across the country. They are big-time NAPA store owners and part of our family. As well as the Rearden family. And the NAPA president himself Dan Askey and his wife Leslie are here. We’re just trying to show off a little bit for them if we can. This is sacred territory here with it being the 50th Annual Gatornationals and it’d be pretty cool to get another trophy.”

matt haganMATT HAGAN
Driver of the MOPAR Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Jonnie Lindberg

The Results:
Q1: 4.779 E.T. at 167.68 MPH
Q2: 4.007 E.T. at 317.05 MPH
Q3: 3.946 E.T. at 325.37 MPH
Q4: 3.900 E.T. at 325.85 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: One

“Man, we’ve got a good hot rod. (Crew chief) Dickie Venables is continuing to get more and more comfortable with this race car and the combination we have right now. I’m excited about tomorrow. I’ve never won the Gatornationals. I finished as the runner-up last year and have a great opportunity and a great race car to get it done tomorrow. We won for Sandvik in Phoenix, now we need to win for MOPAR.”

tommy johnson jrTOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 John Smith

The Results:
Q1: 5.002 E.T. at 152.24 MPH
Q2: 3.985 E.T. at 322.58 MPH
Q3: 3.896 E.T. at 324.75 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 4.385 E.T. at 182.92 MPH

Bonus Points: Three

On his Q4 explosion: “That was probably the biggest boomer I’ve ever had. That was a big one. There was no warning whatsoever. The car was running really good and just before the finish line, kaboom! Unexpected for sure. I hate it for the crew guys, all the extra work it’s going to cause. They went through that enough already in Phoenix. I don’t think any of (these explosions) are related, and that’s what’s unfortunate. I don’t think it’s a problem we have, it’s just maybe a run of bad luck. We’ll get it fixed, the car has been running really well. We’ll come out here tomorrow, see if we can’t lay down some good runs and keep the body on it.”

Factory Stock Showdown Series:

mark PawukMARK PAWUK
Driver of the Empaco Equipment MOPAR Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

Qualified: DNQ

The Results:
Q1: 14.673 E.T. at 76.40 MPH
Q2: 8.077 E.T. at 170.26 MPH
Q3: 16.378 E.T. at 66.84 MPH

leah pritchett FSLEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

Qualified: No. 6

The Results:
Q1: 14.673 E.T. at 76.40 MPH
Q2: 8.077 E.T. at 170.26 MPH
Q3: 7.852 E.T. at 173.21 MPH

E1: 7.891 E.T. at 172.59 MPH defeated by Kevin Skinner 7.799 E.T. at 175.57 MPH

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 326 NHRA national event titles and 17 world championships since opening its doors in 1998.

Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields seven professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the MOPAR/Pennzoil/Sparkling Ice dragster driven by Leah Pritchett and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher’s machine. In Funny Car, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, the Mopar Express Lane/Pennzoil/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat piloted by Matt Hagan, and in Terry and 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 Make-A-Wish Dodge.

DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pritchett, the 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Series champion, and former Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk.

Follow Don Schumacher Don Schumacher Racing at, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing, Driver photos: NHRA