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Don Schumacher Racing Final Qualifying Report: Sonoma NHRA Nationals


DSR 18DSR Sonoma Qualifying Report

NHRA Sonoma Nationals
Event 15 of 24 (Sonoma)
Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, Calif.
July 26-28, 2019

DSR Sonoma Saturday Highlights:

  • Jack Beckman, Matt Hagan, and Tommy Johnson Jr. will start race day from the top half of the Funny Car field; Antron Brown qualified in the quick-half of the Top Fuel field
  • Leah Pritchett made two bonus point-worthy runs on Saturday, powering to the second-quickest pass of Q4 and third-quickest of Q3
  • Ron Capps picked up a bonus point after maneuvering his Funny Car to the third-quickest run of the third session and was one of only three cars to run in the three-second zone during Q3
  • With 499 Top Fuel round wins, Brown is on the verge of reaching No. 500 on Sunday and is set up to become the sixth Top Fuel pilot in NHRA history to reach that milestone

Driver Information:
Top Fuel:
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Cameron Ferre

The Results:
Q1: 4.899 E.T. at 145.14 MPH
Q2: 3.721 E.T. at 327.43 MPH
Q3: 4.105 E.T. at 220.08 MPH
Q4: 3.843 E.T. at 320.13 MPH

“We’re feeling good right now. We backed off today; we wanted to get down the track today because we knew it was going to be hot tomorrow. The track can definitely hold more, but we’re just going to keep working on it and make it better. That Q4 run was a good run in the heat of the day, but high 3.70s is what we want.”

Note: With 499 Top Fuel round wins, Brown is on the verge of reaching No. 500 and will become the sixth Top Fuel pilot in NHRA history to reach that milestone. He will join a list that includes Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon, Doug Kalitta, Joe Amato, and Corey McClenathan.
“It would truly be an honor to get 500 Top Fuel round wins. I’ve always had a love and passion for this sport. Just to be amongst those names, it’s all a Jersey kid could ever dream of. It would be truly incredible, but we’re not done yet. We want to keep on pushing forward, but all those guys are my heroes and just to have my name said with them means a lot to me.”

Driver of the Okuma Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 11

The Competition: No. 6 Austin Prock

The Results:
Q1: 3.805 E.T. at 316.30 MPH
Q2: 4.165 E.T. at 197.45 MPH
Q3: 3.824 E.T. at 321.12 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.800 E.T. at 321.42 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Three

“I think the highlight of our qualifying was Saturday. We ran second-low in Q4 and made two good, clean passes in conditions that will be like race day. We’ll consider this a tiered event. We all knew Friday night was going to set the stage for Sunday and unfortunately, we weren’t able to keep traction all the way down the track when we were really putting the steam to it and missed that very, very small window. So, we took the opportunity today to set ourselves up for race day, and we feel really good about it. This Okuma dragster is clean, consistent, it’s healthy, and we’re definitely ready to go rounds tomorrow.”

Funny Car:
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Jeff Diehl

The Results:
Q1: 3.951 E.T. at 321.96 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.879 E.T. at 333.41 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.005 E.T. at 318.02 MPH
Q4: 3.975 E.T. at 320.20 MPH

Bonus Points: Four

“I think a lot of all of the nitro teams’ success rate this weekend was due to NHRA doing a better job prepping the race track. It was discussed amongst many people, and my hats off to everyone who had input. Our Infinite Hero Hellcat is solidly marching down the track. We got bonus points, we’re solidly qualified, and we’ve got a great tune-up for tomorrow.”

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 9

The Competition: No. 8 Blake Alexander

The Results:
Q1: 3.960 E.T. at 321.19 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 8.653 E.T. at 77.34 MPH
Q3: 3.998 E.T. at 318.17 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.969 E.T. at 323.43 MPH

Bonus Points: Three

“Today’s conditions were similar to what we’ll see tomorrow, and that’s important because we made two great runs today. That Friday night session, you make your best run, and that’s it, it sets the field. We chose to go for the pole, and it didn’t make it, but again, today’s conditions are what we’ll have tomorrow; they’re going to be Tobler-like. We’re at a great race track with two great lanes, we’re not going to have lane choice, but I love it here. Not only is this a home track for me because I grew up near here, but I’ve had a lot of success here in the past. You can’t underestimate anyone, and we’re looking forward to a long day tomorrow.”

Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody

Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 11 J.R. Todd

The Results:
Q1: 6.262 E.T. at 107.21 MPH
Q2: 3.910 E.T. at 325.77 MPH
Q3: 4.025 E.T. at 319.14 MPH
Q4: 3.973 E.T. at 320.28 MPH

“We had a great race car during qualifying. I’ve never won this race, so it’s time to get it done. Our car is running good; it’s handling good, we got some issues fixed this weekend. (Crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is confident, and we’re ready to put this MOPAR Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat in the winner’s circle.”

Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Cruz Pedregon

The Results:
Q1: 3.991 E.T. at 319.90 MPH
Q2: 3.886 E.T. at 324.59 MPH
Q3: 10.484 E.T. at 79.88 MPH
Q4: 3.979 E.T. at 318.77 MPH

“We’ve got a good solid car. We had an issue Q3 that wasn’t indicative of how our car is running, so we’ll come back up and set it up like we had in Q4 first round tomorrow, and go out there and see if we can’t keep this momentum rolling. We’re trying to sweep The Swing, but there’s fourteen other teams that don’t want to see that happen.”

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 325 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.

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