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Don Schumacher Racing Pre-Race Report: Seattle NHRA Northwest Nationals

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DSR 18Seattle Pre-Race Report

Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals
Event 16 of 24 (Seattle)
Pacific Raceways – Kent, Wash.
Aug. 2-4, 2019

Highlights:

  • Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) return as the defending event champions
  • Brown has claimed the Top Fuel Seattle Wally trophy the last three years and will attempt to become the first driver to win four consecutive Seattle trophies in any NHRA Pro class at Pacific Raceways this weekend
  • Brown’s 2018 Seattle win was his 50th Top Fuel victory; Capps’ was his 60th professional win
  • Both Tommy Johnson Jr. (1993) and Capps (1995) won their first NHRA trophy in a professional category at Seattle. Both drivers won while competing in Top Fuel
    Capps and Johnson have been to the Seattle winner’s circle in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories

Note: Leah Pritchett and her Sparkling Ice +Caffeine Top Fuel Dragster will be on-site at the Covington Safeway (17023 SE 272nd St, Covington, WA 98042), today, July 31, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PT. The Meet & Greet is free and open to the public.

DSR-Owned Track Records:

  • Top Fuel, E.T.: 3.685 seconds, Antron Brown (2016)
  • Funny Car, speed: 334.15 mph, Jack Beckman (2016)

DSR Driver Information:
Top Fuel:
ANTRON BROWNANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Seattle Event Highlights:

  • Four-time event champion (2009, 2016 – 2018)
  • Two-time runner-up (2010, 2014)
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2011, 2017)

2018 Seattle Recap:
Qualified fifth; Event champion (defeated Shawn Reed in E1, Tony Schumacher in E2, Steve Torrence in E3, Leah Pritchett in E4)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified fourth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Cameron Ferre in E1; defeated by Doug Kalitta in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
18 round wins; Ranked second (tied) in points

Career Statistics:
421 races; 66 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:

  • Brown has claimed the Top Fuel Seattle Wally trophy the last three years and will attempt to become the first driver to win four consecutive Seattle trophies in any NHRA Pro class at Pacific Raceways this weekend
  • Brown’s 2018 Seattle win was his 50th Top Fuel victory

Quotable:
“We have a marathon team. The more back-to-back races we have and the harder and tougher it gets, the more our guys really dig in. Seattle is the end of the Swing, and we always look forward to going there. It’s a sea-level track, it gets a little warm, and it’s one of those places that really suits the way we like to race. The track can get a little tricky with the sun on it, but we always seem to navigate it well, and we have plenty of notes we can look back on. We can really make our car perform at the level it needs to be.

“At the end of the day, our car and our combination has definitely come around. I think we’re going to be peaking at the right time. Seattle will be a great place to come out with a win because it really sets in motion everything that we need to do going into Brainerd and the U.S. Nationals, our biggest race of the year. I think Indy will set us up to perform well at the last six races of the year for the championship. That’s been our game plan all year, and we’ve been growing and growing, but it’s going to take everything we’ve got for all of our hard work to finally come to fruition at Seattle. I think that’s why we always do well there because we know that’s the race where the switch always has to be on. It’s got to come on by then. We’ve got to race hard to win every round from here on out and finish strong.”

LEAH PRITCHETTLEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the Sparkling Ice +Caffeine Top Fuel Dragster

Note: Pritchett and her Sparkling Ice +Caffeine Top Fuel Dragster will be on-site at the Covington Safeway (17023 SE 272nd St, Covington, WA 98042), today, July 31, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PT

Seattle Event Highlights:

  • 2018 runner-up

2018 Seattle Recap:
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated Troy Buff in E1, Clay Millican in E2, Mike Salinas in E3; defeated by Antron Brown in E4)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified 11th; First round exit (defeated by Austin Prock in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
12 round wins; Ranked seventh in points

Career Statistics:
132 races; seven wins; 11 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“The guys have done a phenomenal job. We have a great race car, and we won’t let early exits in Denver and Sonoma get us down. They don’t call it ‘the Swing’ for nothing. We would love nothing more than to end it on a high note in Seattle. This week, we’ve been dedicated to figuring out our race day issues via engineering. We’ll be back on the track this weekend with new colors, new luck, and a new clutch package.”

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

Seattle Event Highlights:

  • 2007 event champion
  • 2011 runner-up
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2013, 2015)

2018 Seattle Recap:
Qualified 11th; First round exit (defeated by Shawn Langdon in E1)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jeff Diehl in E1; defeated by Matt Hagan in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
22 round wins; ranked fourth in points

Career Statistics:
315 races; 28 wins; 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“At this point, I think everyone on the Infinite Hero team would agree our single-minded goal is just to get a trophy. Winning requires a series of things – a good game plan, and a good execution. I have to drive well, (crew chiefs Dean) ‘Guido’ (Antonelli) and John (Medlen) have to tune well, the crew has to service the car well and then that intangible, sometimes you just have to have a bit of racing luck. I think we’ve been good, and we’ve been ready to win a race, but we just haven’t had much racing luck lately. You can never count on that, so we’re just going to go back to proper execution, and the chips are going to fall where they may, but I hope we end up with the trophy in Seattle.”

RON CAPPSRON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Seattle Event Highlights:

  • Four-time event champion
    – Funny Car (1998, 2016, 2018)
    – Top Fuel (1995)
  • Four-time runner-up (2001, 2006, 2008, 2010)
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (1997, 2012)

2018 Seattle Recap:
Qualified ninth; Event champion (defeated Jonnie Lindberg in E1, Matt Hagan in E2, Tim Wilkerson in E3, Courtney Force in E4)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified ninth; First round exit (defeated by Blake Alexander in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
20 round wins; ranked fifth in points

Career Statistics:
546 races; 63 wins (one Top Fuel); 23 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • Defending Funny Car event champion
  • Capps’ 2018 win was his 60th professional victory
  • Won his first NHRA victory in a professional category while competing in Top Fuel at Seattle in 1995
    Capps’ sole Top Fuel victory
  • Has been to the Seattle winner’s circle in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories

Quotable:
“It’s disappointing not winning at Denver and Sonoma, but we’re returning to Seattle as the defending event champions. I’ve been going to Seattle for a long time, dating back to when I was a crew member with Blaine and Alan Johnson and Jim Rizzoli on a Top Alcohol Dragster. My first professional win ever was at Seattle in 1995 when I was in Top Fuel, and it holds so many great memories. We always kick-off the race with a busy week with the NAPA folks. We fly into Portland on Wednesday and do an event Wednesday night with the NAPA Oregonians and then a great cruise through Lake Washington and Puget Sound on Thursday night with a few hundred Washington NAPA friends.

“Pacific Raceways is a fun track. It’s a throwback and sees very competitive racing. We’re hoping to finish strong on the Western Swing with a win at Seattle. We’ll unload Friday at Seattle and go for the pole.”

matt haganMATT HAGAN
Driver of the Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody

Seattle Event Highlights:

  • 2013 event champion
  • 2012 runner-up
  • 2018 No. 1 qualifier

2018 Seattle Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1; defeated by Ron Capps in E2)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated J.R. Todd in E1, Jack Beckman in E2, John Force in E3; defeated by Robert Hight in E4)

2019 Season Statistics:
19 round wins; ranked eighth in points

Career Statistics:
255 races; 31 wins; 34 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“Seattle has been a place where we’ve done well, we’ve won there before. Looking forward to carrying this momentum from the Sonoma final into Seattle. We have a good combo; the car is reacting well to the changes (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is making, and it’s driving great. We fixed a few things coming out of Denver going into Sonoma, and we feel confident that we have those issues addressed. I really feel like we have a car that can go out and win the race this weekend, and I feel like we’re setting ourselves up to do well this last half of the year.”

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Seattle Event Highlights:

  • Two-time event champion
    – Funny Car (2015)
    – Top Fuel (1993)
  • 2017 runner-up

2018 Seattle Recap:
Qualified seventh; Semifinal finish (defeated John Force in E1, Robert Hight in E2; defeated by Courtney Force in E3)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified fifth; Semifinal finish (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Bob Tasca III in E2; defeated by Robert Hight in E3)

2019 Season Statistics:
26 round wins; ranked second in points

Career Statistics:
461 races; 19 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:

  • Won his first NHRA victory in a professional category while competing in the Top Fuel class at Seattle in 1993
  • Has been to the Seattle winner’s circle in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories

Quotable:
“The Seattle race is one of my favorites on the tour. I’ve won it in Top Fuel, and I’ve won it in Funny Car. It’s one of those races you go to, and things seem to go well for you, so I always look forward to going to Seattle. It’s about as far as you can get from home, but things always seem to bode well for me there. I’d like to get another Funny Car win there.”

ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING
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.

Follow Don Schumacher Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing

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