DSR Brainerd Qualifying Report
Event 17 of 24 (Brainerd)
Brainerd International Raceway – Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 16-18, 2019
DSR Brainerd Saturday Highlights:
- Matt Hagan will start from the top of the Funny Car field for the 35th time of his career
- The entire DSR Funny Car contingent earned top-half qualifying positions, with defending event champion Jack Beckman occupying the No. 2 spot
- Leah Pritchett leads the DSR Top Fuel duo and will start race day from fourth
- Antron Brown and Hagan’s qualifying performances helped them to clinch berths into the NHRA Countdown to the Championship
Matt Hagan No. 1 at Brainerd International Raceway
BRAINERD, Minn. (August 17, 2019) – Matt Hagan maintained his position atop of the Funny Car board and will start race day at Brainerd International Raceway from the No. 1 spot.
The driver of the MOPAR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car captured the pole when he blasted to a 3.890-second pass during Friday’s second qualifying session. The stout lap was the only sub-3.9-second Funny Car E.T. of the weekend, and his speed of 328.46-mph held up to be the fastest of the floppers.
Prior to powering to the head of the pack, Hagan kicked off his Brainerd weekend with a solid 4.004 E.T., the third-quickest run of the session. He and his Dickie Venables-guided team maintained their performance on Saturday when Hagan posted a 4.000-second E.T. in Q3.
“Everything is coming together for our team,” said the Countdown contender who officially clinched his spot to compete for the 2019 Mello Yello Funny Car world championship during qualifying. “This MOPAR Dodge is really running strong. The No. 1 spot is great, but we’ve got to focus on race day. We’ve got a good setup for the heat, and I feel really confident in this combination. Anything can happen; track conditions change all the time. We’re going to try and keep lane choice all day and focus on turning on four win lights, and hopefully, we’ll finish the day holding another Wally.”
The two-time Funny Car world champion will start from the pole for the 35th time in his career as he seeks his third victory this season. Hagan, a two-time Brainerd International Raceway runner-up, will begin his campaign for his first Brainerd victory with a first-round matchup against No. 16 qualifier Dale Creasy Jr.
Q1: 4.004 E.T. at 317.57 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.890 E.T. at 328.46 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.000 E.T. at 321.12 MPH
Q4: 4.661 E.T. at 174.93 MPH
Bonus Points: Four
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 12
The Competition: No. 5 Billy Torrence
Q1: 3.849 E.T. at 322.58 MPH
Q2: 4.206 E.T. at 202.18 MPH
Q3: 4.078 E.T. at 228.58 MPH
Q4: 3.890 E.T. at 312.13 MPH
“It’s going to be a really good first-round matchup. Billy (Torrence) and I raced in the final round here last year. We definitely owe Billy and that whole Capco crew one. They’ve raced us hard. We’re getting it back together, and we’re going to give it a really good shot tomorrow. I’m looking forward to race day. The conditions are going to change tremendously. It’s going to be a whole new ballgame tomorrow, and I’ve got all of the confidence in the world in my Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel team.”
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 13 Kyle Wurtzel
Q1: 4.538 E.T. at 167.76 MPH
Q2: 3.756 E.T. at 325.53 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.681 E.T. at 158.30 MPH
Q4: 3.769 E.T. at 322.96 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Two
“Tomorrow is going to be a whole new playing field for everybody. After two days of qualifying, we’ve learned a lot. It’s been a moment since we’ve had a good Q2 run which sets the field for Sunday. When we ran that 3.75 in Q2, we were able to pick away at our tune-up today knowing that the conditions tomorrow will be so different than they were today. We had a unique opportunity today to try some new, wholesale changes to get us ready for tomorrow and beyond. The momentum we have right now is great. I feel good about tomorrow; the team feels good. We’re moving in the right direction, and that’s propelling us into what we hope and expect to be an awesome day tomorrow.”
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 15 Terry Haddock
Q1: 4.616 E.T. at 178.45 MPH
Q2: 3.908 E.T. at 325.53 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.023 E.T. at 309.77 MPH
Q4: 3.939 E.T. at 322.27 MPH
Bonus Points: Two
“It’s time to put this Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat back in the winner’s circle. We’ve got a car that’s good enough to win; a team that’s great enough to win the championship. We just need to win a race, and I’d love to do that tomorrow.”
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 7 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 10 J.R. Todd
Q1: 4.910 E.T. at 156.63 MPH
Q2: 3.936 E.T. at 321.04 MPH
Q3: 4.017 E.T. at 316.23 MPH
Q4: 3.936 E.T. at 325.53 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: One
“That first run on Friday really kind of starts the weekend off and we didn’t make it down. That just kind of set the pace. We made it down the track every run after that, and that’s always a good thing for (crew chief) Rahn Tobler and getting data, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 12 Tim Wilkerson
Q1: 3.995 E.T. at 316.52 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 4.041 E.T. at 295.34 MPH
Q3: 3.956 E.T. at 320.43 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.926 E.T. at 318.54 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Seven
“We had a brand-new car coming into this race. Too bad we had a little bit of the ‘new car blues’ during the night qualifying session because I think we would’ve had a shot at No. 1, but we had a solid comeback today. We made two really good runs in the heat. It’s unfortunate the weather isn’t forecasted to be this way tomorrow, so I hope the weatherman is wrong.”
ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 330 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.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing, Driver photos: NHRA