DSR Indianapolis Qualifying Report
NHRA U.S. Nationals
Event 18 of 24 (Indianapolis)
Lucas Oil Raceway
Aug. 30 – Sept. 2, 2019
DSR Indianapolis Sunday Highlights:
- Jack Beckman piloted the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 25th of his career
- Beckman lived up to his ‘Fast’ Jack nickname, powering to session-best passes in three out of five qualifying sessions, earning bonus points in all five rounds, and rocketing to the fastest Funny Car speed (335.23 mph) of the weekend
- Beckman, Ron Capps, and Matt Hagan earned positions inside the top-four of the quickest Funny Car field in NHRA history
- Capps blasted to the quickest E.T. of Q4 and banked bonus points in four out of five qualifying sessions
- Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett earned starting positions in the top half of the quickest Top Fuel field in NHRA history
Jack Beckman Qualifies No. 1 for the NHRA U.S. Nationals
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 2, 2019) – Jack Beckman piloted the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 25th of his career during the 65th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Since qualifying for the Indianapolis event began Friday night, the most consistent machine in the Funny Car class has been Beckman’s Hellcat. After posting a session-best Friday night run of 3.875 seconds, the 2012 Funny Car world champion improved upon his stout Q1 showing by powering to a 3.861 E.T. in Q2, never relinquishing the No. 1 position. In Q3 and Q4, the Dean Antonelli/John Medlen-led team continued to flex their muscle, laying down E.T.s that were in the top four of each session before closing out qualifying by rocketing to another ‘best of class’ run of 3.875 seconds at a speed of 335.23 miles per hour, the fastest Funny Car lap of the weekend.
“I don’t want to say that we’ve been perfect all weekend, but I think we have our Dodge Hellcat Funny Car as close to perfect as it’s been in a while,” said Beckman, who has raced to three runner-up finishes in 2019 but is chasing that elusive first win of the season.
The team’s impressive qualifying performance allowed them to pick up bonus points during each round, giving Beckman a 16-point edge heading into race day.
The 2012 Funny Car world champion currently ranks fifth in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship standings. He is looking to move up two positions before the playoff starting positions are locked at the conclusion of race day and is hoping history repeats itself. Beckman’s No. 1 qualifier is his second at Indy, his first coming in 2015 when he raced from the pole to his first and most recent U.S. Nationals crown.
“Tomorrow’s conditions should be different. I don’t know if we have a huge advantage if the sun is out and the track is hot. I think, psychologically, everyone on our Infinite Hero team is revved up. And, I think that is so important; to set the tone that you know that you can be the best.
“Tomorrow is race day, and I feel like you have to be flawless because you never know if you are going to go out there and smoke the tires against the No. 16 qualifier. If you do, you have to be ready to catch it. Tomorrow it’s not about E.T. slips; it’s about win lights. You don’t have to be good; you just have to be better than the car in the other lane.”
Qualified: No. 1 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 16 Justin Schriefer
Q1: 3.875 E.T. at 328.46 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.861 E.T. at 330.07 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.878 E.T. at 331.94 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.911 E.T. at 326.40 MPH (One bonus point for fourth quickest run of the session)
Q5: 3.875 E.T. at 335.23 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: 16
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 11 Jordan Vandergriff
Q1: 3.729 E.T. at 328.06 MPH
Q2: 3.678 E.T. at 327.19 MPH (Two bonus points for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.698 E.T. at 329.02 MPH
Q4: 3.787 E.T. at 320.81 MPH
Q5: 6.588 E.T. at 103.35 MPH
Bonus Points: Two
“Conditions will be different tomorrow; we know it’s going to be hotter. We were trying to go a little harder in Q5, but the track got the best of us. We’ll zip it up, get ready for tomorrow, and get up to race a hard and fast U.S. Nationals. The field is going to be tight, the competition is stiff, and this Matco Tools Toyota team is looking forward to that challenge.”
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 7 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 10 Shawn Reed
Q1: 3.726 E.T. at 325.22 MPH (One bonus point for fourth quickest run of the session)
Q2: 8.789 E.T. at 84.02 MPH
Q3: 3.701 E.T. at 322.42 MPH
Q4: 4.711 E.T. at 155.70 MPH
Q5: 3.713 E.T. at 324.98 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Four
“Today was U.S. Nationals Saturday 2.0 with a little bit better results. We were second-low of Q5, and that’s great to have that data setting up for race day. I always feel good about the Big Go. The issues we had in qualifying were slight mechanical hiccups that we found a solution to. Our competitor tomorrow is Shawn Reed, and he’s always tough competition. We’re looking forward to lane choice. Conditions will be warmer than what we’ve seen so far. We look forward to putting this frost-bitten blue MOPAR Top Fuel dragster in the winner’s circle one round at a time. We have a lot of great momentum coming in from Brainerd. We have a fast hot rod, a driver on her game, and a crew that’s hungry to win. We’re going to start Labor Day off putting in all the work.”
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 13 Ray Martin
Q1: 3.882 E.T. at 327.66 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 4.206 E.T. at 221.13 MPH
Q3: 3.896 E.T. at 329.18 MPH (Two bonus points for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.891 E.T. at 328.22 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q5: 3.891 E.T. at 329.10 MPH (Two bonus points for third quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: 11
“This is Indy. It’s so good to have a hot rod coming out of Brainerd. (Crew chief) Rahn Tobler and the NAPA AutoCare guys unloaded Friday, and we made a great run. It really catapulted us to where we could go after low E.T. each session. It’s great putting two 3.89s up on Sunday going into race day. The conditions (today) kind of gave us a little inkling of what it’s going to be like on race day. I’m really looking forward to Labor Day.”
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)
The Competition: No. 15 Bob Bode
Q1: 3.987 E.T. at 287.84 MPH
Q2: 4.173 E.T. at 234.90 MPH
Q3: 3.874 E.T. at 327.66 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 4.070 E.T. at 245.23 MPH
Q5: 3.976 E.T. at 275.34 MPH
Bonus Points: Four
“I’m always just glad to be here racing at the Big Go. We’ve got a good race car, we’re coming off some solid finishes these last couple of races, and I think we’ve got some momentum to do what we need to do. Right now, we’re still trying to dial-in the fuel curve on this car. We’ve been putting some pan pressure, cylinders out and things like that, but we’ll get all that addressed, and I think we’ll have a really good race car tomorrow. Both lanes seem to be really nice, and this MOPAR Hellcat Widebody is running really well.”
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Riley Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 10
The Competition: No. 7 Shawn Langdon
Q1: 4.368 E.T. at 200.71 MPH
Q2: 7.018 E.T. at 88.35 MPH
Q3: 4.376 E.T. at 197.83 MPH
Q4: 3.909 E.T. at 319.82 MPH (Two bonus points for third quickest run of the session)
Q5: 3.912 E.T. at 324.90 MPH
Bonus Points: Two
“We’ve got our car back. We had some issues at the beginning of qualifying, but now the race car is back, and we’re going to be a tough team to beat tomorrow.”
ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 335 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