Ron Capps Earns No. 1 Qualifier in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals with
Record-setting run in Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car
- Capps goes beyond No. 1 qualifier with new career-best and track-record setting elapsed time and speed at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.
- Matt Hagan qualifies Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car ninth
- Seven Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Funny Car field
- Leah Pritchett races Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster to No. 2 position
- Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals is first of six races in NHRA Countdown to the Championship
- DodgeGarage.com, a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts, features highlights from NHRA season
- New @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel features Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in NHRA action
Mohnton, Pennsylvania (September 15, 2019) – Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Ron Capps launched his run to the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car world championship with a record-setting performance in qualifying for the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane at Maple Grove Raceway.
Capps captured his 24th career No. 1 qualifier on the strength of his track record-setting and career-best run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph in Friday night’s second qualifying session behind the wheel of the NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). The 2016 Funny Car world champion will take on Mike McIntire, Jr. in the opening round of Capps’ 550th professional event.
In the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship races, six other Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualified for Sunday’s 16-car field including Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson, Jr., Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon, Jim Campbell and John Smith.
Beckman, driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car, is coming off a runner-up finish in the U.S. Nationals and will start from the No. 3 position. Johnson and Hagan, qualified seventh and ninth, respectively.
Top Fuel pilot Leah Pritchett has her eye on claiming Sunday’s victory in her Countdown to the Championship run and continuing the trend of Maple Grove race winners going on to become NHRA Top Fuel world champions. Since 2013, the winner of this event has gone on to be crowned world champion at season’s end. Pritchett qualified the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster from DSR No. 2 in Sunday’s 16-car field and will face Lex Joon in the opening round of eliminations.
Three hours of action from the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals will air on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) Sunday, September 15, with coverage scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET. For complete information, visit www.nhra.com
Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals coverage at Dodge Garage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag racing news. The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise.
@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.
Dodge//SRT Mopar Notes & Quotes
(qualifying times/speeds below)
Ron Capps, NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Mike McIntire Jr.
Friday: (3.849 seconds at 329.75 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.837/339.28 – Q2 = set new track and personal records); Saturday: (7.221/93.26 – Q3); Saturday: (3.877/332.34 – Q4)
“We feel great going into race day. Starting from the No. 1 spot today allowed us to test a little bit in Q3, and then typical Rahn Tobler (crew chief), we went back up there for Q4 and wanted to make sure we didn’t lose the run. We did a little test mode on Q3, and it shook, so I’m sure that Q4 run was him just getting down the track. Sunday is going to be such a different day; sunny, mid-80s, it’s going to be similar to what it’s been the past two years here. But, I always brag about Rahn Tobler and his NAPA Know How, and how he is so good at adapting to conditions, and we’ll need every bit of his adaptability tomorrow. If you walk around the pits right now, you’d see a lot of parts coming off of cars and changes being made because the conditions will be so different than what they’ve been all weekend.”
Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Lex Joon
Friday: (4.672 seconds at 155.52 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.673/332.92 – Q2); Saturday: (3.673/332.92 – Q3); Saturday: (3.676/332.92 – Q4)
“They say momentum is key, and we’ll take it. This place is known to be fast, and we’ve been known to go fast here. I’m looking forward to improving upon our performance on Sunday. This Mopar hot rod is running clean, running nice. We came into this race with a strategy of qualifying well, finding our window. Q1 was a gnarly ride. We started over-center and backed it down and we feel very good about where we’re at. It’s going to be great conditions tomorrow, and starting off with the first win light is key.
“It’s an honor to be the Mopar flagship in Top Fuel and to lay down such incredible passes for the fans and for Mopar and Pennzoil. They’re supporting us and we have every intention to execute top-tier performance in every round tomorrow, and get this Countdown started off right.
“After yesterday’s wild ride in Q1, I nicknamed this car Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I think that’s fitting. Everybody is out for themselves in the Countdown. This hot rod, she showed that she’s hungry and we’ve been letting her eat, putting down three solid passes, and tomorrow is the first round of The Hunger Games.”
Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Qualified No. 9, will face No. 8 Shawn Langdon
Friday: (10.049 seconds at 75.90 mph – Q1); Friday: (3.940/329.75 – Q2); Saturday: ( 3.919/333.00 – Q3); Saturday: (3.913/333.66 – Q4)
“We won’t have lane choice, but it never matters if you don’t have it. So it’s one of those things where the car has been running pretty good, we’ve had three out of our four runs be very consistent – running 90s pretty much every time, so things look to be pretty equal. So unless something major happens or the weather changes drastically, I think we’ve got a pretty solid hot rod to at least get down the race track and give it a good shot.”
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Jim Campbell
Friday: (5.761 seconds at 133.10 mph – Q1); Friday: (8.313/79.06 – Q2); Saturday: (3.876/331.77 – Q3); Saturday: (3.932 /297.09 – Q4)
“It was moving over toward the wall during the last qualifying run and we don’t need to bang up anything there so I clicked it early. I like our shot. We still have a good ET and we’ve got great data to go on. We went zero for two on Friday, and as far as I’m concerned two for two on Saturday. Now it’s time to go four for four on Sunday.”
Tommy Johnson, Jr., Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 J.R. Todd
Friday: (3.964 seconds at 315.42 mph – Q1); Friday: ( 3.905/326.95 – Q2); Saturday: (3.906/327.74 – Q3); Saturday: (5.204/138.50 – Q4)
“We’ve got a really good Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. We tried some stuff in that last qualifying session just to see if we could get away with it. Now we know that didn’t work. We’ve got a good consistent car and that will go far tomorrow. I think conditions will be different tomorrow and having a consistent car is what you are going to need. We’re excited about this being a Mopar event and happy to have all the FCA executives out here with us. It worked out well in Denver and we’re hoping to have the same results here tomorrow. A consistent car might be the thing you need in those conditions.”
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. Powered by the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. Its 797-horsepower supercharged HEMI® high-output engine makes it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car, reaching 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.4 seconds, and the fastest GT production car with a ¼-mile elapsed time (ET) of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. It also reaches a new top speed of 203 mph.
Joining the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with its more powerful 717-horsepower engine, and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, featuring fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody, which add 3.5 inches of width to the 485-horsepower Scat Pack’s standard body. Also new for 2019 is the Challenger R/T Scat Pak 1320 with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a drag-oriented, street-legal muscle car and a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer. The 2019 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with a best-in-class tow rating of 8,700 lbs., completes the brand’s performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2019 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger — a showroom that offers performance at every price point.
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Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.
Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.
Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.
Photos courtesy of Mopar, driver photos courtesy of NHRA