Pritchett, Beckman Sweep Top Fuel, Funny Car
No. 1 Qualifying Positions for Dodge//SRT Mopar
in Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
- Leah Pritchett drives the HEMI®-fueled Dodge Top Fuel dragster of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) to her first No. 1 qualifying position of 2019 for Sunday’s elimination rounds of the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- Jack Beckman captures No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Funny Car Hellcat
- Matt Hagan starts eliminations in seventh spot in his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
- Tommy Johnson, Jr. qualifies second in Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
- 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
Las Vegas, Nevada (November 2, 2019) – Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers swept the No. 1 qualifying positions in the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes in the 19th annual Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil. It sets the stage for Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Jack Beckman (Funny Car) to close on the leaders in the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series’ Countdown to the Championship before the final event of the 2019 season.
The other Mopar-powered Funny Car members of the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) team – Matt Hagan, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson, Jr. – can improve their standings with winning performances in the eliminations rounds on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Pritchett entered the weekend knowing she had to make a big move to have a shot at the championship. The first step came Saturday afternoon as she drove her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster from DSR quicker than any other driver with a pass of 3.654 seconds to claim her first No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 12th of her career. She faces Cameron Ferre in the opening round.
“To be No. 1 at the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil is phenomenal,” said Pritchett, the 2018 Dodge NHRA Nationals runner-up. “We have all of the support here. Our pit is full and we have all of the energy. We just got our first No. 1 of the season with a phenomenal pass. I knew when I hit 330-feet that we were going to be on a run. We were trying to be the quickest of every round, and we made three consistent runs out of four. We knew what this Mopar car was capable of and we put everything on the line to get those bonus points”
Beckman put down his top qualifying run in the final session Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas, driving the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car of DSR to the quickest lap ever at the track with a run of 3.835 seconds. Beckman also reset the track record for speed at 335.90 mph during Friday night’s qualifying.
“I just want the trophy tomorrow and that will make it a perfect weekend ” said Beckman, who entered the weekend 70 points out of first in the championship standings. “We really like these FCA sponsored events and hope to have the same outcome we did in Reading. Being No. 1 helps everyone’s attitude. When the crew chiefs tell the car to do something and it does exactly that, they’re way more confident, and I’m more confident as a driver. The better predictor of going deep rounds is to having a good car and we saw that the last two times we qualified No. 1, we had a good car that was doing what we wanted it to do”
Beckman was the fastest of seven Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars that qualified for Sunday’s 16-car field, edging out Tommy Johnson, Jr. for his fourth career No. 1 spot at The Strip and 27th of his career. The 2012 Funny Car champion has been the top qualifier in three of the previous six events. Beckman faces Terry Haddock in the first round on Sunday.
Johnson begins his quest for a third victory of 2019 with a first round matchup with Jim Campbell. Two-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan, winner of this event in 2017, qualified his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car seventh and takes on fellow Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car pilot Paul Lee in the first round.
Ron Capps is chasing his fifth victory in this event after qualifying the Pennzoil Synthetics/Napa Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in the 11th position. The 2016 Funny Car champion squares off with Bob Tasca III in the opening round.
Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship 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)
Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Cameron Ferre
Friday: (3.723 seconds at 330.47mph – Q1) (3.681/328.38 – Q2); Saturday: (4.319/182.75 – Q3); (3.654/329.83– Q4)
“I know it doesn’t show it exactly on the track, but our performance has been steadily improving over the last few races. We’re just going to stay in our zone, keep our intensity tomorrow. I got out of my own head this weekend; turned on my music, hung with my friends, and didn’t overthink things and that’s what I plan to do.”
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Terry Haddock
Friday: (3.914 seconds at 328.62 mph – Q1) (3.872/335.90– Q2); Saturday: (3.957/323.04 – Q3); (3.835/331.94 – Q4)
“Seeing (John) Force’s 3.85 in Q3 was an eye-opener for everyone. No one thought you could run that quick, but the clocks didn’t lie because he ran that quick. So, we knew Q4 was going to be a little better, and obviously (co-crew chiefs Dean) ‘Guido’ (Antonelli) and (John) Medlen made perfect calls. We had been slow to 60-foot all weekend long and we were a little soft in the middle of the run, but we’re in Vegas, and you have to give it more of everything here, and once we did that our Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat came back to life. We just beefed everything up. The car is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Getting those points was probably the biggest deal for us as far as protecting our position. We’re not looking over our shoulders because there are a ton of hungry competitors behind us, but we’re looking at Robert Hight. His car has been great and hasn’t stumbled much, but until we face him, all we can control is our own destiny.”
Tommy Johnson, Jr., Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Jim Campbell
Friday: (3.879 seconds at 328.22 mph – Q1) (3.858/327.35 – Q2); Saturday: (3.911/323.04 – Q3); (3.840/ 331.04 – Q4)
“This is the best race car we’ve had in a long time, and The Strip is one of my favorite tracks on tour. Things always seem to go right when we come here, and we seem to be on track again. I’m looking forward to a strong finish on race day. I’m really happy with the way this Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car is running.”
Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
Qualified No. 7 will face No. 10 Paul Lee
Friday: (3.915 seconds at 330.31 mph – Q1) (3.921/326.00 – Q2); Saturday: (4.166/225.30 – Q3); (3.872/332.34 – Q4)
“Tomorrow is a big day. We wanted lane choice, and we accomplished that by the end of the day. We have a good Dodge Charger SRT car, and we need to make things happen tomorrow. It’s the most important race of the entire year for this Mopar team. We have a real opportunity to go some rounds. If we want to have a chance at the championship, we’ve got to do it this weekend.”
Ron Capps, Pennzoil Synthetics NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 11, will face No. 6 Bob Tasca III
Friday: (3.915 seconds at 330.15 mph – Q1) (3.902/329.67 – Q2); Saturday: (3.986/323.35 – Q3); (3.924/327.66 – Q4)
“We’ve changed a lot of things in the last two races, and I always brag about (crew chief) Rahn Tobler. We didn’t qualify as good as we wanted to, and sometimes it’s a little scary when you’ve got your backs against the wall, but it’s going to be fun tomorrow to see what happens and we’re going to find our groove again.”About Dodge//SRT
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