DSR Pomona I Friday Qualifying Report
Event 1 of 24 (Pomona I)
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – Pomona, Calif.
February 7-9, 2020
DSR Pomona I Friday Highlights:
- Matt Hagan’s late 2019 momentum continued as he secured the first provisional Funny Car pole of the 2020 season on Friday afternoon
2019 Mello Yello Series Funny Car runner-up Jack Beckman was second-quickest of both qualifying sessions to earn the provisional No. 2 qualifying spot
- Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. join their Funny Car teammates in the top half of the field
- Antron Brown and Leah Pruett also earned top positions and will start Saturday from the quick-half of the Top Fuel field
Matt Hagan is First Provisional Funny Car No. 1 Qualifier of 2020
POMONA, Calif. (February 7, 2020) – Matt Hagan and the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car team wasted zero time putting together a competitive campaign to start the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Crew chief Dickie Venables tuned Hagan’s Mopar machine to a 3.867-second at 331.20 mph Q1 pass to take the provisional No. 1 spot, which held strong throughout the second Funny Car session.
By earning the provisional pole, Hagan appears to be continuing the momentum he enjoyed toward the end of the 2019 season, which, thanks to back-to-back Countdown victories and a No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Finals, had Hagan in championship contention throughout the final day. Prior to entering the 2020 season-opener, Hagan and his team participated in the Las Vegas pre-season test session, and the signs of what should be a successful 2020 for Hagan were evident.
“There’s a lot of confidence unloading off the trailer like that in Q1 and being able to run a good number,” said Hagan, a two-time Funny Car world champion. “We had a great test session in Vegas and laid down some good numbers. The last day of testing, we went 88, 87, 86, and 83; really laid down some real numbers. The car’s working well, it’s driving really well, and the guys are working well together. All in all, I think we have a really good car, everybody is confident.
“The whole Pomona facility is kind of majestic,” added Hagan, a six-time Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Funny Car winner. “There’s a lot of magic that happens here. Champions are crowned here. We start and finish (the season) here. We’ve always done really well here and have a lot of confidence rolling into the year, but this Mopar Funny Car is flying right now, and I’m just trying to hang on to it.”
Hagan and the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car team will have two more qualifying sessions on Saturday to try and maintain their top spot heading into the first race day of 2020.
Q1: 3.867 E.T. at 331.20 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 9.371 E.T. at 76.54 MPH
Bonus Points: Three
Driver of the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology Toyota Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.780 E.T. at 322.42 MPH
Q2: 3.784 E.T. at 319.07 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 8
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.715 E.T. at 324.75 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 6.976 E.T. at 77.63 MPH
Bonus Points: Two
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 3
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Q1: 3.868 E.T. at 326.95 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.885 E.T. at 328.46 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Four
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 2
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Q1: 8.540 E.T. at 83.02 MPH
Q2: 3.947 E.T. at 324.12 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 8
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Q1: 3.905 E.T. at 318.02 MPH
Q2: 3.906 E.T. at 323.12 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: One
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 4
ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING
Established in 1998 as a single-car Top Fuel team, Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) has grown to become the winningest organization in NHRA Drag Racing history. Including team owner Don Schumacher’s five NHRA Funny Car titles from the 1970s, DSR’s current win count stands at 345 entering the 2020 season, and DSR is looking forward to reaching the ‘350 milestone’ early in the year. DSR owns 17 world championships in three different NHRA categories.
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR currently fields six professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, and the Mopar/Pennzoil/Okuma dragster driven by Leah Pruett. 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 two-time series title-holder Matt Hagan, and in 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 MD Anderson Dodge.
DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pruett, 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