News Ticker

Don Schumacher Racing Pre-Race Report: Indy 1

Share

DSR 18Indy 1 Pre-Race Report

E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals
Event 3 of 18
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
July 11-12, 2020

Highlights:

  • After a four-month hiatus due to COVID-19, drag racing’s winningest team is focused on picking up right where they left off. Don Schumacher Racing closed out the last event (NHRA Arizona Nationals, Feb. 2020) with 347 race wins and looks forward to becoming one of the first organizations in the motorsports industry to reach the ‘350 wins’ milestone
  • Top Fuel veterans and fan-favorites Cory McClenathan and Tony Schumacher recently announced their returns for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals (Indy 1) and the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals (Indy 2), bringing DSR’s car count up to eight at the first Indy event
  • Schumacher is the winningest NHRA driver in Indianapolis history having won the U.S. Nationals an unprecedented 10 times
  • With his February NHRA Arizona Nationals victory, Tommy Johnson Jr. enters the race weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour; he currently sits second in the point standings
  • Funny Car point leader Jack Beckman won the 2019 season-closer, the 2020 season-opener, and raced to a runner-up finish in Phoenix. Beckman is seeking his fourth consecutive final round appearance, and third in 2020
  • Beckman secured the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier and a runner-up finish during the 2019 NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis
  • A DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car has finished in the winner’s circle at the past five consecutive events dating back to Dallas in October of 2019
  • After having earned the Funny Car pole at the first two races in 2020, Matt Hagan is seeking his third consecutive No. 1 qualifier
  • Hometown event for DSR which is headquartered two miles away from the famed Indy dragstrip
  • Home track for Brown and Johnson, who both reside in the greater Indianapolis area

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.799 seconds, Matt Hagan (2017)
Funny Car, speed: 338.77 mph, Matt Hagan (2017)

Note:
Prior to the race weekend, DSR will host a mini press conference and driver availability session with all eight Mello Yello drivers on DSR’s current roster. The event, taking place from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10, is open to media only, and RSVP is required. To request to attend, please contact Allison McCormick at mccormicka@shoeracing.com

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

antron brownANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology
Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • Three-time Indy champion
    – Top Fuel (2011)
    – Pro Stock Motorcycle (2000, 2004)
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2009, 2011-2013)

2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified sixth; Semifinal finish (defeated Jordan Vandergriff in E1, Steve Torrence in E2; defeated by Billy Torrence in E3)

Last Event (Phoenix):
Qualified 13th; Semifinal finish (defeated Terry McMillen in E1, Justin Ashley in E2; defeated by Doug Kalitta in E3)

2020 Statistics:
Two round wins; ranked seventh in points

Career Statistics:
432 races; 66 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:

  • Hometown event for Brown, who resides in the greater Indianapolis area with his family
  • Was instrumental in Tony Schumacher’s two-race return by introducing Schumacher to Global Electronic Technology owners, Steve and Samantha Bryson, and cultivating the newly formed partnership

Quotable:
“Just really excited to get back to racing. It’s been more than four months off. This is my hometown race and I’m looking forward to great things this weekend. Not only will I be back out on the track with my Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota team, but I’m looking forward to getting back out there with my longtime teammate, Tony Schumacher, who is making a comeback for these first two races. I’ll be in the Matco car, he’ll be in the Global car, we both have TRD backing and Brian Corradi calling the shots, so it’s pretty exciting because it’s truly like a teammate car. I’m just pumped to get back out there with Brian, Mark Oswald, and our whole entire team with the addition of Tony. I’m ready for some nitro, and ready to burn some Goodyear rubber.”

Cory McClenathanCORY MCCLENATHAN
Driver of the Nordic Boats/Revchem Composites
Top Fuel Dragster

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • Two-time Indy champion (1996, 1999)
  • Two-time runner-up (1997, 2010)

Career Statistics:
34 wins; 38 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • With 34 victories, McClenathan ranks ninth on the NHRA’s all-time Top Fuel wins list
  • Looking to tie legend Don Garlits’ 35 NHRA wins
  • Raced with DSR until he retired in 2010; coming out of retirement for the two July Indianapolis events to embark on a two race ‘comeback tour’

Quotable:
“I’m so excited to back with DSR and be reunited with a lot of the guys that I worked with in the past. This Nordic Boats/Revchem Composites dragster looks fantastic, the paint job is just unbelievable. Mopar, NAPA, Pennzoil, they’re all on there, they all look great. The crew guys have worked really hard to get the car ready, and everyone in the front office staff at DSR has made sure every little detail is taken care of. Huge thank you to my partners and the staff at DSR. This couldn’t have happened without all of their support, and I can’t wait to see everyone this weekend.”

LEAH PRUETTLEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster

2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified seventh; First round exit (defeated by Shawn Reed in E1)

Last Event (Phoenix):
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Doug Foley in E1; defeated by Billy Torrence in E2)

2020 Season Statistics:
Three round wins; ranked third in points

Career Statistics:
143 races; eight wins; 12 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“I feel like we’ve all been living the real-life motorsports version of double-dutch, waiting for the right time and circumstances, and it’s finally our turn to return. Excited would normally be the term used for the feeling I get when race week nears, but I honestly feel the more precise description is ‘ready.’ We already had a strong performing race car when the hiatus began, and this Mopar crew has taken this time to ensure that performance stays maximized. I’ve properly filled my time with various athletic activities, and attending/watching other racing, but have confirmed that nothing comes close to the sensory-impact of nitro racing. Composure within competition has been a focus of mine during this time, and there is nothing more in this world that I am looking forward to more than strapping back into our Mopar Top Fueler and chasing that Wally.”

Tony SchumacherTONY SCHUMACHER
Driver of the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • Ten-time event champion (2000, 2002 – 2004, 2006 – 2009, 2012, 2016)
  • Two-time runner-up (1996, 2005)
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2005 – 2007, 2014)

Career Statistics:
504 races; 84 wins; 87 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back to Indianapolis. It’s been a long time sitting on the sidelines, and I can’t thank Global Electronic Technology enough for getting me back on the track for these next two weeks. I feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to add to not only 84 Top Fuel wins, but 10 Indy wins.

To be able to team up with Antron Brown, Mark Oswald, and Brian Corradi is phenomenal. They’re a great bunch of guys who know how to win championships. We have Global Electronic Technology on the side, Toyota, Rydin Decal, Quality Mat Company, Matco Tools, Pennzoil; you couldn’t ask for a better group to be on the side of a car to welcome you back, even if it’s just for a few races. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, and I look forward to hitting it hard and adding some round wins with a couple of great crew chiefs and amazing sponsors.”

Noteworthy:

  • Recently announced his return for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals and the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals
  • The winningest NHRA driver in Indianapolis history having won the U.S. Nationals an unprecedented 10 times
    With eight championships and 84 wins, Schumacher is the most successful NHRA Top Fuel pilot of all time

Funny Car:

JACK BECKMANJACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • 2015 event champion
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2015, 2019)
  • Three-time runner-up (2008, 2013, 2019)

2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Event runner-up (defeated Justin Schriefer in E1, Bob Tasca III in E2, J.R. Todd in E3; defeated by John Force in E4)

Last Event (Phoenix):
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Jim Campbell in E2, John Force in E3; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E4)

2020 Season Statistics:
One event win; seven round wins; ranked first in points

Career Statistics:
326 races; 31 wins; 27 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • Won the season-opener in Pomona and finished as the runner-up in Phoenix; seeking his third consecutive final round in 2020
    Secured the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier and a runner-up finish during the 2019 NHRA U.S. Nationals

Quotable:
“Everybody is talking about getting back to business as usual, and in racing, we’re going to be getting back to business, but there’s nothing usual about it. This is completely unprecedented. We’re going to lose Friday qualifying at every race from here on out, and that could drastically change your approach as a crew chief and as a driver just in qualifying. And then none of us have been in a race car for probably the longest period in our drag racing careers, so we’re going to get to make shakedown runs the day before a race weekend. I don’t think that’s been allowed for nearly 50 years in drag racing. So, the scenario is what it is, and we’re all going to do our best to make things get back to whatever ‘normal’ is as quick as possible, but I’ve got to tell you, I’ve had driving withdrawals and now I feel like it’s so sudden. After waiting for so many months, I’m looking at the calendar and it’s like when you’re a kid getting ready to go back to school. I just can’t wait to get my bag packed and get on that airplane.”

RON CAPPSRON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • 2017 event runner-up

2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified fourth; First round exit (defeated by Ray Martin in E1)

Last Event (Phoenix):
Qualified eighth; Semifinal finish (defeated J.R. Todd in E1, Jeff Diehl in E2; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E3)

2020 Season Statistics:
Three round wins; ranked fourth in points

Career Statistics:
557 races; 64 wins (one Top Fuel); 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • Capps has been victorious at every track on the current NHRA tour with the exception of Indianapolis and is focused on that elusive first Lucas Oil Raceway triumph during his 26th season of nitro racing

Quotable:
“2020 has been full of surprises, to say the least. It’s going to be nice to get a little bit of normalcy back in our racing lives. Once NHRA announced that we had these two races in Indianapolis, it didn’t seem like it was going to get here fast enough, and now we’re finally here. The fact that we’re going to be on FOX network on Sunday is a great thing for motorsports fans.

“It’s going to be a treacherous, hot, humid weekend, which we know can be very difficult, especially with 11,000-horsepower nitro engines. I brag about the NAPA Know How with our team and we’ve shown that we can run in those conditions as good as anybody. This is going to test a lot of people. We’ll get a couple of shakedown runs on Friday, and then it’s just two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, so you’re not going to have a whole lot of data to go off of. That’s why the way that Rahn Tobler, and I, and our whole NAPA team work together is so important, and these conditions will test every bit of every crew member. I’m looking forward to the challenge. Can’t wait to get back into the NAPA car and step on the gas for the first time and just relive what made me fall in love with driving a nitro Funny Car. Hopefully, the NAPA team will be on FOX on Sunday afternoon standing with a Wally from Indianapolis.”

MATT HAGANMATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • 2016 event champion
  • 2018 runner-up
  • Five-time No. 1 qualifier (2010, 2013-2014, 2016-2017)

2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified second; Semifinal finish (defeated Bob Bode in E1, Shawn Langdon in E2; defeated by John Force in E3)

Last Event (Phoenix):
Qualified No. 1; First round exit (defeated by Jeff Diehl in E1)

2020 Season Statistics:
Two round wins; ranked fifth in points

Career Statistics:
266 races; 33 wins; 38 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • No. 1 qualifier at the first two events of 2020
  • Made his NHRA Funny Car debut at the famed Indianapolis venue during the 2008 U.S. Nationals

Quotable:
“I’m really excited about getting back to racing in Indy. We’re such a fan-engaged sport – we’re so used to being able to take pictures with the fans, fist bumps, all that, and it’ll be a different vibe. We did some virtual autograph sessions with Mopar during our downtime, and that was cool and I think our fans really enjoyed that. At the end of the day, we’re entertainers and we’re going to make sure we entertain our fans and make sure we give them a great show on the race track. I’m just excited to be able to be back and be able to rep our partners in Mopar, Pennzoil, and Sandvik on the track. Every weekend you’re so used to driving 330-mph. I never thought there was anything other than racing, but it’s been good being able to spend some time at home growing my businesses. I was able to get a really good handle on these companies I’m growing, and now I’m able to fully focus on racing again. We had a really great car when we left off. We were No. 1 qualifier at the first two events, and I’m excited to get back in my Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. Bring it on, let’s go do this.”

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Indianapolis Highlights:

  • 2002 event runner-up
  • Two-time No. 1 (1999-2000)

2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified 10th; First round exit (defeated by Shawn Langdon in E1)

Last Event (Phoenix):
Qualified fourth; Event champion (defeated Paul Lee in E1, Bob Tasca III in E2, Ron Capps in E3, Jack Beckman in E4)

2020 Season Statistics:
One event win; five round wins; ranked second in points

Career Statistics:
472 races; 20 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:

  • Enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour after having raced to victory at the previous event in Phoenix
  • As a resident of nearby Avon, Ind., Johnson considers Indianapolis to be a hometown event
    Secured his first Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier at Indianapolis in 2000

Quotable:
“I’m certainly excited about going back racing, but it’s been a long period of downtime, and there are some jitters that go along with that. Being out of the car for so long, it’s going to take a few runs to get back into the swing of it. We were doing so well and had some good momentum going before the break and you hope that continues. You park the car and don’t touch it for so long, and it’s been sitting there ready to go for a while. We had an opportunity to improve on it, we put on a new front half. We have a great team and a great car. It’ll take a little bit of getting used to those first days back, but that’s the same for everyone. It’s going to be great to get back to some sort of normalcy, even though there will be some restrictions. I’d love nothing more than to pull off a win at both of these Indy races and take the lead in the points.”

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 347, and DSR is looking forward to reaching the ‘350 milestone’ early in the 2020 season. DSR owns 17 world championships in three different NHRA categories.

Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR currently fields eight 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, the Nordic Boats/Revchem Composites/Hawkeye Industries dragster driven by Cory McClenathan, the Mopar/Pennzoil/Okuma dragster driven by Leah Pruett, and the Global Electronic Technology machine driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher. 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.

Follow Don Schumacher Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at@shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing

Share