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Pair of No. 2 Qualifying Positions for Mopar Dodge//SRT Machines at NHRA Summernationals

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mopar top 2020matt haganPair of No. 2 Qualifying Positions for Mopar Dodge//SRT Machines at NHRA Summernationals

  • Leah Pruett qualifies second in the fiery new-look Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Top Fuel dragster at Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. follows up runner-up finish last weekend with No. 2 qualifying position in his MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Funny Car at Lucas Oil Raceway
  • Matt Hagan looking to repeat last week’s winning performance with new Mopar Dodge SRT Hellcat Redeye-themed Funny Car in second of two back-to back NHRA national events in Indianapolis
  • Pruett and Mark Pawuk return to Factory Stock Showdown competition behind the wheel of their Mopar Challenger Drag Paks
Matt Hagan

Matt Hagan

Brownsburg, Ind. (July 18, 2020) – Coming off a Funny Car event win last weekend at Indianapolis, Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) contingent of Mopar Dodge SRT-sponsored entries came back firing on all cylinders to earn a pair of No. 2 qualifying positions at the Lucas Oil NHRA Summmernationals, as National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series competition returns to the “Crossroads of America” as part of the new rescheduled season plan.

Leah Pruett

Leah Pruett

Leah Pruett

DSR Top Fuel pilot Leah Pruett showed off a new demon-red Hellcat Redeye paint-scheme by putting her Mopar Dodge Charger SRT second on the Top-Fuel eliminations ladder, while Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. came close to repeating his top qualifying effort from last week, eventually settling into the No. 2 spot going into Sunday’s competition.

Tommy Johnson Jr.

Tommy Johnson Jr.

Johnson Jr.’s second qualifying run of 4.017 seconds at 300.86 mph took him to the top of the timing sheets, and while it looked like he might repeat last week’s performance as top qualifier, Bob Tasca bumped the MD Anderson Dodge from the No. 1 spot later in the session. As No.2 qualifier, Johnson Jr. will face Bob Bode as his first round opponent.

DSR teammates Ron Capps and Jack Beckman, winner of the 2020 season opening event, both secured lane choice for their opening rounds of eliminations with their No. 4 and No. 6 positions respectively in qualifying. Beckman will see Chad Green in first round action.

Capps, who was second quickest in the first qualifying session, will be paired up with DSR teammate Matt Hagan, winner of last week’s E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals. With the shortening of qualifying to just two sessions with the new season schedule, Hagan had little room for error to make the field after a difficult first run, but safely put his new-look Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye in the show on his final pass no put him .

Top Fuel No.2 qualifier Pruett earned bonus points for her Mopar Dodge SRT dragster by posting runs that put her in the top-three on the timing sheets in both sessions. She’ll see Lex Joon in the first round of eliminations.

Pruett will have two opportunities to fight for a Wally on Sunday as she pulls double duty this weekend by getting back into her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak for Factory Stock Showdown action.

Factory Stock Showdown

The SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) class took to the track for the first time this 2020 season with Pruett, the 2018 champion in the category, and Mark Pawuk get behind the wheel of their Don Schumacher Motorsports-prepared Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks. Both drivers return aboard the same factory-built vehicles with which they finished the 2019 season (at Dallas), when Pruett qualified second and reached the final while Pawuk qualified ninth.

Looking to build off those results, the pair both qualified their Mopar muscle cars for Sunday eliminations. Pawuk qualified 12th on the strength of his first run at 8.078 sec/170.28 mph and will face no. 5 qualifier Arthur Kohn.

Pruett’s second elapsed time run of 8.146 sec. /168.32 mph put her 16th on the eliminations ladder and will see her matched up with No. 1 qualifier Chris Holbrook.

Elimination rounds at the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals begin at 9:45 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, July 19, while television coverage will air starting at 12 p.m. (ET) on the FOX national broadcast network and will include LIVE final elimination round action.

NOTES and QUOTES:

Jack Beckman

Jack Beckman

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car

(No. 6 Qualifier – 4.059 seconds at 299.66 mph)
Qualifying 1: 4.059 sec/299.66 mph
Qualifying 2: 6.485 sec/113.08 mph

“If you’re going to go one for two in qualifying, this weekend we did it the right way. We unloaded with a good run and then we took a shot and missed it, but that’s ok. We know how to back up from that tomorrow. Last weekend when we missed it on the first run, you go up for the last qualifying session biting your nails and it’s too much stress before race day. Once again, we have a great car and it looks like there will be great competition out there tomorrow. The three cars I fear most all say DSR and the (Bob) Tasca car with DSR parts. We have to beat a lot of good cars and if we can do that, they’ll hand us the trophy.”

Matt Hagan

Matt Hagan

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 13 Qualifier – 4.275 seconds at 283.73 mph)
Qualifying 1: 5.147 sec./145.42 mph
Qualifying 2: 4.275 sec./283.73 mph

“With just two qualifying shots, it’s far more nervous when you get up there to the water box. I’m sure plenty of drivers felt that stress level last weekend like we did today. Dickie Venables did what we needed to do to get in the show and we get to race tomorrow. A hot, greasy race track is always tricky to navigate. We have this awesome brand new paint scheme with the chrome red Hellcat Redeye scheme and it’s a beautiful car. It looks fast and we have to make it fast and we’ll end up in the winner’s circle again.”

Tommy Johnson Jr.

Tommy Johnson Jr.

Tommy Johnson Jr., MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 4.017 seconds at 300.86 mph)
Qualifying 1: 4.572 sec./186.41 mph
Qualifying 2: 4.017 sec./300.86 mph

“This two-run qualifying deal puts a lot of pressure on the teams. It’s interesting to see everybody have trouble on the first run and that puts a lot more pressure on that Q2 run to get in the show. To come out and go from fifteenth to No. 1 and end up second is great. Hats off to (crew chiefs) John (Collins) and Rip (Reynolds) and this team. We have a good race car, just trickier track conditions than we saw last weekend. It will probably be trickier tomorrow with the heat, but that 4.01 in the last session was solid and that sets us up for a good race day.”

Ron Capps

Ron Capps

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 4.054 seconds at 312.86 mph)
Qualifying 1: 4.054 sec./312.86 mph
Qualifying 2: 4.440 sec./200.26 mph

“Obviously, it’s a tale of two weekends. We were so disappointed in ourselves for not qualifying better last weekend and putting ourselves in the position of having to run the No. 1 qualifier who was our teammate Tommy Johnson. Today, we finished the first session as the No. 2 qualifier. We tried to push it in Q2, we wanted to go for the pole, we thought we could run a mid-3.90 and that was the time to try it. Unfortunately, we didn’t think the position we were in was going to lands us with a round one matchup with our teammate Matt Hagan. That’s a tough car right now, they’re coming off a win and running great. We start earlier in the morning so the first round will give us the best conditions we’ll see all day. It’s going to be triple digits with the heat index, and usually, the NAPA team is really good in those conditions. First-round is going to be really tough, like a final round, but I’m confident in my team and we’ll go up there and do our best.”

Leah Pruett

Leah Pruett

Leah Pruett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 10 Qualifier – 3.934 seconds at 306.33 mph)
Qualifying 1: 3.850 sec./314.31 mph
Qualifying 2: 3.889 sec./311.34 mph

“What I love about racing are the constant challenges that are thrown at you. Todd and Neal, have been putting in the extra efforts on Cory’s dragster, and I had to qualify in Factory Stock (Showdown) with the Dodge DragPak for our first race this weekend in that class. Everything about this operation is elevated this weekend running 10 cars. It’s great to see more fans here today and this has to be one of the humidest races we’re ever run. It’s feels like Florida more than Indy. We’re looking forward to race day, another early start and we’re planning on building on last weekend and going more rounds.”

Factory Stock Showdown Notes & Quotes

Leah Pruett, Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
(No. 16 Qualifier – 8.146 seconds at 168.32 mph)
Qualifying 1: 9.491 sec./104.71 mph
Qualifying 2: 8.146 sec./168.32 mph

“Just like race cars do, sometimes they have a couple of issues. Ours happened to be in the belt power strain, and luckily, we tested yesterday and thought we almost had it cured. We broke a belt on Q1, and it created a very high-pressure situation of leaving just one qualifying attempt to get in the field and I’m very proud of (crew chief) Kevin Helms, Terry Snyder, and this entire Mopar crew for getting this car down the track. We made a moderate Q2 run to get in the show, which made for some scary times, living on the edge, but we thrive on that. Mark’s (Pawuk) car is running well, and we’re going to pick it up from there. I have a really heavy matchup, No. 1 versus 16, and (Chris) Holbrook is not one to take lightly. We came here to compete, and you’re going to see some good competition tomorrow.”

Mark Pawuk, Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
(No. 12 Qualifier – 8.078 seconds at 170.28 mph)
Qualifying 1: 8.078 sec/170.28 mph
Qualifying 2: 8.201 sec./168.56 mph

“What I love about racing are the constant challenges that are thrown at you. Todd and Neal, have been putting in the extra efforts on Cory’s dragster, and I had to qualify in Factory Stock (Showdown) with the Dodge DragPak for our first race this weekend in that class. Everything about this operation is elevated this weekend running 10 cars. It’s great to see more fans here today and this has to be one of the humidest races we’re ever run. It’s feels like Florida more than Indy. We’re looking forward to race day, another early start and we’re planning on building on last weekend and going more rounds.”
dodge garageDodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow all the NHRA’s action this season 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. For more information, please visit www.dodgegarage.com.

@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to 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.

Official Driving School of Dodge//SRT
Dodge is the official sponsor of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Arizona, where guests get behind the wheels of the fastest street-legal cars in the world with professional instruction and time on the track. Customers who buy a new SRT model receive one full-day session as part of the Dodge//SRT Package and have the opportunity to learn how to get the optimum performance from their new vehicles in a controlled environment. For more information, visit dodgegarage.com/track-experience.

Mopar 18Mopar
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.

DodgeSRTDodge//SRT
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge shifts into high gear with muscle cars and SUVs that deliver unrivaled performance in each of the segments where they compete.

2021 marks the year that Dodge is distilled into a pure performance brand, offering Hellcat-powered, 700+ horsepower SRT versions of every model across the lineup. For the 2021 model year, Dodge delivers the drag-strip dominating 807-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, the new 797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world, and the new 710-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, the most powerful SUV ever. Combined, these three muscle cars make Dodge the industry’s most powerful brand, offering more horsepower than any other American brand across its entire lineup.

In June 2020, Dodge was named the “#1 Brand in Initial Quality,” making it the first domestic brand ever to rank No. 1 in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.

Follow Dodge, SRT and FCA US news and video on:
Company blog: blog.fcanorthamerica.com
Media website: http://media.fcanorthamerica.com
Dodge brand: dodge.com
Dodge Garage: dodgegarage.com
Facebook: facebook.com/dodge or facebook.com/FiatChrysler.NorthAmerica/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dodgeofficial or www.instagram.com/FiatChrysler_NA
Twitter: twitter.com/dodge or twitter.com/FiatChrysler_NA
YouTube: youtube.com/dodge or youtube.com/fcanorthamerica

Photos courtesy of Mopar, driver photos NHRA

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