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DSR Qualifying Report: Charlotte II NHRA Nationals


DSR 18NHRA Charlotte II Qualifying Report

NHRA Carolina Nationals
Event 15 of 20
Countdown Event 2 of 7
zMAX Dragway
Concord, N.C.
Sept. 17 – 19, 2021

DSR Qualifying Highlights:

  • Defending Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan didn’t miss a beat at his first race back after a two-event absence due to COVID-19. Hagan powered the Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the quickest E.T. of both Saturday sessions, adding six bonus points to his team’s total
  • After making three consecutive sub-four-second runs in qualifying, the Shelor team heads into Sunday from the No. 4 spot and looking to go back-to-back after last week’s victory in Reading, Penn.
  • Ron Capps will start race day right behind his teammate in fifth. Capps rocketed the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car to the second-quickest run of the final round of qualifying and added two bonus points to his total
  • Antron Brown leads the DSR Top Fuel duo by qualifying the Matco Tools Toyota eighth to earn lane choice over his round-one opponent
  • Leah Pruett drove the Okuma Top Fueler to the third-quickest run of Q2 and added one bonus point to her total

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 8 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 9 Spencer Massey

The Results:
Q1: 3.779 E.T. at 323.66 MPH
Q2: 4.989 E.T. at 147.68 MPH
Q3: 3.764 E.T. at 318.99 MPH

Antron Brown nhra

Antron Brown

“Today, all and all, we made gains all day long. We’re happy. We have a good setup for race day. We have lane choice, I’m not sure that matters, but being in the top half of the field is good as we continue to learn and grow. We’re going to keep our heads down and we have a tough first-round match-up with Spencer (Massey), one of the best drivers in the class, and we’re looking forward to getting out there and racing on Sunday.”

Driver of the Okuma Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 11

The Competition: No. 6 Justin Ashley

The Results:
Q1: 6.830 E.T. at 97.75 MPH
Q2: 3.804 E.T. at 321.50 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.835 E.T. at 313.07 MPH

Bonus Points: One

Leah Pruett nhra

Leah Pruett

“Qualifying here at Charlotte has been a little challenging for our Okuma team this weekend. We didn’t get a full pull on Friday night and we set our car up to get down the track in the heat for Q2 and that was successful with a nice 3.80. Very proud of the team with that effort. That gives us something to work from for race day given it’s going to be warm tomorrow. Unfortunately for Q3, we had a supercharger issue and couldn’t improve our position and we were massively down on boost, and boost is a huge part of the horsepower equation for these cars. We have a tough first-round match-up with Justin Ashley, but we have a great shot, we’ll be competitive and hopefully get this Okuma car back to the final round like in Sonoma and we’re looking forward to race day.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Jim Campbell

The Results:
Q1: 3.922 E.T. at 326.16 MPH
Q2: 8.962 E.T. at 83.61 MPH
Q3: 3.895 E.T. at 326.00 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Two

Ron Capps nhra

Ron Capps

“It was one of those weekends where, if you’re not inside the ropes, you don’t see some of the cool stuff that goes on behind the scenes. I wish we had something like ‘Hard Knocks.’ I love watching how our NAPA crew chiefs approach each run and tackle the things that are thrown at them. I always brag about our NAPA Know How, but to watch our guys adjust is fascinating. We found out why the car slowed down last night. We went up there for the first run today and it blew the tires off at the hit and this car hasn’t done that all season. We then knew there was a problem. We diagnosed and fixed that problem. The car was making the right power and (crew chiefs) John Medlen and Guido (Dean Antonelli) put those GearWrench tools to work and went back to what they know how to do, and we went out and ran 3.89. It was early in the session and we thought the other cars would run quicker, but they didn’t and we ended up second-quick of the session and earned two bonus points. We’ll definitely take that, but ‘Big’ Jim Dunn is a tough competitor with (Jim) Campbell behind the wheel. We have to be perfect to get by them first round.”

Driver of the Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Tony Jurado

The Results:
Q1: 3.891 E.T. at 330.55 MPH
Q2: 3.917 E.T. at 328.22 MPH (Three bonus points for low E.T. of the session)
Q3: 3.893 E.T. at 327.11 MPH (Three bonus points for low E.T. of the session)

Bonus Points: Six

Matt Hagan nhra

Matt Hagan

“I’m so very glad and blessed to be back this weekend. It’s been great; the fans here at zMax Dragway and my team have been so welcoming. We have such a great race car. I’m so excited about race day. It’s like riding a bike. I feel great in the car. (Crew chief) Dickie Venables and this team continue to give me a great car. I feel that my driving is on point and we have a great package for Sunday and we’re excited to go 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, and further cemented its position as one of motorsports’ elite teams when it surpassed the ‘350 wins’ milestone during the 2020 season. DSR owns 18 world championships in three different NHRA categories, and including hall-of-fame team owner Don Schumacher’s five NHRA Funny Car triumphs from the 1970s, DSR has been successful in capturing 364 national event victories overall.

Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields four professional teams competing in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Three-time world champion Antron Brown, and double-duty driver Leah Pruett headline DSR’s Top Fuel dragster team. DSR’s two Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars are driven by 2016 Funny Car world champion Ron Capps, and Matt Hagan, who earned his third NHRA series title in 2020.

DSR also campaigns three entries in the NHRA Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series. The trio of DSR Dodge Drag Paks is piloted by Pruett, the 2018 series champion, former Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk, and David Davies who made his FSS debut in 2021.

Follow Don Schumacher Don Schumacher Racing at, on Twitter and Instagram at@shoeracing and

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing, Driver photos: NHRA