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DSR Pre-Race Report: Dallas NHRA Fall Nationals
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DSR Pre-Race Report: Dallas NHRA Fall Nationals


DSR 18Dallas Pre-Race Report

Texas NHRA FallNationals
Event 17 of 20
Countdown Event 4 of 7
Texas Motorplex
Ennis, Texas
Oct. 7 – 10, 2021


  • The Texas NHRA FallNationals marks the halfway point in the Countdown to the Championship, with all DSR drivers in contention
  • Three-time and defending world champion Matt Hagan enters the race as the Funny Car point leader
  • Hagan raced from the pole to the winner’s circle at the most recent event on tour (St. Louis); the triumph was the Western Technical College Dodge Funny Car team’s third win in five events
  • Hagan returns to Dallas seeking his third consecutive Texas Motorplex final round outing. He raced to victory in 2019, and a runner-up finish from the pole in 2020
  • No. 2 ranked Funny Car driver Ron Capps is seeking his first FallNats victory, a feat that has eluded him ever since he won at the Motorplex in 1998 at the discontinued Spring event, as he battles to overcome the 59-point deficit separating him from Hagan
  • No. 7 ranked Top Fuel pilot Antron Brown will debut the Matco Tools ‘Tools for the Cause’ livery benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Brown will drive the pinked-out machine during the month of October
  • Brown and No. 6 ranked Leah Pruett are focused on reclaiming their positions within the Top Fuel ‘top five’

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools ‘Tools for a Cause’ Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Countdown to the Championship standing: 7th

Dallas Event Highlights:
Two-time event champion (2012, 2016)
2016 No. 1 qualifier

2020 Dallas Recap:
Qualified eighth; First round exit (defeated by Doug Kalitta in E1)

Last Event (St. Louis):
Qualified 11th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated by Spencer Massey in E1; defeated by Steve Torrence in E2)

Career Statistics:
457 races; 68 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 Qualifiers (11 PSM)

Brown claimed his first NHRA national event win in 1999 at the Texas Motorplex while competing in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category
The event win occurred at the discontinued 1999 Dallas I event
Campaigning the ‘Tools for the Cause’ livery during the month of October to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
Throughout October, 15% of the purchase price of ‘Tools for the Cause’ merchandise will be donated directly to BCRF
Since ‘Tools for the Cause’ began in 2012, Matco has donated over one million dollars to breast cancer research
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. They provide critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis, and survivorship.
NHRA fans can visit their Matco Tools distributor to purchase Tools for the Cause merchandise or visit www.matcotools.com/toolsforthecause

“Dallas is really bringing it this year with the Stampede of Speed. I’m looking forward to all of the festivities leading up to the race, from testing today to Fanfest tomorrow to nostalgia racing, it’ll be a full week of fun. Our Matco Tools Toyota team is looking forward to throwing down on Friday night to try and get that 15K bonus for the No. 1 qualifying spot. Dallas has always been good to our team. This event helped us win our 2012 and 2016 championships, and it was also the first NHRA national event I ever won back in ‘99 when I was competing in Pro Stock Motorcycle. The Texas Motorplex holds so many special memories for me, and I’m ready for a great outing this weekend.”

Driver of the DSR Performance Top Fuel Dragster

Countdown to the Championship standing: 6th

2020 Dallas Recap:
Qualified fifth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Scott Palmer in E1; defeated by Shawn Langdon in E2)

Last Event (St. Louis):
Qualified fourth; Semifinal finish (defeated Clay Millican in E1, Billy Torrence in E2; defeated by Mike Salinas in E3)

Career Statistics:
168 races; nine wins; 12 No. 1 Qualifiers

DSR Performance is the retail arm of Don Schumacher Racing, offering performance race parts and lifestyle gear
DSR Performance features both new and used parts for racing and street vehicles with the objective of providing premium, championship-winning design and performance direct-to-consumers via www.DSR.parts. In addition to a catalog that features products for both nitro and sportsman racers, DSR Performance also boasts service-based offerings, including parts and tuning consultations with DSR’s brain trust of crew chiefs.

“It’s undeniably easy to be excited about the amazing drag race and extracurricular events happening during the week of Stampede of Speed thanks to Billy Meyer and his team, but I feel the prevalence of the championship is pivotal more than ever. I do believe four qualifying runs will play in our favor, as many teams ahead of us have a consistent package, but for us, the ability to make leaps and bounds within qualifying runs is what gets us ahead. Those are just stats I know from being with this winning team. For most, having the four qualifying sessions this weekend will be a tiny refresher Friday course, but for me, it will be an exhilarating way to focus my attention that I usually have on multiple passes with two cars and two teams, condensed into one car. With two passes per day, we can really hone our DSR Performance machine into precision qualifying form. DSR Performance has made such incredible ground, offering parts and solutions for racers and automotive enthusiasts, and I believe this team can make those same significant moves on the racetrack this weekend.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Countdown to the Championship standing: 2nd

Dallas Event Highlights:
Three-time runner-up (2011, 2016-2017)
Two-time No. 1 qualifier (1997, 2005)
2020 Dallas Recap:
Qualified fourth; Semifinal finish (defeated Terry Haddock in E1, Alexis DeJoria in E2; defeated by Matt Hagan in E3)

Last Event (St. Louis):
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Chris King in E1; defeated by John Force in E2)

Career Statistics:
582 races; 67 wins (one Top Fuel); 29 No. 1 qualifiers

Capps was successful in picking up a Texas Motorplex win in 1998 at the discontinued Dallas 1 event but is still searching for his first FallNationals victory

“It’s that time of the year. I talk about these certain races, and certain places we visit, and the Motorplex has always been a pivotal race in the Countdown throughout the years. In 2016, after we won the world championship and we looked back on the season, Dallas definitely stood out as one of the crucial Sundays that we had during the Countdown, and it was probably the race that thrust us into the championship hunt. It was one of those ‘gutted out’ types of weekends. Our crew showed the NAPA Know How that I always talk about. We had a lot of issues that particular weekend and somehow, we fought through it and had a day that got us to the final round and allowed us to grab quite a lot of championship points. I haven’t won at the Texas Motorplex in quite some time, and I’m looking forward to trying to win that coveted black cowboy hat this weekend. Everything that Billy Meyer, the Meyer family, and the Motorplex staff have done this weekend for the Stampede of Speed is really impressive. They’ve done a tremendous job promoting, and making it a whole week of festivities leading up to the main event. Fanfest is going to be a blast, and the big money they’re putting up on Friday night for low qualifier is not only exciting but really sets the bar for a lot of other tracks on tour and the NHRA.

“We’re trying to gain as many points as possible this weekend to try and fight our way back into the lead. It’s been fun to have the points lead, and just as fun to try and grab it back during the season. (Crew chiefs) ‘Guido’ (Dean Antonelli), (John) Medlen, all the NAPA guys have put a great race car underneath me all year, and it really makes it fun to go up there knowing you have a chance to take low E.T. of each run, and that’s what we’ll try and pull off this weekend.”

Driver of the Western Technical College Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Countdown to the Championship standing: 1st

Dallas Event Highlights:
Three-time event champion (2010, 2016, 2019)
Two-time runner-up (2012, 2020)
2020 No. 1 qualifier

2020 Dallas Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Event runner-up (defeated Todd Simpson in E1, J.R. Todd in E2, Ron Capps in E3; defeated by Jack Beckman in E4)

Last Event (St. Louis):
Qualified No. 1; Event champion (defeated Bye in E1, J.R. Todd in E2, Cruz Pedregon in E3, Bob Tasca in E4)

Career Statistics:
289 races; 39 wins; 43 No. 1 qualifiers

Three-time and defending world champion Matt Hagan enters the race as the Funny Car point leader
Hagan raced from the pole to the winner’s circle at the most recent event on tour (St. Louis); the triumph was the Western Technical College Dodge Funny Car team’s third win in five events
Hagan returns to Dallas seeking his third consecutive Texas Motorplex final-round showing. He raced to victory in 2019, and a runner-up finish from the pole in 2019

“We’ve been very successful at Dallas, having won there in 2019, and finishing as the runner-up there last year. The car is running great and obviously, we have great data to work off of, so I feel really good about this weekend. Our Western Tech Dodge has been so fun to drive lately, and it makes it exciting because you know you have a race car that can win every Sunday. We just need to focus on taking it one round at a time and not get ahead of ourselves.

“We have four qualifying runs this weekend, and during Q2, we get an extra 15-grand if we go low, so everyone will be swinging for the fence. (Crew chief) Dickie Veanables’ mentality has and continues to be, ‘race the track’ and everything else will fall into place. The extra 15K is awesome but were focused on the points, racing smart, and putting ourselves in a good position heading into Sunday. Hopefully, we’ll scoop up more points this weekend and extend our lead on (Ron) Capps, (John) Force, and everyone else nipping at our heels. There are a lot of heavy hitters in the class and a lot of guys that throw down, and we have a real dogfight ahead of us, but I’m excited to be a part of it.”

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 365 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 ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at@shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing