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DSR Qualifying Report: Pomona 2 NHRA Finals
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Don Schumacher Racing Qualifying Report: Pomona 2 NHRA Finals


DSR 18NHRA Pomona 2 Qualifying Report

NHRA Finals
Event 20 of 20
Countdown Event 7 of 7
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Pomona, Calif.
November 12-14, 2021

DSR Qualifying Highlights:

  • No. 1 ranked Funny Car pilot Ron Capps further extended his lead on No. 2 ranked teammate Matt Hagan during qualifying at the NHRA Finals by earning four bonus points when he powered to the quickest pass of Q2
  • Capps and Hagan are vying to deliver a 19th world championship and seventh Funny Car title for Don Schumacher Racing, drag racing’s winningest organization
  • Capps begins his quest for a second world championship with a 67-point lead on Hagan
  • Capps, who won at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona earlier this season, will start race day from the No. 2 position facing Terry Haddock. Capps is a four-time NHRA Winternationals event winner, but is seeking his first NHRA Finals triumph
  • Hagan, the three-time and reigning series champion, begins his championship defense from seventh with a round-one match-up versus Tony Jurado
  • The 2021 NHRA Camping World Series Funny Car world championship chase is primed for a thrilling showdown on Sunday:
    – If Capps and Hagan win their E1 races, they would face each other in the second round. If Capps were to defeat Hagan in E2, he would be crowned champion. If Hagan were to come out on top, he would need to win the race in order to clinch a fourth world title
    – If Hagan and No. 3 ranked Cruz Pedregon have a first-round loss, Capps will be awarded the 2021 trophy
    – If Capps bows out in round one, Hagan would lock in his second consecutive title by advancing to the final round
  • In Top Fuel action, Antron Brown and Leah Pruett joined their Funny Car stablemates by earning qualifying positions in the top half of the field and will start race day with the advantage of lane choice
  • Pruett was third-quickest of Q2 and second-quickest of Q3 to earn five bonus points in her final qualifying effort of the season

*Centerline penalties could play a factor in the championship scenarios detailed above

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Justin Ashley

The Results:
Q1: 3.719 E.T. at 329.26 MPH (One bonus point for fourth-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 13.295 E.T. at 43.15 MPH
Q3: 3.761 E.T. at 325.30 MPH

Bonus Points: One

Antron Brown nhra

Antron Brown

“We’re here at the last race of the year and we had a good qualifying outing. A really good lap on Q1 on Friday at 3.71 and a good day where we learned a lot today. We’re just going to go out and hit it as hard as we can, and leave it all on the table. We have a tough first-round match-up with Justin Ashley, but we’re looking forward to that race.”

Driver of the Direct Connection Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Cameron Ferre

The Results:
Q1: 4.954 E.T. at 145.83 MPH
Q2: 3.751 E.T. at 324.83 MPH (Two bonus points for third-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.706 E.T. at 327.59 MPH (Three bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Five

Leah Pruett nhra

Leah Pruett

“We started out in Q1 on Friday with the barrel fully loaded and we just missed it. We knew we needed a solid run on Q2, and we did that with a beautiful 3.75 pass in the heat of the day and that gave this Direct Connection team all the confidence for Q3 to step up with that great 3.70 for the No. 3 spot. (Crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Neal (Strausbaugh) are tuning with a great amount of confidence and I’m looking forward to the final race of the season to be the culmination for this team. We want to shove this Dodge//SRT dragster into the winner’s circle tomorrow like we did here in July.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 15 Terry Haddock

The Results:
Q1: 3.908 E.T. at 329.83 MPH (Three bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.935 E.T. at 325.45 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 5.124 E.T. at 143.87 MPH

Bonus Points: Seven

Ron Capps nhra

Ron Capps

“We always talk about these goals that we have with this NAPA AutoCare team and we saw how crazy qualifying was. Our first goal is always to qualify because you’re not guaranteed to race on Sunday in NHRA drag racing. There are no provisionals. We accomplished that right off the bat on Friday in Q1. Secondly, we wanted to gain some of those important small bonus points and put it over the 60-point threshold with (Matt) Hagan. It’s a nice cushion. That’s a whole other round that they’d have to win to go around us. We want to wake up tomorrow morning with the thought of winning the race and it will take care of itself. We saw what happened in Vegas; anything can happen in NHRA drag racing. The goal is to win the race. We have Terry Haddock first round and we’re focused on that and that alone. If things line up second round against Hagan, then we’ll focus on that. Waking up Sunday morning in November at Pomona with a chance to win a world championship is something I’ve done a lot. We did it in 2016, but I’ve been here a lot where we didn’t accomplish that goal. And, that’s made me better in the seat as a driver. I’m just focused on the same thing and that’s drive this great NAPA Dodge that Guido (Dean Antonelli) and John Medlen and this AutoCare team has given me.”

Driver of the Direct Connection Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Qualified: No. 7 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 10 Tony Jurado

The Results:
Q1: 4.483 E.T. at 187.65 MPH
Q2: 3.956 E.T. at 319.75 MPH (Two bonus points for third-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.045 E.T. at 263.87 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

Matt Hagan nhra

Matt Hagan

“It’s about as simple as it gets. We have to win the race. If we want to win the championship, we have to win the race. If we do that, we’ve done what we set out to do here and all year long. I don’t know how it worked out that way, but the good lord above shined on us today and gave us a shot to make our own fate. It all falls on us. I know we have the car, the team, and the people to do this and I’m excited to have a shot. Ron Capps and that team are great, but we’re going to try and ruin their day. That’s what we do out here when we race and let’s see how it plays out tomorrow.”

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 366 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, Driver photos: NHRA