Dominant Season-long Performance by Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars to Conclude With Crowning of World Champion at Dodge NHRA Finals in Las Vegas
Auburn Hills, MI – A Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat from the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) stable will be crowned the 2020 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Drag Racing Series Funny Car World Champion this weekend at the Dodge Finals Presented by Pennzoil. While that is a certainty, there is still heightened anticipation and drama heading into the season finale with much left to be determined on the track at The Strip at Las Vegas Speedway.
First and foremost, intrigue remains heading into the Dodge NHRA Finals regarding which of the four DSR drivers will be crowned Funny Car World Champion as Matt Hagan (842 points), Tommy Johnson Jr. (800 points), Jack Beckman (799 points) and Ron Capps (679 points) sit 1-2-3-4 respectively atop the standings where they jostled for position all season long while dominating the category. With the adoption of a format awarding points-and-a-half for the final event of the season, all four are still mathematically in contention with 183 points up for grabs. However, the focus is sharply on the three-way battle between Hagan, Johnson, and Beckman, as just 43 points separates them.
“I have a lot of confidence in our team, and our car, and what we’re doing,” says Hagan, who will run the sinister looking Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye paint scheme for the final time this season in tribute to the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world. “We’ve made up a lot of ground in a little bit of time. We’ve done what we needed to do to put ourselves in this position to have the points lead.”
LAS VEGAS, NV – Paul Lee loves Las Vegas and he will love it more when he wins a NHRA Camping World Wally on Sunday. The FTI Performance/McLeod Racing nitro funny car team has achieved many fast runs and great numbers, but they have not sealed the deal with a four-round victory on a Sunday. Lee and the team look at the Dodge World Finals as a chance to upset the Championship chase with a victory of their own.
Paul Lee visits Vegas occasionally to partake in some of the toughest high-stakes poker tournaments. Lee has found a few wins on the poker tables and now wants that win on the drag strip. Crew Chief Jim Oberhofer and the team are primed and ready for an all-in bet this weekend at the Strip.
“I’ve had some success in no limit hold’em poker tournaments over the years, but now it’s time to win at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” says Paul Lee, president and owner of McLeod Racing and FTI Performance. “Racing is sometimes like playing poker; you need some skill and a lot of luck to win.”
BRANDON SNIDER NOT FEELING THE HEAT AS HE SEEKS FIRST WORLD TITLE AT E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES FINALE IN LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS – Brandon Snider finds himself in an ideal position heading to the final race of the 2020 season at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. But after a number of recent firsts, the points leader insists he isn’t feeling the pressure.
Snider is in the driver’s seat in is supercharged Corvette heading to the finale, taking the points lead into Las Vegas against a host of contenders. He currently leads defending world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson by 26 points, or a little more than one round, with a handful of drivers lurking closely behind. Mike Janis and Khalid alBalooshi, both former world champions, are 55 and 56 points behind Snider, respectively.
Things came together perfectly for Snider, who won his first career race in the class two races ago and has qualified No. 1 in two of the past three events. It’s put him in a great spot to claim a title in what has been a breakout year, but Snider said he’s simply enjoying the moment.
NHRA CAMPING WORLD DRAG RACING SERIES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TO BE DECIDED AT DODGE NHRA FINALS PRESENTED BY PENNZOIL IN LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS – In what has been a remarkably dominant year for Don Schumacher Racing in Funny Car, the team knows it will claim a 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world title. But it will take this weekend’s Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to determine just who will end up on top in this unprecedented year.
Matt Hagan, a two-time world champ is the current leader, while teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. closed the gap to 42 points with his victory last weekend in Houston. DSR’s Jack Beckman is only 43 points behind Hagan, creating what will be an excitement-filled weekend in the class, especially with the points-and-a-half scenario in play in Las Vegas. That means a round win equals 30 points, which will certainly add some extra dramatics on Sunday.
A Funny Car victory to close out the season for the organization would also give DSR its 14th straight win in the category, including a clean sweep of the 2020 campaign. That’s on the mind of Johnson, but so is claiming his first career NHRA world championship in his 11,000-horsepower MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. He’ll need some help, but the 21-time event winner is excited for the opportunity.
Las Vegas, NV -All eyes on Don Schumacher Racing’s Funny Car contingent as drag racing’s winningest organization is poised to capture its
18th series title this weekend at the 2020 NHRA season finale in Las Vegas. A fierce three-way battle awaits No. 1 ranked Funny Car driver Matt Hagan, No. 2 ranked Tommy Johnson Jr., and No. 3 ranked Jack Beckman heading into the Dodge NHRA Finals Presented by Pennzoil as they battle to earn DSR’s sixth Funny Car world championship Hagan owns two world titles (2011, 2014), Beckman one (2012), Ron Capps one (2016), and Gary Scelzi (2005)
DSR Funny Car Championship Contenders:
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye
Ranked No. 1 in the standings; 842 points
Crew chief: Dickie Venables
Assistant crew chief: Mike Knudsen
LAS VEGAS – Poker players in Las Vegas like to say all they need to win is a chip and chair. Less than two rounds off the championship lead entering a race that awards points and a half, five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. has more than a single chip to throw in the pot, but in true Glitter Gulch style he still wouldn’t mind a visit from Lady Luck at this weekend’s 20th annual Dodge NHRA Finals.
“This is a final hurrah in many respects,” said Coughlin, who will retire from full-time competition after this event. “There are three of us in the hunt for this championship, two from Elite Motorsports with Erica (Enders) and myself, and I know how much we’d all love to close out with a bang.
“Having two horses in the race is a real credit to everyone at Elite. Richard Freeman (team owner) has put together an incredible group of the very best mechanics, crew chiefs and engine builders in the sport. Hopefully we can finish 1-2 again. Obviously, if you talk to me, I want to be the champ, and if you talk to Erica, she’s anxious to win it as well, but we also root for each other. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Both Coughlin and Line find themselves 55 points in arrears to Enders, the reigning and three-time series champion. NHRA officials decided to up the drama by awarding points and a half in Vegas, so there are multiple scenarios where Coughlin can regain the points lead he held earlier this season.
Las Vegas – J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny car team have done it all at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last year they won their second consecutive Four-Wide Nationals in the spring and at the end of 2018 their victory at the fall Las Vegas Nationals all but wrapped up their Funny Car championship. Todd also raced to three Top Fuel final rounds in 2016, 2014 and 2006. That kind of winning experience could come in handy this weekend at the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series wraps up a wild 2020 season.
“This season has been a marathon for sure,” said Todd. “We got off of a slow start at the first two races and then we had the break in the middle. Once we got going again in Indianapolis we made some strides getting to back to back final rounds including the finals of the U.S. Nationals in Indy.”
Throughout the season Todd has stayed on the heels of the point leading Funny Cars. A strong finish at the Las Vegas Nationals could easily see him finishing in the Top Five and a fourth place finish would be a lofty goal. Either position would be his second highest point finish since his move to Funny Car in 2017.