Beckman Earns First No. 1 Qualifier of Season at U.S. Nationals, Leads Six Mopar-powered Dodge Charger NHRA Funny Car Drivers Into Elimination Rounds
Indianapolis – Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Jack Beckman raced to his first No. 1 qualifier position of season this weekend during the 65th Annual U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, leading a contingent of six Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers into Monday’s elimination rounds for the NHRA’s biggest race of the season.
Beckman and his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge//SRT Mopar teammates Matt Hagan and Ron Capps earned positions inside the top-four and were joined in the field by fellow DSR teammate Tommy Johnson, Jr. and Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers Paul Lee and Cruz Pedregon.
Since qualifying began Friday night, the most consistent machine in the Funny Car class through the five sessions was Beckman’s Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. After posting a Friday night run of 3.875 seconds, the 2012 Funny Car world champion never relinquished the No.1 position, topping three of the five sessions and collecting 16 qualifying points. His run early Saturday evening of 3.861 earned Beckman the 25th No. 1 qualifier of his career. It was his second No. 1 at the U.S. Nationals, his first coming in 2015 setting up Beckman for his only U.S. Nationals crown.
Two-time world champion and 2016 U.S. Nationals winner Hagan also made his best run of the weekend in the third qualifying session powering his Mopar-powered 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody to a lap of 3.874 to secure the second position. It’s the second time this season where he has qualified No. 2. The first came in Phoenix and he recorded the first of seven 2019 wins by Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers.
After earning his third NHRA Wally of the season two weeks ago in Brainerd, Capps followed the lead of Beckman making consistent runs throughout the five sessions and adding qualifying points in four of the five. He grabbed the fourth position on Monday’s elimination ladder with his run of 3.882 aboard the NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The 2016 Funny Car champion’s best Indy finish was a runner-up in 2017.
Johnson, Jr. is in the midst of a career season and his quest for a first U.S. Nationals win wasn’t as smooth as planned for the driver of the Riley’s Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. Through three rounds of qualifying, he was on the outside looking in, but his John Collins’ tuned Hellcat came through Sunday with a pair of runs, 3.909 and 3.912 seconds, to qualify in the 10th position.
Lee and Pedregon will race from the ninth and 12th spots, respectively.
Like Capps, DSR’s Leah Pritchett brings the momentum of winning in Brainerd to “The Big Go.” Pritchett, who’s best U.S. Nationals result was a semifinal run in 2017, began with a solid pass of 3.726 seconds at 325.22 mph Friday evening. Her run of 3.701 in session three was the best of weekend for the DSR HEMI-powered Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster.