Don Schumacher Racing
Gainesville, FL – DSR Elimination Highlights:
– Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Mark Pawuk (Factory Stock Showdown) led the DSR brigade with semifinal finishes
Brown departs Gainesville sitting third in points
– No. 1 qualifier Ron Capps advanced to the second round and is ranked fifth in the Funny Car standings
Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 10 (3.809 E.T. at 316.75 MPH)
Capps is First Funny Car Driver to Claim Coveted Yellow No. 1 Qualifier Hat in New NHRA Camping World Era
GAINESVILLE, FL – As the defending NHRA Gatornationals Funny Car champion, Ron Capps will attempt to go back-to-back and pick up his fifth Gainesville Raceway victory on Sunday, starting race day from the pole position.
Capps earned his first Gainesville No. 1 qualifier and 26th overall when he ran the only sub-3.9-second Funny Car pass of the weekend during Friday’s sole qualifying session. On day two of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season-opener, Capps unloaded with another stout run, clocking a 3.948 E.T. behind the wheel of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, which held up to be quickest of the session. After running low E.T. of Q1 and Q2 and collecting six bonus points, Capps’ newly-acquired duo of champion tuners opted to take a chance and step on it in Q3 but fell short of their aggressive target of a mid-3.8-second elapsed time.
“We all know how good this car is and what an excellent team Guido (Dean Antonelli) and (John) Medlen have developed with all these guys and gals,” Capps said of his new co-crew chiefs and their proven team of crew members. “It’s a lot of fun to see this car do well and how happy everybody is in the NAPA camp. I just want to come in and try to blend in and be the best I can and not mess up. I want to help show how good of a team this is.
GAINESVILLE, FL – The defending NHRA Gatornationals Funny Car event champ picked up right where he left off since his last time visiting Gainesville, Fla. during the 2020 NHRA season. Behind the wheel of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Ron Capps powered his machine to a blistering 3.895-second at 329.02 mph pass to capture the provisional No. 1 qualifying position at the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season-opener.
Out of 18 Funny Cars on the property, Capps’ NAPA Dodge was the only flopper to dip into the 3.8-second zone during Friday’s lone qualifying session. The run was especially significant since it marked Capps’ competition debut with his new team led by his new co-crew chiefs Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli and John Medlen.
“I talked about testing last week and how it went that first time with this team, and it just feels great,” Capps said of his newly adopted team following former crew chief Rahn Tobler’s retirement announcement during the off-season. “We ran two 3.89s at testing last week, so it’s almost like we can dial-in a bracket car here so far. I’m honestly tickled. I feel like a rookie, I just want to make Guido, John, Don Schumacher, and the whole team proud. We already knew this was a great car. This is a team that battled for a championship the past few seasons with Jack Beckman driving. They ran great E.T.s and speeds and won a lot of races. There’s not a lot I can do other than be myself and drive the car the best I can. I just wanted the car to prove itself and let Guido and John Medlen do their thing. There are so many things that are different to adjust to, but I’m getting more comfortable in the car. Unloading with a provisional No. 1 qualifier is great for NAPA, GEARWRENCH, Pennzoil, and all that support us. What a perfect time to go up and show up.”
Noteworthy: Matt Hagan enters the season-opener as the defending Funny Car world champion and begins his campaign for a fourth world title – As the 2020 Gatornationals Funny Car event champ, Ron Capps seeks to pick up his fifth Gainesville triumph as he attempts to go back-to-back – The Gatornationals marks Capps’ competition debut with his new co-crew chiefs, champion tuners Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli and John Medlen – Capps and Hagan are vying to keep DSR’s undefeated Funny Car streak of 14 consecutive victories alive – Antron Brown kicks off the 2021 season as the most recent Top Fuel winner, having raced to victory at the 2020 season finale in Las Vegas – Gainesville marks the first of eight events in 2021 where Leah Pruett will pull double-duty, competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown categories
Mark Pawuk returns to the seat of his Dodge Drag Pak following an FSS career-best finish (third) in 2020
DSR Driver Information:
Top Fuel: ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster
SiriusXM Partners with Antron Brown and the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Team in 2021 as SiriusXM Makes its NHRA Debut
BROWNSBURG, IN – Antron Brown and the Don Schumacher Racing Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster team are thrilled to announce the addition of SiriusXM as an associate partner of Brown’s 11,000-horsepower championship-winning machine.
SiriusXM has been involved in the motorsports industry via the NASCAR Cup and Truck series since 2007, but this new partnership with Brown will mark the first time the country’s leading audio entertainment company, and premier programmer and platform for subscription and digital advertising-supported audio products, has become involved in NHRA Drag Racing. Brown and his crew are excited to be the first to welcome the highly-recognizable brand to the fastest motorsport on the planet.
“I’m super pumped to be partnering with SiriusXM and representing them in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series,” said Brown, a three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion. “I just can’t wait to kick off this 2021 season and not only have SiriusXM blasting down the road, but in our team’s race pit.
GEARWRENCH Joins Don Schumacher Racing as Official Tool Supplier of Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car Team
BROWNSBURG, IN – GEARWRENCH, the manufacturer of premier mechanic hand tools, has partnered with Don Schumacher Racing to be the official tool supplier of Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car team.
The multi-year agreement between GEARWRENCH and DSR’s NAPA Funny Car team marks the tool maker’s first foray into NHRA drag racing since 2014. The brand’s racing sponsorship platform has grown substantially since 2017, having partnered with various IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula Drift, and Monster Energy Supercross teams, among others. GEARWRENCH is excited to join forces with Capps and the NAPA team for the opportunity to reach NHRA’s captive audience of automotive ‘do-it-yourselfers’ and grassroots racers.
“Getting involved with Ron and the NAPA team and NHRA is a no-brainer,” said Rena Fiorello, Director of Brand Management at GEARWRENCH. “Drag racing is one of those sports where the fans can really relate. They tinker on their own cars at home and bring them out to their local dragstrips on open test-and-tune nights. NHRA fans are our target audience, and Ron will be an excellent ambassador for us. GEARWRENCH tools are designed to meet the toughest requirements of automotive technicians and industrial users. What better testament to the quality of our products than to be used on Ron’s 330-mile-per-hour, nitromethane-burning beast of a vehicle?”
BROWNSBURG, IN – Don Schumacher Racing is proud to announce that its longstanding partnership with NAPA AUTO PARTS will extend into the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, as veteran driver Ron Capps makes a bid for a second Funny Car title aboard the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
“Our relationship with NAPA is extremely important, and we’re thrilled to continue to fly the NAPA flag,” said team owner Don Schumacher. “They’ve been tremendous supporters of Ron and DSR, and we’re very proud to have partnered with them for so many years. We look forward to delivering more wins for NAPA in 2021.”
Kevin Herron, President, US Automotive added “NAPA is excited to be starting our 14th season as the primary sponsor for DSR and Ron Capps. Having a team and a brand ambassador, like Ron Capps, who understands our business, our employees, and our customers, makes them a valuable resource in helping to build upon the 95 years of NAPA brand equity. Looking forward to great success on and off the track in 2021.”