Don Schumacher Racing
BROWNSBURG, IN – Don Schumacher Racing’s Ron Capps is gearing up for a busy few days of on-track competition, all from the comforts of his own home. By participating in three iRacing events occurring this week, the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car world champion will have the opportunity to showcase his virtual racing skills through highly-publicized online events, all of which boast a slew of stars drawing from multiple auto-racing series.
As one of the earliest to get involved with online racing, Capps’ first foray into the world of virtual motorsports began in the early 2000s. While NHRA drag racing is his passion, the life-long auto-racing enthusiast jumps at the opportunity to get behind the wheel of any type of race car, including virtual ones.
Capps was on the forefront in the early days of web-based racing entertainment, which led him to join forces with iRacing in 2008 when the organization was still in its infancy. As one of iRacing’s original team members, Capps has been a source of information and feedback for the world’s premier racing simulation online video game platform for well over a decade. Through his role as a beta tester, Capps is tasked with test-driving iRacing’s cars via an at-home simulator, providing feedback as to whether or not the ride felt realistic, and suggesting ideas for improvement.
“I’ve always been a huge gamer,” explained Capps. “I went to college to be a software engineer, and obviously, I’ve always had a love for racing. Back when computer gaming was just starting out, a guy by the name of David Kaemmer was pretty much the guru in the racing world as far as anything gaming-related; he had a cult following. When he co-founded iRacing, I heard rumors about it and reached out and asked if there was any way I could help, and low and behold, I got a note back and I got to be one of their early beta testers.
- NHRA’s winningest team is approaching 350 victories (currently at 347), and by campaigning cars in three different categories (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Factory Stock) during the weekend, achieving that milestone is within reach during the NHRA GatornationalsDSR last ‘tripled-up’ at the 2006 Las Vegas II event with winning entries coming from the Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock categories
- Tommy Johnson Jr. enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour after having raced to victory at the previous event in Phoenix
- Johnson’s NHRA career began at the 1984 Gatornationals when he made his racing debut while competing in Super Gas at 15-years-old
- Funny Car point leader Jack Beckman won the season-opener in Pomona and finished as the runner-up in Phoenix. He is seeking his third consecutive final round in 2020
- Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars,’ with Beckman behind the wheel of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and
- Johnson piloting the MD Anderson Dodge, have won the last three events, beginning with Pomona II 2019
- Matt Hagan is seeking his third consecutive Funny Car No. 1 qualifier
- Funny Car ace Ron Capps spent his most recent off-weekend at the 62nd annual March Meet in Bakersfield, Calif. where he took home the trophy in the AA/Fuel Altered class for the first time
- Antron Brown made his NHRA debut at the 1998 event, competing in Pro Stock Motorcycle
- The first of eight Factory Stock Showdown events of 2020 will be contested at the Gatornationals. DSR’s Dodge Challenger Drag Pak duo is comprised of Mark Pawuk, and 2018 FSS series champion Leah Pruett
- Pruett will pull double-duty in Gainesville, competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown categories
With 347 national event wins and counting, and by fielding three entries in Gainesville, Fla., DSR could notch 350 wins at this weekend’s race
BROWNSBURG, IN – NHRA’s winningest team is closing in on 350 victories, and with 347 triumphs currently on Don Schumacher Racing’s lofty list of achievements, reaching that milestone could happen as soon as this weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
Team owner Don Schumacher, who owns five of DSR’s 347 national event wins from his stint as a pioneering NHRA Funny Car pilot, will campaign cars in three different categories this weekend – Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Factory Stock Showdown, meaning race day at ‘the Gators’ has the potential to see three DSR cars end their weekends in the winner’s circle. While leaving with the hardware in three NHRA classes is a tall order, it’s certainly not one that is out of reach for the drag racing powerhouse. In fact, DSR, the only organization to have won national event titles in each of NHRA’s four professional categories, has ‘tripled-up’ twice before (Reading, 2004, Las Vegas II, 2006).
When DSR does hit 350, not only will the Brownsburg, Ind.-based organization be the first in the NHRA to reach that number, but it will be one of a very small handful of teams across the auto-racing industry in general to achieve such a tremendous accomplishment. Adding to the impressiveness of it all is the fact that 342 of those victories have been won in a little over two decades.
Tommy Johnson Jr. Earns NHRA Arizona Nationals Win in All-Mopar Dodge//SRT Funny Car Final Round Battle
Phoenix, AZ – It was an all-Mopar Dodge //SRT Funny Car final round showdown at the Arizona Nationals with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Tommy Johnson Jr. earning his first victory of the 2020 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Series season over his teammate, Jack Beckman.
From his No. 4 qualifier position, Johnson Jr. drove his MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat past Paul Lee and Bob Tasca, then used a holeshot win over DSR teammate Ron Capps to set up a final elimination battle against Beckman. Johnson powered past his DSR opponent, who lost traction early, to make his way to the winner’s circle in the second event of the season.
With the win, Johnson’s collected his 18th career Funny Car national event Wally trophy, his second at Phoenix’s Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, and his first final round victory over Beckman in five final-elimination encounters.
The early season win provided some relief for Johnson and his team, who were looking to recover quickly from a difficult 2019 Countdown to the Championship that followed a promising regular season.
CHANDLER, AZ – Tommy Johnson Jr. drove the MD Anderson Funny Car to its very first event win on Sunday afternoon at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, delivering the second consecutive victory for team sponsor Doug Chandler in 2020. Johnson defeated fellow ‘giving car’ driver and the winner of the season-opener, Jack Beckman, in the final round to earn his 20th NHRA victory and second at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
“There wasn’t going to be a loser,” said Johnson of his final round meeting with Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car team. “Doug Chandler is supporting both these teams, and both are ‘giving’ cars and paying it forward so much. You love to bring it home for somebody like that who helps so many others. Yeah, I wanted to win, but even if we had lost, Doug still won. That’s the main focus of both of our teams – to go out and do the job that Doug’s wanting us to do, and that is promote these foundations that he’s supporting. No matter who won that one, it was a win. Beckman got the first one of the year, and I got the second one, so it’s even now.
“We’re making the statement that we’re racing to beat cancer, and today we did that,” Johnson continued. “And hopefully, that helps with the support of everybody seeing this car and realizing what we are trying to do here and that is to get people to donate money to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and let these guys research cancer more and figure out how to not only treat it but stop it.”
CHANDLER, AZ – For the third event in a row, and the second time in 2020, defending NHRA Arizona Nationals Funny Car event champion Matt Hagan will start race day from the No. 1 position. Hagan paced the field when he powered the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to a 3.859 E.T. during Friday’s second qualifying session. The run held strong throughout Saturday’s sole qualifying round, and earned the speedster his 38th No. 1 qualifier overall, and second at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
“We’ve got a really great race car,” said Hagan, who kicked off his 2020 season by clinching the Funny Car pole at the NHRA Winternationals two weeks ago. “This Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is driving well, it’s handling well; it gets up on the tire easily. It’s really been performing.
“With this being my 38th No. 1 qualifier, I passed Tony Pedregon on the list, and I’ve got so much respect for him,” added Hagan, whose 38 No. 1 qualifier awards ranks him fifth (tied with Kenny Bernstein) among the Funny Car category. “He’s a real wheelman, and I’ve always looked up to him.”
CHANDLER, AZ – Matt Hagan rocketed the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to a 3.859-second pass on Friday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals to claim the provisional No. 1 spot heading into day two of qualifying.
Hagan, a three-time event champion, is getting used to closing out his Friday evenings as the No. 1 qualifier. He captured the provisional pole at the last two events (Pomona 1, 2020, and Pomona 2, 2019), and on both occasions, he remained at the top of the leaderboard to start Sunday’s elimination rounds. He is confident the trend will continue this weekend at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, especially given his track record of success at the Chandler, Ariz. facility where he returns as the defending event champion.
“I wish we could race all 24 events here,” joked Hagan. “Sometimes things just click at certain tracks. We just always seem to do well here. It seems like we knock the rust off in testing, then at Pomona, we’re working the kinks out, and by the time we get here, we just seem to have found our groove. Some tracks you just do really well at, and this is one of those places for us.”