Don Schumacher Racing
Fast Start for “Fast Jack” and Mopar Dodge//SRT with Funny Car National Event Win at NHRA Winternationals to Kick-off 2020 Season
Pomona, CA – A fast start to the 2020 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Series season was exactly what “Fast Jack” Beckman was looking for as he drove his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to a national event win at the 60th annual NHRA Winternationals to kick off the year on the heels of his runner-up finish in the 2019 Funny Car Championship.
From his No.2 qualifying position, the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver knew the stage was set for him to have a strong eliminations performance at the historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., and commence his drive for the 2020 Funny Car Championship immediately.
Beckman drove past Alexis DeJoria, DSR teammate Ron Capps, and Steve Densham to earn a berth in the final round versus John Force.
Force had a slight starting line advantage, but Beckman quickly powered his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to an exciting side-by-side battle before steadily making gains and taking the lead in the final stretch.
Pomona, CA – It was a strong and fast start for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) veteran pilots Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman as they drove their Mopar Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Cars to the No.1 and No.2 qualifier positions, respectively, in anticipation of Sunday’s first race day of the 2020 National Hot Rod Association Mello Yello Drag Racing season at the 60th annual Winternationals.
Hagan kept his Mopar Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car atop the timesheets at the historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., through four qualifying sessions to earn his first No.1 qualifier position of the new year after running low E.T. on his first and last runs.
“This Mopar Funny Car is just flying out there,” said Hagan who improved on Friday’s provisional top spot pass of 3.867 second /331.20 mph with a 3.841 second elapsed time qualifying run a top speed of 333.25 mph. on his final run. “When your team puts a hot rod underneath you like that, it’s always fun.”
“Going into race day tomorrow, my lights are good, the car is running great, the guys are doing a phenomenal job, and we came off of a really strong season last year, so we’re just focused on keeping the ball rolling,” added Hagan who collected eight qualifying points for his efforts and will face off against Alex Miladinovich in the first round of eliminations.
POMONA, CA – With an impressive blast of 3.841 seconds at 333.25 mph behind the wheel of his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Matt Hagan rocketed to the top of the NHRA Winternationals Funny Car leaderboard on Saturday evening at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Hagan began day two of qualifying for the season-opener from the No. 1 spot on the strength of his Friday afternoon Q1 pass of 3.867 seconds, which held firm throughout the third qualifying session. With track conditions steadily improving throughout the field-setting fourth round, Hagan and his Dickie Venables-led Mopar team watched as reigning Funny Car champion Robert Hight laid down a solid run of 3.862 seconds to knock them from the top spot. Not to be outdone, Hagan immediately reclaimed the No. 1 position with his 3.84. In the opposite lane, his teammate Jack Beckman charged his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge to a 3.856 E.T. to also eclipse Hight and move into the No. 2 position.
Both Beckman and Hagan have been on a roll since late in the 2019 season. Beckman solidified himself as a serious title threat with his strong showing at the NHRA U.S. Nationals, the final event of the ‘regular’ season, which saw him earn the Indy pole and a runner-up finish. At the very next race, the first event of the Countdown, Beckman raced to victory and bookended his playoff run with another win at the season-closer. Hagan’s momentum began when he captured back-to-back Countdown victories and the No. 1 qualifier at the 2019 season-closer. Both drivers remained in the title hunt through the final day of the season, with Beckman finishing as the runner-up and Hagan taking third.
Pomona, CA – This weekend’s 60th annual Winternationals at the historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California, kicks off the 2020 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series 24-event season and Mopar Dodge//SRT wasted no time getting right back to work and to the top of the timesheets. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Matt Hagan drove his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car straight to the provisional No.1 qualifier position with his official first run of the season.
Hagan and his DSR HEMI®-powered machine, which sports a new blue and white Mopar scheme that will be seen at ten events throughout the year, wasted no time taking his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the top of the timesheets with a 3.867 second / 331.20 mph pass. While his second qualifying run didn’t go quite as planned, Hagan is pleased with the quick start to the weekend and season.
“There’s a lot of confidence unloading off the trailer like that and being able to run a good number,” said the 2011 and 2014 NHRA Funny Car World Champion. “We had a great test session in Vegas and laid down some good numbers. I was up there just pressing this last run. I was trying to run a 0.081 or 82 and it just didn’t stick. All in all, I think we have a really good car, everybody is confident. I think there are still some low numbers to be had tomorrow.”
POMONA, CA – Shawn Langdon kicked off the 2020 season opener in style, grabbing the Top Fuel provisional No. 1 qualifier spot on Friday at the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com after making the switch from Funny Car back to Top Fuel dragster.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) also claimed provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the first of 24 races on the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Langdon knocked off Brittany Force during Q2 to claim the quickest run with a pass of 3.699-seconds at 322.42 mph in his DHL Toyota Top Fuel Dragster to kick off the season. Langdon is looking to start off the season strong after a two year hiatus in the Top Fuel class to run Funny Car. Langdon is chasing his third No. 1 qualifier at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, and 19th of his career.
“There are tracks you go to and it seems like everything just clicks. I could stage this thing in reverse and it seems like it just works out. There are tracks you go to and it feels like you fall out of bed awkwardly. Pomona is one of those tracks I feel like I’ve had good success at. I’m just excited about today. It’s a good start,” said Langdon. “Every run we’re making small little changes trying to get me more comfortable. It’s a big change going back from a Funny Car to a dragster. We feel confident right now. For Connie (Kalitta, owner and crew chief), I know he’s excited.”
Matt Hagan is First Provisional Funny Car No. 1 Qualifier of 2020
POMONA, CA – Matt Hagan and the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car team wasted zero time putting together a competitive campaign to start the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Crew chief Dickie Venables tuned Hagan’s Mopar machine to a 3.867-second at 331.20 mph Q1 pass to take the provisional No. 1 spot, which held strong throughout the second Funny Car session.
By earning the provisional pole, Hagan appears to be continuing the momentum he enjoyed toward the end of the 2019 season, which, thanks to back-to-back Countdown victories and a No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Finals, had Hagan in championship contention throughout the final day. Prior to entering the 2020 season-opener, Hagan and his team participated in the Las Vegas pre-season test session, and the signs of what should be a successful 2020 for Hagan were evident.
“There’s a lot of confidence unloading off the trailer like that in Q1 and being able to run a good number,” said Hagan, a two-time Funny Car world champion. “We had a great test session in Vegas and laid down some good numbers. The last day of testing, we went 88, 87, 86, and 83; really laid down some real numbers. The car’s working well, it’s driving really well, and the guys are working well together. All in all, I think we have a really good car, everybody is confident.
FUNNY CAR’S MATT HAGAN STILL FEELING EFFECTS OF STRONG FINISH T0 2019 SEASON HEADING TO NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
CHANDLER, AZ – It might be a new NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, but Matt Hagan still feels the momentum of last year’s hot finish. The two-time Funny Car world champion won two races late in the year to jump into the title conversation and following a strong pre-season test session this season, he’s ready to pick up in 2020 where he left off a year ago.
That includes a good showing at the upcoming 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals, which takes place Feb. 21-23 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Hagan is the defending champ of the race and has three wins at the track since 2015 in his 11,000-horsepower Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, adding to the positive vibes the standout feels heading into the race and the entire 2020 Funny Car campaign.
“We’ve really got a great car right now,” Hagan said. “We finished strong and really turned it on late in the season, and we really had a great year. Then we had a good test session, and I’ve just got a lot of confidence in the team and all the parts and pieces we have. I really do feel like there’s a lot of momentum, and we’re probably carrying as much as you probably could heading into the season. I feel like if my lights stay on point, we can do some things. This car is really good and I’m excited about what the season holds.”