Don Schumacher Racing
14th annual DSR Open House, Riley Hospital visit and Riley Funny Car highlight Indy race weekend for Don Schumacher Racing
BROWNSBURG, IN– Before Indianapolis-based Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) takes to the track for the 65th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals next weekend, the winningest team in NHRA history will have already achieved a major victory – raising funds for Indy’s own Riley Hospital for Children.
On Friday, August 30, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET, DSR will pull back the curtain and open the doors to its 145,000-square-foot state-of-the-art racing facility for the 14th annual DSR Open House. The annual Open House event, along with the yearly ‘This is How We Roll’ bowling function, taking place on December 11, 2019, are the team’s two major fundraisers for Riley Hospital. Since the partnership began in 2006, the largest team in drag racing has successfully raised more than $640,000 for Riley, with more than $120,000 generated from 2018’s fundraising efforts.
Prior to heading to Lucas Oil Raceway for day one of nitro qualifying at the NHRA U.S. Nationals, fans are encouraged to stop by the Open House and meet a star-studded lineup of DSR drivers, including Jack Beckman, Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Leah Pritchett, and Tommy Johnson Jr., who will pilot the Riley Kids nitro Funny Car during the weekend’s race. Since 2014, Johnson’s Doug and Terry Chandler-funded ‘giving car’ entry has donned a Riley Kids livery at the team’s hometown event, providing national exposure for the local nonprofit organization on drag racing’s largest stage.
Pritchett and Capps Double Up for Dodge//SRT Mopar With NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car Triumphs at Brainerd
Auburn Hills, MI – Leah Pritchett and Ron Capps earned Dodge//SRT Mopar an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series double up with Top Fuel and Funny Car wins, respectively, in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota.
For Pritchett, the win Sunday was her first piloting the Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Top Fuel dragster in 2019 and first since winning the 2018 Dodge Mile-High Nationals, a span of 26 races. She scored her eighth career win by beating Kyle Wurtzel, Billy Torrence, Austin Prock and Mike Salinas.
Capps defeated fellow Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Tommy Johnson, Jr. racing the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to score his third Wally of the season, 64th of this career and a record sixth in Brainerd.
DSR Doubles-Up at Brainerd – Leah Pritchett and Ron Capps Race to Victory
BRAINERD, MN – Leah Pritchett and Ron Capps earned Don Schumacher Racing an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series double-up with Top Fuel and Funny Car wins, respectively, at Brainerd International Raceway on Sunday. It was the 161st Top Fuel win, and 156th Funny Car victory for DSR, bringing the winningest team in NHRA history’s total win count to an unprecedented 341 triumphs.
For Pritchett, the win Sunday was her first in 2019, and first since winning the 2018 Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, snapping a 26-race win drought. She scored her eighth career victory by defeating Kyle Wurtzel, Billy Torrence, Austin Prock, and Mike Salinas.
It’s been a challenging season for Pritchett, and Sunday she and her MOPAR Dodge Top Fuel team were the last ones standing after starting the day from the fourth position on the eliminations ladder. After being knocked out in the first round the previous two races, the first hurdle was cleared when she defeated Wurtzel by posting a lap of 3.744 seconds at 327.43 mph. She followed that win by defeating the last two event winners in consecutive rounds, first beating Billy Torrence in the second round and then avenging two consecutive first-round losses to Austin Prock in the semifinals. By defeating Prock, she reached the final round for the 15th time in her career and officially clinched her spot in the Countdown to the Championship. In the final, Pritchett left first and smoothly drove away to score her 130th career round win and second race win at Brainerd.
Matt Hagan No. 1 at Brainerd International Raceway
The driver of the MOPAR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car captured the pole when he blasted to a 3.890-second pass during Friday’s second qualifying session. The stout lap was the only sub-3.9-second Funny Car E.T. of the weekend, and his speed of 328.46-mph held up to be the fastest of the floppers.
Prior to powering to the head of the pack, Hagan kicked off his Brainerd weekend with a solid 4.004 E.T., the third-quickest run of the session. He and his Dickie Venables-guided team maintained their performance on Saturday when Hagan posted a 4.000-second E.T. in Q3.
“Everything is coming together for our team,” said the Countdown contender who officially clinched his spot to compete for the 2019 Mello Yello Funny Car world championship during qualifying. “This MOPAR Dodge is really running strong. The No. 1 spot is great, but we’ve got to focus on race day. We’ve got a good setup for the heat, and I feel really confident in this combination. Anything can happen; track conditions change all the time. We’re going to try and keep lane choice all day and focus on turning on four win lights, and hopefully, we’ll finish the day holding another Wally.”
Matt Hagan Rockets to the Top at Brainerd
BRAINERD, MN – Matt Hagan rocketed the MOPAR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody to the provisional No. 1 spot on Friday evening at Brainerd International Raceway. Hagan claimed top honors when he powered his machine to the only sub-3.9-second Funny Car pass of the day during Q2, posting a 3.890 E.T. at 328.46 mph.
Before recording low E.T. and top speed of the meet in Q2, Hagan and his Dickie Venables-led team unloaded with a stout 4.004-second pass, the third quickest E.T. of Q1, allowing them to lean on their tune-up in Q2.
“We’ve got a hell of a race car right now,” said the speedster, a two-time 2019 event champion. “We’re coming off of some semifinals and finals; we’ve had a great combo that’s gone a lot of rounds so far. To roll in here, and have two great laps right off the bat, we just have a lot of confidence right now. The car was digging early, and it had a lot of wheel speed, and I was just trying not to oversteer it. I knew it was a good run, but it wasn’t until I turned the corner and saw my guys cheering that I realized how good that run was.
Brainerd, MN – NHRA Nationals
Jack Beckman returns as the defending Funny Car event champion
The 2018 Brainerd Funny Car final marked the first time the Chandler family’s ‘giving cars,’ piloted by Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr., went head-to-head in the finals
Antron Brown has been to the Brainerd final round the past three years, earning a runner-up finish in 2016, 2017 and 2018
Johnson has competed in the final round three out of the last four years, finishing as the runner-up in 2015, 2017, 2018
Brown has been victorious in both the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories in Brainerd
Matt Hagan recorded the first 3.8 second Funny Car pass during the 2015 Brainerd event (3.879 seconds)
Note: Ron Capps will be on-site at the Baxter Walmart store (7295 Glory Rd. S.) today, August 14, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. CT. The Mello Yello Meet & Greet is free and open to the public.
DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel E.T.: 3.640 seconds, Leah Pritchett (2017)
Auburn Hills, MI – Defending NHRA Northwest Nationals winner Ron Capps came up just short in his bid to score back-to-back wins in Seattle racing his Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car on Sunday at Pacific Raceways near Kent, Washington.
The two-time 2019 Funny Car winner made a charge through the field to give Dodge//SRT Mopar its fifth consecutive opportunity to capture an event victory. Capps wasn’t able to overtake John Force in the final after knocking out fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Matt Hagan in the semifinals. DSR teammate Jack Beckman also advanced to the semifinals.
Tommy Johnson, Jr., Capps and Beckman give Dodge//SRT Mopar three drivers inside the top-five in the championship standings through 16 of 24 events.