Tire manufacturer signs on as sponsor of Don Schumacher Racing’s NHRA Stock Showdown Series program and driver Leah Pritchett
STOW, OH – Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels is ready for an old-fashioned drag racing showdown. The well-known racing tire manufacturer has announced a sponsorship agreement with Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) NHRA Stock Showdown Series program and driver Leah Pritchett.
The sponsorship of DSR’s SAMTech.edu NHRA Mopar Factory Stock Showdown Series team will involve support for drivers Leah Pritchett and Mark Pawuk. The agreement includes plans for driver appearances, marketing partnerships and exposure on Pritchett’s social media channels throughout the 2019 and 2020 race seasons.
“Mickey Thompson is no stranger to championships, and we’re thrilled to align ourselves with DSR’s championship-winning Stock Showdown Series team and driver Leah Pritchett,” said Ken Warner, Vice President of Marketing, Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels. “We know this is going to be another great year for the DSR team, and we can’t wait to hit the track.”
Pomona, CA – Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver “Fast Jack” Beckman was seeking a lot of firsts on a picture-perfect afternoon during the rain-delayed 59th annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
First winner in 2019. First winner in a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body. First career win at his home track. The 2012 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion and his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) team came out swinging in the season opener with three round wins in the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, but were just four feet short of checking all those boxes late Monday afternoon.
While Beckman stormed to his 57th career finals appearance, the rest of the DSR Dodge Mopar contingent had mixed results on Monday. Tommy Johnson Jr. continued his Pomona magic aboard the DSR Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat turning on a pair of win lights after reaching the final to close out 2018 at the Fairplex. Ron Capps, a three-time Winternationals champion, raced the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat into the second round while two-time reigning Winternationals champion Matt Hagan was upset in the first round. Leah Pritchett scored an upset win in her HEMI-powered Sparkling Ice/Mopar Top Fuel Dragster before coming up short in the second round.
Pomona, CA – DSR Pomona I Elimination Highlights:
Jack Beckman advanced to his first NHRA Winternationals Funny Car final round
Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to a semifinal finish
Beckman and Johnson depart Pomona sitting No. 2 and 3 in points
Beckman picked up his 400th professional round win during E1
Driver of the Matco Tools Maximus 3.0 Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 3 (3.696 E.T. at 333.08 MPH)
Pomona, CA – Jack Beckman led a four-car parade of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car machines in qualifying to start the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series campaign, taking the No. 2 qualifying position at the season-opening 59th annual NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.
Beckman closed qualifying with a powerful 3.900-second elapsed time (ET) during the final qualifying session on Saturday at Auto Club Raceway to earn the second spot heading into Sunday eliminations and was joined in the top-five by fellow Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) and Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers Tommy Johnson, Jr. (third), Matt Hagan (fourth) and Ron Capps (fifth).
Following a morning rain shower, cooler temperatures and a cloud-cluttered sky provided competitive conditions and the results showed it for the Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat contingent.
Pomona, CA – DSR Pomona I Saturday Highlights:
- The DSR Funny Cars occupy four out of the top five qualifying spots and will start race day from the quick-half of the field
- Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. each earned three bonus points by powering to the quickest runs of session three (Johnson) and session four (Beckman); Matt Hagan also earned Funny Car bonus points by making the second-quickest pass of Q3
- Hagan chasing third consecutive season-opening Winternationals triumph
- Antron Brown recorded the top speed of the meet (333.08-mph) and the third-quickest E.T. of the session during Q4
- Brown will start race day from third and faces teammate Leah Pritchett in round one
Brown jumped up to third on his final qualifying attempt when he registered the fastest speed run by any car this weekend with a 333.08 mph pass in running a 3.696-second pass to climb into the third spot. He will open Sunday’s eliminations against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Leah Pritchett.
“We’re definitely getting where we want to be at,” said Brown, a three-time Top Fuel world champion. “We learned a lot of stuff in the off-season. You never get somewhere without trying. That’s our main focus. A lot of people forget that and want instant results. I know all the work that my team’s done and I’ve got all the confidence in the world in these Matco Tools/Toyota guys. We’re doing this one step at a time and tomorrow we’re just going to try to race smart and go rounds. That’s our game plan – go rounds. (In racing teammate Leah Pritchett) It’s just another competitor. You’ve got to race them all.”
Joining Brown in the top half of the field are fellow Toyota Top Fuel drivers Richie Crampton in sixth and Doug Kalitta, who placed seventh. Crampton will race Terry McMillen, while Kalitta faces Scott Palmer. All three Toyota Top Fuelers earned bonus points for placing in the top three in a session over the weekend, with Kalitta earning four points and Brown and Crampton each earning one point.
- Ron Capps leads the DSR Funny Car pack, occupying the provisional No. 2 qualifying spot;
- Tommy Johnson Jr. and Matt Hagan also sit in the top-half of the Funny Car field after day one of qualifying
- Capps earned three bonus points for making the quickest pass of the opening session; Johnson earned bonus points for powering to the second-quickest run of Q2
- Antron Brown closes out Friday sitting in the quick-half of the Top Fuel field
Driver of the Matco Tools Maximus 3.0 Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.758 E.T. at 328.22 MPH
Q2: 8.660 E.T. at 79.40 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 6