California Natives Beckman, Capps and Pritchett Raise Funds for Communities Affected by Woolsey and Camp Fires
BROWNSBURG, IN – California natives Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Leah Pritchett watched in horror as their state suffered tremendous devastation due to the Camp and Woolsey Fires that consumed large portions of Northern and Southern California last month. Not ones to sit idly by, the three Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) drivers with California roots felt compelled to take action and provide support for their home state.
Beckman, Capps and Pritchett have assembled items to be auctioned off via DSR’s eBay page, with all proceeds benefiting Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization whose mission is to improve the lives and health of people affected by poverty, or emergencies such as the California wildfires. The auction will go live at 6:00 p.m. EST tonight, December 11, and will close at 6:00 p.m. EST on December 18, ensuring the winning bidders will receive their items in time for the Christmas holiday.
Up for auction are autographed crew shirts from all 11 of Pritchett’s 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series entries. Beckman has crafted a 2019 Jack Beckman VIP race experience package, while Capps hopes to raise funds for the affected communities by donating NAPA Racing crew shirts from his four 2018 liveries.
Pomona, CA – DSR Pomona II Elimination Highlights:
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) race to runner-up finishes at the final event of the 2018 season
Schumacher visited the final round for the 153rd time in his career
Schumacher closes out a nearly 20-year partnership with the U.S. Army ranked second in the Top Fuel standings
Johnson moved to third in the standings and as the highest ranking DSR Funny Car driver, earns a Dodge Charger Hellcat to drive for a year
Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) also finish ranked in the top five
Driver of the Matco Tools Maximus 3.0/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 6 (3.704 E.T. at 329.50 MPH)
Schumacher Comes Up Just Short in Final-Round Showdown at Pomona; Pritchett, Brown Help Bring 18 Full Seasons of Army Racing to a Close
Pomona, CA – It was almost a miracle finish for the U.S. Army’s 18 full seasons in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Sunday when Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher came up just short in a final-round showdown with newly crowned Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence to close this weekend’s Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
The Army’s partnership with Schumacher and his U.S. Army Dragster team for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) started with a victory at the 2000 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and, on Veterans Day 2018, it came just half of a car length within closing on a winning note.
After racing past Scott Palmer, Bill Litton and Clay Millican in today’s opening three elimination rounds, Schumacher had a chance to not only finish the season and the Army era with an event title, but bring an end to Torrence’s unblemished record through this season’s six-event Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Torrence had swept the first five playoff events, clinching his first career world title at the penultimate event two weekends ago in Las Vegas, and had added another three round wins today to make it a record 23 consecutive round wins in playoff competition. The Texan kept his record perfect with a stellar .029-of-a-second reaction time off the starting line to Schumacher’s solid .053 of a second, and he beat the eight-time-champion Schumacher to the finish line despite The Sarge’s better run of 3.700 seconds at 331.61 mph to Torrence’s 3.702 seconds at 330.07 mph.
Pritchett’s No. 1 qualifier was her fourth of the year and the 11th of her career. Capps earned his first No. 1 spot of 2018, and 22nd of his career.
Behind the wheel of her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster, Pritchett was dominant, pocketing all eight possible points during Friday qualifying to earn the preliminary pole on a 3.649-second at 329.34-mph pass heading into Saturday. In the final pair of the last Top Fuel qualifying session of the 2018 season, Pritchett unleashed a monster 3.631-second at 332.84-mph run that tied for second quickest in the history of NHRA, reset the Auto Club Raceway Top Fuel track speed record and cemented the pole. Pritchett also collected 12 of 16 possible bonus points during qualifying. She’ll face Bill Litton in round one.
“It was like a whole different level of fast tonight,” said Pritchett of her record-breaking Q4 pass. “I’ve been 334-miles per hour before, but this, at night, at Pomona; it’s incredible. Finally, for my crew chiefs, the car is communicating in a proper way, and it’s doing everything they’re throwing at it. (Crew chief) Todd (Okuhara) knows he’s finally got his race car back.
Pomona, CA – The U.S. Army driver trio of Leah Pritchett, Antron Brown and Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher locked down the first, sixth and eighth positions on the elimination ladder, respectively, after the final two rounds of qualifying Saturday for this weekend’s season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
Schumacher and his U.S. Army Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) opened the day with a strong run in the heat of the day of 3.762 seconds at 329.02 mph that improved upon his best Friday effort and moved him up to 10th in the provisional order. He finished strong, however, with his best run of the weekend of 3.722 seconds at 329.75 mph. He’ll meet No. 9 qualifier Scott Palmer in Sunday’s opening round of eliminations.
“We’ll go fast tomorrow, but the bottom line as it is every weekend is that we’ll need to go rounds on Sunday,” said Schumacher, who’s won a record-tying six Pomona event titles and owns a record 10 No. 1 qualifying efforts. “We need to win more rounds than anybody else. We’re chasing second place and we just need to go out and be fastest in the qualifying sessions tomorrow and then win rounds on Sunday. This track generally gets better as we go through the weekend, so we’ll be good tomorrow.”
POMONA, CA – Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) lead the nitro classes after day one of the 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. The Mopar-powered teammates swept Friday qualifying, launching to session-best passes during both sessions.
Pritchett navigated the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to a Q2 run of 3.649-seconds at 329.34-mph to secure the provisional No. 1 position. The Todd Okuhara/Joe Barlam-led team held the top spot going into the second session after laying down a session-best 3.774 at 312.64 in the first round of qualifying.
“The biggest thing is win lights, of course, but when you have this kind of weather, you can just feel the energy; you get to execute what you set out to do,” said Pritchett of racing to the provisional No. 1 spot at her hometown track.
“We knew it was out there. When we ran that 77 in Q1, we knew that there was so much more in it, so we built off of that. That 3.64 is a testament to some new chassis work we were able to do back at the DSR shop. We were able to put that power to the ground, and we did it in leaps and bounds. These are the moments, besides eliminations, that you can’t wait for because that’s the epitome of all of the power and all of the work coming down to that ‘Olympic moment.’
Pomona, CA – The U.S. Army driver trio of Leah Pritchett, Antron Brown and Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher are first, third and 11th on the provisional ladder, respectively, after the opening two rounds of qualifying Friday for this weekend’s season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
Schumacher and his U.S. Army Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) had a promising open to his day with the third-best qualifying run of the opening session. It weighed in at 3.792 seconds at 326.24 mph that was outdone only by his U.S. Army and DSR teammates. His second run in prime, nighttime conditions went up in smoke shortly after his launch from the starting line, leaving him to coast across the finish line in 6.748 seconds at 98.23 mph.
“We were definitely going for something in the 60s (3.60 seconds) and it was clearly out there, but that doesn’t mean it was out there in our lane that run,” said Schumacher, who’s won a record-tying six Pomona event titles and owns a record 10 No. 1 qualifying efforts. “It got pretty fast before 60-foot and then it went south. We’ll go fast tomorrow, but the bottom line as it is every weekend is that we’ll need to go rounds on Sunday. We need to win more rounds than anybody else. We’re chasing second place and we just need to go out and be fastest in the qualifying sessions tomorrow and then win rounds on Sunday. This track generally gets better as we go through the weekend, so we’ll be good tomorrow.”