Gainesville, FL – Jack Beckman capped off an amazing weekend for Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers by racing from the pole to defeat teammate Matt Hagan and take the victory in an all-Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car final round at the 49th Annual NHRA Gatornationals.
Beckman’s victory was the second for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver this year, as well as the second from the No. 1 spot. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Funny Car pilots also claimed three of four spots in the semifinals, and own the top two spots in the Funny Car standings, as well as three of the top four positions.
En route to his 27th career win and his first at historic Gainesville Raceway, Beckman got down the track to make eight solid runs in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T during qualifying and eliminations, including a 3.911-second elapsed time to claim the No. 1 spot.
He kicked off eliminations by leaving first and leading all the way against fellow Dodge driver and No. 16 qualifier Jim Campbell. In round two, Beckman’s 3.973-second run at 318.54 mph helped him quickly overcome a slight starting line advantage by opponent Del Worsham. Beckman was slower in the semfiinals but his 4.478-second pass was enough to hold off Shawn Landon, who smoked the tires.
Gainesville, FL – Jack Beckman collected the third No. 1 spot in three events for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver this season, claiming the pole in his Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car before a sellout crowd at the 49th annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
The top spot is the 24th of Beckman’s career and second at the iconic Gatornationals race. He’ll be joined by Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates and fellow Mopar Dodge pilots Tommy Johnson Jr., Matt Hagan and Ron Capps in elimination rounds tomorrow at Gainesville Raceway, as well as by Jim Dunn Racing and Dodge driver Jim Campbell.
Beckman was on fire on Friday’s first day of qualifying, earning six bonus points and going low in both rounds with a pass of 3.958 seconds at 325.61 mph and a Q2 run of 3.911/332.18, which ultimately earned him the pole. The 2012 Funny Car World Champion added two respectable runs during the third and fourth qualifying rounds on Saturday to earn an extra bonus point.
Mopar Dodge//SRT Driver Pritchett Primed for Double Duty in Top Fuel, Factory Stock Showdown at NHRA Gatornationals
Auburn Hills, MI – Mopar and Dodge//SRT racers are set to battle in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida on March 15-18, with one driver — Leah Pritchett — bidding for Wally trophies in both series.
In addition to her customary seat in the Papa John’s/Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster, Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Pritchett will also take the wheel of a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown category. Pritchett used a rare break last week from the NHRA circuit to test and tune her 354-cubic-inch HEMI® engine-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) event in Bradenton, Florida.
Pritchett, with crew chief and new DSR employee Kevin Helms on hand, was able to put valuable track time under her belt at Bradenton before the first of seven NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events in which she will compete this year. Her Drag Pak will carry a unique Mopar and Dodge//SRT-themed livery, designed by motorsports lifestyle brand Hoonigan, all season.
Dodge//SRT and Mopar Brands to Offer Complimentary Drag Race Experience for National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) Competitors in 2018
Auburn Hills, MI – The Dodge//SRT and Mopar brands are teaming up with the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) to offer complimentary customer drag racing experiences exclusively at NMCA race events for the 2018 season. Mopar-powered competitors in model year 2005 and newer FCA US LLC vehicles will receive complimentary entry to battle it out in the NMCA Dodge/Mopar HEMI® Shootout category, giving owners the opportunity to race their vehicles in a sanctioned and secure drag strip environment.
Dodge/Mopar HEMI Shootout fields are expected to draw a unique mix of modern-day FCA US vehicle nameplates, such as Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger vehicles in a variety of models, including the 485-horsepower Dodge Challenger and Charger Scat Pack models, 707-horsepower Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat models, the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, as well as Chrysler 300, Ram truck and Jeep® vehicles.
The NMCA season kicks off with the 16th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, March 8-11, 2018.
Auburn Hills, MI – Tommy Johnson Jr. advanced to the final round of Funny Car competition at the NHRA Arizona Nationals on Sunday at Wild Horse Motorsports Park in his Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.
Johnson beat Shawn Langdon, Richard Townsend and Robert Hight before earning the runner-up honors for Funny Car. He was faster than No. 1 qualifier Courtney Force at the start during the final-round run before she got the upper hand at the line. Johnson’s runner-up finish came after his Don Schumacher Racing crew worked hard to get his car ready following a fiery explosion under the hood during Saturday qualifying. Johnson jumped from tenth to fifth in the Funny Car point standings with his performance.
Tony Schumacher became the fastest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history with a 336.57-miles per hour run during qualifying, but he’ll have to wait for his sixth Phoenix victory after the winningest driver in Top Fuel history was eliminated in round one on Sunday.
The 2018 Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar marks the 30th year that FCA US LLC brands are race sponsors, one of the longest partnerships in all of motorsports. Mopar stands with Dodge as presenting sponsor for the challenging high-altitude event, staged in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, continuing its decades-long association with Bandimere Speedway and NHRA racing.
“Performance and competition fuel Dodge owners and the Dodge//SRT team every day,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The sounds, smells and thrills of drag racing bring this attitude to life for the thousands of Dodge and Mopar fans who make the Mile-High NHRA Nationals a ‘must-see’ event.”
Pomona, CA – Just like in the professional ranks, a Mopar-powered NHRA Sportsman competitor visited the winner’s circle at Pomona. Larry Gilley marched through six rounds of intense competition and reached the finish line first in a heads-up final to claim the Stock Eliminator crown at Pomona in his 1968 Dodge Dart GTS 340.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to win the Winternationals my whole life, since I was a kid and came her with my father,” said Gilley, 54, who also earned the $500 Dodge Top Finisher award with his victory. Winner of the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals event last year, Gilley has been competing for more than 15 years in nothing but Mopar-powered Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars.
“NHRA Sportsman racers are the most dedicated and passionate competitors, and we congratulate Larry Gilley on his victory today,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “Through our long-running Mopar Contingency Program, we are able to recognize and reward racers like Larry who compete and win with Mopar products. We hope this victory is the first of many in 2018 for our Mopar-powered Sportsman competitors.”