Brownsburg, IN –From his seventh-seed position, Jack Beckman drove his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat through the eliminations ladder and to a coveted win at arguably the most famous and prestigious drag race in the world, 66th annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Beckman and his crew’s consistent efforts this season and throughout the weekend afforded them a chance to advance to a fourth final round appearance in six events thus far this year. The veteran Funny Car driver began his charge through the field with a solid 3.909-second elapsed time run to defeat Cruz Pedregon. He added a clean pass for a quarterfinal win over DSR teammate Ron Capps before deposing Tim Wilkerson with a holeshot win in the semifinals. For the final elimination round, Beckman staged his Mopar machine next to J.R. Todd then took it straight down the track for a 3.908-second winning effort to beat his opponent’s 3.960-second pass.
The win propelled Beckman back atop the NHRA Funny Car world championship leaderboard with just five races left on the 2020 calendar. With his second victory of the year, Beckman also captured a second national event title at the historic race affectionately known to drag racing fans as “the Big Go” to accompany the one he earned in 2015.
Hagan Drives Redeye Funny Car to Don Schumacher Racing’s Milestone 350th Win in Q3 Rescheduled Summernationals Final; Johnson Jr. Earns Top Spot in NHRA U.S. Nationals Qualifying
Brownsburg, IN – While Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car drivers Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman waited more than a month to
run the All-Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat final elimination round, rained out at the Summernationals on July 19, it was nonetheless an important race on multiple fronts. Run as their third and final qualifying pass for the 66th annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Hagan drove straight down the left lane of Lucas Oil Raceway with a 3.919-second elapsed time run at 328.54-mph to defeat his DSR teammate Jack Beckman’s 3.940-second run and take his team into the history books.
The win marked a milestone 350th national event victory for the NHRA’s winningest team, coming 50 years after team owner Don Schumacher won the first of his five national titles as a driver in his Funny Car debut at the 1970 NHRA U.S. Nationals.
“It’s hard for me to even comprehend the team having that many wins,” said Schumacher of the milestone victory that further cements DSR’s drag racing dynasty and positions them as one of the motorsports industry’s most elite teams. “I’m just amazed at the accomplishments that my teams and team members have made over the last 22 years.”
Brownsburg, IN –The 2020 edition of the Dodge HEMI® Challenge has crowned a new king at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. The ever-popular dedicated Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) annual competition featuring 1968-model Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda factory stock race cars, saw No.1 qualifier Stephen Yantus battle to become the first new winner in five years.
Yantus, who earned the No. 1 qualifier position aboard his ‘68 HEMI-powered Plymouth Barracuda with an 8.477 second, 158.50 mph pass, put together a string of quick and consistent elapsed time laps at 8.412, 8.452 and 8.413 seconds through eliminations with a solo run and wins over Russ Campbell and past winner Bucky Hess (2001). He advanced to his first Dodge HEMI Challenge final round showdown to face Steve Comella who had qualified 15th but made his way to his first final as well with wins over Jim Pancake, Gary Wolkwitz, and Steve Kent.
In the all-Cuda final round, Yantus beat Comella off the start with a 0.030 to 0.062-second reaction time and led the way to his quickest run of the weekend; an 8.410 second pass at 158.28 mph. With the win, Yantus earned his first coveted 42.6 lbs. Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy uniquely-crafted with a 426 HEMI cylinder head along with a $15,000 award.
INDIANAPOLIS – In his first Funny Car race at the 1970 U.S. Nationals, Don Schumacher, owner of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), earned his first win at the prestigious event. Now, Fifty years later, at this same venue, he and his team are on the cusp of winning their 350th national event. In fact, DSR is guaranteed to reach that milestone as Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman are set to battle it out in their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcats in the rescheduled (rain-delayed) Indy 2 final round during the third Funny Car qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.
Also of note at this weekend’s event is the rare and unusual chance for three HEMI-powered DSR drivers to come away with two Wally trophies. Hagan and Beckman, who will face off in Saturday’s Funny Car final (Q3), will have another opportunity to vie for victory in Sunday’s eliminations rounds, while Leah Pruett will be competing in both Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown for her opportunity to double-up on trophy hardware.
Auburn Hills, MI – The 2020 edition of the upcoming Dodge HEMI® Challenge looks to be a memorable one for all the right reasons; a special guest of honor and some record-setting achievements are revving up National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Sportsman class fans.
More than 50 years after the iconic 1968 HEMI Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas first appeared on the drag strip, loyal racers and fans will once again be able to see the legendary cars race head-to-head in the ever-popular Dodge HEMI Challenge at the 66th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, Indiana, on Labor Day weekend.
The popular Sportsman class event, dedicated to showcasing Super Stock/A-HEMI (SSAH) competitors powered by the iconic 426 HEMI engine, was first launched in 2001 at “The Big GO” in Indy with support from FCA brands Mopar and Dodge. The 20th edition of the annual Dodge HEMI Challenge returns with qualifying scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3, and four rounds of eliminations competition to be contested on Friday, Sept. 4.
The final shootout will take place Friday evening with the participants vying for the custom-built 42.6 lbs. Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy crafted with a 426 HEMI cylinder head, a $15,000 prize to the winner, $1,500 to the runner-up, and cash payouts for semifinal and quarterfinal finishers. All competitors will also receive the coveted Dodge HEMI Challenge participant decal and event hats.
Long-awaited HEMI®-powered Win for Capps at Indianapolis Comes at Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Brownsburg, IN – There was only one track in Ron Capps’ storied 26-year career where a national event victory had eluded him, but the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) veteran Funny Car driver finally checked the historic Indianapolis dragstrip off that list by driving his HEMI-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the winner’s circle at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
“Leave it to 2020 to get my first win at Indianapolis,” said Capps of the emotional and long-awaited victory. “For a driver to be able to say that he’s won at every track on the (NHRA) circuit is pretty incredible and it shows you the talent that I’ve had around me since I started my career.”
“For Dodge to jump in and to win a Dodge race for them and Pennzoil, means something,” adds Capps. “This is hallowed ground and I really started to wonder if I would ever win here. It may not be the U.S. Nationals, but maybe we broke the yolk. This is still a place that has so many great memories and such a great rich history.”
After qualifying third, Capps drove his HEMI-powered ride through eliminations with wins over Tim Wilkerson, Blake Alexander, and Bob Tasca, earning lane choice along the way over his final round opponent, J.R. Todd and then his first win of the year. It was Capps’ first final round appearance since his 2019 win at Brainerd.
Brownsburg, IN – Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Tommy Johnson Jr. kicked off the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil by driving his MD Anderson Dodge Charger right to the top of the Funny Car timing sheet at Lucas Oil Raceway to earn his 20th career No. 1 qualifier position. Johnson led a trio of HEMI®-powered DSR Funny Cars made up of No. 2 qualifier Matt Hagan and No.3 qualifier Ron Capps at the third Indianapolis-based National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event since the season resumed in July after a four-month hiatus.
On his first pass of the weekend, Johnson posted a 3.976-seconds run at 318.54-mph, a time that held up through both Saturday qualifying sessions, to earn his second No.1 qualifier honor of the restarted season. He’ll face Alexis DeJoria as his first round opponent in eliminations.
“We have a really solid race car here at Indy,” said Johnson, who sits second in the Funny Car points battle behind DSR teammate Jack Beckman after a win at the Arizona Nationals early in the year, along with a runner-up and semifinal finish at the first two Indianapolis races in July. “Three races here and we’ve been No. 1, 2 and No. 1 again. That gives you a ton of confidence going into race day knowing you have such a good car. Now if we can just turn these No. 1 qualifying positions into a win. We’ve gone rounds at these first two Indy races, the only thing left on the plate is a win.”