· Jack Beckman powers Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to third 2019 final at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio
· DSR driver Tommy Johnson, Jr. races Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to sixth semifinal of 2019
· Leah Pritchett charges Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster to semifinals
· Halfway through the 2019 season, Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers hold three of the top five positions in the Funny Car standings
· Four Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars advance to the quarterfinals
· Reigning Factory Stock Showdown champion Leah Pritchett qualifies Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak 13th, bows out in first round
· More info on Mopar in NHRA available at
· , a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts, features highlights from NHRA season
June 23, 2019, Norwalk, Ohio – Jack Beckman advanced to his third final round of the season and 59th of his career, finishing runner-up in his Dodge//SRT Mopar machine in the 13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
At the halfway point of the 2019 season, Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers own three of the top five positions in the Funny Car standings.
“Fast Jack” and his Infinite Hero Foundation team closed out an impressive four-race stretch, reaching the semifinals all four races, making two final rounds and climbing from seventh to fourth in the standings. Beckman wasn’t the only Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver to make a deep run Sunday. Tommy Johnson, Jr. powered his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the semifinals for the sixth time this season and Leah Pritchett turned on a pair of win lights in her HEMI-powered Top Fuel dragster.
Beckman’s quest for a fourth Norwalk triumph opened with a pass of 3.950 seconds, the second-fastest run of the first round, to defeat Jonnie Lindberg. After dispatching Shawn Langdon with a solid run in round two, it was an all-DSR/Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat battle in the semifinals with Beckman and Johnson. The 2012 Funny Car world champion did lose traction about halftrack, but he kept his machine going down the track to defeat Johnson, who lost traction immediately, and reach his fourth career final at Summit Motorsports Park.
In the final, Beckman was up in smoke at the hit of throttle and Bob Tasca III raced away for the win.
Before Johnson’s day ended abruptly versus Beckman in the semifinal round, he continued his dominance over Tim Wilkerson with a run of 4.288/215.62 to advance and face fellow DSR and Hellcat teammate Capps in round two. Johnson was clean from start to finish clocking a run of 4.058 and was never challenged by the No. 1 qualifier who lost traction at the hit.
After qualifying second for the second consecutive event, Pritchett was focused on advancing past the first round for the first time in six races. She accomplished that mission by chasing down Luigi Novelli with her run of 3.807/327.11. It took the best run of the second round, 3.821, for Pritchett to knock out three-time Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown. In the semifinal round, Pritchett went up in smoke at the launch and she wasn’t able to recover and lost to Pat Dakin.
After earning his first No. 1 qualifier and 23rd of his career, 2016 Funny Car world champion Capps opened competition with a smooth run of 3.961/318.69 in his Pennzoil-backed Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to dispatch Bob Bode in round one. His run for a second Norwalk triumph came to an end when he lost traction at the hit and was forced to watch DSR teammate Johnson drive to victory.
Two-time Funny Car world champion and 2018 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals winner Matt Hagan qualified the Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 11th and was eyeing a strong finish to the four-race stretch. Hagan faced last week’s winner Bob Tasca III in the opening round and he uncharacteristically stood on the gas prematurely and activated the red light to automatically hand the victory to Tasca.
In other first-round action with Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars competing, Cruz Pedregon lost to John Force and Dale Creasy was defeated by fellow Hellcat competitor Paul Lee, who also fell to Tasca.
Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
In Factory Stock Showdown, Leah Pritchett raced the DSR Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to the 13th position in the 16-car field at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. The reigning FSS champion took on Bill Skillman in the first round and Pritchett had the early advantage with her .036-second reaction time. Skillman drove around her with his pass of 7.919/172.72. Pritchett’s run of 8.047/171.60 wasn’t enough to score the round win.
Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.915 ET)
Rd.1: (.072-second reaction time, 3.950 seconds at 324.75 mph) beat to No. 13 Jonnie Lindberg (.082/9.971/71.79)
Rd.2: (.069/4.015/318.77) beat to No. 12 Shawn Langdon (.056/4.075/313.95)
Rd. 3: (.088/4.980/234.45) beat No. 8 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.067/6.969/143.34)
Rd. 4: (.061/11.764/77.85) lost to No. 6 Bob Tasca III (.077/4.383/245.09)
“We had a really solid four-race swing, but we really need a trophy. That’s what sets in the minds of all the crew guys that ‘we can do this’. I’ll take all the runner-ups we can get in the Countdown, because then it’s about points. Right now, we really want that trophy and we are so close. It’s bittersweet to run this good, and then not put a good effort in the final round. In the last four races, we have won 10 rounds, which is about as good as anyone is doing in Funny Car. We are moving back up in the points. Our cars are making consistent runs and I think now we are one of the favored cars again. As a driver that always feels great. You drive better when you feel like you are on a faster horse. I feel that way right now and I wish we were racing next weekend.”
Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.928ET)
Rd.1: (.071-second reaction time, 4.288 seconds at 215.62 mph) beat No. 9 Tim Wilkerson (.082/4.462/195.11)
Rd. 2: (.068/4.058/316.58) to No. 1 Ron Capps (.076/11.144/75.31)
Rd. 3: (.067/6.969/143.34) lost to No. 4 Jack Beckman (.088/4.980/234.45)
“We were hoping to have a shot at our first Norwalk win, but just overpowered the track there early and couldn’t get it back under me to chase down Jack. We can’t be too disappointed in the four-race stretch. We got a win and two semifinal appearances. We’ve got a really good Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat right now. It’s been a long four in a row and everybody is looking forward to a weekend off. We’ll regroup and come back swinging in Epping.”
Ron Capps, Pennzoil/NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.879 ET)
Rd.1: (.107-second reaction time, 3.961 seconds at 318.69 mph) beat No. 16 Bob Bode (.097/10.304/87.07)
Rd.2: (.076/11.144/75.31) lost No. 8 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.068/4.058/316.58)
“It hurts not to walk out of here with a Wally as good as this Hellcat was. That green hat we got for qualifying number one represents a crew chief and a crew that adapted to so many different conditions on Friday and Saturday. That’s a feather in the cap for those guys, but we really felt like we had a great car for race day. Smoking the tires at the hit of the throttle isn’t some our car does too often. We didn’t feel like we were pushing too hard. I think these little moments we are having at these tracks where we are exiting early are going to help us down the road. As we get rid of all these little issues, hopefully that will get us ready for the countdown.”
Matt Hagan, Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 11 Qualifier – 3.975 ET)
Rd.1: (-.041-second reaction time, 5.190 seconds at 147.23 mph) lost to No. 6 Bob Tasca III (.071/3.957/324.59)
“I messed up bad today. Red lit, double-stepped it. I was up there ready to go, and it seemed like a long light to me. My foot said ‘go,’ and the tree hadn’t fallen yet. I was a little too amped up, I guess. We have a little break (in the schedule) coming up. We’ll get back into the groove of things and have a fresh start in Epping. I’ve got some time to let the dust settle. We didn’t have a great four-race swing, but we still have a lot of racing to do.”
Leah Pritchett, Don Schumacher Racing/Mopar/Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.714 ET)
Rd.1: (.130-second reaction time, 3.807 seconds at 327.11 mph) beat to No. 15 Luigi Novelli (.010/4.600/167/53)
Rd.2: (.122/3.821/326.00) beat No. 7 Antron Brown (.042/3.981/304.39)
Rd.3: (.083/5.378/223.76) lost No. 14 Pat Dakin (.027/4.603/170.43)
“We’re definitely ending this four-race swing on a high note. We made six consistent full-pulls this weekend. That’s given this team not only the confidence that we’ve needed, but the performance heading into this next phase of the season. We haven’t been able to attribute what caused our tire-smoking situation yet; everything checks out. We made it to the semifinals today. That’s great for the guys and a great thing to build on heading into our next race.”
Up Next: NHRA New England Nationals
Following a week off, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel, Funny Car and Sportsman drivers and teams head to the East Coast for the New England NHRA Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire, scheduled for July 5 – 7. Mopar-powered Dodge drivers Matt Hagan (2017, 2018) and Ron Capps (2014, 2016) have won the Funny Car Wally four of the last five years.
2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 12 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)
NHRA Funny Car
1. Robert Hight (4) – 1,022
2. John Force – 869
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 856
4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 819
5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 809
6. J.R. Todd (1) – 764
7. Bob Tasca III (1) – 689
8. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (1) – 656
9. Tim Wilkerson – 619
10. Shawn Langdon (1) – 580
NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (6) – 1164
2. Doug Kalitta (1) – 760
3. Brittany Force (1) –744
4. Antron Brown – 733
5. Mike Salinas (2) – 732
6. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 651
7. Clay Millican – 649
8. Richie Crampton (1) – 532
9. Terry McMillen – 524
10. Austin Prock – 518