July 28, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - For the second time in the last three NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, two-time world champion Matt Hagan reached the Funny Car final racing his Mopar-powered Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat to a runner-up finish at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on July 28, 2019, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.

Hagan’s charge to the final marked the fourth consecutive event where a Dodge//SRT machine was racing for the win. Last week’s Dodge Mile-High Nationals winner Tommy Johnson, Jr. reached the semifinals and continues to rank second in the championship standings, leading two other Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers inside the top-five.

The run to Hagan’s 58th career final began with a first round contest versus reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd. Hagan took the holeshot advantage and motored to victory with his run of 3.958 seconds over a tire-smoking Todd. In round two, it was a familiar foe as Hagan faced off with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate and fellow Dodge//SRT driver Jack Beckman. In the fastest race of the session, Hagan defeated Beckman and continued his quest for his first victory at Sonoma Raceway.
 
He made a solo run in the semifinals after John Force was not able to stage his car and Hagan’s lap of 3.995 seconds earned him lane choice in the final versus Robert Hight. In the duo’s eighth career finals meeting and second in 2019, Hagan wasn’t able to overcome a starting-line advantage for Hight and settled for his 27th career runner-up finish.

Johnson continued his career-best season behind the wheel of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. After qualifying fifth, he was chasing his third triumph of 2019 and faced fellow Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Cruz Pedregon in the opening round. Pedregon left early and handed Johnson the automatic victory to setup a rematch of last week’s final with Bob Tasca III in round two. Just like last weekend in Denver, Johnson again turned on the win light with a smooth run of 4.031 seconds at 318.47 mph to advance to his ninth semifinal of the season. Johnson’s consecutive round win run was halted at six when he couldn’t drive around Hight, but he heads to Seattle with momentum.

“Fast Jack” Beckman has been tantalizingly close to earning his first Wally of 2019 and the 2015 NHRA Sonoma Nationals winner was hoping to put it all together this weekend. Beckman motored his DSR Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to an opening-round victory over Jeff Diehl with a pass 3.996 seconds at 320.74 mph in his 700th career round of competition. The win earned Beckman a rematch with DSR teammate and fellow Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Hagan, who he defeated last weekend in the first round of the Dodge Mile-High Nationals. Beckman took the advantage at the starting line, but Hagan powered by as the two drivers posted the two best runs of the session.

Four-time Sonoma Raceway winner Ron Capps looked to continue his run of success close to home and the northern California native started Sunday’s run for a fifth NHRA Sonoma Nationals victory from the ninth position on the ladder. In his first-round race with Blake Alexander, Capps quickly pulled ahead and held the lead through the 330-foot mark before losing traction allowing Alexander race past him and reach the finish line first putting a quick end to the day for Capps.

Jim Campbell was the sixth Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver in Sunday’s field, but was knocked out in the first round by Tasca.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett and her HEMI-powered Okuma Top Fuel Dragster team looked primed for a long day of going rounds on Sunday after a pair of impressive runs during Saturday’s qualifying sessions. Pritchett made her best pass of the weekend (3.774 seconds) in the opening round versus Austin Prock, but came up short of advancing by  half-a-car-length.

@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
For the second consecutive event, Hagan’s Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car carried the @DodgeMoparMotorsports logo on its hood during race weekend. The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel will share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series such as the concept version of the recently introduced Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody making a recent run in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Mike Kirby and John Irving earned  Dodge Top Finisher honors in the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes, respectively, at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
Kirby earned his first NHRA victory in the Stock Eliminator classes racing his F/SA 1973 Duster 340 to six rounds wins. The Bakersfield, Calif. native has two prior runner-up finishes.

Boulder City, Nevada competitor Irving drove his SS/KA 1971 Duster 340 to five round wins and came up .004 seconds short of earning the Super Stock trophy.  
The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its third year, awards $500 to Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge, Chrysler or Plymouth race car at all 24 NHRA national events.

Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.910 ET)

Rd.1: (.070-second reaction time, 3.958 seconds at 326.24 mph) beat No. 11 J.R. Todd (.060/4.016/322.04)
Rd.2: (.101/3.924/325.37) beat No. 3 Jack Beckman (.078/3.995/321.81)
Rd.3: (.093/3.962/322.42) beat No. 7 John Force (No Time)
Rd.4: (.061/4.030/316.90) lost to No. 1 Robert Hight (.052/3.973/325.45)

“This was a really good weekend for us. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody was really good. We put down some really impressive numbers on our way to the finals. It was important for us to win some rounds and improve ourselves in the standings with Indy coming up quickly. We gained a lot of confidence today and that’s huge at this point in the year. In the final, we just didn’t have the speed we needed to get that win, but we are right there. I think we have a really strong car right now. It’s driving well and responding to what we want it to do. Our goal now is just continue being consistent and hopefully we’ll pull down a win next weekend in Seattle.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.886 ET)

Rd.1: (.056-second reaction time, 4.084 seconds at 273.72 mph) beat No. 12 Cruz Pedregon (-.020/3.995/309.98)
Rd.2: (.075/4.031/318.47) beat No. 4 Bob Tasca III (.071/5.622/129.85)
Rd.3: (.079/4.056/311.49) lost to No. 1 Robert Hight (.080/4.099/166.72)

“I’m just extremely pleased with the way this Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is performing. Today’s result wasn’t a win like last weekend, but that was a solid semifinal drag race with Robert Hight. We are one and two in the points and we put on a great show for the fans here today. It was a really close race and things are going to get interesting. We are getting closer to the Countdown and this car is performing flawlessly. We just need a little bit more. The next couple of races leading up to Indy, hopefully we can get just a tick better. I think we are setting ourselves up for a really strong finish to this season.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.879 ET)

Rd.1: (.112-second reaction time, 3.996 seconds at 320.74 mph) beat No. 14 Jeff Diehl (.145/4.529/195.45)
Rd.2: (.078/3.995/321.81) lost to No. 6 Matt Hagan (.101/3.924/325.37)

“I think it’s probably a measure of respect for our team that we get low ET against us so often, but that just tells us we are going to have push harder relative to the racetrack. Dickie (Venables) and his team just opened a can of you know what on us in that run. I don’t know that any crew chief saw that coming. We have a great Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat right now. We made it down the racetrack six times in a row. This team is ready to celebrate on Sunday and we’re going to go win in Seattle.” 

Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 11 Qualifier – 3.800 ET)

Rd.1: (.074-second reaction time, 3.774 seconds at 324.44 mph) lost to No. 6  Austin Prock  (.061/3.744/327.66)

“It was definitely the bad end of a great drag race today. It was a great show for the fans to watch, but man, we would’ve beat over three-quarters of our field. We had a fantastic race car. We made a great run, just got outran. Not sure what’s more difficult, getting a little bit of good luck on our side or toning down our clutch wear, but I believe we’ll find both in Seattle.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.960 ET)

Rd.1: (.095-second reaction time, 4.466 seconds at 197.22 mph) lost to No. 8 Blake Alexander  (.064/4.010/314.75)

“I felt confident going into race day, but you have to remember that Blake is young and hungry. He won this race in Top Fuel last year. We didn’t take them lightly. We were pushing to run a mid-to-high 3.90, and it just didn’t hold. It’s very rare to see the NAPA car smoke the tires at that point on race day. We’ll service and pack it up and head to Seattle and get back to it on Friday.”

Up Next: CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals                       
The Western Swing concludes next week with the 32nd Catspot NHRA Northwest Nationals, scheduled for August 2-4 at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash. Capps returns to the Seattle-area as the defending event winner and leads the Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers back into action chasing his third career triumph at the track.

2019 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 15 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1.  Robert Hight (5) – 1283
2.  Tommy Johnson, Jr., Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) –1084
3.  John Force – 1035
4.  Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 964
5.  Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 962

6.  Bob Tasca III (1) – 924
7.  J.R. Todd (1) – 889
8.  Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 888
9.  Shawn Langdon (1) – 786
10.  Tim Wilkerson – 757
 
NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (8) – 1486
2. Clay Millican – 914
2.  Antron Brown – 914
4. Brittany Force (1) – 894
5.  Doug Kalitta (1) -  887
6.  Mike Salinas (2) – 802
7.  Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI – 749
8.  Richie Crampton (1) – 719
9.  Austin Prock - 641
9.  Terry McMillen – 641


About Dodge
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s mainstream performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2019, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. Its 797-horsepower supercharged HEMI® high-output engine makes it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car reaching 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.4 seconds and the fastest GT production car with a ¼-mile elapsed time (ET) of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. It also reaches a new top speed of 203 mph. Joining the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with its more powerful 717-horsepower engine, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, which features fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody and adds 3.5 inches of width to Scat Pack’s footprint, as well as and the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. Infused with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a drag-oriented, street-legal muscle car and a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer.  The 2019 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with a best-in-class tow rating of 8,700 lbs. fills out the brands’ performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2019 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger — a showroom that offers performance at every price point.

 
About Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com. Mopar is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.