September 2, 2019 , Indianapolis - Jack Beckman was three-hundredths of second away from having in his words “a phenomenal weekend” at the 65th NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The driver of Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) Mopar-powered Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car raced to the Indy final for the third time in his career, but came up tantalizingly short of scoring a second U.S. Nationals triumph in NHRA’s signature event.

Beckman continued the run of Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars reaching the final to seven straight events, and 14 of 18 in 2019, and led a brigade of six Mopar-powered machines into eliminations Monday after securing his 25th career No. 1 qualifier. The run to his 60th career final appearance began with a fifth sub-3.9 second run of the weekend in a first-round victory over Justin Schriefer, but his elapsed time wasn’t enough to secure lane choice for his race with Bob Tasca III in the quarterfinals. Beckman leaned on his Dean Antonelli/John Medlen-led team and they delivered with a car that made it down the less-than desirable right lane with a time of 3.922 seconds to defeat Tasca’s run of 3.943. Next up was the two-time and defending champion J.R. Todd and Beckman powered to victory again in the right lane to push Beckman to his fourth final in 2019.

In the final, Beckman matched up with John Force and he was first to hit the gas. Force drove around the 2012 Funny Car world champion with his pass of 3.919 run to defeat Beckman and his lap of 3.940. The weekend provided Beckman with momentum heading to Countdown where he will start from the fourth position.

For two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, consistency has been the focus and that continued during the U.S. Nationals. After qualifying the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car second in the field, the 2016 U.S. Nationals champion opened his competition with a smooth run of 3.892 seconds to advance over Bob Bode, who wasn’t able to make a full pass. In the quarterfinals, Hagan made another clean pass of 3.939 seconds while his opponent Shawn Langdon went up in smoke. The result moved Hagan into his fourth consecutive semifinal where he faced John Force for the 43rd time in his career. Hagan raced from the right lane and lost traction almost immediately coasting to the finish with a run of 13.019 seconds. Hagan will start the Countdown to the Championship playoffs from the sixth position in Reading. 

Ron Capps ventured into “The Big Go” with the single goal of finally tasting Indy glory in his NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The second-winningest Funny Car driver of all-time has been victorious at every stop along the current NHRA tour except for Lucas Oil Raceway. His qualifying efforts provided hope that Monday things would go his way when he earned qualifying points in four of the five sessions and locked into the No. 4 spot. In the first round, he faced off with newcomer Ray Martin where Capps took the early advantage and looked to be on his way to victory until his machine lost traction near half track and he was forced to give up the run allowing Martin to claim his first professional round win against the 2016 Funny Car world champion. Capps will begin the Countdown to the Championship in the fourth position.

After struggling during the first two days of qualifying, Tommy Johnson, Jr. put the Riley’s Kids Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat in the field Sunday with a pair of solid runs to grab the No. 10 position for Monday’s eliminations. Unfortunately, in his first round race with Shawn Langdon, the issues resurfaced when, despite leaving first, his machine overpowered the track and lost traction. Langdon was solid with his run of 3.895 to defeat Johnson, who coasted to a pass of 9.686 seconds at 88.23 mph. Johnson, a two-time 2019 Funny Car winner, will now turn his focus to the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals in Reading where he will continue chasing his first Funny Car championship from the third position in the Countdown standings.

Paul Lee and Cruz Pedregon put their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars in Monday’s field, but each lost in the first round.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett was looking to follow her victory in Brainerd two weeks ago with a strong performance in the U.S. Nationals. After qualifying the DSR Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster seventh in the field, she squared off with Shawn Reed in the first round. The two had five previous races with Pritchett winning them all. Pritchett took a starting line advantage, but immediately lost traction, knocked off the blower and coasted to a pass of 20.604 while Reed cruised to victory with his pass of 3.772. Pritchett will start her quest for a championship in two weeks from the seventh position in the Countdown standings.

Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge and NHRA U.S. Nationals coverage at Dodge Garage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag racing news. The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise.

@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
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.
 
Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.097-second reaction time, 3.899 seconds at 328.86 mph) beat No. 16 Justin Schriefer (.093/No Time)
Rd. 2: (.070/3.922/325.61) beat No. 8 Bob Tasca III (.050/3.943/326.95)
Rd. 3: (.076/4.065/250.09) beat No. 5 J.R. Todd (.065/4.547/193.71)
Rd. 4: (.072/3.940/325.92) lost to No. 3 John Force (.079/3.919/324.44)

“I have to say the fan in me seeing John Force talking with TV after the race was like seeing Lou Gehrig doing an interview, but losing this race hurts. I don’t want to lose to Babe Ruth. I don’t want to lose to anybody. It’s the U.S. Nationals. We were poised for our first win of the year. We had an amazing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. We fought for what we got today. Due to all the delays in the first round, we couldn’t push and lost lane choice. So we were in the less preferred right lane in the second, third and final rounds. And we were the only car to continually get down that lane quickly. I’m so proud of the guys for doing that. We came up short in the final, but if we would have leaned on it too much and gone out there and smoked the tires you aren’t making a race out of it. I’m happy for what we did. We had a great weekend and I was three-hundredths away from having a phenomenal weekend.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.874)

Rd. 1: (.182-second reaction time, 3.892 seconds at 329.02 mph) beat No. 15 Bob Bode (.123/No Time)
Rd. 2: (.061/3.939/320.89) beat No. 7 Shawn Langdon (.050/12.468/68.70)
Rd. 3: (.072/13.019/75.31) lost to No. 3 John Force (.044/3.940/330.88)

“We really wanted to have a chance to win Indy and we did. We’ve got consistency and we are getting really close every weekend. It’s just a few little things here and there. That right lane was like the kiss of death. Keeping lane choice was critical today and we just lost it by a thousandth of a second or two. We have a great car. The team is working great. The boys made a great turnaround for the semifinal round. I just can’t say enough about how hard everyone is working. We’ve got six races and we are all in. It’s time to step up and go to work.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.882)

Rd. 1: (.109-second reaction time, 4.097 seconds at 270.86 mph) lost No. 13 Ray Martin (.133/3.979/323.04)

“This is one of the best cars we’ve had for a chance to win the U.S. Nationals. If things are going to pop up, they usually happen here. We see so many huge upsets in Indy, and we weren’t taking Ray Martin lightly. I know (crew chief Rahn) Tobler’s plan was to repeat what we did during qualifying and try and get lane choice for next round, and for whatever reason, we had an issue. The bright side is, we’re leaving Indy with a great race car, which really gives me a lot of confidence heading into the Countdown.”
 
Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.701)

Rd. 1: (.094-second reaction time, 20.604 seconds at 20.91 mph) lost to No. 10 Shawn Reed (.129/3.772/320.51)

“We are in the discovery process of how and why we smoked the tires in the first round. We had every intention of going four solid rounds today. We are looking to test here tomorrow so that we are prepared for the Countdown. This is a numbers game and a math, engineering game and right now things aren’t lining up. We work really hard to be our best and we aren’t going to give up until we figure this out. I’m really proud of this team. As well as the partners we have and the fans that come out and support us. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the best of luck here in Indy, but we have had some good luck and solid performances in Reading and we are ready to finish this marathon with the strongest sprint.”

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Riley Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 10 Qualifier – 3.908)

Rd. 1: (.053-second reaction time, 9.686 seconds at 88.23 mph) lost No. 7 Shawn Langdon (.081/3.895/328.70)

“It wasn’t the Indy we were looking for. We had a strong car coming in here and it was just one of those weekends where we just never hit it. We struggled all weekend with a lot of issues. Not the weekend you want that to happen, but at the same time if it’s going to happen let’s get it out of the way before we get to the Countdown where it’s really important. We’ll shake this off and go out to Reading and start the Countdown. We are going to start it in the best position we ever have and this team has a great chance at winning a championship. We’re excited to get to Reading and kick things off with the Mopar Mega Block Party and the activities that surround that race. Earlier this year in Denver, we were able to win the race for Dodge and Mopar and hope to do it again in Reading.”

Up Next: Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
The stakes get higher for the Mopar Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers and teams when they return to action in two weeks at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. The FCA-backed event kicks off the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff. The weekend begins with the fan-favorite Mopar Mega Block Party event Thursday, September 12.

2019 NHRA Championship – Point Standings Through 18 of 24 Rounds
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1.Robert Hight (5) - 1481
2. John Force (2) – 1376
3. Tommy Johnson, Jr. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (2) – 1269
4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – 1259
5. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (3) –1234
6. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (2) - 1165
7. 6. Bob Tasca III (2) - 1116

8. J.R. Todd (1) -1095
9. Shawn Langdon (1) - 997
10. Tim Wilkerson - 863

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (8) - 1742
2. Doug Kalitta (2) – 1184
3. Antron Brown - 1109
4. Brittany Force (1) - 1108
5. Mike Salinas (2) – 1071
6. Clay Millican - 1058
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (1)  - 957
8. Austin Prock (1) – 931
9. Richie Crampton (1) - 842
10. Billy Torrence (1) – 819

About Dodge//SRT
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s 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. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. Powered by the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
 
The 2019 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, and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, featuring fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody, which add 3.5 inches of width to the 485-horsepower Scat Pack’s standard body. Also new for 2019 is the Challenger R/T Scat Pak 1320 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., completes the brand's 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.
 
Follow Dodge, SRT and FCA US news and video on:  
Company blog: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com
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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.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.