February 8, 2020 , Pomona, Calif. - It was a strong and fast start for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) veteran pilots Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman as they drove their Mopar Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Cars to the No.1 and No.2 qualifier positions, respectively, in anticipation of Sunday’s first race day of the 2020 National Hot Rod Association Mello Yello Drag Racing season at the 60th annual Winternationals.

Hagan kept his Mopar Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car atop the timesheets at the historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California, through four qualifying sessions to earn his first No.1 qualifier position of the new year after running low E.T. on his first and last runs.

“This Mopar Funny Car is just flying out there,” said Hagan, who improved on Friday’s provisional top spot pass of 3.867 seconds /331.20 mph with a 3.841-second elapsed time qualifying run a top speed of 333.25 mph on his final run. “When your team puts a hot rod underneath you like that, it’s always fun.”

“Going into race day tomorrow, my lights are good, the car is running great, the guys are doing a phenomenal job, and we came off of a really strong season last year, so we’re just focused on keeping the ball rolling,” added Hagan who collected eight qualifying points for his efforts and will face off against Alex Miladinovich in the first round of eliminations.

Following up his win at Pomona to cap off the 2019 season, Beckman showed that he is looking to keep that momentum going into a new season. After driving the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to a provisional second spot on Friday with a 3.868 seconds / 326.95 mph, he earned the second place starting position on Sunday.

"Other than this head cold, it's been a perfect weekend so far,” said Beckman, who collected a category best total of nine qualifying points with his qualifying performance. “We've gotten bonus points every single session. I'll drive with a plugged up head all year long if it means I get a hot rod like this.”

“We might have to throw out all the data that we've accumulated so far,” added Beckman, who will face Steven Densham in first elimination round action. “It's going to be interesting. That's why you want to qualify high. You get a better first round draw so that if you get a hiccup you still have to get that first win light and data."

The MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat of Tommy Johnson Jr. also had solid qualifying runs, saw improvement through each session and, after posting a 3.881-second / 321.50-mph final pass earned a fourth seed starting matchup against Cruz Pedregon.

“I've got a really good solid car that's been really consistent,” said Johnson “We just missed it a little bit in Q3 but the other three were really good solid runs, nice and consistent to be able to tune it and adjust it. I think that will be important tomorrow because the weather change will be so drastic that you need a tuneable and adjustable race car.”

DSR teammate Ron Capps made big strides this weekend, even winning the “NHRA Never Rest” award after using all four sessions to mount a comeback from the trailer fire that cost the team a car and valuable testing time in Las Vegas.

“Obviously it was a check-out run the first lap and then to go out and get qualified that second lap, I was so emotional,” said Capps, who improved steadily through qualifying to earn a seventh place seed for eliminations with a 3.911-second E.T at 328.38 mph. “I just wanted to make sure these guys, as hard as they’ve worked, to get the car down the track and get qualified, that’s always the goal.”

“The Cinderella story would be for us to win the race, but right now it’s one step at a time,” added Capps, who will line up his HEMI®-powered Charger Hellcat against Bob Tasca III in the first round.
 
In Top Fuel action, Leah Pruett moved her DSR Mopar Dodge//SRT Dragster up a step from a provisional fourth place on Friday to secure the third spot on the eliminations ladder with a best qualifying run of 3.687 seconds at 328.06 mph. She’ll face opponent Jim Maroney for a first round match up.

Eliminations rounds at the 60th annual NHRA Winternationals will be televised beginning at 5 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 9, on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).

Sportsman Spotlight
Larry Gilley and Mike Loge were winners of the Dodge Top Finisher honors in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock, respectively, in NHRA Sportsman competition.
Gilley, who hails from Hilmar, California, drove his E/SA 1969 Dodge Dart GTS to a round-four finish in Stock Eliminator at the 60th annual NHRA Winternationals.

Powered by a Mopar 340 small block, Gilley ran a string of consistent high 10-second elapsed times during competition. During round four, both he and his opponent had the same reaction times, but unfortunately Gilley lost by a mere 0.0193 seconds. For his great driving and tuning efforts, Gilley will receive $500 from Dodge for advancing the furthest in his class.

In Super Stock, Loge, a lifelong Mopar racer and resident of Antioch, California, raced his SS/MA 1972 Plymouth ‘Cuda 340 to a round-four finish and looked strong throughout the race weekend, losing by only 0.0318 seconds to his competitor. He will also receive a $500 bonus from Dodge for going the furthest in his class during the NHRA Winternationals.

The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its fourth 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 Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow all the NHRA’s action this season 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. For more information, please visit www.dodgegarage.com.

@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to 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.

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.
Dodge//SRT
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge proudly offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world. 
 
The 2020 Dodge lineup also features the 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody and the 2020 Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. The 2020 Dodge Durango SRT, the fastest, most powerful and most capable American three-row SUV, completes the brand's performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2020 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger.  Dodge 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.
 
Follow Dodge, SRT and FCA news and video on:  
Company blog: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com
Media website: http://media.fcanorthamerica.com
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