July 19, 2020 , Brownsburg, Ind. - Another national event Funny Car win was within sight as the second all-Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat final round showdown in as many weeks had Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman set to go head-to-head at the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals, when the skies opened up above the Indianapolis drag strip and spoiled the day.
 
Hagan, coming off an event win last week in another all-Mopar final against teammate Tommy Johnson Jr., worked his way through eliminations after qualifying 13th and was headed back into a battle for the Wally trophy with a new red, black and chrome Dodge//SRT Hellcat Redeye livery. For his part, after qualifying sixth, Beckman was poised for his 66th career and third final round appearance in four races this season and was looking to add to the pair of wins he already had under his seatbelt in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
 
The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series has rescheduled the rained-out final to take place during the U.S. Nationals Sept. 3-6 at Lucas Oil Raceway.
 
To get to the finals, Hagan defeated DSR teammate Ron Capps, JR Todd and Bob Tasca, while Beckman sent Chad Green, Tim Wilkerson and DSR teammate Johnson home early.
 
No. 2 qualifier Johnson began his day with wins over Bob Bode and Cruz Pedregon for a semifinal round match against Beckman. Johnson, who earned a Wally at Phoenix earlier this year, had the early lead but saw his 4.027-second run overshadowed by Beckman’s 3.969 seconds to move on to the final. Johnson, however, remains second to Beckman in the Funny Car standings.
 
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat of Capps had a solid qualifying performance that put the DSR driver No.4 on the ladder and gave him lane choice over his first round opponent. Unfortunately, for a second week in a row, that first round pairing was against a DSR teammate and last week’s race winner, Hagan. While Capps’ 3.967-second/ 324.59-mph run was the third quickest of the round, it wasn’t enough to oust Hagan and his 3.931-second/321.58-mph effort.
 
In Top Fuel competition, No. 2 qualifier Leah Pruett and her red-hot Mopar Dodge//SRT Hellcat Redeye dragster looked solid throughout the weekend and early elimination rounds with a first round victory over Lex Joon and a hole shot to beat Billy Torrence to advance to a semifinal appearance against Justin Ashley. Misfiring cylinders ended her hopes of beating Ashley but still put Pruett in second in the Top Fuel rankings.
 
Pruett pulled double duty this weekend, joining Mark Pawuk for SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown action. The pair took their Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks to their first elimination round runs of the year in the first of eight FSS events this season.
 
Sporting a fresh, new livery on his Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, 12th-seeded Pawuk lined up next to No. 5 qualifier Arthur Kohn in the opening round, but his 8.135-second elapsed time run at 169.85 mph wasn’t quite enough to beat his opponent’s 8.057-second/170.88-mph pass to move on to the next round.
 
A similar fate awaited Pruett who, from her 16th place qualifying position on the ladder, drove her Angry Bee themed Mopar Challenger Drag straight down the lane to post a 8.200-second E.T. at 168.07 mph but wasn’t able to challenge No. 1 qualifier Chris Holbrook’s 7.980-second/174.55-mph pass.
 
The pair will get back in their Drag Paks next month at the second FSS event of the season, scheduled to take place at the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway (Aug. 28-30).
 
Next on the updated 2020 NHRA schedule will be a third consecutive national event to take place at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, replacing the previously slated 32nd edition of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, Colorado, on Aug 7-9. The Dodge-sponsored event, which boasts the longest continuous sponsorship in the NHRA and one of the longest in all of motorsports, has been postponed due to pandemic-related issues, but hopes to be rescheduled for a later date this season.
 
NOTES and QUOTES:
 
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 4.059 seconds at 299.66 mph)
Round 1: (0.076-second reaction time, 4.032 seconds at 310.77 mph) beats No. 11 Chad Green (0.159/4.323/293.86)
Round 2: (0.061/3.991/317.72) beats No. 3 Tim Wilkerson (0.069/4.009/316.82)
Round 3: (0.074/3.969/321.65) beats No. 2 Tommy Johnson Jr. (0.062/4.027/309.56)
Round 4: To be completed at U.S. Nationals vs No. 13 Matt Hagan
 
“In a lot of ways these races will have a little asterisk next to them, what’s not going to be different is the trophy. It’s the exact same size as every other Wally we’ve earned. It’s going to mean just as much. We’re going to work just as hard for it. Whether we run tonight, tomorrow or in three weeks it really doesn’t matter to me. We have a car and a team that can adjust. We struggled in qualifying and they worked hard and figured it out. The car came around and we’re in another final round and someone is getting a trophy. I don’t care when they run it, we’re gonna run our tails off.”
 
Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 13 Qualifier – 4.275 seconds at 283.73 mph)
Round 1: (0.087-second reaction time, 3.931 seconds at 321.58 mph) beat No. 4 Ron Capps (0.070/3.967/324.59)  
Round 2: (0.097/3.949/323.81) beat No. 5 JR Todd (0.069/4.028/317.19)
Round 3: (0.078/3.946/324.36) beat No.1 Bob Tasca (0.062/4.010/320.13)
Round 4: To be completed at U.S. Nationals vs No. 6 Jack Beckman
 
“We were on a roll today coming off the win last weekend. We have a beautiful car with the red chrome Hellcat Redeye. It’s definitely one of my favorites in the 12 or 13 years I’ve been with DSR. I’d love nothing more than to put it in the winner’s circle for Dodge and Mopar and then the rain rolled in. You never know what will happen for weather and I’m glad we have lane choice, but Jack’s (Beckman) car is really good. That’s a strong team. All of the DSR cars are. We’re ready to go. No matter if we race tomorrow or in three weeks, I have all the confidence in Dickie Venables and this team.”
 
Tommy Johnson Jr., MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 2 Qualifier – 4.017 seconds at 300.86 mph)
Round 1: (0.084-second reaction time, 4.123 seconds at 278.06 mph) beats No. 15 Bob Bode (no time)
Round 2: (0.052/3.979/317.57) beats No. 7 Cruz Pedregon (0.058/5.902/118.04)
Round 3: (0.062/4.027/309.56) lost to No. 6 Beckman (0.074/3.969/321.65)
 
“It was another good weekend for this MD Anderson Dodge team and we’re just keeping our momentum going. Another solid qualifying effort and some more round wins. We just didn’t have enough in the semis against (Jack) Beckman, but I’m very happy with how our team is performing. (Matt) Hagan’s car is running great and it’s shaping up as a three-way DSR Funny Car battle for the championship and I’m glad we’re a part of it. It’s fun. We’re getting quite a bit of data for racing here and in hot, humid conditions and that will continue to benefit us during these summer months. We get a few weekends off and the team needs that before we get to go after that Wally trophy here at Indy in three weeks. “

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 4.054 seconds at 312.86 mph)
Round 1: (0.070-second reaction time, 3.967 seconds at 324.59 mph) lost to No. 13 Matt Hagan (0.087/3.931/321.58)
 
“We had a really great hot rod and were really happy with how we ran in qualifying. Sometimes with the luck of the draw you end up racing Matt Hagan and (crew chief) Dickie Venables first round and that is just how it goes. You know when you pull up to the line they are going to swing at it, so we had to swing right back and we did. It was a great run. The NAPA guys and (my crew chief) Rahn Tobler did a great job getting our car ready. Our run would have beaten just about any other car in that round with us running third-lowest E.T. Unfortunately, it just wasn't the run we needed today. We have shown as a team that we can run with the best and I’m really looking forward to getting back here in three weeks.”
 
Leah Pruett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 10 Qualifier – 3.934 seconds at 306.33 mph)
Round 1: (0.073-second reaction time, 3.820 seconds at 316.97 mph) beats No. 15 Lex Joon (0.065/4.104/242.71)
Round 2: (0.044/3.818/314.46) beats No.10 Billy Torrence (0.080/3.793/320.36)
Round 3: (0.102/4.530/171.62) lost to No. 14 Justin Ashley (0.055/4.049/237.09)

“I do feel that we have the best horse on the property between qualifying well and going rounds on Sunday. Unfortunately, we had a couple of holes (cylinders) out early against Justin (Ashley) in the semis and we kicked the belt off. They had issues too, so that makes it a bit tougher. What works best is when the crew chiefs, team and me are on the same page and I felt we were today. I will say this is the best-looking Top Fuel car on the property. I’m excited for the Hellcat Redeye colors to run again, and we’ll keep picking up momentum and building on what we’ve learned the last two weekends and be ready to go in three weeks.”
 
Factory Stock Showdown
 
Leah Pruett, Mopar Challenger Drag Pak
(No. 16 Qualifier – 8.146 seconds at 168.32 mph)
Round 1: (0.077-reaction time, 8.200 seconds at 168.07 mph) lost to No. 1 Chris Holbrook (0.041/7.980/174.55)
 
“No matter what category you’re in, one day of qualifying with just two hits is a challenge. We got our two Drag Paks qualified and we had to race the No. 1 qualifier (Chris) Holbrook. We tuned for the changing air and weather conditions. The package that we currently have is making it challenging to turn on win lights. We’re working very hard to change that, but in the interim we’re doing the best job with what we can. The result is that win lights will be hard to find. This is a very different class than Top Fuel where we can see progression from run to run. This particular class, progression happens on the dyno, at the shop, in making laps and with rule changes. We know that we don’t have an upper hand and it speaks a lot for Dodge and Mopar and our team to be fighting this fight and it’s a difficult run. We do see the light at the end of the tunnel and we know we can achieve what we have in the past with these Drag Paks.”
 
Mark Pawuk, Empaco Challenger Drag Pak
(No. 12 Qualifier – 8.078 seconds at 170.28 mph)
Round 1: (0.048-reaction time, 8.135 seconds at 169.85 mph) lost to No. 5 Arthur Kohn (0.033/8.057/170.88)

“It’s great to be back behind the wheel of our Empaco Challenger Drag Pak this weekend here at Indy. We qualified in a very tough field. We left well, but unfortunately we’re struggling to keep up. We’re going to keep working hard to find a way to create more power and see what we can do to be more competitive. It was awesome to see fans in the stands with everything going on with COVID. It’s nice to be out at the track and I can’t wait to make more laps at Atlanta and Indy in late August.”
 
NHRA Championship Points Standings
(These points are totals up to the final rounds of the fourth event of the 2020 season)
 
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses):
  1. Jack Beckman (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 372 (1)
  2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 355 (1)
  3. Matt Hagan (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 329 (1)
  4. Tim Wilkerson – 239
  5. Bob Tasca III – 230
  6. Ron Capps (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 196
  7. J.R. Todd – 196  
  8. Alexis DeJoria – 186
  9. John Force – 173
  10. Cruz Pedregon – 149
 
TOP FUEL (season wins in parentheses):
  1. Doug Kalitta – 364 (1)
  2. Leah Pruett (Mopar Dodge//SRT) – 269
  3. Billy Torrance – 237 (1)
  4. Steve Torrance –  232(1)
  5. Justin Ashley – 231
  6. Antron Brown – 230  
  7. Shawn Langdon – 183
  8. Clay Millican – 183
  9. Terry McMillen – 177
  10. Brittany Force – 153

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.

Official Driving School of Dodge//SRT
Dodge is the official sponsor of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Arizona, where guests get behind the wheels of the fastest street-legal cars in the world with professional instruction and time on the track. Customers who buy a new SRT model receive one full-day session as part of the Dodge//SRT Package and have the opportunity to learn how to get the optimum performance from their new vehicles in a controlled environment.  For more information, visit dodgegarage.com/track-experience.

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 more than 150 markets. 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. .

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 shifts into high gear with muscle cars and SUVs that deliver unrivaled performance in each of the segments where they compete.

2021 marks the year that Dodge is distilled into a pure performance brand, offering Hellcat-powered, 700+ horsepower SRT versions of every model across the lineup. For the 2021 model year, Dodge delivers the drag-strip dominating 807-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, the new 797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world, and the new 710-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, the most powerful SUV ever. Combined, these three muscle cars make Dodge the industry’s most powerful brand, offering more horsepower than any other American brand across its entire lineup.    

In June 2020, Dodge was named the "#1 Brand in Initial Quality," making it the first domestic brand ever to rank No. 1 in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). 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
Dodge brand: www.dodge.com
Dodge Garage: www.dodgegarage.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dodge or https://www.facebook.com/FiatChrysler.NorthAmerica/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dodgeofficial or www.instagram.com/FiatChrysler_NA
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dodge or www.twitter.com/FiatChrysler_NA
YouTube: www.youtube.com/dodge or www.youtube.com/fcanorthamerica