Monthly Archives: May 2018

DSR Chicago Pre-Race Report

Category : DSR news

Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Event 9 of 24 (Chicago)
Route 66 Raceway
Joliet, Illinois
June 1-3, 2018

 


Noteworthy:

  • Ron Capps returns as the defending Funny Car event champion
  • Capps has raced for the Chicago FC Wally the past two years in a row, finishing as the runner-up in 2016
  • All DSR Funny Car final in 2017 (Capps vs. Tommy Johnson Jr.)
  • Both Antron Brown and Johnson have advanced to the final round at Route 66 Raceway in three of the past four years
  • Chicago 2017 was the start of five consecutive final round appearances for Brown
    Tony Schumacher is the winningest (five) Top Fuel driver in Chicago history: 2003, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2015
    Note: 2005 victory was at the discontinued Fall event
  • Schumacher leads the TF class in number of No. 1 qualifiers (seven) at Chicago: 2003, 2005 (Spring and Fall), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012
    Note: 2005 No. 1 qualifier was at the discontinued Fall event
  • Brown has both TF and Pro Stock Motorcycle Wallys from Chicago
  • Brown and Leah Pritchett will compete against ‘Papa’ John Schnatter in the Papa John’s Charity Challenge to benefit the Infinite Hero Foundation on Saturday
  • Hometown track for the Schumacher family

(Excerpt)

DSR Driver Information:
Funny Car:

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

NHRA Chicago Event Highlights:
2015 event champion
Three-time runner-up (2003, 2014, 2017)
Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2006, 2014)

2017 Chicago Recap:
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated John Force in E1, J.R. Todd in E2, Tim Wilkerson in E3; defeated by Ron Capps in E4)

Last event (Topeka):
Qualified sixth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated John Force in E1; defeated by Robert Hight in E2)

2018 Season Statistics:
Ten round wins; Ranked sixth in points

Career Statistics:
430 races; 17 wins (two Top Fuel); 15 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Notable:
Has advanced to the final round at Route 66 Raceway in three of the past four years, winning in 2015, and finishing as the runner-up in 2014 and 2017

Quotable:
“Chicago is a race I always look forward to. We always seem to do well there, and run really well. We’ve been to the Chicago final round the last several years, so I think (this weekend) would be a great opportunity to get our season kicked off with a win. It’s always a special place to me, since it’s close to (my home state of) Iowa, and it would be nice to win with everyone there.”


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR also campaigns two Sportsman teams. The two-car Factory Stock Showdown duo is piloted by Pritchett and veteran Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk. Both drivers compete in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks.

DSR has won 320 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

Follow Don Schumacher Racing at Shoeracing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

LINK to Original Article


Funny car’s Tommy Johnson Jr. hoping for annual breakout performance at JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Category : NHRA news

JOLIET, Ill. – It has been business as usual for Tommy Johnson Jr. through the first portion of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and, based on recent years that means something big could be coming for the Funny Car standout at this weekend’s 21st annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Johnson has once again put together consistent performances in his 10,000-horsepower Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T to open his year, and appears locked in for another big performance in Chicago. He has advanced to the final round at Route 66 Raceway in three of the past four years, winning in 2015, as Johnson has annually come on strong during June and July. Opening up a stretch of four straight races, Johnson is confident that trend can continue starting this weekend.

Tommy Johnson Jr.

“It usually takes us a while to get hot, but we never seem way off,” Johnson said. “We’ve been consistent and competitive, and it’s just a matter of time before we string some final rounds and wins together. We’re right there and we’re close, it’s just a matter of continuing to pick at it. Maybe we’re a little better in the warmer weather conditions and that’s where we tend to shine, but I feel comfortable with where we’re at. I’m not panicked or worried. I think we’re right on course.”

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock), and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of an event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including final eliminations coverage starting at 5:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. It is the ninth of 24 races in a 2018 season where Johnson, who has 17 career wins, is currently sixth in Funny Car points after one runner-up appearance and a final quad showing at the four-wide race in Charlotte.

As has usually been the case once June hits, Johnson and his team, led by crew chief John Collins, are ready to take it up a notch. Starting the four-race stretch on a positive note this weekend could go a long way towards building something special this summer heading into the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. After finishing in the top three in points from 2014-2016, Johnson believes his team has built a sound strategy in making a championship run.

“Everybody wants to win every race, but that’s not possible,” Johnson said. “We want to continue to be competitive and consistent and when you start a stretch of four in a row, it pays dividends to be consistent. The points add up quickly and you can gain a whole bunch. It’s super important to have success right at the start and Chicago is a good track to go to for us. It’s a premier facility, it’s a great atmosphere and I like the feel of it. It’s a good track for us to kick off four in a row.”

Johnson fell in the final round to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps a year ago, splitting final-round matchups with DSR counterpart Matt Hagan in 2014 and 2015. He’ll also have to get past the likes of points leader Courtney Force, who has won back-to-back races, 2016 event winner Jack Beckman, J.R. Todd, who has two wins in 2018, defending world champion Robert Hight and Charlotte winner Cruz Pedregon, but facing elite competition in the loaded Funny Car class continues to bring out the best in the talented veteran.

“There’s no easy rounds, and you go into the first round and it might as well be the final round,” said Johnson, who got his Funny Car license at Route 66 Raceway in 1998. “It’s just a tough category and every round is tight. The gratifying part is when you do well you know you did something. It gives you a little more confidence when you come to tracks where you’ve had good success and Chicago has been a place where it seems to happen for us.”

Steve Torrence has continued a strong pace in Top Fuel, grabbing three wins and the points lead in 2018. He will try to hold off Topeka winner Clay Millican, Tony Schumacher, and Brittany Force.

Drew Skillman hopes Chicago is again the place for his first Pro Stock win of the year. He’ll have to get past the likes of points leader Vincent Nobile and defending world champ Bo Butner to get it.

LE Tonglet is the defending event winner in Pro Stock Motorcycle, hoping for a fourth win at the facility against standout Eddie Krawiec, who has two wins in 2018, and teammate Jerry Savoie.

The JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals also features competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, including the popular JEGS Allstars bonus event that pits the best NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series racers from across the country in individual and team competition. After Nitro qualifying, fans can watch the spectacular Pro Jet Motorsports Al Z’s “Hot Blade” and Team Heat “Fifty Caliber” jet dragsters. Jet cars are thrust driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.

Those in attendance will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with a few of the most renowned names in drag racing during the NHRA Legends Tour. This will feature meet-and-greets, autograph sessions, and a variety of other activities. Legends scheduled to attend the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals include Don Garlits and more.

As always, fans can interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.

Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. on Friday, June 1 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 2, at 3:15 and 6 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 3.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 888-629-RACE (7223) or 815-722-5500. Tickets also are available online at www.route66raceway.com. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.


DSR Topeka Qualifying Report

Category : DSR news

Menard’s NHRA Heartland Nationals
presented by Minties
Event 8 of 24 (Topeka)
Heartland Motorsports Park
Topeka, Kan.
May 18-20, 2018

 


DSR Topeka Qualifying Highlights:

  • Ron Capps made ‘top three’ runs in both Q3 and Q4, earning three bonus points
  • Leah Pritchett, the most recent Top Fuel winner, will go toe-to-toe against her DSR teammate Antron Brown in round one
  • Tony Schumacher will look to get revenge over Bill Litton who defeated ‘The Sarge’ in round one at the previous race
  • Schumacher made the third quickest run of the session in Q4

(Excerpt)

Driver Information/Funny Car:

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 11 John Force

The Results:
Q1: 4.212 E.T. at 285.29 MPH
Q2: 4.008 E.T. at 313.00 MPH
Q3: 6.967 E.T. at 90.09 MPH
Q4: 5.351 E.T. at 133.71 MPH

Quotable:
“It’s a tough race track with the changing conditions; the hot conditions we’ve had today and the difference in the track prep. It’s a struggle for everybody, we’re not the only ones. Tomorrow is a totally different day weather-wise, so we will come out and deal with it then. The Make-A-Wish team should be alright tomorrow, it doesn’t matter who we have to race.”


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR also campaigns two Sportsman teams. The two-car Factory Stock Showdown duo is piloted by Pritchett and veteran Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk. Both drivers compete in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks.

DSR has won 320 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

LINK to full article


DSR Topeka Friday Qualifying Report

Category : DSR news

Menard’s NHRA Heartland Nationals
presented by Minties
Event 8 of 24 (Topeka)
Heartland Motorsports Park
Topeka, Kan.
May 18-20, 2018

 


DSR Topeka Friday Qualifying Highlights:

  • The DSR Top Fuel contingent (Tony Schumacher, Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett) end the day sitting in the quick half of the Top Fuel qualifying field
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. and Matt Hagan finish Friday in the top half of the Funny Car field
  • Brown and Schumacher earned bonus points in Q1

(Excerpt)

Driver Information/Funny Car:

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Q1: 4.212 E.T. at 285.29 MPH
Q2: 4.008 E.T. at 313.00 MPH

Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 5


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR also campaigns two Sportsman teams. The two-car Factory Stock Showdown duo is piloted by Pritchett and veteran Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk. Both drivers compete in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks.

DSR has won 320 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.


DSR Topeka Pre-Race Report

Category : DSR news

Menard’s NHRA Heartland Nationals
presented by Minties
Event 8 of 24 (Topeka)
Heartland Motorsports Park
Topeka, Kan.
May 18-20, 2018

 


Noteworthy:

  • Don Schumacher Racing ‘doubled up’ winning in both Top Fuel and Funny Car at the 2017 event:
    Top Fuel – Antron Brown
    Funny Car – Ron Capps
  • Matt Hagan raced to a runner-up finish in 2017 and won the 2016 event, both from the No. 1 qualifying spot
  • Brown has been a final round contender the past two years
  • Tony Schumacher and Hagan claimed the 2017 No. 1 qualifying spots while resetting the track Top Fuel and Funny Car E.T. records
  • Leah Pritchett enters the race weekend fresh off of her first event win of 2018 (Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga.)
  • A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, Tommy Johnson Jr. considers Heartland Motorsports Park to be his hometown track
  • Brown will wheel a special Matco’s ‘Tools for the Cause’ livery to benefit the Fisher House Foundation

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel, E.T.: 3.660-seconds, Tony Schumacher (2017)
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.802-seconds, Matt Hagan (2017)
Funny Car, speed: 338.85-mph, Matt Hagan (2017)

(Excerpt)
DSR Driver Information/Funny Car:

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

NHRA Topeka Event Highlights:
Two-time runner-up (1999, 2005)

2017 Topeka Recap:
Qualified fifth; First round exit (defeated by Del Worsham in E1)

Last event (Atlanta):
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jim Campbell in E1; defeated by Matt Hagan in E2)

2018 Season Statistics:
Nine round wins; Ranked fourth in points

Career Statistics:
429 races; 17 wins (two Top Fuel); 15 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Notable:
A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, considers Heartland Motorsports Park to be his hometown track

Quotable:
“Topeka has always been one of my favorite tracks. It’s close to where I grew up, so I always see a lot of family and friends there. It’s also where I became a part of the ‘four-second’ club years ago, so it’s always held a lot of special memories. It’s a great race track, and I’m looking forward to seeing if we can get the performance of these cars back on track with the new track prep. Going to be some warm temperatures, so difficult to navigate, but we learned a lot in Atlanta, and hopefully that will help us.


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR also campaigns two Sportsman teams. The two-car Factory Stock Showdown duo is piloted by Pritchett and veteran Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk. Both drivers compete in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks.

LINK to full article