- The DSR Funny Car championship battle continues to intensify heading into the final two events of the 2020 season after Jack Beckman raced to victory at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals on Sunday evening
- The triumph was Beckman’s first at Texas Motorplex, third of the season and 33rd overall
- The final round featured DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars (Beckman vs. Matt Hagan) going head-to-head for the fifth time in the first nine races in 2020, and ensured DSR kept its undefeated streak of 12 Funny Car victories alive
- Hagan maintained his point lead in the championship standings but Beckman is hot on his heels, sitting a mere four points out of first
- Funny Car quarterfinalist Tommy Johnson Jr. occupies the No. 3 spot in the rankings, and semifinalist Ron Capps sits fourth
- In Top Fuel, both Leah Pruett and Tony Schumacher advanced to the quarterfinals and Pruett remains in championship contention sitting in third
- Mark Pawuk led the DSR Drag Pak Factory Stock Showdown duo by recording a semifinal finish; Pawuk sits second in the FSS point standings
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 2 (3.871 E.T. at 315.34 MPH)
E1: 3.948 E.T. at 321.88 MPH defeated Jim Campbell 4.134 E.T. at 312.21 MPH
E2: 4.348 E.T. at 218.09 MPH defeated by Bob Tasca III 3.972 E.T. at 324.83 MPH
Fresh off a win from the previous event, the momentum from Tommy Johnson Jr.’s strong performance in St. Louis carried into qualifying at Ennis, Texas. Johnson entered the race weekend ranked third and with 34 points separating him from his teammate and point leader, Matt Hagan, Johnson knew a solid outing at the FallNationals would be crucial to his championship chase as he continues to work toward capturing that elusive first Funny Car title. By powering the MD Anderson Dodge to the quickest E.T. of the opening qualifying session and earning the No. 2 starting position, Johnson looked prime for a long day of going rounds at Texas Motorplex. He used his reaction time advantage coupled with a solid 3.948 E.T. to easily dispatch Jim Campbell in round one of eliminations and set up a second-round showdown with Bob Tasca III. Once again, Johnson moved first, but traction issues early into the run forced him to shut the car off and his competitor was able to drive away with the win.
Johnson remains in third heading into the final two events of the season, and while he wasn’t able to make up ground in Ennis, a strong showing in Houston will put him right back in the thick of the championship hunt.
“That was surprising and disappointing. We had such a great running car all weekend. I didn’t expect the tires to come loose. We needed to win that round to keep pace, but that didn’t happen. We aren’t out of this thing yet. There’s two races left and points-and-a-half at the last one in Vegas. We need to do our job and go rounds and try to win the next two. Still, very happy with this team and happy to be able to race with such a great group here at DSR.”
NHRA Camping World Countdown to the Championship Standings (unofficial):
1. Steve Torrence – 764
2. Doug Kalitta – 713
3. Leah Pruett – 616
4. Billy Torrence – 598
5. Shawn Langdon – 491
6. Antron Brown – 458
7. Justin Ashley – 453
8. Terry McMillen – 436
9. Clay Millican – 381
10. Tony Schumacher – 294
1. Matt Hagan – 762
2. Jack Beckman – 758
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 685
4. Ron Capps – 588
5. Tim Wilkerson – 538
5. Bob Tasca III – 538
7. J.R. Todd – 526
8. Alexis DeJoria – 414
9. Paul Lee – 351
10. Cruz Pedregon – 335
About Don Schumacher Racing:
Established in 1998 as a single-car Top Fuel team, Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) has grown to become the winningest organization in NHRA Drag Racing history. Including team owner Don Schumacher’s five NHRA Funny Car titles from the 1970s, DSR’s current win count stands at 354, and DSR is one of a very small handful of teams in the motorsports industry to surpass the 350 milestone. DSR owns 17 world championships in three different NHRA categories.
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR currently fields seven professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the Mopar/Pennzoil dragster driven by Leah Pruett, and the Okuma/Sandvik Coromant machine driven by eight-time world champion, Tony Schumacher. In Funny Car, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, the Mopar Express Lane/Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat piloted by two-time series title-holder Matt Hagan, and in Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars,’ 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and Tommy Johnson Jr. behind the wheel of the MD Anderson Dodge.
DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pruett, the 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Series champion, and former Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at Shoeracing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.