50th annual NHRA Gatornationals
Event 3 of 24 (Gainesville)
March 15-17, 2019
DSR Gainesville Elimination Highlights:
- Leah Pritchett departs Gainesville sitting second in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship Top Fuel rankings
- DSR Dodge Hellcats occupy three of the top five spots in the Funny Car point standings with Jack Beckman leading the way in second
- Beckman powered to a semifinal finish
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 3 (3.896 E.T. at 324.75 MPH)
E1: 3.933 E.T. at 326.56 MPH defeated John Smith 5.306 E.T. at 150.05 MPH
E2: 3.892 E.T. at 327.03 MPH defeated by Jack Beckman 3.898 E.T. at 329.67 MPH
Tommy Johnson Jr. qualified third to start race day at the NHRA Gatornationals with a round-one matchup against part-time racer John Smith. Johnson navigated his Make-A-Wish Dodge Hellcat cleanly down the track in 3.905 seconds to take the win over Smith’s 4.353 second pass.
Round two featured an intramural battle between the Chandler family’s ‘giving cars’ with Johnson lining up opposite teammate Jack Beckman behind the wheel of the Infinite Hero Hellcat. Johnson and Beckman clocked nearly identical reaction times (0.069 versus Beckman’s 0.063) and maintained pace until just before the finish line when the Infinite Hero Dodge pulled ahead to claim the holeshot victory.
“Wrong side of the closest race of the weekend. I’m happy the car is running so well. It’s frustrating that we keep having gremlins jump up and bite us but I’m proud of the team for how hard they’ve worked. They keep pushing and the car keeps on performing. It’s just a matter of time. You continue to run that good, things will eventually go your way instead of going against you. I’m ready for Vegas. It’s one of my favorite tracks. Everything comes in threes, we’ve gone through our three and we’re moving on.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1. Doug Kalitta – 246
2. Leah Pritchett – 204
3. Steve Torrence – 197
4. Richie Crampton – 178
4. Billy Torrence – 178
6. Terry McMillen – 166
7. Mike Salinas – 161
8. Clay Millican – 157
9. Antron Brown – 150
10. Austin Prock – 138
1. Robert Hight – 330
2. Jack Beckman – 225
3. Matt Hagan – 215
4. John Force – 200
5. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 191
6. Tim Wilkerson – 165
7. Bob Tasca III – 163
8. J.R. Todd – 159
9. Ron Capps – 146
10. Shawn Langdon – 143
About Don Schumacher Racing:
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 325 NHRA national event titles and 17 world championships since opening its doors in 1998.
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields seven professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the MOPAR/Pennzoil/Sparkling Ice dragster driven by Leah Pritchett and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher’s machine. In Funny Car, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, the Mopar Express Lane/Pennzoil/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat piloted by Matt Hagan, and in Terry and 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 Make-A-Wish Dodge.
DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pritchett, 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.