MOPAR Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil
Event 5 of 24 (Houston)
Houston Raceway Park
April 12-14, 2019
DSR Houston Elimination Highlights:
- Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) raced to runner-up finishes on Sunday afternoon
- Brown’s final round appearance was his first of 2019 and allowed him to advance three spots in the Top Fuel rankings
- Hagan advanced to second in the Funny Car point standings by racing to his second final of the year
- Ron Capps drove to his first semifinal appearance of the season
- Before eliminations got underway, Jack Beckman joined Chandler family representative Judy Pittman on-stage during NHRA’s pre-race ceremony where the duo presented a $100,000 donation check to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on behalf of Doug Chandler and his TLC Foundation in honor of the late Terry Chandler
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 11 (3.959 E.T. at 312.13 MPH)
E1: 4.807 E.T. at 166.87 MPH defeated by Matt Hagan 3.946 E.T. at 318.62 MPH
Following a runner-up finish in Las Vegas last Sunday, Tommy Johnson Jr. felt like his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car was on the verge of breaking through this weekend in Houston. After a pair of “misses” in Friday’s opening qualifying rounds, the team dialed-in their MOPAR-powered Hellcat and made a pair of consistent runs despite changing weather conditions. The Iowa driver ended up 11th on Sunday’s elimination ladder and faced teammate Matt Hagan in the first round. Johnson had a slight starting line advantage, but lost traction shortly thereafter allowing Hagan to drive away for the victory. Johnson’s run of 4.807 seconds resulted in his first first-round loss of 2019.
“We were just off a little bit this weekend. We never could quite find our mojo with our tune-up. It wasn’t a horrible weekend, but we are better than that. We’ll rebound and come back at Charlotte and try to regroup. Throughout the season there are going to be weekends where you just don’t do as good as you should. Hopefully this is ours and it’s out of the way.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1. Doug Kalitta – 367
2. Brittany Force – 349
3. Steve Torrence – 343
4. Mike Salinas – 320
5. Leah Pritchett – 303
6. Clay Millican – 302
7. Antron Brown – 278
8. Billy Torrence – 265
9. Richie Crampton – 264
10. Terry McMillen – 231
1. Robert Hight – 476
2. Matt Hagan – 366
3. J.R. Todd – 341
4. John Force – 339
5. Jack Beckman – 332
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 315
7t. Ron Capps – 286
7t. Tim Wilkerson – 286
9. Bob Tasca III – 250
10. Shawn Langdon – 223
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.