- After 26 years, Ron Capps finally captured his elusive first Indy victory on Sunday during the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil. The accomplishment enabled him to reach a personal milestone of having claimed a win at every venue on the current NHRA tour.
- Capps’ victory was the 65th of his career (64 Funny Car/1 Top Fuel), first in 2020, and marked the seventh consecutive Funny Car triumph for DSR and 349th national event title for drag racing’s winningest organization
– Sunday also marked the ninth consecutive event where DSR campaigned a Funny Car in the final round
- By racing to the winner’s circle, Capps advanced to fourth in the Funny Car point rankings
DSR maintained its sweep of the 1-2-3 spots in the Funny Car standings for the third event in a row, with Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars’ holding strong in No. 1 (Tommy Johnson Jr.) and No. 2 (Jack Beckman); Matt Hagan rounds out the ‘top three,’ and with Capps moving into fourth,
- DSR’s quartet of Dodge Charger SRT Hellcats now occupy the first four spots on the leaderboard
- Leah Pruett advanced to her third semifinal appearance in 2020 and sits third in the Top Fuel point standings
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 1 (3.976 E.T. at 318.54 MPH)
E1: 3.955 E.T. at 322.81 MPH defeated Alexis DeJoria 4.363 E.T. at 209.92 MPH
E2: 4.689 E.T. at 178.50 MPH defeated by Paul Lee 4.140 E.T. at 270.70 MPH
Tommy Johnson Jr. and the John Collins/Rip Reynolds-led MD Anderson Dodge Funny Car team have been on a tear all year. They were victorious at the NHRA Arizona Nationals before the season was suspended for four months due to COVID-19, and picked up right where they left off when the season resumed in Indy last month. Since the NHRA restart, Johnson raced to a runner-up finish from the pole at Indy 1, a semifinal appearance from the No. 2 qualifying position at Indy 2, and on Saturday at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil, Johnson earned the 20th No. 1 qualifier of his career to start from the pole yet again.
Since Phoenix, Doug Chandler’s ‘giving car’ tandem of Jack Beckman and Johnson have occupied the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Funny Car championship leaderboard. Johnson has steadily crept up on Beckman’s No. 1 standing, and on Sunday, he surpassed his teammate to take over the point lead. He moved into the lead when he powered his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to low E.T. and top speed of the weekend in round one to defeat Alexis DeJoria. After a dominant round one showing, Johnson looked prime for a long day of going rounds but suffered the upset loss when his machine lost traction in round two, and his opponent, Paul Lee, was able to record the win.
“That was very surprising. I wasn’t expecting that second round. We’ve had such a flawless race car going down the track each lap and it caught me off guard when it pulled ‘em loose out there. It seemed like it was on a good run and just drove into smoke. It’s both surprising and frustrating, but you can‘t get too disappointed. You lick your wounds and move on, learn from this, and be better. We’ll figure out why and address that. To qualify No. 1 again and come out of here with the points lead is a positive.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1. Doug Kalitta – 436
2. Steve Torrence – 353
3. Leah Pruett – 347
4. Billy Torrence – 290
5. Justin Ashley – 283
6. Terry McMillen – 273
7. Antron Brown – 263
8. Clay Millican – 240
9. Shawn Langdon – 214
10. Brittany Force – 153
1. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 416
2. Jack Beckman – 403
3. Matt Hagan – 388
4. Ron Capps – 314
5. Bob Tasca III – 303
6. J.R. Todd – 292
7. Tim Wilkerson – 270
8. Alexis DeJoria – 217
9. Cruz Pedregon – 202
10. Paul Lee – 193
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 349, and DSR is looking forward to reaching the ‘350 milestone’ early in the 2020 season. 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 Nordic Boats/Revchem Composites/Hawkeye Industries dragster driven by Cory McClenathan, and the Mopar/Pennzoil/Okuma dragster driven by Leah Pruett. 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 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.
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