DSR NHRA Gatornationals Post-Race Recap

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NHRA Gatornationals
Event No. 7
Gainesville Raceway
September 26-27, 2020

DSR Elimination Highlights:

  • Ron Capps wins the NHRA Gatornationals and delivers the 10th consecutive Funny Car victory for Don Schumacher Racing
  • All four DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat pilots have claimed at least one victory throughout the first seven races of 2020
  • The only other time in the series’ history that a team swept 10 consecutive race wins in a single category was during the 2017 season when the same lineup of current DSR Dodge drivers contributed to that streak
  • Capps’ victory advanced him to fourth in the Funny Car point standings, with DSR
  • Dodge drivers occupying the top four spots on the leaderboard
  • In Top Fuel, Leah Pruett raced to a semifinal finish, marking the fourth consecutive time that she has advanced to the semifinals or better
  • Pruett is ranked third in the Top Fuel standings, and is within two rounds of the current point leader
  • Mark Pawuk led the DSR Dodge Drag Pak tandem by racing to the quarterfinals


Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 10 (4.129 E.T. at 249.44 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.962 E.T. at 320.66 MPH defeated J.R. Todd 4.006 E.T. at 321.58 MPH
E2: 3.957 E.T. at 318.84 MPH defeated by Tim Wilkerson 3.949 E.T. at 325.22 MPH

Race Recap:
Sunday at the Gatornationals marked the late Terry Chandler’s birthday, and Tommy Johnson Jr. was hoping to deliver his second win of the season for the Chandler family on this special day. Johnson’s campaign for a first Gainesville trophy got off to a strong start when he defeated J.R. Todd in the opening session of eliminations. Johnson used a stout reaction time coupled with a solid 3.962-second pass to get the upset win over his higher qualified opponent. In the quarterfinals, Johnson lined up opposite Tim Wilkerson. The veteran drivers were nearly even leaving the starting line, and both made solid, clean passes. Johnson piloted the MD Anderson Dodge to a 3.957 E.T. but it wasn’t quite enough to outrun Wilkerson’s 3.949.

Johnson, who has one win, a runner-up, and three No. 1 qualifiers in the first six races of the season, arrived in Gainesville, Fla. ranked third in the championship standings. He maintains his position heading to St. Louis later this week.

“We probably would have won most races that round (E2), we just ran the wrong guy in (Tim) Wilkerson. That’s a good car and it was a close race and we came up a little bit short. It will be a whole different race next weekend with the weather conditions. This MD Anderson car is on track. We struggled in qualifying and (crew chiefs) John (Collins) and Rip (Reynolds) got things back on track during eliminations today and we’ll see if we can’t continue that next weekend at St. Louis and gain some momentum in the points.”

NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence – 548
2. Doug Kalitta – 526
3. Leah Pruett – 515
4. Billy Torrence – 433
5. Justin Ashley – 402
6. Shawn Langdon – 383
7. Terry McMillen – 377
8. Antron Brown – 373
9. Clay Millican – 337
10. Doug Foley – 216

Funny Car
1. Jack Beckman – 569
2. Matt Hagan – 565
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 512
4. Ron Capps – 486
5. Tim Wilkerson – 448
6. Bob Tasca III – 434
7. J.R. Todd – 420
8. Alexis DeJoria – 296
9. Cruz Pedregon – 266
10. Paul Lee – 258

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 352, 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.

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