Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals
Event No. 6
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
September 4-6, 2020
DSR Elimination Highlights:
- Fresh off the heels of achieving NHRA national event win No. 350 on Saturday evening, Don Schumacher Racing continued its triumphant streak on Sunday when Jack Beckman raced to victory to deliver the ninth consecutive Funny Car Wally trophy for drag racing’s winningest organization.
- Beckman is a two-time winner and four-time finalist in 2020, and moved back into the Funny Car point lead
- DSR campaigned entries in three categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Factory Stock Showdown – and had a contender compete in the final round of each of the three classes
- Leah Pruett led the DSR Top Fuel brigade by driving the Dodge Hellcat Redeye dragster to a runner-up finish and moved into second in the Top Fuel point standings
- No. 2 Factory Stock qualifier Mark Pawuk advanced to the final round, and made sub-eight second passes in each of the five elimination rounds
- DSR maintained its stronghold on the Funny Car category with three Dodge Hellcats occupying the 1-2-3 spots
- Jack Beckman Extends DSR’s Funny Car Win Streak to Nine-in-a-Row
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Riley Kids Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 1 (3.878 E.T. at 326.40 MPH)
E1: 4.011 E.T. at 276.58 MPH defeated by Dale Creasy 4.009 E.T. at 315.64 MPH
As has been a U.S. Nationals tradition since 2014, Avon, Ind. resident Tommy Johnson Jr. was once again behind the wheel of the special Riley Kids Funny Car, helping to raise awareness for DSR’s local children’s hospital at drag racing’s premier event. Johnson put the Riley Kids car prominently in the spotlight by powering his machine to low E.T. of both of Saturday’s qualifying sessions to start race day from the No. 1 spot for the third time in the last four events.
Johnson faced Dale Creasy Jr. in round one of eliminations and was even with his opponent leaving the starting line but the Riley Kids car quit near the top end, and Creasy was able to pull ahead to claim the upset win.
“That was a heartbreaking loss for this team and Riley Hospital for Children. We’ve had such a great weekend in qualifying and a great performing car. You can’t predict parts failure and something happened late in the run. The car was on a really good run. It was going to be a nice, solid pass in the first round to take the win and move on. Something happened on the top end of the track and we’re still trying to figure out what it was. It was so late in the run I was ready to reach over for the parachute levers and then it just broke loose. It’s heartbreaking, but the year’s not over yet. We just have to move on to the next one in Florida in three weeks. We have a solid race car. If we can get some luck to go our way, we’ll be good.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1. Doug Kalitta – 492
2. Leah Pruett – 442
3. Steve Torrence – 432
4. Justin Ashley – 370
5. Billy Torrence – 331
6. Shawn Langdon – 330
7. Antron Brown – 316
8. Terry McMillen – 305
9. Clay Millican – 279
10. T.J. Zizzo – 179
1. Jack Beckman – 517
2. Matt Hagan – 482
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. – 460
4. J.R. Todd – 387
5. Ron Capps – 376
6. Bob Tasca III – 355
7. Tim Wilkerson – 348
8. Alexis DeJoria – 241
9. Cruz Pedregon – 234
10. Paul Lee – 225
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 351, 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 eight 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, 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/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.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at Shoeracing.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.