Event 1 of 24 (Pomona I)
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
February 8-10, 2019
- Matt Hagan returns as the two-time defending event champion
- In 2018, became the first driver to win the season-opener from the No. 1 seed for two consecutive years since Don Prudhomme in 1976/1977
- Looks to become only the fourth Funny Car pilot to win three consecutive Winternational events
- The 2019 NHRA season marks Ron Capps’ 25th year as a professional NHRA Drag Racer, and 15th season with Don Schumacher Racing
- Antron Brown earned his first No. 1 qualifier in the Top Fuel category at the 2008 Pomona I event
- Jack Beckman, Capps and Leah Pritchett consider Pomona to be a hometown track. Beckman resides in Norco; Capps resides in Carlsbad; Pritchett grew up in nearby Redlands
- Team patriarch Don Schumacher won the 1973 event in the Funny Car category
DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.822 seconds, Matt Hagan, (Pomona I 2017)
Funny Car, speed: 336.32 mph, Matt Hagan (Pomona I 2018)
DSR Driver Information:
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Pomona I Event Highlights:
- 2005 event champion
- 2001 No. 1 qualifier
2018 Pomona I Recap:
Qualified ninth; First round exit (defeated by Cruz Pedregon in E1)
446 races; 17 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)
- Returns to Pomona as the most recent Funny Car event runner-up (NHRA Finals, Nov. 2018)
“I really didn’t have much of an off-season. I was extremely busy the entire time. My wife Amy and I own a candle business, and that kept us busy for the Christmas season, and then we were married December 29th. After a honeymoon to Australia it was time to go again. I feel like I just left Pomona, so hopefully we can pick right back up where we left off.
“As far as our car goes, we didn’t change a whole lot; we front-halved our chassis and upgraded to a new Dodge Charger [SRT] Hellcat body and that’s pretty much it. Our car ran so well last season that we didn’t want to change too much. I definitely want to start the Countdown higher and the ultimate goal is to win it. I’ve been third three times, been second and sixth in the past five NHRA seasons, so only place I want to be now is number one. I think we’ll be looking very good for 2019, and I’m ready to kick things off on a high note at Pomona.”
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.