Johnson Qualifies No. 2 at Chicago, Leads Seven Mopar-powered Dodge Charger NHRA Funny Car Drivers into Elimination Rounds

Johnson Qualifies No. 2 at Chicago, Leads Seven Mopar-powered Dodge Charger NHRA Funny Car Drivers into Elimination Rounds

Category : MOPAR news

  • Tommy Johnson Jr. will start No. 2 at Route 66 NHRA Nationals in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
  • Five Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualify in top half of field at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago
  • Coming off back-to-back wins, Ron Capps posts his Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge third
  • Jack Beckman takes Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to fifth starting position
  • Matt Hagan moves his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat from 12th to seventh
  • Leah Pritchett will start eliminations from the eighth spot in her Mopar-powered Top Fuel dragster
  • More info on Mopar in NHRA available at http://blog.mopar.com
  • Dodge Garage, a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts, features highlights from NHRA season

June 1, 2019, Joliet Illinois – Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to the No. 2 starting spot at the 22nd Annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals near Chicago, leading a large field of seven HEMI®-fueled Dodge drivers into the elimination rounds at Route 66 Raceway on Sunday.

Johnson and his three Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge//SRT Mopar teammates earned berths in the top half of the field, as well as Dodge driver Cruz Pedregon, putting Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in five of the top eight positions.

An extended rain delay pushed the final qualifying session to an evening start, and Johnson took full advantage of the cooler temperatures and prime track conditions. After clocking a 3.933-second elapsed time (ET) to open Saturday as the only Funny Car to break into three seconds and earn the No. 3 spot, the Ottumwa, Iowa, native saved his best for last, unleashing a 3.882 ET at 326.84 mph to lock in the second position and end qualifying with a total of six bonus points.

Back-to-back NHRA event winner Ron Capps looks in strong position to keep the momentum going in his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat after earning the No. 3 spot for Sunday eliminations. Capps claimed the provisional pole on Friday with a sizzling 3.893-second elapsed time (ET) at 326.00 mph, the quickest and fastest run of the first session. He bettered that mark in his final qualifying hit with a 3.882, but it was only good enough for third in the ultra-quick final session. Capps also earned six bonus points during qualifying.

Jack Beckman banked two bonus points to open qualifying, part of a DSR Mopar Dodge 1-2-3 sweep in Q1 (Capps was No. 1, with Johnson No. 3.) The Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver and 2012 Funny Car World Champion wrapped up qualifying in fifth. Two-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan was ranked 12th after the first three qualifying rounds, but he cranked up his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the final session and uncorked a 3.936/323.97 pass to move up to No. 7.

Joining the DSR foursome in the race for the Route 66 Funny Car win tomorrow are a trio of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger pilots: Pedregon (No. 8), Paul Lee (No. 15) and Jim Campbell (No. 16).

Leah Pritchett, runner-up last year at Route 66 Raceway, placed her Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster in the top half of the field in the eighth position. The DSR star notched her spot with a 3.776/327.82 in the opening qualifying session.

Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes


Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 2, will face No. 15 Paul Lee
Friday: (3.951 seconds at 323.04 mph – Q1); (7.265/85.34 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.933/323.81 – Q3); (3.882/326.84 – Q4)

“I’m super excited about Q3. Those were conditions where nobody was getting down the track, and we set low E.T., but I’m almost more excited about tonight’s run. We’ve struggled with night qualifying and to come out here in conditions like that and go No. 2 with similar conditions to what we’ll see tomorrow was awesome. We’ve been to the final here a few times so tomorrow if we can continue to run like that, we should maybe get another one.”


Ron Capps, NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 3, will face No. 14 Bob Bode
Friday: (3.893 seconds at 326.00 mph – Q1); (3.933/324.05 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.110/250.18 – Q3); (3.882/325.33 – Q4)

“Obviously, conditions change a lot. We saw (Austin) Prock, (Robert) Hight and my teammate Tommy Johnson and John Collins make big runs. I mean, everybody’s throwing these shots out there. To sit in the car and know that you have a chance to go up there and battle for the No. 1 spot – a horse to ride to get that No. 1 spot – and to end up third, we did a great job. We’re just trying to carry on these NAPA Brakes colors; the fans are enjoying it, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Blake Alexander
Friday: (3.940 seconds at 325.92 mph – Q1); (4.013/316.75 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.714/172.81 – Q3); (3.899/331.28 – Q4)

“We came off the trailer with the second-low E.T. run after testing in Richmond, and then we ended qualifying with a 3.89 which keeps us in the top-half of the field and I think that’s most important because tomorrow’s conditions are going to be unbelievable. It should be a cool, fast race track. We actually were going to face better conditions in Sunday than on any of our qualifying runs until we got this late Saturday rain-delayed run. I love the fact that we got test data. I feel really confident about our car. We’re getting a better handle on our car, I feel like I’m driving better, we’re getting close to that first win of the year.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
Qualified No. 7, will face No. 10 Bob Tasca III
Friday: (4.004 seconds at 318.24 mph – Q1); (7.540/87.38 – Q2)
Saturday: (6.708/101.48 – Q3); (3.936/323.97 – Q4)

“We finally got our race car back that last lap. We were struggling with some power issues a little bit earlier, but we got that problem figured out. Anytime you have some issues come up, it kind of puts you a little behind the eight-ball, but honestly, the confidence I have in (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) and Mike (Knudsen), I know we’re going to have a great racecar on Sunday. It’ll be a good race against Bob Tasca. He’s got a good car over there. But, at the end of the day, I feel like we can turn the win lights on.”

Leah Pritchett, Okuma Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 8, will face No. 9 T.J Zizzo
Friday: (3.776 seconds at 327.82 mph – Q1); (6.358/104.47 – Q2)
Saturday: (6.110/114.63 – Q3); (3.785/327.82 – Q4)

“Of course, this is a hometown race for Don Schumacher, but for what everyone at DSM is doing back home in Brownsburg is just phenomenal. We’re running it loud and proud, we made it down in two out of four hits and we’re looking forward to eliminations tomorrow.”

Tune-in Info
Action from the Route 66 NHRA Nationals will air on FS1 on Sunday, June 2, with coverage scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET and the NHRA Sunday Finals broadcast kicking off at 5:30 p.m. ET. For complete information, visit www.nhra.com


About Dodge
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s mainstream performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2019, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. Its 797-horsepower supercharged HEMI® high-output engine makes it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car reaching 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.4 seconds and the fastest GT production car with a ¼-mile elapsed time (ET) of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. It also reaches a new top speed of 203 mph. Joining the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with its more powerful 717-horsepower engine, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, which features fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody and adds 3.5 inches of width to Scat Pack’s footprint, as well as and the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. Infused with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a drag-oriented, street-legal muscle car and a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer. The 2019 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with a best-in-class tow rating of 8,700 lbs. fills out the brands’ performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2019 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger — a showroom that offers performance at every price point.

About Mopar

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.