NHRA Dallas Pre-Race Report

NHRA Dallas Pre-Race Report
2020 Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil

AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals
Event No. 9
Texas Motorplex
Ennis, Texas
October 16-18, 2020

Highlights:

  • Austin, Texas resident Tony Schumacher was recently named a Texas Motorplex Legend, and will be recognized for his accomplishments during the opening ceremonies of the 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals on Sunday morning
    • With six Texas Motorplex triumphs, Schumacher is the winningest Top Fuel driver in the history of the facility. Schumacher claimed his first NHRA national event win in 1999 at Dallas and went on to win his first of eight championships that year
    • Schumacher is the second recipient of the award. Schumacher’s teammate Cory McClenathan, who recently returned to race with DSR for a four-event summer stint, was the first to receive the Texas Motorplex honors in 2019
  • DSR will be looking to secure its 12th consecutive Funny Car victory this weekend. The undefeated streak first began an entire year ago, dating back to the 2019 Dallas event when Matt Hagan raced to the FallNationals winner’s circle
    • Each of DSR’s four Funny Car pilots have contributed at least two Wally trophies to the string of 11 wins. DSR previously set the consecutive win record in a single class at 10 races during the 2017 season with the same driver lineup
  • In addition to keeping the win streak alive, the DSR Funny Car contingent will also be battling it out for the point lead. Currently, Hagan occupies the No. 1 spot, with Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps rounding out the top four, respectively
    • 34 points (less than two elimination rounds) separate Hagan, Beckman and Johnson
    • In the first eight races of the season, DSR drivers have gone head-to-head four times in the final round
  • Johnson enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour, and will be looking to pick up his third win of 2020 and first at Texas Motorplex
  • In Top Fuel, Leah Pruett leads the DSR dragster trio. Pruett currently sits third in the championship standings
  • For the fifth time this season, Pruett will have the opportunity to bring home two trophies as she will pull double-duty by competing in both Top Fuel and the Factory Stock Showdown Series alongside her teammate and St. Louis No. 1 qualifier, Mark Pawuk
    • Pawuk occupies the No. 2 spot in the FSS championship rankings

TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Dallas Event Highlights:

  • 1999 runner-up
  • 2018 No. 1 qualifier

2019 Dallas Recap:
Qualified ninth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Paul Lee in E1; defeated by John Force in E2)

Last Event (St. Louis):
Qualified eighth; Event champion (defeated Terry Haddock in E1, Paul Lee in E2, Jack Beckman in E3, Matt Hagan in E4)

2020 Season Statistics:
Two event wins; 16 round wins; ranked third in points

Career Statistics:
477 races; 20 wins (two Top Fuel); 21 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:

  • Johnson enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour, and will be looking to pick up his third win of 2020 and first at Texas Motorplex
  • Johnson currently sits 34 points out of first

Quotable:
“Looking forward to Dallas, especially with the momentum coming off of the win at our last race in St. Louis. It’s getting down to crunch time, only three races left.

“Texas Motorplex is such a historic track. I’ve been going there for years, and there are quite a few sentimental memories there. This year, with the limited NHRA schedule, we weren’t sure what would end up back on our schedule, but I’m certainly happy we’re able to go to the Motorplex, the original all-concrete track. The conditions should be good for everybody. It’ll be interesting, we’ve had extreme heat followed by extreme cold at the last two races, so maybe we’ll meet somewhere in the middle this weekend. Our MD Anderson team needs to go rounds and we would love nothing more than to win it this weekend; that would help our cause a lot. Not only are we battling everyone else for the race win, but we’re battling our teammates for the points. It’s going to come down to the wire, but I’m looking forward to building off of the momentum we’ve got.”


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 353, 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.

Read original DSR release here