St. Louis Pre-Race Report

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AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals
Event 20 of 24 (St. Louis)
Countdown Event 2 of 6
World Wide Technology Raceway
Madison, Ill.
Sept. 27-29, 2019


  • Jack Beckman enters the weekend as the Funny Car points leader after racing to victory at the previous event (Reading)
  • Antron Brown leads the pro classes as the winningest driver in St. Louis history having captured the crown five times: 2009, 2012 – 2015
  • Ron Capps leads the Funny Car class in most wins (four) at World Wide Technology Raceway: 1997, 2005, 2007, 2017
  • Capps’ first Funny Car event win occurred at the 1997 race
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. secured his first Funny Car No. 1 qualifier at St. Louis in 1999
  • Leah Pritchett and Mark Pawuk return to Factory Stock Showdown Series competition
  • Pritchett returns as the defending FS/XX event champion; Pawuk was the 2018 FS/XX No. 1 qualifier

    DSR-Owned Track Records:
    Top Fuel, speed: 332.75 mph, Leah Pritchett (2017)

DSR Driver Information:
Funny Car:

Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Countdown to the Championship standing: 5th

St. Louis Event Highlights:

  • Two-time runner-up (2001, 2016)
  • 1999 No. 1 qualifier
    2018 St. Louis Recap:
    Qualified fourth; Semifinal finish (defeated Del Worsham in E1, Bob Tasca III in E2; defeated by Robert Hight in E3)

Last Event (Reading):
Qualified seventh; First round exit (defeated by J.R. Todd in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
29 round wins; ranked fifth in points

Career Statistics:
465 races; 19 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)


  • Secured his first Funny Car No. 1 qualifier at St. Louis in 1999
  • Johnson’s father captured his sole national event win at St. Louis in 1976 while competing in the Modified Eliminator category

“St. Louis is a special race to me because my dad won that race in 1976 and it was his only national event win. I’ve never won it, but have been runner-up a few times. Warmer weather is in the forecast for this weekend, and I think that’ll be an advantage to our team, we seem to run better in the heat.

“We didn’t start the Countdown the way wanted; we’re in a little bit of a hole. You can’t have a bad race in the Countdown, and we’ve had one, so that means we need to have five exceptional races. It’s important that we go to St. Louis and do really well. To have any shot at the championship, I think we need to go to at least to the semis, probably finals, and get some points. We’ve had two bad races in a row, and before that, we hadn’t had two bad races all season, so I expect big things from our Make-A-Wish team this weekend.”

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 335 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, on Twitter and Instagram at @shoeracing and