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DSR Charlotte 1 Pre-Race Report

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event No. 4 of 22
zMAX Dragway
Concord, N.C.
May 14-16, 2021

Noteworthy:

  • Antron Brown returns to zMAX following a win in Atlanta, his first of the 2021 season and second in four events
    • With 68 overall wins, Brown has his sights set on tying Kenny Bernstein’s 69 victories, which would rank him sixth on the NHRA’s all-time list
  • Brown is also eyeing another milestone in Charlotte as he seeks to become just the sixth driver in NHRA history to earn 750 round wins (currently at 749)
  • Brown occupies the No. 2 spot in the standings and is within two rounds of the Top Fuel point lead
  • The last time the NHRA competed at the zMAX Four-Wide Nationals (2019), Leah Pruett and reigning Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan raced to the final elimination quad in their respective categories
  • Hagan recorded a runner-up finish at the 2021 Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas last month; Brown and Ron Capps were semifinalists
  • Brown leads the class in most zMAX Dragway victories (five, tied with Steve Torrence) 
  • Both Brown and Capps will pilot cars decked out in special paint schemes this weekend.
    • Brown returns to the seat of Matco’s ‘Tools for the Cause’ dragster, benefitting the Fisher House Foundation for the second of three races
    • Capps returns to the track aboard the popular blue chrome Pennzoil/NAPA livery for its first of four events in 2021

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

 
ANTRON BROWN
Driver of Matco's 'Tools for the Cause' Toyota Top Fuel Dragster
Matco's Tools for the Cause to benefit the Fisher House Foundation

Charlotte 1 Event Highlights: 
  • Two-time event champion (2014, 2015) 
  • 2016 runner-up
2020 Charlotte 1 Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Charlotte 1 Recap:
Qualified second; First round exit (defeated by Scott Palmer, Dom Lagana in E1)

2021 Las Vegas Four-Wide:
Qualified eighth; Semifinal finish (defeated Justin Ashley, Bye in E1, Brittany Force, Billy Torrence in E2; defeated by Steve Torrence, Doug Kalitta in E3)

Last Event (Atlanta):
Qualified eighth; Event champion (defeated Doug Kalitta in E1, Billy Torrence in E2, Brittany Force in E3, Steve Torrence in E4)

Career Statistics:
444 races; 68 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 Qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:
  • Returns to zMAX following a win in Atlanta, his first of the 2021 season and second in four events
    • With 68 overall wins, Brown has his sights set on tying Kenny Bernstein’s 69 victories, which would rank him sixth on the NHRA’s all-time list
  • Also eyeing another milestone in Charlotte as he seeks to become just the sixth driver in NHRA history to earn 750 round wins (currently at 749)
  • Occupies the No. 2 spot in the standings and is within two rounds of the Top Fuel point lead
  • Leads the class in most zMAX Dragway victories (five, tied with Steve Torrence): 
    • Spring: 2014, 2015 
    • Fall: 2011, 2015, 2016
  • Driving a special Matco's ‘Tools for the Cause’ livery to benefit the Fisher House Foundation:
    • During the month of May, Matco will donate 15% of net sales of Tools for the Cause items to the Fisher House Foundation through the end of 2021 
    • For nearly 30 years, the Fisher House program has provided “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. These homes offer free, temporary lodging to military and veterans’ families, allowing them to be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis and focus on what’s important—the healing process 
    • Families served by Fisher House Foundation: More than 413,000 families since inception in 1990
    • There are 91 Fisher House facilities in operation 
    • Fisher House Foundation has provided over 10 million days of lodging, representing over $525 million in savings
Quotable:
“Really excited to get back out there. Vegas Four-Wide was a great race, but it felt like one that slipped away so I’m glad we get to go out to Charlotte and have another crack at it. The weather is looking like it’ll be phenomenal. I’m super pumped coming off of our win at Atlanta, and we’re looking to carry that momentum into Charlotte. First things first, we want to get ourselves qualified at the top of the ladder and then looking to take it one round at a time on race day. The Four-Wide Nationals, it’s a battle royale and you better be coming with your eyes forward, but also you’ve got to have eyes in the back of your head. Four-wide racing comes at you from every direction but our Matco Tools/Toyota/Global Electronic Technology/SiriusXM/Hangsterfer’s Top Fuel dragster is ready to go to war, and we’re ready for Charlotte.”
 
LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster

2020 Charlotte 1 Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Charlotte 1 Recap:
Qualified fifth; Semifinal finish (defeated Richie Crampton, Lex Joon in E1, Doug Kalitta, Mike Salinas in E2; defeated by Steve Torrence, Clay Millican in E3)

2021 Las Vegas Four-Wide:
Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Greg Carrillo, Cameron Ferre in E1; defeated by Steve Torrence, Doug Kalitta in E2)

Last Event (Atlanta):
Qualified sixth; First round exit (defeated by Shawn Langdon in E1)

Career Statistics:
155 races; eight wins; 12 No. 1 Qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Raced to the final elimination quad at the most recent zMAX Dragway NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (2019)
Quotable:
“Very much looking forward to the Four-Wide Nationals this weekend in Charlotte. No doubt I did not have my best performance in Atlanta, but my team is behind me, and I am behind them. Perseverance and a winning mentality will always prevail, and our Dodge machine is ready to rip the Charlotte strip. The competition is strong, but our work ethic and internal fortitude to make strong strides are what will make for a successful weekend ahead.”
 
Funny Car:

RON CAPPS
Driver of the Pennzoil Synthetics/NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat


Charlotte 1 Event Highlights: 
  • 2017 event champion 
  • 2014 No. 1 qualifier
2020 Charlotte 1 Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Charlotte 1 Recap:
Qualified 10th; First round exit (defeated by Jack Beckman, Tim Wilkerson in E1)

2021 Las Vegas Four-Wide:
Qualified fourth; Semifinal finish (defeated Bobby Bode, Jim Campbell in E1, Robert Hight, J.R. Todd in E2; defeated by Bob Tasca III, Matt Hagan in E3)

Last Event (Atlanta):
Qualified fifth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jim Campbell in E1; defeated by John Force in E2)

Career Statistics:
569 races; 66 wins (one Top Fuel); 26 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Returns to the track aboard the popular blue chrome Pennzoil/NAPA livery for its first of four events in 2021
Quotable:
“Looking forward to going back to zMAX and having another chance at a four-wide trophy in this 2021 season. zMAX is a great facility with such a great fanbase, and we’re excited to run the blue chrome Pennzoil/NAPA car for the first time this season. The first time we brought it out, it was so popular with the fans, and I can’t wait to put it in the winner’s circle. I couldn’t think of a better time to do that than this weekend. We’ve been so close to a win at these first three races. John Medlen and Guido (Dean Antonelli) and the NAPA AutoCare team have been flawless, we’ve just lost a couple of close races. The wins are coming, and hopefully, our first one will be this weekend at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals with our Pennzoil chrome car.”


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Charlotte 1 Event Highlights: 
  • 2013 event champion 
2020 Charlotte 1 Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Charlotte 1 Recap:
Qualified sixth; Semifinal finish (defeated Cruz Pedregon, Jonnie Lindberg in E1, Tim Wilkerson, Jack Beckman in E2; defeated by Shawn Langdon, Robert Hight in E3)

2021 Las Vegas Four-Wide:
Qualified seventh; Event runner-up (defeated Blake Alexander, Chris Morel in E1, John Force, Alexis DeJoria in E2; defeated by Bob Tasca III in E3)

Last Event (Atlanta):
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Robert Hight in E1, Tim Wilkerson in E2; defeated by Bob Tasca III in E3)

Career Statistics:
278 races; 36 wins; 40 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Raced to the final elimination quad at the most recent zMAX Dragway NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (2019)
  • Recorded a runner-up finish at the 2021 Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas last month
Quotable:
“Coming off of a semifinal finish in Atlanta against Bob Tasca once again. It seems like he’s just really had our number so far this year, but that’ll come to an end soon. My crew chief Dickie Venables does such a great job and we’re going to push harder, run stronger, and I’m going to get after it even more on the tree. We have a lot of racing ahead of us and you lose more than you win. We typically win four to five races a year, and I’d like to get our average up to between six and eight. We’re very capable, and that’s a very doable goal with our team.

“The Charlotte race is pretty close to home for me, only about two hours away, so people have been hitting me up for tickets like crazy. It’s time for us to put this Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye in the winner’s circle, so might as well do it in Charlotte when I have my friends and family that will be out there at the track cheering us on. I’m looking forward to this weekend. The car has been running well, my lights have been really good, it’s just a matter of time. We have been losing by very small margins, and that’ll change soon, so I think our first win will be very soon, if not this weekend.”

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