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DSR Brainerd Pre-Race Report

NHRA Brainerd Nationals
Event 12 of 20
Brainerd International Raceway
Brainerd, Minn. 
Aug. 20 - 22, 2021

Noteworthy:

  • All DSR Camping World Series competitors are currently ranked in the ‘top five’ heading into Brainerd, Minn., the penultimate event of NHRA’s ‘regular season,’ and all four will be jockeying to continue to improve their standings before Countdown positions are set at the conclusion of the next event, the U.S. Nationals
    • Both Antron Brown and Ron Capps have officially clinched a berth in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship. Brown is currently ranked third in the Top Fuel standings, and Capps occupies the second position on the Funny Car leaderboard; Leah Pruett (4th) and Matt Hagan (5th, tied) will be looking to join their teammates and officially clinch their Countdown berths this weekend
  • Pruett and Capps return as the defending event champions, having ‘doubled-up’ for DSR the last time the NHRA competed at BIR (2019)
  • Brown has been victorious in both the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories in Brainerd
  • Hagan recorded the first 3.8 second Funny Car pass during the 2015 Brainerd event (3.879 seconds)
DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel E.T.: 3.640 seconds, Leah Pruett (2017)
DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

 
ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Brainerd Event Highlights: 
  • Five-time event champion 
    • Top Fuel (2011)  
    • Pro Stock Motorcycle (2000, 2001, 2003, 2006)  
  • Four-time runner-up (2012, 2016-2018)  
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier
    • Top Fuel (2014, 2016)  
    • Pro Stock Motorcycle (2001, 2004) 
2020 Brainerd Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Brainerd Recap:
Qualified 12th; First round exit (defeated by Billy Torrence in E1)

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

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

Noteworthy:
  • Brown has been victorious in both the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories in Brainerd
Quotable:
“I’ve always enjoyed going out to Brainerd. It’s a great facility, and the fans out there are like no other. They really get you pumped up and motivated, and they’re always waiting for you at the end of the race track cheering you on when you pull up to the scales. Plus, it’s always fun to enjoy some time out at ‘The Zoo.’ I have a lot of wins at Brainerd, and we’re just looking to get back on track this weekend. The weather is looking good and we’re getting geared up for Indy. Brainerd is that last event where you’ve really got to get it together before going to Indy. We’re looking forward to the challenge, and getting after it again.”  


LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster

Brainerd Event Highlights: 
  • Two-time event champion (2017, 2019) 
  • 2017 No. 1 qualifier 
2020 Brainerd Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Brainerd Recap:
Qualified fourth; Event champion (defeated Kyle Wurtzel in E1, Billy Torrence in E2, Austin Prock in E3, Mike Salinas in E4)

Last Event (Topeka):
Qualified 11th; First round exit (defeated by Steve Torrence in E1)

Career Statistics:
163 races; nine wins; 12 No. 1 Qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Returns as the defending Top Fuel event champion, having raced to victory at the most recent NHRA Brainerd event in 2019
  • Pruett is on track to officially clinch a Countdown berth this weekend 
  • Owns the BIR track E.T. record (3.640 seconds), achieved in 2017 
Quotable:
“I feel Brainerd will bring out the beast and the best in everyone. What I mean by that is, we’ve all been fighting high temps and controlling our cars on the hot surfaces for a number of recent races, where Brainerd, which may be cooler, will bring its own heat in the form of what teams can go back to as far as making and applying more power, as the cooler forecast predicts. That is something our team is known to do in the past, and what we are looking forward to most. Although our early exit in Topeka in a close drag race was not ideal, it does not take away the momentum this team has, or the validation that what we are doing is in the right direction. Our biggest driver heading into Brainerd is knowing where we have room for improvement, and I can’t wait to prove that on the track for this Mopar team.” 


Funny Car:

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


Brainerd Event Highlights: 
  • Six-time event champion (1998, 2001, 2012-2014, 2019)  
  • Three-time runner-up (1997, 2009, 2011)  
  • 2000 No. 1 qualifier  
2020 Brainerd Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Brainerd Recap:
Qualified seventh; Event champion (defeated J.R. Todd in E1, Jack Beckman in E2, Shawn Langdon in E3, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E4)

Last Event (Topeka):
Qualified ninth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Chad Green in E1; defeated by J.R. Todd in E2)

Career Statistics:
577 races; 67 wins (one Top Fuel); 29 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Returns as the defending Funny Car event champion, having raced to victory at the most recent NHRA Brainerd event in 2019
Quotable:
“This is always a great time of year, especially for our NAPA team. What the local NAPA group does in the Brainerd area leading up to and during the race weekend has always been pretty extraordinary. We have a fishing outing on Thursday every year leading into the race which is always a great time, and I’m excited to be able to share that with my new teammates this year. It’s always fun to be able to spend time away from the track as a team.
 
“Once again, it’s looking like it’ll be a fantastic weekend, weather-wise; it’s going to be fast. Brainerd has been so good to me over the years, and the fans there are awesome. We’ve had this one circled on the calendar for quite some time, and I’m really excited to get back up there. We’ve got two races left in the regular season before we start the Countdown to the Championship, and I’m so happy to see Brainerd back on the schedule.”


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Brainerd Event Highlights:
  • Two-time runner-up (2013, 2016)  
  • Three-time No. 1 qualifier (2011, 2016, 2019) 
2020 Brainerd Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Brainerd Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Semifinal finish (defeated Dale Creasy Jr. in E1, Bob Tasca in E2; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E3)

Last Event (Topeka):
Qualified fourth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jack Wyatt in E1; defeated by Blake Alexander in E2)

Career Statistics:
286 races; 37 wins; 42 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Hagan is on track to officially clinch a Countdown berth this weekend 
  • Recorded the first 3.8 second Funny Car pass during the 2015 Brainerd event (3.879 seconds)
Quotable:
“I always enjoy going to Brainerd. It’s a great facility, with a great track. I’ve never won there, but I have set a few world records there over the years. We have a bunch of races in a row coming up with the Countdown starting soon, and I’m looking forward to getting into that rhythm. I feel confident in (crew chief) Dickie Venables, and what he’s doing, and the changes he’s making. The car is responding to what we’re doing. We had a random fluke thing bite us in round two at Topeka that cost us the race, which as much of a bummer as that was, it’s good to know that it wasn’t a tune-up issue, or something I’m doing wrong in the car. We push these parts and pieces to the extreme and sometimes that happens, and it’s an easy fix. I feel confident moving into Brainerd, and putting on win lights and driving this Mopar Dodge Hellcat into the winner’s circle.”

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