DSR Brainerd Saturday Qualifying Report

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

DSR Qualifying Highlights:

  • 2020 Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan and defending Brainerd Nationals event champion Ron Capps both qualified their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcats in the top half of the Funny Car field on Saturday
  • Hagan posted the second-quickest run of Q2 to earn two bonus points and secure the No. 4 starting position
  • Capps will start from the top half of the field for the 11th time in 12 races
  • Antron Brown was third-quickest of Top Fuel Q2 and will start race day from sixth with the advantage of lane choice
  • Defending Top Fuel event champ Leah Pruett qualified eighth on the strength of her Q1 pass which was second-best of the session, and set up a Pomona final round rematch versus Justin Ashley in round one on Sunday morning

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice) 

The Competition: No. 7 Shawn Langdon

The Results: 
Q1: 3.912 E.T. at 283.61 MPH
Q2: 3.766 E.T. at 324.59 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.752 E.T. at 328.22 MPH

Bonus Points: One

“It was a good day today here at Brainerd. We’ve been working on so many things, and we’re looking at turning that corner. We’re real pumped up for race day with the way this Matco Tools dragster ran today. We’ll have a real tough Toyota matchup with Shawn Langdon, again. We always look forward to racing the best. We’ll do what we do and stay focused and go out there, and our car is looking very sporty this weekend. We had two consistent runs today and the track here at Brainerd is very, very good. We’re looking forward to picking up the performance just a bit. We’ll need it against Langdon. I’m very pleased with the team. We’re learning and getting prepared for the Countdown to the Championship.”


Driver of the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 8

The Competition: No. 5 Justin Ashley

The Results: 
Q1: 3.789 E.T. at 319.90 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest of the session)
Q2: 5.607 E.T. at 121.17 MPH
Q3: Broke; No Time

Bonus Points: Two

“It kind of feels a bit like Groundhog Day because once again we face Justin Ashley. We’ve been running into him a lot lately, it seems, whether it's first round or the final round or whatnot. But ultimately, what’s most important to us right now is getting in race-ready condition. We were putting the coals to it that last round, shooting for a high 3.60 run, and unfortunately, we had a massive issue which expired our run at the hit of the throttle. We’ve since found the issue, resolved the issue, and we’ll be back in performance-shape tomorrow. Coming off the trailer on Friday with that 3.78 gave us the baseline that we were looking for, so we will revert back to that, along with our cooler condition data for tomorrow. We’re ready to defend our 2019 Brainerd race win.”


Funny Car:
Driver of the Pennzoil Synthetics/NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 7 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 10 John Force

The Results:
Q1: 4.385 E.T. at 202.15 MPH
Q2: 3.922 E.T. at 325.22 MPH
Q3: 3.933 E.T. at 327.51 MPH

“You talk about coming down to the wire in the regular season, and we made some great runs today. I know Guido (Dean Antonelli) wanted more and we were shooting for the pole on that last lap and the car didn’t run what we wanted it to. It was a good lap, but we were shooting for a 3.86. Then we get into the Sunday matchups and it’s murderers’ row once again. We have John Force, who won last weekend at Topeka (Kan.), first round and we’re battling them and others for the Camping World point lead going into Indy in two weeks. You don’t ever want to race Force unless it’s the final round, but that’s who this NAPA team with Pennzoil has. I am going to quadruple-bulb Force tomorrow (laughing), I’m going to have NHRA put the four-wide tree up there and catch him by surprise when I turn three out of the four on, and I hope he’s ready. But kidding aside, you can’t play games with the guy who invented them.
“There’s a ton of implications in points and we’re just going to keep doing what we do, and that is focus on the round in front of us. It sounds cliché, I know. We’re excited to fly these Pennzoil colors again this weekend. We only get to run it one more time in Vegas in the fall and we have a great opportunity to put the blue chrome car in the winner’s circle tomorrow here at Brainerd, one of my favorite tracks.”

Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Dale Creasy Jr.

The Results:
Q1: 4.173 E.T. at 237.67 MPH
Q2: 3.891 E.T. at 328.06 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.938 E.T. at 313.73 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

“We have a great track up here in the North in Brainerd, and there’s piles of people out here watching us and that’s great. Dickie Venables has a really good handle on the race car and this race track, and he’s making good adjustments for us to improve and do better. We just went 3.93 on the last lap with a chute out at 400-feet. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, it may have been low E.T. that round, but it didn’t happen. At the end of the day, it’s much better it happened today than tomorrow, and I feel very confident going into first round. There are some really big heavy-hitter matchups and it’s going to be fun to see how all this plays out. We have Dale Creasy and he’s a great dude. It’s going to warm up and we need to go down the track. We’re going to race and turn some win lights on.”

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