DSR Dodge Nationals Qualifying Report

DSR Reading Saturday Highlights:

  • The entire DSR Top Fuel contingent will start race one of the Countdown to the Championship from the top half of the field
  • Funny Car pilots Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. will have the advantage of a top half start on Sunday
  • DSR Dodges led Funny Car Q4 with Johnson, Beckman and Capps making the three best runs of the round, respectively
  • Schumacher and Capps made clean runs during all four qualifying sessions 

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 11 Brittany Force

The Results: 
Q1: 3.779 E.T. at 325.37 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: 7.010 E.T. at 98.92 MPH
Q3: 3.767 E.T. at 328.22 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.791 E.T. at 326.71 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

“It’s game on. Tomorrow the sun’s going to be out. We were trying to run good in that last qualifying pass. We wanted to move up into the top three and we were confident that we were going to do that. The thing about it is that we still ran 3.79 with a minor little mishap we had. We made three good qualifying runs and one we were just too aggressive. We are sitting in a good spot. We just have to take advantage of it tomorrow. We have lane choice and we just have to get through that round. We are going to give it everything we’ve got. At some point you are going to have to race everybody out there. It’s going to be a fun day tomorrow and we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re prepared for it. And we’re ready to get after this Countdown for the Championship.”

Driver of the Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Audrey Worm

The Results:
Q1: 6.696 E.T. at 100.11 MPH
Q2: 3.758 E.T. at 312.50 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.799 E.T. at 325.45 MPH
Q4: 3.799 E.T. at 308.50 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

“I feel like the Countdown is Christmas and whoever can feel like it’s Christmas the longest is going to be the champion. We get excited about going fast and we pushed super hard in Q4. Our plan was to merge Q1 and Q2 and it stuck for a little while until we had some issues at the top end. Those are the things that challenge us, and we look forward to. Starting Sunday off in the third position is incredible. That’s what we want. It gives us lane choice and the ability to concentrate on one round at a time. A lot of people want to put added pressure on these Countdown races. I think that consistency is going to be the biggest component and we’ve shown that we have that throughout qualifying this weekend.”

Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 15 Dan Mercier

The Results:
Q1: 3.806 E.T. at 324.98 MPH
Q2: 3.776 E.T. at 329.67 MPH
Q3: 3.792 E.T. at 328.94 MPH
Q4: 3.754 E.T. at 328.86 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Two

“We have a great U.S. Army car and just closed qualifying with a great run. We’ve been gun-shy and finally it was time. In that last run we had the opportunity we needed. The conditions were good. We already knew how to make an average run, but we needed to make a fast one. We made a lot of changes and the car was extremely fast. I give a lot of credit to (crew chief) Mike (Neff) and (assistant crew chief) Phil (Shuler) and all the U.S. Army guys. They never gave up and continued to work. I’m so happy to be here in Reading. This is a great place to start the Countdown. We want to win this race tomorrow. To win a championship, you have to win races and we have a great opportunity tomorrow.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Cruz Pedregon

The Results:
Q1: 3.954 E.T. at 322.88 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.993 E.T. at 284.51 MPH
Q3: No Time; Broke 
Q4: 3.939 E.T. at 328.22 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Five

“We did exactly what we had to do. In Q3, we towed up, fired up the car and it spit an O-ring out in the fuel line; we had a leak and had to shut it off. I cannot remember ever not making a qualifying run except for in New Hampshire in 2016 when we blew the car up so bad it made every highlight reel. We just don’t skip qualifying sessions. And then you get not only one run behind, but you can’t try stuff, so it really kind of painted us into the corner. The guys did a phenomenal job getting our Infinite Hero Dodge back on track. Not only did we move way up to fourth, we were second quickest of the session, we got two more bonus points and we’ve got a car that can win the race tomorrow.”

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Jonnie Lindberg

The Results: 
Q1: 3.996 E.T. at 302.96 MPH
Q2: 3.948 E.T. at 326.56 MPH
Q3: 3.972 E.T. at 323.89 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.942 E.T. at 321.19 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Three

“This is definitely NHRA Countdown fever. Going into that last session, hearing (announcer Alan) Reinhart on the PA talking about every time a pair of cars went down the track how it would be big, big names matched up first round tomorrow, and it kept moving every time someone would step up. Right before we started the car, I heard them say there was a chance we were running Robert Hight first round, and that tells you how competitive Funny Car is right now. You’d be a damn fool to try and pick a name out of the ladder and think you’d rather run them than someone else because that’s when it bites you. I’m a huge Jonnie Lindberg fan, love the kid. Jim Head is such a good racer. Those guys have got all of the good parts and they can run as good as anybody on the grounds, so you don’t overlook anyone. I’m just happy we made three-second runs during all four qualifying sessions. That’s classic (crew chief) Rahn Tobler. The hair on my neck is standing up right now just thinking about the first race day of the Countdown, and what it means, and what kind of matchups we’re going to see tomorrow. Anybody in the pit area that’s telling you they’re not already counting points is lying because every single point counts and every round will be big. I’ve been waiting for this since January.”

Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 10

The Competition: No. 7 John Force

The Results: 
Q1: 8.756 E.T. at 77.86 MPH
Q2: 3.960 E.T. at 321.12 MPH
Q3: 4.556 E.T. at 189.52 MPH
Q4: 4.973 E.T. at 154.23 MPH

“Tomorrow’s race day, it’s the Countdown, anything can happen. Got a good team behind us, working hard, and we’re going to put this Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the winner’s circle.”

Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T 
Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Jim Campbell

The Results:
Q1: 8.590 E.T. at 83.07 MPH
Q2: 3.939 E.T. at 326.00 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 5.225 E.T. at 134.51 MPH
Q4: 3.921 E.T. at 324.90 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Four

“I tell you what, you try and come out and finish strong, you kind of sacrifice a little in the middle and test and figure things out. The guys did a great job, we haven’t run like we should have all season, but we’re running like we should be when it counts.”

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