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DSR Houston Qualifying Report

Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals
Presented by Pennzoil

Event No. 5 of 21
Houston Raceway Park
Baytown, Texas
May 21-23, 2021


Note:
Friday qualifying was canceled due to persistent rain. On Saturday, after only four pairs of Funny Cars motored down the track during Q2, Mother Nature unleashed with more rain, forcing NHRA to cancel the remainder of qualifying. Any Funny Car driver who hadn’t yet run during Q2 had their Q1 times carry over. Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown Series fields have been set based on one session.

DSR Qualifying Highlights:

  • All DSR nitro pilots will start race day from the top half of the field, and all will have the advantage of lane choice.
  • Ron Capps is the only DSR driver that had the opportunity to make two runs over the course of the weekend. All other DSR teams will start race day having made only one run on the Houston Raceway Park track.
  • Leah Pruett was second-quickest of Top Fuel Q1, and Antron Brown was third-best. In Funny Car, Matt Hagan was third-quickest of Q1.
  • Both Pruett (Top Fuel) and Capps are carrying qualifying streaks that have allowed them to start from the quick-half of the field at each of the first five events of the 2021 NHRA season

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
 
Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Lee Callaway

The Results: 
Q1: 3.749 E.T. at 325.22 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: One

Quotable:
“We’re excited for race day. We really wanted another shot at this track here at Houston given that we only had one qualifying run. It’s always good to get at least two runs in and to run in both lanes. We’ve had a great race car all year long. I’m super pumped and proud of all my Matco guys. They’re working extremely hard and it’s showing on the race track. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to be overcast and cloudy and the track here at Houston is really, really good. We will take it one round at a time. We start from the No. 3 spot, so tomorrow we want a long day late into the afternoon.”
 


LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster

 
Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Justin Ashley

The Results: 
Q1: 3.733 E.T. at 312.86 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Two

Quotable:
“Our first hit out of the box was great, instead of like before where we had so many gremlins attacking our Mopar/Dodge/Pennzoil team. It’s been random mechanical errors and we have been focused on getting rid of those. We want great, shiny, fast E.T. slips, and today, we got that. Was it perfect? No. Perfect would have qualified us No. 1. We did have a cylinder go out and if we were to have gotten another run, that’s what we would have worked on. We’re very happy with that No. 2 position and we’re looking forward to a great race day. We can’t thank the NHRA and Houston Raceway Park staff enough for providing us with a great track surface that was well-prepped and safe.”

 


Funny Car:
RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Paul Lee

The Results:
Q1: 7.844 E.T. at 89.36 MPH
Q2: 3.941 E.T. at 315.42 MPH

Quotable:
“There are so many moving parts just to get up to the starting line for a run. Seth Angel, everyone at Houston Raceway Park, the NHRA, I feel so bad for them. They do so much for our sport, and then it rains all week. I feel terrible. Fantastic job by Josh (Peterson) and everyone at NHRA by moving the session up to get at least one full round in. We all tried to get the word out via social media to our fans and many at the track said they saw our posts on social media.
 
“The first run, the car shook pretty good, but not super hard. It shook for a long time and so I kind of let it go. With 16 cars on the property, there was no need to pedal it and risk something bad happening. Guido (Dean Antonelli), John Medlen and I, we all got together and they made a great call to go back up there first pair out, and it just started to quiver like it did the run before, and just as I was thinking I might need to pedal, it cleared up and launched me to the back of that Charger. A great run by the NAPA guys, and we’ll definitely sleep a lot better tonight after making a good run in Q2. Hopefully, we’re in for a long day tomorrow.”
 


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 11 Chad Green

The Results:
Q1: 3.961 E.T. at 324.12 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: One

Quotable:
“We had a pretty good qualifying outing. We went out there and were able to throw down a nice opening lap that put us third. While we were waiting for Q2, we saw a couple of cars bump us back to sixth. We were the next pair to go and then the rain started dumping. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to make another run when others did, but that’s racing and the weather, and you can’t change that. We’re in the field and we have good data to work off of for Sunday. Let’s go racing and put this car in the winner’s circle for Pennzoil.”
 

Factory Stock Showdown Series:

MARK PAWUK
Driver of the Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

Qualified: No. 13

The Competition: No. 4 David Barton

The Results:
Q1: 8.050 E.T. at 172.21 MPH

Quotable:
“Seeing the forecast earlier in the week, I never would have thought we’d get even one qualifying session in this weekend, but we did. Unfortunately, we didn’t perform as well as we had hoped, but we are qualified. We’re glad we got one run in before more weather came in and eliminated the last qualifying session. Tomorrow brings a new day with new conditions and a better-looking forecast. Hopefully, we can step it up on race day, and have a good showing in our Empaco Equipment Dodge Drag Pak.”
 

 
LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

Qualified: No. 10

The Competition: No. 7 Arthur Kohn

The Results:
Q1: 7.959 E.T. at 174.73 MPH

Quotable:
“I feel most comfortable and at home when I’m putting double-duty and am able to drive both of my Mopar cars on the same day. We did make a lot of changes since the last time our new Drag Pak competed at Gainesville. We weren’t really able to tell how the car would react without that first run. We had a converter swap, some suspension changes, and we wanted to go out there and be solidly in the field and pick away at it. We’re currently No. 10 and we will adjust. We look forward to getting back on the track.”
 
 

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