News

DSR Indianapolis Pre-Race Report

Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals
Event No. 13 of 20
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
September 3-5, 2021

Noteworthy:

  • All DSR Camping World Series competitors enter the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals, the final event of NHRA’s ‘regular’ season, with at least one win in 2021, and all are Countdown-clinched
  • As the tour’s most recent winner, Funny Car point leader Matt Hagan returns to Indianapolis seeking to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard as he gears up to begin his 2020 Camping World Series title defense. Hagan is a two-time winner in the last five events (Denver, Brainerd)
  • Ron Capps sits fifth in the Funny Car standings with a win last month in Pomona, Calif., and with the return of Indy’s unique points-and-a-half format, he is less than one round from the points lead
  • While Capps won an event at Indy in 2020, the 27-year Funny Car veteran and second-winningest driver in the class has never won the coveted Wally trophy at the ‘Big Go,’ and will be looking to achieve that bucket-list item this weekend
  • Pomona Top Fuel winner Leah Pruett will have the unique opportunity to double-up on the hardware by competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown Series. Pruett has taken her Dodge Mopar Drag Pak to back-to-back final round appearances at the two most recent FSS events (Denver, Topeka), and aims to take her Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster a step further after finishing as the runner-up in 2020 at the ‘Big Go’
  • Atlanta winner Antron Brown occupies the No. 3 spot in the Top Fuel rankings and is firmly focused on regaining the No. 2 position he has maintained for eight out of the last 10 events
  • 2020 Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series U.S. Nationals runner-up Mark Pawuk will debut his highly-anticipated 2021 Empaco Equipment Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak this weekend
  • David Davies, the most recent addition to the DSR stable, will make his FSS U.S. Nationals debut

 

Additional Notes of Interest:

  • DSR’s first of 363 wins was achieved by team owner Don Schumacher during the 1970 U.S. Nationals while competing in the Funny Car category
  • Hagan scored DSR’s milestone 350th national event win during the rain-delayed Indy 2 final round at the 2020 U.S. Nationals 
  • Hagan made his NHRA Funny Car debut at the 2008 U.S. Nationals 
  • Brown, a resident of nearby Pittsboro, Ind., has both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle victories at Indianapolis
  • The U.S. Nats is a hometown event for DSR which is headquartered two miles away from the famed Indy dragstrip


DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.799 seconds, Matt Hagan (2017)
Funny Car, speed: 338.77 mph, Matt Hagan (2017)
 


Help DSR support Riley Hospital for Children:
All DSR cars will proudly feature the Riley Hospital for Children logos this weekend. Drag racing’s winningest organization has successfully raised over $730,000 since first partnering with the local nonprofit organization in 2006. While there will be no DSR Open House this year, the fundraising efforts are continuing via online auction. Please help support Riley Kids by making a donation or bidding on one of the many unique items and experiences currently offered: https://e.givesmart.com/events/n4z/

100% of the proceeds go to Riley Kids. The auction is now live and will close on September 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET. 


DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

 
ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster 

U.S. Nationals Event Highlights: 
  • Three-time U.S. Nationals champion 
    • Top Fuel (2011)   
    • Pro Stock Motorcycle (2000, 2004)   
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2009, 2011-2013) 
2020 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (defeated T.J. Zizzo in E1; defeated by Steve Torrence in E2)

Last Event (Brainerd):
Qualified sixth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Shawn Langdon in E1; defeated by Brittany Force in E2)

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

Noteworthy:
  • Occupies the No. 3 spot in the Top Fuel rankings, and is firmly focused on regaining the No. 2 position he has maintained for eight out of the last 10 events
  • Won the Atlanta race
  • A resident of nearby Pittsboro, Ind., Brown considers Indy to be his hometown race 
  • Has both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle victories at Indianapolis
Quotable:
“The U.S. Nationals, it’s a big, big race. This is the granddaddy of them all. It’s the last race before the Countdown and there’s a lot on the line. What we have set in front of us is to try to get the No. 2 spot back before Countdown positions are locked. Not only that, it’s important for us to have a good weekend here in Indy so we can build some momentum heading into the first race of the playoffs and make a run for a championship.”
LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster

U.S. Nationals Event Highlights: 
  • 2020 runner-up 
2020 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated Terry McMillen in E1, Tony Schumacher in E2, Steve Torrence in E3; defeated by Shawn Langdon in E4)

Last Event (Brainerd):
Qualified eighth; First round exit (defeated by Justin Ashley in E1)

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

Noteworthy:
  • Ranked fourth in the Top Fuel standings 
  • Will have the unique opportunity to double-up on the hardware by competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown Series
  • Pruett aims to take her Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster a step further after finishing as the runner-up in 2020 at the ‘Big Go’
  • Recorded a Top Fuel win in Pomona last month, and finished as the event runner-up in Sonoma
Quotable:
“I always conceptualize winning Indy as a ‘snowglobe.' We all see what it looks like from the outside, yet want to be inside. We’ve heard stories of how magical it is inside that globe from those that have visited by way of a win, and see the prestige that goes with it. Some call this place the winner’s circle but for this Dodge team, it is our globe. The more years I race Indy, the less I become infatuated with having a name tied to the prestigious race win and more obsessed with our journey, memories, and character building through the challenges of obtaining such a goal.

“My perspective may be somewhat unconventional but it is because I was fortunate enough to experience the Indy ‘snowglobe’ of prestige when the Mopar Drag Pak FSS team won the U.S. Nationals in 2018. Some of my highest-ranked memories are of that win because it was tough and ultimately the pinnacle of races to accomplish a win.” 


Funny Car:

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


U.S. Nationals Event Highlights: 
  • 2017 runner-up 
2020 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jim Campbell in E1; defeated by Jack Beckman in E2)

Last Event (Brainerd):
Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (defeated John Force in E1; defeated by Cruz Pedregon in E2)

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

Noteworthy:
  • Sits fifth in the Funny Car standings. With the return of Indy’s unique points-and-a-half format, Capps is less than one round from the points lead
  • Capps raced to victory in Pomona and was a finalist in Houston
  • While Capps won an event at Indy in 2020, the 27-year Funny Car veteran and second-winningest driver in the class has never won the coveted Wally trophy at the ‘Big Go,’ and will be looking to achieve that bucket-list item this weekend
Quotable:
“Talk to any Funny Car driver or crew chief right now, and everyone will tell you the same thing. It’s been a long time, if ever, that we’ve seen the points this close with so many different teams heading into Indy, the final opportunity to secure your starting position for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. With that being said, our goal is to do what we’ve done almost this whole season, and that’s qualify well. Obviously, we’d love to have the No. 1 spot, but to gain those three little bonus points each session, with so much at stake, will be crucial. Our goal is to gain as many points as we need to be the regular-season point leader come Monday morning following the U.S. Nationals. There’s a lot of teams vying for that. It’s very, very tight, and I’m pretty excited. These past two races, following our win in Pomona, we’ve seemed to lose a little bit of performance but (crew chiefs) Guido (Dean Antonelli) and John Medlen have been working on consistency in the clutch area and the bellhousing, and I think we have that dialed-in now. I’m pumped about getting to Indianapolis, it’s our biggest race of the season. I’ve never won the U.S. Nats, and I’d love nothing more than to deliver an Indy trophy for NAPA, GearWrench, and Pennzoil.”


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

U.S. Nationals Event Highlights:
  • 2016 event champion  
  • 2018 runner-up   
  • Five-time No. 1 qualifier (2010, 2013-2014, 2016-2017) 
2020 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified fifth; Semifinal finish (defeated Paul Lee in E1, Bob Tasca in E2; defeated by J.R. Todd in E3)

Last Event (Brainerd):
Qualified fourth; Event champion (defeated Dale Creasy Jr. in E1, Paul Lee in E2, Bob Tasca in E3, Cruz Pedregon in E4)

Career Statistics:
287 races; 38 wins; 42 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • As the tour’s most recent winner and Funny Car point leader, Hagan returns to Indy seeking to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard as he gears up to begin his 2020 Camping World Series title defense
  • A two-time winner in the last five events (Denver, Brainerd)
  • Scored DSR’s milestone 350th national event win during the rain-delayed Indy 2 final round at the 2020 U.S. Nationals 
  • Made his NHRA Funny Car debut at the 2008 U.S. Nationals
Quotable:
“It's the biggest race of our season and the thing about Indy is you want to win it. I’ve been blessed to win it, but there are a lot of great drivers that haven’t won it. But you always want another one. I’m greedy. You want to go out there and battle and put another trophy on the shelf.”

“I’m feeling super confident in our guys. They’re busting their butts and turning the car around in 30 minutes. (Car chief) Alex Conaway, (assistant crew chief) Mike Knudsen, and (crew chief) Dickie Venables are doing a great job with our Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. I’m trying to do my job starting and leaving on time and I think it’s starting to click and it will come together. It’s going to be amazing.”


Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series:
 

DAVID DAVIES
Driver of the D H Davies Racing Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak


Last Event (Topeka):
DNQ

FSS Career Statistics:
Two races (Norwalk, Topeka 2021)

Noteworthy:
  • The most recent addition to the DSR stable, Davies will make his U.S. Nationals debut this weekend
Quotable:
“It’s been a busy couple of weeks leading up to the Dodge//SRT U.S. Nationals. We’re coming off of a rough showing in Topeka, but even weekends like those are helpful if you can analyze the data, absorb what you’ve learned, and apply those lessons in the future. The team has done that and more, and we’ve made great progress with the 2021 Dodge Drag Pak over the past few weeks. This is still a new program, and we learn something new with every pass. You certainly can’t just take what worked previously and expect the same results with this car, but this entire team has been focused on getting us where we need to be. It’s all here, it’s just a matter of getting the final pieces in place. The Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown schedule only has two qualifying runs this weekend, so we need to be on our game. I’m excited about the progress we’ve made, and the support we’ve received leading into Indy.”


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

U.S. Nationals Event Highlights:
  • Two-time runner-up (2018, 2020) 
  • 2019 No. 1 qualifier 
2020 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified second; Event runner-up (defeated Kim Shirley in E1, John Cerbone in E2, Richard Bierie in E3, Daniel Condon in E4; defeated by Aaron Stanfield in E5)

Last Event (Topeka):
Qualified 13th; First round exit (defeated by Aaron Stanfield in E1)

FSS Career Statistics:
24 races; three runner-ups; two No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • The 2020 Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series U.S. Nationals runner-up will debut his long-awaited 2021 Empaco Equipment Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak this weekend
Quotable:
“We’re so excited that our 2021 Empaco Equipment Dodge Mopar Drag Pak will finally make its long-awaited debut this weekend, and we’re looking forward to a great weekend of strong performances. We’ve had several runner-up finishes at Indy over the years, and I’d love nothing more than to bring the big Wally home. We only have two qualifying sessions, so we’ll need to be on our A-game early. We’ve had very hot temperatures around the area the past few weeks, but the forecast is looking good for this weekend, and it looks like the weather will cool off and bring us better racing conditions. I can’t wait to see all of the fans at Indy, and debut our new 2021 Dodge Drag Pak with some great results in the backyard of Don Schumacher Racing.”


LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak

U.S. Nationals Event Highlights:
  • 2018 No. 1 qualifier and event champion 
2020 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified sixth; Round two finish (defeated James Jeschke Jr. in E1; defeated by Jesse Alexandra in E2)

Last Event (Topeka):
Qualified 10th; Event runner-up (defeated Doug Hamp in E1, Daniel Condon in E2, David Barton in E3; defeated by John Cerbone in E4)

FSS Career Statistics:
28 races; three wins; three runner-ups; two No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Pruett has taken her Dodge Mopar Drag Pak to back-to-back final round appearances at the two most recent FSS events (Denver, Topeka)
  • Aims to repeat her career-first FSS win, which was achieved at the 2018 U.S. Nationals and kicked off her championship run that year
Quotable:
“The momentum with the new Drag Pak has been very promising, as seen by our recent results of back-to-back finals, current point standings, and relentlessness of the team to keep the Mopar flag flying strong and high. I do like our odds of capturing another U.S. Nats win for the FSS team. It will not be easy, but we have proven we are capable.”

Our Sponsors

Connect with DSR