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DSR Indy 2 Pre-Race Report

Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals at Indianapolis
Event 4 of 18 
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
July 18-19, 2020

Highlights:

  • NHRA’s winningest team is approaching 350 victories (currently at 348), and by campaigning cars in three different categories (Top Fuel, Funny Car, and the return of Factory Stock) during the weekend, achieving that milestone is within reach
  • Matt Hagan enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car race winner, and is looking for his second consecutive Indianapolis victory; he is a two-time No. 1 qualifier in 2020
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. is seeking his third consecutive final round appearance after finishing as the runner-up at Indy 1, and Funny Car event champion in Phoenix
  • Funny Car point leader Jack Beckman is focused on maintaining his position atop the leaderboard. Beckman won the 2020 season-opener and finished as the runner-up in Phoenix
  • A DSR Funny Car has won the last six events, dating back to October 2019 
  • Top Fuel veterans Cory McClenathan and Tony Schumacher return for their second of a two-event cameo appearance
  • Schumacher is the winningest NHRA driver in Indianapolis history having won the U.S. Nationals an unprecedented 10 times; McClenathan is looking to tie legend Don Garlits by capturing a 35th Top Fuel victory
  • The Factory Stock Showdown series makes its 2020 debut this weekend. Representing DSR in the category are Mark Pawuk, and 2018 FSS series champion Leah Pruett, both campaigning Dodge Challenger Drag Paks
  • Pruett will pull double-duty, competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown categories
  • Hometown event for DSR which is headquartered two miles away from the famed Indy dragstrip
  • Home track for Antron Brown and Johnson, who both reside in the greater Indianapolis area
      
DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.799 seconds, Matt Hagan (2017)
Funny Car, speed: 338.77 mph, Matt Hagan (2017)
 

DSR Driver Information:
 
Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology
Toyota Top Fuel Dragster


Indianapolis Highlights: 
  • Three-time U.S. Nationals champion 
    • Top Fuel (2011)  
    • Pro Stock Motorcycle (2000, 2004)  
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2009, 2011-2013) 
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified 14th; Semifinal finish (defeated Terry McMillen in E1, Clay Millican in E2; defeated by Doug Kalitta in E3)

2020 Statistics:
Four round wins; ranked fifth in points

Career Statistics:
433 races; 66 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:
  • Hometown event for Brown, who resides in the greater Indianapolis area with his family
  • Was instrumental in Tony Schumacher's two-race return by introducing Schumacher to Global Electronic Technology owners, Steve and Samantha Bryson, and cultivating the newly formed partnership
Quotable:
“I’m looking forward to the Indy Summernationals. Week one started off a little rocky but we came back really strong on race day. After second round, we definitely had a car that could bring that Wally home and that’s what we had our sights on. So, this weekend going in with our Matco Tools/Global Electronic Technology/Toyota Top Fuel dragster, we’re definitely looking forward to getting after it. We know it’s going to be hot, it’s going to be nasty but I know my team has something in store for those types of conditions. We’re going to take it one round at a time. Our main focus is to qualify in the top of the field and that’ll set us up to go after it on race day; that’s the game plan. We’ve got two runs to get in the show, and we're going to make the best of them.
 
“With my teammate Tony Schumacher in the Global car, and with both of our cars going back and forth, I think we’re going to have some really good data to go off of. I can’t wait to get back out there, and I think it’s going to be a good weekend for our group as a whole and I can’t wait to do it.” 
 


CORY MCCLENATHAN
Driver of the Nordic Boats/Hawkeye Industries
Top Fuel Dragster

Indianapolis Highlights: 
  • Two-time U.S. Nationals champion (1996, 1999) 
  • Two-time runner-up (1997, 2010) 
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified 12th; First round exit (Broke, No Time)

Career Statistics:
34 wins; 38 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • With 34 victories, McClenathan ranks ninth on the NHRA’s all-time Top Fuel wins list
  • Looking to tie legend Don Garlits’ 35 NHRA wins 
  • Raced with DSR until he retired in 2010; came out of retirement for the two July Indianapolis events to embark on a two race ‘comeback tour’ 
Quotable:
“I know we had a rough weekend with the Nordic Boats/Revchem Composites Top Fueler last week, but we’ll definitely show everyone what we’re made of this weekend. Our crew has got everything worked out and I’m looking forward to getting back out there and having a good race weekend.” 


LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge SRT Hellcat Redeye Top Fuel Dragster
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified 10th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Tony Schumacher in E1; defeated by Doug Kalitta in E2)

2020 Season Statistics:
Four round wins; ranked fourth in points

Career Statistics:
144 races; eight wins; 12 No. 1 qualifiers 

Quotable:
"I'd like to say that I'm surprised how good this Redeye paint scheme looks, but I've come to expect nothing but the remarkable from Dodge when it comes to showcasing their cars. They stand out on the racetrack and they stand out with their performance. It makes me feel like when you've got a really nice dress and your dancing shoes on, then you go and have a good night out on the town. This Redeye dragster is going to have a good weekend. I can just tell. There is an aura about it. The Redeye stands for ultimate power and it’s a way for us to be able to relate to those Redeye owners. It's a new version for us to highlight. We had the 1320 and the Demon and I personally have driven a couple of Redeyes and I wish I had one of my own. I feel that we are going to not only look good, but do well. I'm just very impressed with how forward-thinking Dodge has been working with DSR on the paint scheme. They've actually simplified that paint scheme into something that really pops with the chrome detail and that flat black is simple and refined. While I love my blue Mopar for how sleek and cool, like "with a lot of o's" cool it is, this Redeye is spicy hot."
 


TONY SCHUMACHER
Driver of the Global Electronic Technology Top Fuel Dragster

Indianapolis Highlights:
  • Ten-time U.S. Nationals champion (2000, 2002 - 2004, 2006 - 2009, 2012, 2016)  
  • Two-time runner-up (1996, 2005)  
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2005 - 2007, 2014) 
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified seventh; First round exit (defeated by Leah Pruett in E1)

Career Statistics:
505 races; 84 wins; 87 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Recently announced his return for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals and the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals
  • The winningest NHRA driver in Indianapolis history having won the U.S. Nationals an unprecedented 10 times
  • With eight championships and 84 wins, Schumacher is the most successful NHRA Top Fuel pilot of all time

Quotable:
“I had a freaking blast last weekend. Yeah, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted but it felt great to get back in the seat, and I can’t wait to do it again this weekend. I forgot how much you can learn in a week when you have a great teammate like Antron Brown. I sat out for a year and eight months, and I still felt totally comfortable jumping back in last week because I had the right people around me. There were never any hesitations, we all just clicked so well. Even though we were one run short of everyone else due to being rained out in Q2, we still feel like we have a good baseline to work off of and I’m ready to do big things in this Global Electronic Technology Toyota this weekend.”


Funny Car:

JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat


Indianapolis Highlights: 
  • 2015 U.S. Nationals champion 
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2015, 2019) 
  • Three-time runner-up (2008, 2013, 2019) 
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Mike McIntire in E1; defeated by Matt Hagan in E2)
 
2020 Season Statistics:
One event win; eight round wins; ranked first in points

Career Statistics:
327 races; 31 wins; 27 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Has maintained the Funny Car point lead since the start of the 2020 season 
Quotable:
“After 19 weeks off, I’m so happy that we get a chance to go right back out and race again the following week. I think we had a car that clearly could’ve won the race last weekend. We qualified third, and of the eight cars that made it into the second round, we had the second-best numbers. We would’ve beaten any other car out there except the one we lined up with. It’s time to get back into the winner’s circle. I’m excited to get back out there and see the fans and do our best to social distance but still be friendly, and leave with the trophy.”
 
 
RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Indianapolis Highlights: 
  • 2017 U.S. Nationals runner-up 
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified 16th; First round exit (defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E1)

2020 Season Statistics:
Three round wins; ranked sixth in points

Career Statistics:
558 races; 64 wins (one Top Fuel); 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Capps has been victorious at every track on the current NHRA tour with the exception of Indianapolis and is focused on that elusive first Lucas Oil Raceway triumph during his 26th season of nitro racing
Quotable:
“I can’t tell you how good it felt to be back in my NAPA Hellcat last weekend at the Indy Nationals. Having a race close to home for the crew members is always very cool for me. All of the fans that came out the first week in Indy did a great job showing that they had paid attention to all of the safety policies. They were all wearing the masks, practicing social distancing, and everything they did really got NHRA drag racing started off in the right direction again. Our team’s performance wasn’t there like we’re used to. We didn’t qualify well and that put us in a bad position to race the No. 1 qualifier first round, and even though we were second-quickest of the round, it doesn’t matter when you’re facing a tough teammate like Tommy Johnson Jr. We’re going to focus on qualifying better this weekend and getting back to where the NAPA team is used to, and that’s finishing the weekend with a Wally.”
  


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Indianapolis Highlights: 
  • Two-time Indy champion (2016, Indy 1 2020) 
  • 2018 runner-up  
  • Five-time No. 1 qualifier (2010, 2013-2014, 2016-2017) 
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified sixth; Event champion (defeated Dan Wilkerson in E1, Jack Beckman in E2, Tim Wilkerson in E3, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E4)

2020 Season Statistics:
One event win; six round wins; ranked third in points

Career Statistics:
267 races; 34 wins; 38 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner 
  • No. 1 qualifier at the first two events of 2020 
  • Made his NHRA Funny Car debut at the famed Indianapolis venue during the 2008 U.S. Nationals 
Quotable:
"My car this weekend is beautiful and those colors really pop and I think it's going to look great at 330 mph, so don't blink. Dodge always comes out with some awesome schemes, the coolest and fastest cars. I love that they really give me an opportunity to engage with the fans and the stuff they sell on the showroom floor. I'm excited for fans to see this Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye because I love it. It's an amazing paint scheme. My Hellcat Redeye Funny Car might be faster, but when you have a production car that you can grab off the showroom floor and take it out there, that's pretty awesome. It's pure power. It's probably the closest you can get to what we're drag racing; having that raw power in the palms of your hands and underneath you. I can’t wait to get right back in the winner’s circle again this weekend and I’d love nothing more than to do it with this sleek-looking Redeye.”
 
 
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 

Indianapolis Highlights:
  • Two-time runner-up (2002, Indy 1 2020) 
  • Three-time No. 1 qualifier (1999-2000, Indy 1 2020) 
Last Event (Indy 1):
Qualified No. 1; Event runner-up (defeated Ron Capps in E1, Blake Alexander in E2, J.R. Todd in E3; defeated by Matt Hagan in E4)
 
2020 Season Statistics:
One event win; eight round wins; ranked second in points

Career Statistics:
473 races; 20 wins (two Top Fuel); 19 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:
  • As a resident of nearby Avon, Ind., Johnson considers Indianapolis to be a hometown event
  • Sits only two points out of first thanks to a runner-up finish from the pole at Indy 1, and a win in Phoenix
Quotable:
“I can’t wait to get back out at the track this weekend and try and get that victory. We came up just a little short on Sunday, but it was an outstanding weekend for our MD Anderson team, and to pick up right where we left off from Phoenix after a long, extended break is very encouraging. I think things will just get smoother and smoother this weekend now that we’re back in the rhythm of things. If it’s anything like last weekend, we should shine and we’d love nothing more than to erase that two-point deficit between us and Jack Beckman who’s in the lead. We want to come out as the point leader. We had a tremendous weekend last weekend, and it was nice to see the fans out there and to see everybody doing their part in trying to be safe. The fans were very considerate with staying back a few feet from the pits and making sure they were masked up. It was a great weekend overall, and I can’t wait to do it again.”


Factory Stock Showdown Series:

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


2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (32-car field) defeated Bye in E1, Allen Johnson in E2; defeated by Arthur Kohn in E3

FSXX Career Statistics:
13 races; two runner-ups; two No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“After almost a four-month hiatus, I’m really looking forward to competing in the NHRA Summernationals in Indianapolis. The last time I was down the track was in early March, and then the coronavirus shut our season down. It’s great that we can get back out there this weekend, and it’s great that NHRA was able to adjust the testing protocol on Friday, so we can get our car back on the track. We’re looking forward to the Empaco Equipment Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Drag Pak being ultra-competitive this weekend, and giving us a shot to get our first Wally on Sunday. Really looking forward to seeing the fans, and even though we’re social distancing, we’ll have autographs ready and we’d love for fans to stop by the Factory Stock pits and grab a handout.”

LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak


2019 U.S. Nationals Recap:
Qualified 10th; First round exit (defeated by Bo Butner in E1)

FSXX Career Statistics:
17 races; three wins; one runner-up; two No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
"Coming back to racing has brought some sense of normalcy back and getting back in the Drag Pak is one of my favorite places to be on earth. We were very much looking forward to debuting a new Mopar 2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak this year, but even though we're not, we're still going to be out entering, qualifying and competing and chasing down a Wally with Mopar and making as much power as we can, while we can, in the circumstances that we can. I think the strength really shows in how dedicated Mopar is to this sport and the grassroots racer. No matter what is happening in the world, they still care and still value the racer, the brand, the image, and the power. We will do our best to prepare for when that fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak does come out so we can have a ton of confidence and be dominant again. I feel this 2020 season is going to be a nice cap on what is a great Drag Pak era before we start a new one."

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