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DSR Las Vegas 1 Pre-Race Report

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event 4 of 24 (Las Vegas I)
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.  
April 5-7, 2019

Noteworthy:

  • The Las Vegas Four-Wide race marks Tommy Johnson Jr.'s 450th event entered 
  • Johnson celebrates a birthday on Saturday, April 6 
  • DSR placed four cars in the final quad at the inaugural Las Vegas Four-Wide event in 2018 
    • Top Fuel: Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher 
    • Funny Car: Jack Beckman, Johnson 
  • Beckman raced to a runner-up finish at the 2018 event 

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.854 seconds, Jack Beckman (Las Vegas II, 2017)
Funny Car, speed: 335.57 mph, Beckman (Las Vegas II, 2017)

DSR Driver Information:
 
Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Las Vegas I Event Highlights: 
  • Three-time LV1 event champion (2011, 2016, 2017) 
  • Three-time runner-up (2008, 2012, 2013) 
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2010, 2012 - 2014) 
2018 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified second; Semifinal finish (defeated Terry Totten, Mike Salinas in E1, defeated Richie Crampton and Leah Pritchett in E2; defeated by Steve Torrence, Tony Schumacher in E3)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified fifth; First-round exit (defeated by Richie Crampton in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
Two round wins; Ranked ninth in points

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

Quotable:
“We made some great strides at Gainesville, especially in our clutch department. We made two clean runs on Saturday, I was really pumped up for the race, but we had a problem on race day.  We plan on coming out swinging  in Vegas. We've won two of the last three Spring races at The Strip, so we know we can run well there."


 
LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the John Schnatter Top Fuel Dragster 
2018 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Terry Totten, Mike Salinas in E1; defeated by Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown in E2)
 
Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified fourth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Pat Dakin in E1; defeated by Richie Crampton in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
Five round wins; Ranked second in points 

Career Statistics:
121 races; seven wins; 11 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable: 
"We’re sitting second in the points and the goal continues to be, as it always has been, to contend for a championship. We want to be thick in the hunt come November. The best way to do that is to run all 24 races. Not only does that keep you in the points, but it continues to bank data. We were originally unfunded for the Vegas Four-Wide event which means we would’ve been parked for this specific race. I didn’t want that for my team, they’ve worked too hard to sit and have to watch as spectators, so I called upon a longtime supporter who immediately offered up the funding needed to keep this car on the track this weekend. Thank you, John Schnatter, for stepping up and giving our team a shot at racing for the Vegas Four-Wide Wally."



Funny Car:

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

Las Vegas I Event Highlights: 
  • 2018 event runner-up 
  • 2016 No. 1 Qualifier 
  • Made his professional NHRA debut at the 2005 LV1 event while competing in Top Fuel
2018 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated Robert Hight, Ron Capps in E1, Jonnie Lindberg, Gary Densham in E2; defeated by J.R. Todd in E3)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified sixth; Semifinal finish (defeated J.R. Todd in E1, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E2; defeated by Tim Wilkerson in E3)

2019 Season Statistics:
Six round wins; Ranked second in points 
 
Career Statistics:
303 races; 28 wins; 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Owns the Las Vegas Funny Car E.T. and speed records
    • E.T.: 3.854-secs, Las Vegas II, 2017  
    • Speed: 335.57-mph, Las Vegas II, 2017
      • Career-best  
  • Raced to his first professional victory (Funny Car) at the 2006 Fall event 

Quotable:
“I’m really looking forward to Vegas. Twice a year we get a shot at a totally unique format. I’ve won a four-wide event a couple of times and I enjoy being taken out of our element and getting thrown a little bit of a curveball. Plus, I just love Vegas. My first-ever nitro win was there and I haven’t been back to the Vegas winner’s circle since then. It’s been over 12 years so I’d like to end that drought this time at Vegas."


 
RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Las Vegas I Event Highlights: 
  • 2009 LV1 winner  
  • Two-time event runner-up (2006, 2007) 
2018 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified fourth; First-round exit (defeated by Jack Beckman, Gary Densham in E1)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified eighth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Bob Tasca III in E1; defeated by Robert Hight in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
Two round wins; Ranked ninth in points 

Career Statistics:
533 races; 61 wins (one Top Fuel); 22 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Five-time Las Vegas event winner:
    • Spring: 2009  
    • Fall: 2001, 2006, 2011, 2012 

Quotable:
"These past few weeks off have been much-needed for a lot of teams. A year ago, as we were headed to the inaugural Vegas Four-Wide race, we were all excited because we were going to a brand-new race track. We found out once we got there just how good of a job they did building four fantastic lanes. This year, leaving Gainesville, we’ve had an uncharacteristically slow start to the season for our NAPA AUTO PARTS team. We’re ninth in points, but I really feel like we’re on the verge of a win at any given time. We’ve fought some bugs here and there the first three races, and we’re still really trying to get a feel for these new DSR chassis. We’ve run both cars with our new Dodge Hellcat body and it’s showing us it’s got a lot more downforce with less drag. I feel like we left Gainesville with a lot of really good information that (crew chief Rahn) Tobler is going to put to good use.
 
"The best part about this upcoming weekend is the weather. We’ve had cold weather the first three races, much colder than we’ve ever had before. I think a lot of the teams are really pumped to see high 70s, low 80s for the first time this season. This event starts a string of a lot of back-to-back races over the next few months, and I think we’re going to see our NAPA team make a run up in the points. Couldn’t think of a better place to start that run than one of my favorite tracks that we go to, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway."


 
MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Las Vegas I Event Highlights: 
  • 2009 LV1 event runner-up  
  • 2015 No. 1 qualifier 
2018 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified seventh; First-round exit (defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr., Del Worsham in E1)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified fifth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jonnie Lindberg in E1; defeated by John Force in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
Five round wins; ranked third in points 

Career Statistics:
243 races; 30 wins; 34 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“The Vegas Four-Wide Nationals are going to be kind of crazy. It’s halfway to Denver, altitude is always an issue plus you add in the four-wide element. We’re coming off of a decent qualifying performance in Gainesville, then we won first round but hurt the blower so we had to stick a new blower on it. It had too much boost and we blew the tires off that next round. That being said, going into Vegas I feel really confident. The car is running well and the guys are doing a great job of maintaining it. We’re going to stay and test on Monday and then I go straight to Houston to do some promotional gigs for Pennzoil. We’re running the chrome Pennzoil car the next two races, so I’m looking forward to hopefully pulling out a win for Pennzoil very soon.”


 
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 
NHRA Las Vegas I Event Highlights: 
  • Two-time LV1 event winner (2001, 2017) 
  • 2002 event runner-up 
2018 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified second; Semifinal finish (defeated Tim Wilkerson, Matt Hagan in E1, John Force, Del Worsham in E2; defeated by J.R. Todd, Jack Beckman in E3)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated John Smith in E1; defeated by Jack Beckman in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
Four round wins; ranked fifth in points 
 
Career Statistics:
449 races; 17 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:
  • Reaches the '450 professional events' milestone at this weekend's race  
  • Celebrates a birthday on Saturday, April 6 
Quotable:
"We always seem to do really well at Vegas. We’ve won there a couple of times in the past, and we did really well last year at the Vegas Four-Wide but felt like we let one get away from us; we should’ve won. So, looking forward to getting a little revenge from last season. It’s my birthday on Saturday and I’d like nothing more than to turn our luck around this weekend in Vegas."

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