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DSR Las Vegas 2 Pre-Race Report

Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil 
Event 23 of 24 (Las Vegas II)
Countdown Event 5 of 6
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
November 1-3, 2019

Highlights:

  • Funny Car pilot Matt Hagan drove to victory at the most recent race on the NHRA tour (Dallas)
  • Sitting second in the Funny Car points, Jack Beckman leads DSR in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship standings
  • Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Hagan raced to runner-up finishes at the 2018 Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. was the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier at the 2018 event  

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

DSR Driver Information:
 
Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Diagnostics Top Fuel Dragster

Countdown to the Championship standing: 8th

Las Vegas II Event Highlights: 
  • 2013 event champion  
  • 2001 runner-up (Pro Stock Motorcycle) 
  • 2015 No. 1 qualifier 
2018 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified fifth; First round exit (defeated by Blake Alexander in E1)

Last Event (Dallas):
Qualified eighth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Richie Crampton in E1; defeated by Brittany Force in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
24 round wins; ranked eighth in points

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

Noteworthy:
Brown’s Matco Tools Diagnostics livery is helping to promote the launch of the newest member of the Maximus Family, the Maximus Flash+. Brown will campaign this scheme during the final two races of the 2019 season. 
About Maximus Flash+:
  • Recently reviewed in Tech Shop and PTen Magazine 
  • In-shop Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) level flashing and reprogramming  
  • Live support from experts to help diagnose and complete a job 
  • OEM solutions for various makes and models of vehicles 

Quotable:
“With the momentum that our team has gained, we’re really optimistic heading into Vegas, and feel like we’re getting our race car back underneath us. I see the confidence in my guys, and I’m really pumped up to get dialed in for our second-to-last race of the Countdown. Really excited to get out there and compete and give it our all and see what we can do.
 
“We’re coming out deep with the new Maximus Flash+ scheme this weekend, and this car is jazzy from top to bottom. The coolest thing about it is Matco’s new Maximus line is coming out. All of the shop owners will get to flash their cars from all of the top OEMs, and they can do it out of their garage, and they have 100% tech support at their home base through the Maximus family.”


LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Countdown to the Championship standing: 5th

Las Vegas II Event Highlights:
  • 2018 event runner-up 
2018 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified fourth; Event runner-up (defeated Troy Buff in E1, Blake Alexander in E2, Tony Schumacher in E3; defeated by Steve Torrence in E4)

Last Event (Dallas):
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Kebin Kinsley in E1; defeated by Austin Prock in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
21 round wins; Ranked fifth in points

Career Statistics:
139 races; eight wins; 11 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Raced to a runner-up finish at the 2018 Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Quotable:
“Starting Vegas in the fifth position, we could be worried about who’s on our heels and on the defense, or even have our eyes on those ahead of us in the chase, but we are doing neither. We are focused on our MOPAR hot rod, dialing in our consistency on all fronts from clutch wear to driver weaponry. With that, the desired results will take care of themselves so long as we chase the Wally.”


Funny Car:

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

Countdown to the Championship standing: 2nd

Las Vegas II Event Highlights:
  • 2006 event champ 
  • Two-time runner-up (2009, 2012) 
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2016-2017) 
2018 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Jim Campbell in E1, Courtney Force in E2; defeated by J.R. Todd in E3)

Last Event (Dallas):
Qualified 12th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Ron Capps in E1; defeated by Bob Tasca III in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
36 round wins; ranked second in points 
 
Career Statistics:
322 races; 29 wins; 26 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Sitting second in the Funny Car points, Beckman leads DSR in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship standings.
Quotable:
“At this point, the math is pretty easy. If we have any hope of winning the championship, we’re realistically going to have to chop at least one round off of Robert Hight’s lead. If we beat him in the final, we can do just that. But really, to have a decent chance at the championship, he’s going to have to go out early, and we’re going to have to go to the final. Unless he’s in the other lane, all we can do is control our own destiny. I know we have the car, we’ve demonstrated that the last few races. I have struggled at times and just can’t afford to do that anymore. Putting the Infinite Hero Dodge in the winner’s circle this weekend will set us up for exactly what the fans want to see in Pomona, and that is a championship that comes down to the last day.”
 
 
RON CAPPS
Driver of the Pennzoil Synthetics/NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Countdown to the Championship standing: 6th

Las Vegas II Event Highlights: 
  • Four-time event champion (2001, 2005, 2011-2012) 
  • 2011 No. 1 qualifier  
2018 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified 12th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated John Force in E1; defeated by Bob Tasca III in E2)

Last Event (Dallas):
Qualified fifth; First round exit (defeated by Jack Beckman in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
32 round wins; ranked sixth in points 

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

Quotable:
“Two races left, and we’re headed to one of my favorite tracks. Las Vegas has become sort of a home track in the sense that a lot of friends and family come out to this race. The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a great facility in a great town.

"Our mentality rolling into this weekend is we need to steal as many qualifying points as we can, and we need to try and get as far as we can on Sunday. The ultimate goal is always to win, but here we feel like we have extra motivation. We don’t want to leave Vegas without a mathematical chance at the championship heading into the last race of the season. This is also one of our key sponsor races with Dodge and Pennzoil, both of which are two major sponsors that we’ve had for a long time, so that’s always a little extra incentive to try and get a win where your sponsors are so active.”
  


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Countdown to the Championship standing: 4th

Las Vegas II Event Highlights:
  • 2017 event champion  
  • Two-time runner-up (2010, 2018) 
2018 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified ninth; Event runner-up (defeated Tim Wilkerson in E1, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E2, Bob Tasca III in E3; defeated by J.R. Todd in E4)

Last Event (Dallas):
Qualified sixth; Event champion (defeated Blake Alexander in E1, J.R. Todd in E2, Robert Hight in E3, Bob Tasca III in E4)

2019 Season Statistics:
32 round wins; ranked fourth in points 

Career Statistics:
262 races; 32 wins; 35 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Drove to victory at the most recent race on the NHRA tour (Dallas) 
  • Raced to a runner-up finish at the 2018 Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Quotable:
“This is the most important race of the season for our MOPAR team. It’ll be the deciding factor of our 2019 championship hopes and dreams. If we can do well in Vegas and take care of (Robert) Hight and (John) Force early in the day on Sunday, and gain some momentum, we can still really have a shot at the title come Pomona since that race is points-and-a-half. You don’t get too many shots at the championship, and we’re still in the hunt and still in it, so we’re going to dig deep, work hard and turn on some win lights. MOPAR is due for another championship so between me and Jack (Beckman), hopefully, we can take care of those Force cars and deliver another championship for our partners.”
 
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 
Countdown to the Championship standing: 8th

Las Vegas II Event Highlights:
  • 2006 runner-up  
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2015, 2018) 
2018 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jeff Arend in E1; defeated by Matt Hagan in E2)

Last Event (Dallas):
Qualified ninth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Paul Lee in E1; defeated by John Force in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
31 round wins; ranked eighth in points 
 
Career Statistics:
468 races; 19 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:
  • No. 1 qualifier at the 2018 event 
Quotable:
“I’m excited about going to Vegas; it’s one of my better race tracks. The way we’ve been struggling lately, I can’t wait to get to a track that’s been good to me in the past and finish the season strong. I know we have a good race car again, and it’s coming back to us. I’ve won at Vegas before and would love to get this thing turned around and put our car back in the winner’s circle and finish off the season on a high note. We know we can still finish in the top five, and that’s our main goal.”

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