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DSR Las Vegas I Pre-Race Report

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event No. 2 of 22
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
April 16-18, 2021

Noteworthy:

  • It’s been nearly two years since the NHRA has competed in a four-wide format (Charlotte, April 2019), but DSR drivers have a proven track record with racing four-wide and have been especially successful at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as of late:
    • In addition to being crowned the 2020 NHRA Camping World Series Funny Car champion during last year’s season finale in Las Vegas, Matt Hagan also earned the title of Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil event champ; Hagan won from the No. 2 starting position
    • Top Fuel standout Antron Brown also closed out the 2020 season with a win in Vegas, earning double-up No. 67 for drag racing’s winningest organization
    • Starting from the Funny Car pole at the Vegas finale, Ron Capps raced to a runner-up finish
  • Capps has earned back-to-back No. 1 qualifiers at the last two events (Gainesville 2021, Las Vegas 2020)
  • Both Hagan and Top Fuel pilot Leah Pruett raced to the final elimination quad in their respective categories at the most recent NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, contested in Charlotte

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

 
ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota 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) 
2020 Las Vegas I Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2020 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified fourth; Event champion (defeated Tony Schumacher in E1, Clay Millican in E2, Billy Torrence in E3, Steve Torrence in E4)

2019 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified ninth; First round exit (defeated by Mike Salinas and Billy Torrence in E1)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified 10th; Semifinal finish (defeated Mike Salinas in E1, Billy Torrence in E2; defeated by Shawn Langdon in E3)

Career Statistics:
442 races; 67 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 Qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:
  • Brown hasn’t tasted four-wide success in Las Vegas, but he did win at the track last fall to close out a resurgent 2020 season. That momentum continued with a solid outing in Gainesville, and Brown has plenty of overall four-wide success thanks to two wins in Charlotte.  
Quotable:
“Super pumped about going to Vegas and racing four-wide. It feels great to kick off our West Coast opener in Vegas since the last time we raced there, we finished our weekend in the winner’s circle, and we want to continue that trend out there this weekend. We know it’s going to be controlled chaos with it being a four-wide event, but our Matco Tools Toyota, with the support of Sirius XM, Global Electronic Technology, and Hangsterfer’s, is ready to roll. Our whole team is really excited and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”
 
LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster

 

2020 Las Vegas I Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2020 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified sixth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Chris Karamesines in E1; defeated by Justin Ashley in E2)

2019 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified fourth; First round exit (defeated by Clay Millican and Terry Totten in E1)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Mike Bucher in E1; defeated by Shawn Langdon in E2)

Career Statistics:
153 races; eight wins; 12 No. 1 Qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Raced to the final elimination quad at the most recent NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, contested in Charlotte, 2019
Quotable:
“Time for some four-wide action! It’s been months since our West Coast fans have gotten their nitro fix, and we are ready to deliver it to them! The best action in Vegas is on the drag strip, and our team is ready to hit the ground running with quick, consistent times. Qualifying is key, as always, but having only three qualifying runs means no one will get a chance to run all four lanes, and come Sunday, you may end up in a lane you haven’t run yet, which adds an extra element. For me, I’m focused on keeping the basics down. Lane and time awareness are key but staying focused on our program in our lane is what is going to propel us through the four-wide.”
 
Funny Car:

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) 
2020 Las Vegas I Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2020 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Event runner-up (defeated Chris Morel in E1, J.R. Todd in E2, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E3; defeated by Matt Hagan in E4)

2019 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified second; Second round exit (defeated Bob Tasca III and Terry Haddock in E1; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. and Jack Beckman in E2)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jim Campbell in E1; defeated by Bob Tasca III in E2)

Career Statistics:
567 races; 66 wins (one Top Fuel); 26 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Raced to a runner-up finish from the Funny Car pole at the Vegas finale 
  • Capps has started from the No. 1 spot at the last two events (Gainesville 2021, Las Vegas 2020)
Quotable:
“This four-wide race in Vegas could not come soon enough. We obviously had a lot of moving parts with the new team, and me getting used to ‘Guido’ and Medlen’s tuning styles, and getting acclimated with my new NAPA team was so much fun. We transferred all of that energy into Gainesville and to get the first Camping World No. 1 qualifier hat was awesome. It was a great way to start the 2021 season but we can’t wait to get to the four-wide. We missed both four-wide events last year, Vegas and zMAX, so obviously the fans showed us that they missed it as well considering Vegas sold out quickly. As a driver, we’re always excited about four-wide. You have to approach it in a different way because it’s a completely different scenario to stage the car, and everything you do on Sunday is different. I’ve been lucky enough to have a four-wide trophy from the past. Hopefully, our NAPA AutoCare team can continue the momentum and I would love nothing better than to get a trophy early in the season with my new teammates.”


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

 


Las Vegas I Event Highlights: 
  • 2009 LV1 event runner-up   
  • 2015 No. 1 qualifier  
2020 Las Vegas I Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2020 Las Vegas II Recap:
Qualified second; Event champion (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Paul Lee in E2, Alexis DeJoria in E3, Ron Capps in E4)

2019 Las Vegas I Recap:
Qualified fifth; Second round exit (defeated Gary Densham and Jim Campbell in E1; defeated by Tim Wilkerson and J.R. Todd in E2)

Last Event (Gainesville):
Qualified eighth; First round exit (defeated by Bob Tasca III in E1)

Career Statistics:
276 races; 36 wins; 40 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • The last time Hagan raced in Vegas, he won the event (Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil) and was also crowned the 2020 NHRA Camping World Series Funny Car champion
  • Raced to the final elimination quad at the most recent NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, contested in Charlotte, 2019
Quotable:
“The four-wide format always makes it really wild. You never know what you’re going to get because basically, you have to get to the finish line. You can’t see what the other cars in the other lanes are doing. You don’t know even know if they left the starting line, so it makes it tricky as a driver knowing you have to go to the finish line. It doesn’t matter if you have a cylinder out, you’re on fire, or whatever, but that’s what makes four-wide racing so exciting. Anything can happen, and a lot of times it usually does. But, it’s only a couple of times a year that we run them four-wide, and it’s a great show for the fans. I’ve won a four-wide before and I’ve also not staged the car at a four-wide before. But, it’s Vegas and hopefully, luck is with us and we have a good race. We had what would’ve been a really close race in Gainesville against Bob Tasca, we just need to improve on our qualifying position. We’ve got some new guys on our car this year, so we changed some things and responsibilities around on the team, and I think it’ll be good. I’m looking forward to getting to Vegas and shaking this car down.”

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