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DSR Phoenix Pre-Race Report

Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals

Event 2 of 24 (Phoenix)
Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
Chandler, Arizona
February 22-24, 2019

Noteworthy:

  • Tommy Johnson Jr. made his professional debut at the 1989 event (competing in the Top Fuel category) and celebrates his 30th anniversary behind the wheel of a fuel car this weekend
  • Johnson returns as the NHRA Arizona Nationals Funny Car runner-up 
  • Leah Pritchett won her first Top Fuel title at the 2016 Phoenix event 
  • All current DSR drivers have been to the Phoenix winner’s circle at least once 
 

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel, E.T.: 3.649 seconds, Tony Schumacher (Phoenix 2018)
Top Fuel, speed: 336.57 mph, Tony Schumacher (Phoenix 2018)

DSR Driver Information:
 
Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Phoenix Event Highlights: 
  • Three-time event winner (2009, 2012, 2014)  
  • 2011 runner-up  
  • Ran career-best E.T. at 2017 event (3.667 seconds) 
2018 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified eighth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Mike Salinas in E1; defeated by Greg Carillo in E2)

Last Event (Pomona I):
Qualified third; First round exit (defeated by Leah Pritchett in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
Ranked eighth in points

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

Noteworthy:
  • The Matco Tools team will debut their 2019 livery at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, a paint scheme that pays tribute to the brand's 40th anniversary 

Quotable:
“We know what the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park track is about, how tricky it is. It definitely showed us some areas in our car (during pre-season testing) that we worked on, and improved upon, so we’re looking forward to going back there. I feel good that we can go out there and qualify in the top three.”


 
LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Top Fuel Dragster 
Phoenix Event Highlights: 
  • Two-time event winner (2016, 2017) 
  • 2017 No. 1 qualifier 
2018 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified fourth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Troy Buff in E1; defeated by Scott Palmer in E2)
 
Last Event (Pomona I):
Qualified 12th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Antron Brown in E1; defeated by Terry McMillen in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
One round win; Ranked sixth in points (tied)

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

Noteworthy:
  • Won her first Top Fuel event at the 2016 NHRA Arizona Nationals 

Quotable:
“I truly feel Phoenix is the start of the season for this team. We went into Pomona with a fair amount of question marks that we had to sort through during the race, and we now have a much better understanding of this power and chassis combination. I believe we will deliver the numbers on the scoreboard that our fans in Phoenix have come to expect. We’re proud to once again fly the MOPAR colors as we debut a new livery this weekend for our high-performance partner.”




Funny Car:

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

Phoenix Event Highlights: 
  • Three-time event winner (2008, 2010, 2011) 
2018 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified third; First round exit (defeated by Richard Townsend in E1)

Last Event (Pomona I):
Qualified second; Event runner-up (defeated Phil Burkhart Jr. in E1, Cruz Pedregon in E2, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E3; defeated by Robert Hight in E4)

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

Quotable:
“I actually wish we had three or four races in a row right now. After skipping pre-season testing, I thought we did an outstanding job at Pomona considering we changed some of the fuel system and all but one of our clutch discs, and we’re heading to Phoenix in second place. We came seven-thousandths away from leaving Pomona with the trophy, so I think we have one of the best cars out there right now. It’s going to force me to drive at a higher level. With two new guys on the team, I think we jelled super quick, so I am totally looking forward to getting to Phoenix. That track has been super good to me in the past and I’d love another trophy from Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.”


 
RON CAPPS
Driver of the Pennzoil Synthetics/NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Phoenix Event Highlights: 
  • Three-time event winner (2003, 2009, 2013)  
  • Four-time runner-up (1998, 2000, 2005, 2017)  
  • Three-time No. 1 qualifier (2000, 2009, 2016)  
  • Reset career-bests at the 2017 Phoenix event
    • E.T.: 3.839-secs  
    • Speed: 333.58-mph 
2018 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Tim Wilkerson in E1; defeated by Shawn Langdon in E2)

Last Event (Pomona I):
Qualified fifth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Gary Densham in E1; defeated by John Force in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
One round win; Ranked sixth in points 

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

Quotable:
"There’s a lot of excitement in the air for our NAPA team going to Wild Horse Pass for the second race of the 2019 season. We are getting to run our Pennzoil Synthetics/NAPA paint scheme for the first time this year. It looks even better on the Dodge Hellcat body. We debuted that Pennzoil paint scheme last August in Seattle and ended up parking it in the winner’s circle. To see it on the Hellcat body has got me even more excited. There’s nothing better than to be able to take a special paint scheme from someone like our partners at Pennzoil and win with it. I know we’re going to have a huge contingent of not only NAPA folks, but also Pennzoil guests this weekend.
 
"The Phoenix track has traditionally shown it can hold world record setting runs and with the weather conditions showing cool temperatures this weekend, it’s looking to be a fast one. It doesn’t take a whole lot for me to get pumped up when I walk into the NAPA pit area with a leader like (crew chief) Rahn Tobler, (assistant crew chief) Dustin Heim, and our NAPA AutoCare team. Obviously, we didn’t test at Wild Horse Pass and one might think that’s a disadvantage compared to the teams that did go, but I always brag about the NAPA Know How Tobler has with our NAPA team. It’s times like this that get me excited, knowing we have a great race car with our Dodge Hellcat body. I’ve really only made two full runs on it and I can already tell the balance is great, the aerodynamics are improved and I really think we’re going to have a lot of success with it this year. Phoenix is a track where we’ve won in the past, and we’d love nothing better than to put our new Pennzoil Synthetics/NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Hellcat in the winner’s circle. No one at DSR has won with the new Hellcat body yet and we’d love to make Steve Beahm happy by being the team to do it first."


 
MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Phoenix Event Highlights: 
  • Two-time event winner (2015, 2017)  
  • 2015 No. 1 qualifier  
  • 2013 runner-up 
2018 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified ninth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated J.R. Todd in E1; defeated by Courtney Force in E2)

Last Event (Pomona I):
Qualified fourth; First round exit (defeated by John Force in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
Ranked ninth in points 

Career Statistics:
241 races; 29 wins; 34 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“Rolling into Phoenix which is a place I really like. We had a great (pre-season) test session there; the car was going down the race track so I’m excited about that. We’re going to stay over on Monday and test again. It’s going to be a pretty good weekend hopefully. We qualified fourth in Pomona and then faced John (Force) who went low E.T. of the round and that’s how it goes. It’s just the luck of the draw sometimes, but I feel like we have a pretty good race car. We’re going to be representing Sandvik Coromant this weekend and we usually do really well when we run the Sandvik body. We usually pull down at least one win a year for them. I’m looking forward to getting back into my Dodge Hellcat and hopefully we can turn on four win lights on Sunday.”


 
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 
Phoenix Event Highlights:
  • 2006 event champion  
  • 2018 runner-up 
  • 2017 No. 1 qualifier 
2018 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated Robert Hight in E1, Richard Townsend in E2, Shawn Langdon in E3; defeated by Courtney Force in E4)

Last Event (Pomona I):
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Tim Wilkerson in E1, Shawn Langdon in E2; defeated by Jack Beckman in E3)

2019 Season Statistics:
Two round wins; Ranked third in points 
 
Career Statistics:
447 races; 17 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:
  • Made his first pass as a professional NHRA Drag Racer at the 1989 event (competing in the Top Fuel category)
Quotable:
“We’re heading to Phoenix this week and we were the runner-up there last year. We had an issue with the car in the final and felt like we could have won that race, so we’d like to go back and get a little redemption. We felt like we let that one get away from us.
 
“We put the car away last season and didn’t make a lot of big changes to it. We put a new front-half on the chassis and mounted a new body and left it alone because the car was performing so well at the end of the 2018 season. To bring it back out at Pomona last week and pick up right where we left off is kind of neat. Sometimes you put (the car) in the corner, pull it back out and it won’t run and you think ‘what happened? It just sat there,’ but we went out there with our Make-A-Wish Dodge Hellcat last weekend and it ran really well.”

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