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DSR Pomona 1 Pre-Race Report

NHRA Winternationals (Rescheduled)
Event No. 10 of 20
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Pomona, Calif.
July 30 - Aug. 1, 2021

Noteworthy:

  • Fresh off a win at Denver and runner-up finish at Sonoma, defending Funny Car series champion Matt Hagan returns to Pomona where he was the No. 1 qualifier at the 2020 event
  • Following her final round appearance in Sonoma, Top Fuel racer Leah Pruett, a native of nearby Redlands, seeks to take it one step further and finish the weekend in the winner’s circle for the first time in 2021
  • Funny Car pilot Ron Capps, who currently owns the class-best qualifying average throughout the first nine events, also considers Pomona to be a hometown track. Capps resides in Carlsbad
  • No. 2 ranked Antron Brown earned his first No. 1 qualifier in the Top Fuel category during the 2008 Pomona 1 event
  • While Brown has been triumphant at Pomona, all three of his wins have come from the NHRA Finals event contested at Pomona at the end of the season
  • Hagan is the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona E.T. track record holder, achieved when he powered to a 3.822-second pass at the 2017 Pomona 1 event
  • Team patriarch Don Schumacher won the 1973 event in the Funny Car category  
  • All current DSR drivers have been victorious at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona at least once
  • All DSR drivers are ranked in the ‘top five’ heading into the final leg of the three-race Western Swing

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

 
ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Pomona 1 Event Highlights: 
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2008, 2009) 
    • Earned his career-first No. 1 qualifier in the Top Fuel category at the 2008 event
  • Three-time runner-up (2009, 2012, 2015)
2020 Pomona 1 Recap:
Qualified ninth; First round exit (defeated by Shawn Reed in E1)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Buddy Hull in E1, Shawn Langdon in E2; defeated by Steve Torrence in E3)

Career Statistics:
450 races; 68 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 Qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:
  • No. 2 ranked Antron Brown earned his first No. 1 qualifier in the Top Fuel category during the 2008 Pomona 1 event
  • While Brown has been triumphant at Pomona, all three of his wins have come from the NHRA Finals event contested at Pomona at the end of the year
Quotable:
“This Matco Tools/Toyota team is very much looking forward to getting to Pomona for the summer version of the Winternationals. We’re excited to get back to the roots of drag racing in SoCal. It’s going to be hot out, and a very grueling race track with tricky conditions, but we love that challenge.”
 
LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Sparkling Ice Spiked Top Fuel Dragster

Pomona 1 Event Highlights: 
  • 2017 event champion  
  • 2017 No. 1 qualifier
2020 Pomona 1 Recap:
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Jim Maroney in E1, Shawn Reed in E2; defeated by Austin Prock in E3)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified sixth; Event runner-up (defeated Justin Ashley in E1, Brittany Force in E2, BYE in E3; defeated by Steve Torrence in E4)

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

Noteworthy:
  • Following her final round appearance in Sonoma, Pruett, a native of nearby Redlands, seeks to take it one step further and finish the weekend in the winner’s circle for the first time in 2021
Quotable:
“Pomona is going to be very challenging for all of us running the Winternationals in July. I take it back to when I’d run the Nostalgia series there and it was in the triple digits out and it will be similar to that this year. For us to have momentum rolling into Southern California is exactly what we need to finish up the Western Swing. We’ve started the season with Sparkling Ice before, so this will be familiar for us to have Spiked on the car in July and that’s a perfect fit. We have new life with this team and to have another fun, new livery is perfect, and to see friends and family and former racers will be great.”
 
 
Funny Car:

RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat


Pomona 1 Event Highlights: 
  • Three-time event winner (1998, 2009, 2016)   
  • Four-time runner-up (2006, 2010, 2013, 2015) 
2020 Pomona 1 Recap:
Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Bob Tasca in E1; defeated by Jack Beckman in E2)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified No. 1; Semifinal finish (defeated Tony Jurado in E1, Paul Lee in E2; defeated by Robert Hight in E3)

Career Statistics:
575 races; 66 wins (one Top Fuel); 28 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • As a resident of Carlsbad near San Diego, Capps considers Pomona to be a hometown track
  • Currently owns the class-best qualifying average through the first nine events of 2021
Quotable:
“At one point, we weren’t even sure if we were going to run the Winternationals this year, but huge thanks to NHRA and all involved in making sure that we got this event in this year. It’s going to be a historic race given the amount of years we’ve run this event, the history, and the fact that we’re going to have two nights of qualifying under the lights at the famed Pomona Raceway. It’s going to be off the hook. Just like last weekend in Sonoma, we’ll have a lot of NAPA folks joining us. We’re going to have a NAPA golf tournament on Thursday and I always feel good about a weekend where we can get together with all of the local hardworking NAPA people.
 
“Pomona is a great track, and is as fast as they come. Whoever gets a Wally this weekend will be very proud of winning that race. The NAPA team is coming off of another great semifinal finish last week in Sonoma, and we’re on a roll. I’m looking forward to this weekend.”


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the DSR Performance Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Pomona 1 Event Highlights:
  • Three-time event champion (2005, 2017, 2018)  
  • Three-time No. 1 qualifier (2017, 2018, 2020)  
  • Two-time runner-up (2011, 2014)
2020 Pomona 1 Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Semifinal finish (defeated Alex Miladinovich in E1, Tim Wilkerson in E2; defeated by John Force in E3)

Last Event (Sonoma):
Qualified third; Event runner-up (defeated Jeff Diehl in E1, Blake Alexander in E2, Alexis DeJoria in E3; defeated by Robert Hight in E4)

Career Statistics:
284 races; 37 wins; 42 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Fresh off a win at Denver and runner-up finish at Sonoma, defending Funny Car series champion Matt Hagan returns to Pomona where he was the No. 1 qualifier at the 2020 event
  • Hagan is the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona E.T. track record holder, achieved when he powered to a 3.822-second pass at the 2017 Pomona 1 event
  • For the second time this season, Hagan will campaign the DSR Performance Dodge Funny Car
    • DSR Performance is the retail arm of Don Schumacher Racing, offering performance race parts and lifestyle gear
    • DSR Performance features both new and used parts for racing and street vehicles with the objective of providing premium, championship-winning design and performance direct-to-consumers via www.DSR.parts. In addition to a catalog that features products for both nitro and sportsman racers, DSR Performance also boasts service-based offerings, including parts and tuning consultations with DSR’s brain trust of crew chiefs.
Quotable:
“I think that Pomona is going to be super-hot and it could end up being a driver’s race with pedaling the car. We have a great car and team, and I’m driving well. It should be fun under the lights for qualifying. Pomona has been great to us. We’ve had some great memories at that track winning races and a championship. It has a special place in my heart and we’re going to go out and finish the Swing strong.”

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