DSR Pomona 1 Saturday Qualifying Report

NHRA Winternationals
Event 1 of 24 (Pomona I)
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Pomona, California
February 8-10, 2019

DSR Pomona I Saturday Highlights:

  • The DSR Funny Cars occupy four out of the top five qualifying spots and will start race day from the quick-half of the field
  • Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. each earned three bonus points by powering to the quickest runs of session three (Johnson) and session four (Beckman); Matt Hagan also earned Funny Car bonus points by making the second-quickest pass of Q3
  • Hagan chasing third consecutive season-opening Winternationals triumph 
  • Antron Brown recorded the top speed of the meet (333.08-mph) and the third-quickest E.T. of the session during Q4
  • Brown will start race day from third and faces teammate Leah Pritchett in round one

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools Maximus 3.0 Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Leah Pritchett

The Results: 
Q1: 3.758 E.T. at 328.22 MPH
Q2: 8.660 E.T. at 79.40 MPH
Q3: 8.152 E.T. at 85.43 MPH
Q4: 3.696 E.T. at 333.08 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: One

"We're definitely getting to where we want to be at. We learned a lot of stuff in the off-season. You never get somewhere without trying. That's our main focus. A lot of people forget that and want instant results. I know all the work that my team has done and I've got all the confidence in these Matco Tools/Toyota guys. We're doing this one step at a time and tomorrow we're just going to try to race smart and go rounds. That's our game-plan, go rounds tomorrow. (In racing teammate Leah Pritchett) It's just another competitor. You've got to race them." 

Driver of the Sparkling Ice Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 12

The Competition: No. 3 Antron Brown

The Results:
Q1: 7.912 E.T. at 85.25 MPH
Q2: 6.406 E.T. at 96.46 MPH
Q3: 3.963 E.T. at 214.59 MPH
Q4: 4.011 E.T. at 212.86 MPH

“The silver lining in our qualifying results is that we feel really confident in our tune-up window. There is definitely a difference between a mechanical malfunction and tune-ups. Today, we were right there to be in line with the low qualifiers before two totally different isolated incidents caused some pretty colorful damage. Fortunately, this Sparkling Ice/MOPAR team is built to succeed and we’ll be ready to go into race day with a solid car.

“Right out of the gate 2019 isn’t starting with smooth sailing, but we knew the competition was going to make it tougher than ever. You never want to face your teammate unless it’s the final, and we have Antron Brown in round one. It’s like they say in NHRA racing, you can’t tip toe into anything. You have to come out swinging. We know that’s what Antron and his guys are going to do and we’ve got confidence in our car to come out and do the same.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 15 Phil Burkhart Jr. 

The Results:
Q1: 5.014 E.T. at 168.58 MPH
Q2: 4.044 E.T. at 253.37 MPH
Q3: 8.296 E.T. at 82.73 MPH
Q4: 3.900 E.T. at 330.23 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Three

“As I told the NHRA on FOX crew after Q3, we didn’t pre-season test and that’s not an excuse. We have the parts and we have the people. We didn’t make wholesale changes to our tune-up. What was making us struggle here was this track was so cold that you could run fast, it just tightened up your window for running fast. We put a new fuel pump on it, we had to make the adjustments to the system, we missed it on a couple of runs, but I think we found it there on Q4. I think we can go into race day with this thing and uncork it. I think we can run better than 330-mph and maybe even in the 3.80s.”

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Gary Densham

The Results:
Q1: 3.915 E.T. at 304.87 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 7.198 E.T. at 89.83 MPH
Q3: 7.717 E.T. at 86.88 MPH
Q4: 8.497 E.T. at 82.85 MPH

Bonus Points: Three

“We came in here without any pre-season testing and with a brand-new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body. A lot of new things. It was kind of interesting and fun because that first session, (crew chief Rahn) Tobler wanted to make sure everything was okay and told me to run it down there and shut it off at the 800-foot mark. I shut it off at about 840 feet and it ran 3.91 and put us No. 1 qualifier at that point, so that made it fun. And then like everyone else out here, we struggled a little bit with the track conditions and the extreme weather conditions. We had what we call ‘Disneyland conditions’ for the crew chiefs where you have great weather, cool air where these engines can make a lot of horsepower, and a great race track. So, it’s been tricky as you can see with all of the aborted runs.

"It doesn’t matter who you run on race day. Gary Densham is one of the guys I fear the most out here because he’s cagey, he knows how to get down the track. I’ve raced him a lot. I think tomorrow will bring completely different conditions than what we’ve seen already. The NAPA guys have done great and we’re going to go up there with lane choice, try and make Don Schumacher happy and go some rounds."

Driver of the MOPAR Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 John Force

The Results: 
Q1: 3.971 E.T. at 323.19 MPH
Q2: 3.981 E.T. at 321.81 MPH
Q3: 3.909 E.T. at 326.79 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest pass of the session)
Q4: 7.679 E.T. at 86.58 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

“We had three good laps in qualifying. It’ll be a good race (in round one against John Force). I’m looking forward to it. Any time you race John, you always have to come for it.”

Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Tim Wilkerson 

The Results: 
Q1: 8.010 E.T. at 79.35 MPH
Q2: 3.929 E.T. at 314.61 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.904 E.T. at 327.03 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 8.695 E.T. at 80.93 MPH

Bonus Points: Five

“We started the 2018 NHRA World Finals from No. 3 and made it to the final round. It’s basically the same race car that we brought back out this weekend here at the Winternationals and it’s running just as good. I’ve got all of the confidence in the world that we’ll go out there and lay down some good runs tomorrow, but it’s going to be tough as cold as it’s going to be so we’ll have to learn from that first session.”

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