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DSR Pomona II Qualifying Report

Auto Club NHRA Finals
Event 24 of 24 (Pomona II)
NHRA Countdown, Event 6 of 6
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Pomona, California
November 9-11, 2018

DSR Pomona II Saturday Highlights:

  • Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) qualify No. 1 for the final race of the 2018 season
  • Pritchett reset the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Top Fuel speed record (332.84-mph), and her 3.631 Q4 E.T. ties for the second quickest pass in NHRA history
  • All seven Don Schumacher Racing entries will start race day from the top half of the field
  • Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. qualify No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, giving DSR a sweep of the top three spots
  • Pritchett ran quickest of the session during three out of four qualifying sessions
  • Johnson ran low E.T. during the first three Funny Car qualifying rounds; and third low E.T. of Q4, collecting 14 out of a possible 16 bonus points
      
DSR Domination Continues on Saturday at Auto Club NHRA Finals
 
POMONA, California (November 10, 2018) – Leah Pritchett and Ron Capps swept the top qualifying spots in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively, at the 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, California.
 
Pritchett’s No. 1 qualifier was her fourth of the year and the 11th of her career. Capps earned his first No. 1 spot of 2018, and 22nd of his career.
 
Behind the wheel of her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster, Pritchett was dominant, pocketing all eight possible points during Friday qualifying to earn the preliminary pole on a 3.649-second at 329.34-mph pass heading into Saturday. In the final pair of the last Top Fuel qualifying session of the 2018 season, Pritchett unleashed a monster 3.631-second at 332.84-mph run that tied for second quickest in the history of NHRA, reset the Auto Club Raceway Top Fuel track speed record and cemented the pole. Pritchett also collected 12 of 16 possible bonus points during qualifying. She’ll face Bill Litton in round one.
 
“It was like a whole different level of fast tonight,” said Pritchett of her record-breaking Q4 pass. “I’ve been 334-miles per hour before, but this, at night, at Pomona; it’s incredible. Finally, for my crew chiefs, the car is communicating in a proper way, and it’s doing everything they’re throwing at it. (Crew chief) Todd (Okuhara) knows he’s finally got his race car back.
 
“It feels like home,” added the Indiana resident of her native Redlands, California roots. “Here in Pomona, the fans give me that sense of home. For us to chase history on this track makes me feel like our team is very well on its way to earning a spot in history which is what we’re working towards.”
  
Capps, third in the Funny Car points standings, improved steadily from the second session onward, ending his qualifying efforts with a 3.848-second at 331.53-mph pass to stake his claim to the No. 1 spot. While the driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T has collected three wins over the course of the 2018 season, Saturday’s No. 1 qualifier was his first of the year.
 
“I was joking around saying ‘man, you’d think I’d never gotten one of these green hats before’ because I was acting so giddy down there at the top end, but yeah, it’s been a while,” remarked Capps. “These No. 1s are a feather in the cap.
 
“When they came on the radio after Q4 and told me what we’d run, I couldn’t believe it, but I’m so happy for (crew chief) Rahn Tobler. In Charlotte, we really showed that not only are we strong in the heat, but we’ve got the performance with the five-disc in cool conditions. We ran great, won the race, and we said we were so happy that we ran like that in those conditions because we were certain Pomona would be like that, and it is.”
 
Capps locked in a date with No. 16 qualifier Ray Martin in the opening round.
 
 
LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
 
Qualified: No. 1 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Bill Litton 

The Results:
Q1: 3.774 E.T. at 312.64 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.649 E.T. at 329.34 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.535 E.T. at 168.05 MPH
Q4: 3.631 E.T. at 332.84 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: 12
 


RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 1 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Ray Martin

The Results: 
Q1: 6.172 E.T. at 111.99 MPH
Q2: 3.948 E.T. at 320.66 MPH
Q3: 3.900 E.T. at 327.03 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.848 E.T. at 331.53 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Seven


Driver Information:

Top Fuel:
 

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Maximus 3.0/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
 
 
Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice) 

The Competition: No. 11 Doug Kalitta

The Results: 
Q1: 3.791 E.T. at 325.37 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.704 E.T. at 329.50 MPH (Two bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.735 E.T. at 326.00 MPH (One bonus point for fourth quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.706 E.T. at 328.22 MPH

Bonus Points: Six

Quotable:
“We’ve got a real consistent car. We just want to definitely run quicker, but, you know what, we made four good laps. We thought we were going to run a mid-60 there but it didn’t end up that way. We’ll take it, we’ll start in the top half of the field tomorrow and we’ll shoot from there.” 


TONY SCHUMACHER
Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
 
Qualified: No. 8 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 9 Scott Palmer

The Results:
Q1: 3.792 E.T. at 326.24 MPH (Two bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: 6.748 E.T. at 98.23 MPH
Q3: 3.762 E.T. at 329.02 MPH
Q4: 3.722 E.T. at 329.75 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

Quotable:
“We’ll go fast tomorrow, but the bottom line as it is every weekend is that we’ll need to go rounds on Sunday. We need to win more rounds than anybody else. We’re chasing second place and we just need to go out and be fastest in the qualifying sessions tomorrow and then win rounds on Sunday. This track generally gets better as we go through the weekend, so we’ll be good tomorrow.”


Funny Car:

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

Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 15 Jeff Arend

The Results:
Q1: 4.317 E.T. at 217.04 MPH
Q2: 3.901 E.T. at 323.35 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session) 
Q3: 3.912 E.T. at 325.77 MPH (Two bonus points for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.867 E.T. at 330.96 MPH (Three bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Eight

Quotable:
“We stumbled a bit on Q1, and then three fantastic runs for our Infinite Hero SRT Dodge. Somebody’s going to get the first win on this new Charger body. Hagan’s come close; we want to close the deal tomorrow, and I think we’ve got the car. I know we’ve got the team to do it.”


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 8 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 9 Shawn Langdon

The Results: 
Q1: 4.256 E.T. at 214.62 MPH
Q2: 7.246 E.T. at 91.65 MPH
Q3: 5.852 E.T. at 116.95 MPH
Q4: 3.946 E.T. at 323.50 MPH

Quotable:
“This Mopar team, we struggled a little bit to start out this weekend, but they never gave up and dug deep. (Crew chief) Dickie Venables did a nice job running that 3.94. Good team collaboration with the NAPA guys and the Make-A-Wish boys coming over and helping get this thing straightened right out.”


TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Cruz Pedregon

The Results: 
Q1: 3.960 E.T. at 317.42 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.881 E.T. at 328.54 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.899 E.T. at 326.40 MPH (Four bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.867 E.T. at 326.40 MPH (Two bonus points for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: 14

Quotable:
“We came in here trying to do what we wanted - to be as best as we can every single run. To be the worst of third in one session is pretty outstanding. Maybe that means No. 1 we haven’t been able to have success with so we’ll go out here tomorrow to see if we can’t turn number three into a win.”

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