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DSR Richmond Qualifying Report

Virginia NHRA Nationals

Event 10 of 24 (Richmond)
Virginia Motorsports Park
North Dinwiddie, Virginia
June 8-10, 2018

DSR Richmond Qualifying Highlights:

  • Tony Schumacher clinched his 87th career Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier at Virginia Motorsports Park
  • Schumacher earns a bye run in the opening round of Sunday’s eliminations 
  • All three of DSR’s Top Fuel entries were awarded qualifying bonus points for being 'top three' of a session
  • Jack Beckman and Ron Capps picked up qualifying bonus points in Funny Car 

Tony Schumacher Locks In Third No. 1 Qualifier of 2018
 

North Dinwiddie, Virginia (June 9, 2018) – Tony Schumacher powered his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster to the top spot during qualifying at the Virginia NHRA Nationals, earning his 87th career No. 1 qualifier and a major leg up on the Richmond competition by getting a bye run on race day.
 
The pole was the third of the season for Schumacher, and his fourth at Virginia Motorsports Park. His No. 1 qualifying 3.777-second at 327.51-mph Q2 run reset the track’s Top Fuel speed record. Schumacher also owns the track’s E.T. record, a 3.771 that earned him the pole in 2008.
 
After starting from the top spot in 2008, Schumacher was able to turn on four win lights and park his Army Racing dragster in the winner’s circle. He hopes history will repeat itself on Sunday when he seeks to end a frustrating 30-race winless streak with a second Virginia Nationals Top Fuel title. With fifteen dragsters on the property, Schumacher has given himself a large advantage going into race day by having a bye run in round one of eliminations.
 
“I think the most important part is we don’t race at night – generally speaking, we race when it’s hot and the sun’s out – so Friday night runs are just throw-downs for No. 1 qualifying runs,” said the eight-time Top Fuel world champion. “When you’ve got a 15-car field like we have here this weekend, that’s an important run. It allows you to go out tomorrow morning and run hard and not have to worry about anybody next to you. Just run hard and go for lane choice, push the track, see what it can do, find the limits.”
 
Following his bye run, Schumacher will face the winner of the Richie Crampton/Dom Lagana matchup en route to his bid for a semifinal spot. Schumacher has nothing but the utmost confidence in his Army Racing team and believes their strong qualifying performance has them primed for a long and successful race day.
 
“Our first run today (Q3) I think was probably just as impressive as our run last night. We smoked the tires, but we were dead-on a 77 run until we did. We could’ve backed it down a little bit and run a 79, an 80 flat, but we wanted to push it and see what the track would give us. Mike (Neff, crew chief) came up and told me we were going to push it, we were going to run hard early and see what it will do. It did exactly what he put in that car, so we’re getting there. We’ll put those four qualifying runs to good use tomorrow and we’ll learn a lot more. We’ll go out there and race the racetrack, try to set a good first-round run and find out what the track will take because it’s going to be hot. What we want is a good, hot, sunny day all day rather than the conditions changing all over the place. I really like this green (No. 1 qualifier) hat but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a yellow (event winner’s) hat.”
 

Qualified: No. 1

The Competition: Bye

The Results:
Q1: 4.039 E.T. at 245.99 MPH
Q2: 3.777 E.T. at 327.51* MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session) 
Q3: 4.863 E.T. at 148.56 MPH
Q4: 3.828 E.T. at 324.59 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

*327.51-mph Virginia Motorsports Park Top Fuel speed record

Bonus Points: Five


Driver Information:

Top Fuel:
 

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
 
 
Qualified: No. 10

The Competition: No. 7 Mike Salinas

The Results: 
Q1: 3.879 E.T. at 304.67 MPH
Q2: 3.898 E.T. at 301.74 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.225 E.T. at 207.21 MPH
Q4: 3.878 E.T. at 319.14 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

Quotable:
“We just need to go out and race tomorrow after we didn’t get the run we wanted today. We weren’t trying to run an 87, we were trying to run an 83 or an 82. The good news is we made it down the racetrack and we see areas where we can pick it up. Mark (Oswald), Brad (Mason) and Mike (Green) are up there working hard to get our car back to where it’s happy. That’s the whole thing, getting everything happy, and we’re getting everything close to it. We’re just trying to break through, and once we get that breakthrough, we'll get in that window where we know we should be at. We’ve got Mike Salinas in the first round tomorrow and we’ll have to do what we do on race day and go out there for a first-round win. We’ll focus on the first round and we’ll just take it from there.”


LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the FireAde Top Fuel Dragster
 
Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Clay Millican

The Results:
Q1: 3.917 E.T. at 316.15 MPH
Q2: 4.101 E.T. at 246.98 MPH
Q3: 3.830 E.T. at 320.05 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 4.742 E.T. at 156.48 MPH

Bonus Points: Three

Quotable:
“Ultimately, first round is first round no matter who we race, but it’ll be cool and neat to have some immediate redemption opportunity by running against Clay (Millican). We had an 83 in Q3 and, honestly, I never thought an 83 would feel so good. We’ve had some of the most extreme conditions we’ve faced all year in terms of heat and humidity. We had power problems on Friday, found it on Saturday; application problems we thought were solved. So, we turned it up from a strategy standpoint and said let’s push it in Q4, let’s get ourselves even (higher) in the qualifying field by shooting for an 80 or an 81. On a 140-degree track, even on a phenomenal surface like we have out there, we pushed it and made it through what we call the make-or-break spot; perfect amount of wear, rolling, going good and, boom, we just had a belt that gave out and that ended the good run. But, ultimately, our qualifying position truly gives us confidence on race day. We’ve shown strength in different areas of the racecar. Altogether, we feel like we can lay it down on Sunday.”


Funny Car:

JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Del Worsham

The Results:
Q1: 4.461 E.T. at 211.76 MPH
Q2: 4.104 E.T. at 307.65 MPH
Q3: 4.177 E.T. at 248.25 MPH
Q4: 4.053 E.T. at 312.06 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Two

Quotable:
"We have been struggling here, and it's not because of the race track. This is the smoothest race track we have on tour right now, but with the reduced amount of glue down there and the oppressive heat, it's been tough trying to dial-in our horsepower. We just found some things two races ago that make this Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge a beast to 60-foot. Trying to marry that to a hot race track is more difficult than you would think. I believe we're finally getting a handle on that."


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

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Tim Wilkerson

The Results: 
Q1: 4.081 E.T. at 309.49 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: 4.039 E.T. at 318.02 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.048 E.T. at 315.71 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 7.155 E.T. at 95.27 MPH

Bonus Points: Five

Quotable:
"Great weekend, we're making strides and putting runs back in (crew chief) Rahn Tobler's computer with data on top of what we ran with the five-disc (clutch) back in 2017. Every run we make is more and more information and once again, in the heat today, to go down the track and run a 4.04 was classic Rahn Tobler. Conditions are going to change again tomorrow. It's going to be a little cooler with a chance of rain, but that's why I'm so happy on Sunday mornings to have a guy like Rahn Tobler calling the shots."

MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 11

The Competition: No. 6 Jonnie Lindberg

The Results: 
Q1: 4.892 E.T. at 160.48 MPH
Q2: 4.088 E.T. at 315.56 MPH 
Q3: 4.127 E.T. at 311.49 MPH
Q4: 4.361 E.T. at 215.07 MPH

Quotable:
"Great to be back here at Virginia Motorsports Park. We're having a lot of fun, the stands are full. But it's hot. You're dealing with the heat, hot track conditions, and everything that goes along with it. Our guys are hot; they're wrenching on our Mopar Dodge. It's like working over top of a wood stove. God bless them for what they do; they love doing it, I love driving it. We'll go out tomorrow, put on a show for these Virginia fans and hopefully bring this trophy back home."

 
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T 
Qualified: No. 10

The Competition: No. 7 John Force

The Results:
Q1: No Time (Timing system malfunction)
Q2: No Time (Broke)
Q3: 4.349 E.T. at 221.02 MPH
Q4: 4.083 E.T. at 314.82 MPH

Quotable:
"It's been a struggle. We've got our new car, and have switched back to the five-disc clutch, but the guys worked through it and now we have a good competitive car for race day."
 

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