DSR Topeka Saturday Qualifying Report

Menards NHRA Nationals 
Presented by PetArmor
Event No. 11 of 20
Heartland Motorsports Park
Topeka, Kan.
Aug. 13 - 15, 2021

DSR Qualifying Highlights:

  • Funny Car point leader and Pomona race winner Ron Capps clinched a berth in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs during qualifying at Heartland Motorsports Park where he posted the third-quickest E.T. of Q3
  • No. 2 ranked Antron Brown powered to the second-best pass of Top Fuel Q2 and also officially clinched a Countdown playoff spot
  • Reigning Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan clocked the best run of the third qualifying session, was third-quickest during Q2, and will start race day in Topeka from the No. 4 position

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 8

The Competition: No. 7 Shawn Langdon

The Results: 
Q1: 5.056 E.T. at 142.75 MPH
Q2: 3.828 E.T. at 320.28 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.808 E.T. at 322.34 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

“We had a good day today here in Topeka. We were second-quickest of that first session with a great 3.82 in the heat and we’re going to have that information to help us prepare for tomorrow. We feel very comfortable going into race day. We ran decent with a 3.80 and stepped up a little bit more and we knew the track could have held more. We’re getting prepared for tomorrow and running that .82 and .80 gives us the consistency we need on a hot race track to have a good race day. We have a tough first-round match-up with Shawn Langdon, one of the best drivers in the sport. That’s a car you don’t want to race first round. We’re going to keep our heads down, do what we do, and have fun. We had so much fun with our Matco distributors and Hangsterfer’s group today. Our distributor and customer of the race, both named Michael, had a lot of fun with us at Heartland Park. We’re super pumped. Sunday is race day and we ain’t taking no prisoners tomorrow.”


Driver of the Cookie and Candy Pop Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 11

The Competition: No. 4 Steve Torrence

The Results: 
Q1: 6.412 E.T. at 105.01 MPH
Q2: 3.897 E.T. at 314.31 MPH
Q3: 4.372 E.T. at 193.46 MPH

“We’ve got a new, great look this weekend here at Topeka with the Cookie Pop and Candy Pop dragster and Menards. We did not have the best start to qualifying with smoking the tires on Friday night, and that put us in a position to go down the track in the hot conditions in the summer Kansas heat. We were able to run a nice 3.89 and chip away at it for the final qualifying session to get a solid mid-3.70s run, but unfortunately, fuel system issues plagued us. If our Top Fuel dragster ran on all eight cylinders we would have been just fine. Nitro causes this problem at times. The momentum we had from Sonoma and Pomona (Calif.), we will pull that back out tomorrow and we’ll need to with a tough first round opponent in Steve Torrence. They’re the team to beat right now, but we have a great team and we’ll be looking to pop off some win lights one at a time.”


Funny Car:
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Qualified: No. 9

The Competition: No. 8 Chad Green

The Results:
Q1: 4.151 E.T. at 232.95 MPH
Q2: 4.037 E.T. at 316.23 MPH
Q3: 3.968 E.T. at 324.36 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: One

“We wanted to get down Friday night. That was the run to really position yourself in the top of the field for qualifying under the lights here at Heartland Park, and we missed it just a little bit. But to go down both runs on Saturday in the heat with the sun on the track is the NAPA Know How I brag about with Guido (Dean Antonelli) and (John) Medlen. It’s just like Pomona. We had to go down the track and we gained one point that last session and we moved ourselves up a few spots on the ladder. That will allow us to sleep a little better on Saturday night and gives us better data for Sunday.
“Before the race weekend got started, we had some great activation events with NAPA and our store owners, and we also do a pretty cool intern program with Western Technical College. We host interns to work with our DSR teams for a few races and our latest intern, Larry Carson, grew up in Topeka. He’s 45, was in the Army, and decided to go to Western Tech after he served our nation. To have him working with our NAPA team is so great. He fits right in and we want to do well for him at his home track where he used to watch the NHRA race as a fan.”

Driver of the DSR Performance Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Jack Wyatt

The Results:
Q1: 3.942 E.T. at 325.37 MPH
Q2: 4.023 E.T. at 303.64 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.911 E.T. at 325.14 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Four

“That was a really good way to end that last qualifying session being quickest and getting those three bonus points. As bunched up as these Funny Car standings are right now, points are huge. The competition is so tough. Our DSR Performance Dodge is looking really good for Sunday, and Topeka, Kansas has always been really good to me and I hope we can continue that. I’m looking forward to doing big things tomorrow for these fans and everyone watching on FOX. We’ll see how it plays out with the heat and it could turn into a driver’s race, but at the end of the day we have Dickie Venables in our corner and that’s better than what most others have. I like our chances.”

Factory Stock Showdown Series:

Driver of the D H Davies Racing Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak

Qualified: DNQ

The Results:
Q1: Foul; No Time
Q2: 10.758 E.T. at 113.93 MPH
Q3: 10.492 E.T. at 139.60 MPH

“It was very exciting to have our first event with DSR this weekend at Topeka. The crew did a fantastic job. We learned a lot and made progress on every hit. I’m looking forward to going to Indy in a few weeks and making more progress with the new 2021 Mopar Drag Pak, and getting this thing dialed-in so that it’s faster and faster.”

Driver of the Empaco Equipment Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak

Qualified: No. 13

The Competition: No. 4 Aaron Stanfield

The Results:
Q1: 8.509 E.T. at 169.57 MPH
Q2: 13.767 E.T. at 71.09 MPH
Q3: 8.102 E.T. at 173.07 MPH

“Well, I’m a little disappointed in our qualifying performance this weekend. We came into Topeka and spun the tires our first two qualifying sessions, so we had no choice but to tame the car way down just to get down the race track. Hopefully, we’ll go back the other direction and be able to tune this Empaco Equipment Drag Pak up. We race Aaron Stanfield first round and that’s not the best choice to have. He’s a very tough competitor in both Factory Stock and Pro Stock, but it’s my time. He’s beat up on me enough and it’s time for the old guy to get one over on the young gun.”

Driver of the Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak

Qualified: No. 10

The Competition: No. 7 Doug Hamp

The Results:
Q1: 9.737 E.T. at 123.78 MPH
Q2: 8.584 E.T. at 173.41 MPH
Q3: 8.011 E.T. at 175.64 MPH

“Coming off of the mountain in Denver we had a really great showing with that final round appearance with this new 2021 Mopar Drag Pak. We obviously had to make some setup changes to come here to Topeka. It was just off the mountain, it was from that altitude to conditions we are more familiar with from earlier in the season. We qualified in the 10th position. We spun the tires in Q1 and I didn’t do a great job of pedaling and getting the car down the track as quick as possible. We had a chance to work on that again in Q2 when it spun the tires in the heat. It was so close to making it, but we were able to pedal and shift and get some data and that helped us run an 8.01 with a smooth, clean pass in Q3. We started a bit behind the eight ball, but we have three cars now and we have to adapt and learn with the data from each car, and that will make us stronger as a team. This Drag Pak team is moving in the right direction and I’m confident we can dip back into the 7s and turn on some win lights.”

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