Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 3 Qualifier – 3.930 seconds at 324.05 mph
“Our goal was to try to get our placement the best we can going into the Countdown and we’re doing a good job of that. It’s frustrating to lose a final again, but three of the last four races (we’ve been) runner-up so you can’t complain too bad.
“There are two to go before the Countdown and it seems like it’s that time of year to start picking up momentum and getting yourself set. I’m happy with the way we’re doing and we’ll get it done. Final rounds are great; you just like to finish the job when you get there. But six finals in the Countdown would be just fine with me, too.”
Matt Hagan, Mopar® 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 2 Qualifier – 3.930 seconds at 328.54 mph
“You’ve got Brainerd and Indy and then you’ve got the Countdown coming up. So having some momentum is huge. I think that the biggest thing is we need to put this Mopar Funny Car in the winner’s circle. The car’s running good and I think it’s one of those things where we’re always consistent, we’re always right there in the hunt and I think we can be where we need to be at the end of the year.”
Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster
No. 3 Qualifier – 3.755 seconds at 325.30 mph
“Ultimately this team can’t wait to get back on a cold racetrack. Those cold tracks are our hot buttons and we struggled here a little bit. I’d have to say that round two definitely had the most drama in it: a nice pedal-fest against Tony Schumacher. Our teams work very closely together trying to get the DSR cars to be at the very top, and both DSR cars did very similar things on the track.
“Overall, we’re happy that the (Western) Swing is over, we gave it absolutely our very best shot in every way. Nobody here failed at all. Our engine program just isn’t as happy in these hot conditions and we’re continuing to work on that.”
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 5 Qualifier – 3.943 seconds at 323.35 mph
“Seattle 2017 is going to go down as the race where our championship form showed up. I don’t think I did a good enough job driving against Courtney (Force) in the second round. I think I let the car move over too much and that might’ve been what did us in. We’ve cured our parts breakage; the car is doing what we tell it to every time. That smoke in the second round is on me; that’s not on the crew chiefs. I cannot wait for the rest of the season. We’re peaking at the perfect time, we’re doing everything right for the soldiers with the Infinite Hero fundraisers and we’re going to make Mopar proud at the end of the year.”
Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 6 Qualifier – 3.956 seconds at 317.34 mph
“We know championships are going to have to go through a DSR Funny Car, if not all four. We showed that last year with all our Funny Cars. Don (Schumacher) has put together four of the best Funny Cars on the ground. We know that the things that we want to try to get better we have to do under track conditions that we will see on race day. We can’t rely on a Monday or a Saturday somewhere else on an off weekend. We have to do that under NHRA race conditions where we can compare apples to apples. I’ve always bragged about (crew chief) Rahn Tobler making sure that he’s got everything lined up and ready to go. Don’t let the last few races fool anybody.”
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 6 Qualifier – 3.783 seconds at 324.12 mph
“Ten feet further and you win that kind of a race. You smoke the tires so early that there’s no way to calm it down. You need a little more momentum in that situation. This was supposed to be our day and we didn’t need to smoke the tires that early. But, you know what makes you smoke the tires? They (Pritchett) ran a .75 in the heat Saturday in qualifying, so we have to think they’re going to do it again; you’ve got to push it a little more. We’re getting there but we’re not quite there, yet. But we’ll be all right. It’s a long year.”
After a one-week break, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to action August 17 – 20 for the 36th annual NHRA Nationals at famed Brainerd International Raceway in central Minnesota.
In 2016, Mopar Funny Car driver Matt Hagan set both ends of the track record to qualify No. 1 with a pass of 3.822 seconds at 333.82 mph. He finished as the event runner-up. Hagan’s Mopar Funny Car teammate Ron Capps has five wins at Brainerd, while Tommy Johnson Jr. has one win at the facility. Mopar-powered Tony Schumacher has collected three Wallys there in Top Fuel.
The 36th annual NHRA Nationals will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 throughout the weekend, with LIVE coverage of the elimination rounds on the network at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 20.
For more information on Mopar and Dodge in NHRA, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog, http://blog.mopar.com.
2017 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 16 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)
NHRA Funny Car
- Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (6) – 1,330
- Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 1,172
- Robert Hight (2) – 1,164
- Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 1,104
- Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 1,081
- Courtney Force – 951
- John Force (1) – 877
- Tim Wilkerson – 759
- J.R. Todd (1) – 756
- Cruz Pedregon – 601
NHRA Top Fuel
- Antron Brown (4) – 1,418
- Steve Torrence (6) – 1,405
- Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI® (3) – 1,329
- Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI (1) – 1,064
- Brittany Force (1) – 992
- Doug Kalitta – 977
- Clay Millican (1) – 937
- Terry McMillen – 690
- Scott Palmer – 606
- Troy Coughlin Jr. – 560