What's new

DSR Bristol Pre-Race Report


Bristol Pre-Race Report


NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Event 11 of 24 (Bristol)
Bristol Dragway
Bristol, Tennessee
June 15-17, 2018

Noteworthy:

  • Ron Capps returns as the defending Funny Car event champion
  • All DSR Funny Car final in 2017 (Capps vs. Jack Beckman)
  • Leah Pritchett returns as the Top Fuel event runner-up
  • Tony Schumacher is the winningest driver in Bristol Dragway history with five TF wins: 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
  • Capps is tied with John Force for most FC wins (four) at Bristol Dragway: 2001, 2006, 2012, 2017
  • Schumacher leads the TF class in number of No. 1 qualifiers (four) at Bristol: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2015
  • Pritchett will pull double-duty, competing in both Top Fuel and the Factory Stock Showdown for the third time in 2018
  • DSR's newest driver, Mark Pawuk, will make his Factory Stock Showdown debut, driving the Empaco Equiment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
  • Antron Brown will compete against 'Papa' John Schnatter in the Papa John's Charity Challenge to benefit the Infinite Hero Foundation on Saturday
    • A donation check in the amount of $20K will be presented to IHF, bringing this year's running total to $100K
  • The U.S. Army Top Fuel driver trio of Brown, Pritchett and Schumacher will help recognize the U.S. Army’s 243rd birthday during trackside ceremonies on Saturday
  • As a resident of Christiansburg, Va., Matt Hagan considers Bristol Dragway to be a home track

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel, E.T.: 3.745-seconds, Tony Schumacher (2015)
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.884-secs, Ron Capps (2016)

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster

NHRA Bristol Event Highlights:
  • 2011 runner-up
  • 2010 No. 1 qualifier
2017 Bristol Recap:
Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Pat Dakin in E1, defeated by Shawn Langdon in E2)

Last event (Richmond):
Qualified tenth; Semifinal finish (defeated by Mike Salinas in E1, Bill Litton in E2; defeated by Steve Torrence in E3)

2018 Season Statistics:
Nine round wins; ranked sixth in points

Career Statistics:
392 races; 65 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 qualifiers (11 PSM)

Notable:
  • Will face off against 'Papa' John Schnatter in the Papa John's Charity Challenge race on Saturday
    • Benefits the Infinite Hero Foundation
    • Prior to Bristol, $80K has been collected for IHF so far in 2018 through the Charity Challenge series. The $100K milestone will be achieved on Saturday afternoon.
Quotable:
“It was great to reach the semis at Virginia, but we were capable of winning that race. It was a great boost to the team, no matter the outcome, though. We made quality runs and the car was doing what we wanted it to do. We figured some more stuff out and the guys just kept after it and they never quit, they never gave up. And now, we see some light at the end of the tunnel. So, going to Bristol, I guarantee everyone is going into it with a great deal of confidence. I have a great deal of confidence – always have in these guys. We just never quit. And now, this is all a positive, confidence-booster for this team. We’re going to come out of the box swinging at Bristol. And we’re going to swing harder in qualifying, shoot for No. 1. And then we can set our own fortune and luck. We’ve been fighting this fight and we learned so much through all this agony we’ve been through. That’s when you do your most learning, when you’re struggling. And I think we’ve learned enough and we’re ready to move forward and make the good times roll, again.”



LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the Papa John's Pizza/FireAde Top Fuel Dragster

NHRA Bristol Event Highlights:
  • 2017 runner-up
2017 Bristol Recap:
Qualified third; Event runner-up (defeated Troy Coughlin Jr. in E1, Scott Palmer in E2, Shawn Langdon in E3; defeated by Clay Millican in E4)

Last event (Richmond):
Qualified fifth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Clay Millican in E1; defeated by Doug Kalitta in E2)

2018 Season Statistics:
14 round wins; ranked fifth in points

Career Statistics:
104 races; six wins; eight No. 1 qualifiers

Notable:
  • Will pull double-duty in Bristol, competing in both Top Fuel and the Factory Stock Showdown series for the third time in 2018
    • Qualified No. 1 at the previous FSXX event in Charlotte, N.C.
    • Driving the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

Quotable:
"It’s Bristol, baby. I always look forward to running in the Thunder Valley. We’ve got some good track history and data there, with a runner up finish last year. We have a fair amount of momentum happening right now, and even though Bristol presents a unique and difficult atmosphere for tuners, making as much Mopar power and putting it to the track is what I’m looking forward to for this team. Additionally, we’ve made some suspension changes to our Factory Stock program, and of course gearing changes to compensate for the altitude.

"We feel this program is getting stronger with every race. It will be (teammate) Mark (Pawuk’s) first race in Factory Stock Showdown series, and I typically never weigh on the side of having any more particular experience in a car or class than a teammate, but I look forward to being the best teammate possible to Mark. He did great during licensing, as expected, and I look forward to his competition-side showing through as we're both qualifying through that stacked field."



TONY SCHUMACHER
Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

NHRA Bristol Event Highlights:
  • Five-time event winner (2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012)
  • Two-time runner-up (2001, 2016)
  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2004, 2007, 2008, 2015)

2017 Bristol Recap:
Qualified sixth; First round exit (defeated by Scott Palmer in E1)

Last event (Richmond):
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Bye in E1; defeated by Richie Crampton in E2)

2018 Season Statistics:
11 round wins; ranked fourth in points

Career Statistics:
490 races; 83 wins; 87 No. 1 qualifiers

Notable:
  • Winningest driver in Bristol Dragway history with five TF wins: 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
  • Leads the TF class in number of No. 1 qualifiers (four) at Bristol: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2015

Quotable:
“We have been qualifying well and that’s a really good indication of how prepared this U.S. Army team is, week in and week out. I talk to a lot people about the importance of preparation. I’m fortunate to work with an incredible group of guys led by (crew chief) Mike Neff and (assistant crew chief) Phil Shuler. Those guys are the best in the business and they are looking at everything we are doing so that we can be in the best position on Sunday. We’ve proven through performance in qualifying that we have one bad-to-the-bone machine. We’re consistently bringing out the best in our competition. Sometimes they take their best shot and move on; sometimes they get us. That motivates all of us to get better. This U.S. Army team will never quit. We’re excited to see what we can do these next few months, starting with Bristol.”



Funny Car:

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

NHRA Bristol Event Highlights:
  • Two-time runner-up (2011, 2017)

2017 Bristol Recap:
Qualified fifth; Event runner-up (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Courtney Force in E2, Tommy Johnson Jr. in E3; defeated by Ron Capps in E4)

Last event (Richmond):
Qualified fifth; First round exit (defeated by Del Worsham in E1)

2018 Season Statistics:
15 round wins; ranked second in points

Career Statistics:
286 races; 27 wins; 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“I’m not a huge traditionalist. I love my job. I get to travel, I talk to my kids every single day when I’m on the road. They love me whether it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas. I’m really most looking forward to Bristol because we stubbed our toes in Richmond. The nice thing about a four-in-a-row is if you’re on a roll, you can’t wait to get to the next race and if you’ve struggled, you can’t wait to get to the next race. I think we’re eight runs away from our next trophy.”



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

NHRA Bristol Event Highlights:
  • Four-time event winner (2001, 2006, 2012, 2017)
  • 2015 runner-up
  • 2016 No. 1 Qualifier

2017 Bristol Recap:
Qualified tenth; Event champion (defeated Alexis DeJoria in E1, Robert Hight in E2, Matt Hagan in E3, Jack Beckman in E4)

Last event (Richmond):
Qualified third; First round exit (defeated by Tim Wilkerson in E1)

2018 Season Statistics:
Ten round wins; ranked sixth in points

Career Statistics:
517 races; 58 wins (one Top Fuel); 21 No. 1 qualifiers

Notable:
  • Returns as the defending event champion
  • Tied with John Force for most FC wins (four) at Bristol Dragway: 2001, 2006, 2012, 2017

Quotable:
"Any of these SMI tracks, with what they’ve done and how they operate, you’re just so happy to show up there. We know the fans are going to be packing the place. It’s a rare Friday night session, and we do that just for the fans there. On top of that, it’s Father’s Day weekend, which is always a neat thing. Growing up in California, it’s unfortunate my dad can’t be at that race, but looking out and seeing three generations standing at the ropes, it’s neat. I grew up on the sport because of my dad. We’ve had great success in Bristol in the past, and we need to start making a run here in the points.




MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Shell ROTELLA Dodge Charger R/T

NHRA Bristol Event Highlights:
  • 2015 event champion
  • 2016 runner-up

2017 Bristol Recap:
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Jim Campbell in E1, John Force in E2; defeated by Ron Capps in E3)

Last event (Richmond):
Qualified 11th; First round exit (defeated by Jonnie Lindberg in E1)

2018 Season Statistics:
14 round wins; ranked fourth in points

Career Statistics:
226 races; 27 wins; 32 No. 1 qualifiers

Notable:
  • As a resident of Christiansburg, Va., Matt Hagan considers Bristol Dragway to be a home track

Quotable:
"Another home race for me. Bristol has been very kind to me. Everyone at the track has been great to work with; they’re very hospitable and always take care of me and my family.

"There will be a lot going on. A lot of media and events, but once we get through all of that, hopefully we’ll be able to throw down some good numbers on Friday. I think what put us behind the eight-ball (in Richmond) was not getting down the race track Friday morning. Q1 is so important to set us up and basically we were chasing it from there, and we ended up getting behind. We’re making a conscious effort to go down the track on Friday and put the runs together that we need to for Sunday."



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

NHRA Bristol Event Highlights:
  • Two-time event champion (2014, 2016)

2017 Bristol Recap:
Qualified eighth; Semifinal finish (defeated Jonnie Lindberg in E1, Tim Wilkerson in E2; defeated by Jack Beckman in E3)

Last event (Richmond):
Qualified tenth; First round exit (defeated by John Force in E1)

2018 Season Statistics:
Ten round wins; Ranked seventh in points

Career Statistics:
432 races; 17 wins (two Top Fuel); 15 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Quotable:
“We’re really looking forward to Bristol. I think we will start to turn a corner there. Last weekend was frustrating, but we feel confident in the new car and we’re starting to figure it out. The Make-A-Wish team has been very successful on Father’s Day in years past, and we hope to have more of that success this weekend.”​

 

Comments

NHRA Twitter


Top