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DSR Phoenix Pre-Race Report

Noteworthy:

  • DSR doubled-up at the 2017 Phoenix race (Leah Pritchett-Top Fuel event champion/Matt Hagan-Funny Car event champion)
    • Leah Pritchett is looking for her third consecutive Phoenix event win in 2018
  • Matt Hagan enters the 2018 event as the most recent Funny Car winner, having won the 2018 NHRA season-opener, and the defending event champion
  • Leah Pritchett became the unofficial fastest Top Fuel pilot in NHRA history during the 2018 Phoenix pre-season test session (334.73-mph)
  • 2017 Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier: Leah Pritchett
  • 2017 Funny Car No. 1 qualifier: Tommy Johnson Jr.
  • All DSR Funny Car final in 2017 (Matt Hagan vs. Ron Capps)
  • All current DSR drivers have been to the Phoenix winner’s circle at least once
  • Tony Schumacher leads the Top Fuel class in number of wins at Phoenix (five): 2000, 2002, 2005, 2013, 2015
  • Tony Schumacher leads the class in number of No. 1 qualifiers (five) at Phoenix: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2015
  • Leah Pritchett won her first Top Fuel title at the 2016 Phoenix event


DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel, E.T.: 3.658-secs, Leah Pritchett (2017)
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.837-secs, Tommy Johnson Jr. (2017)
Funny Car, speed: 333.58-mph, Ron Capps (2017)

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:


ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Highlights:
  • Three-time event winner (2009, 2012, 2014)
  • 2011 runner-up
  • Ran career-best E.T. at 2017 event (3.667-secs)

2017 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Steve Chrisman in E1, defeated by Brittany Force in E2)

Last event (Pomona I):
Qualified sixth; Semifinal finish (defeated Mike Salinas in E1, Steve Torrence in E2; defeated by Tony Schumacher in E3)

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

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

Quotable:
"I love going back to Phoenix. Testing went really well there.

"I’m just pumped up, feeling like we’ve got some unfinished business from last year. We had a good outing but didn’t close the deal, so this year, we’re looking forward to getting back there and getting off to a great start, especially with Mark [Oswald, co-crew chief] and Brad [Mason, co-crew chief] leading our Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota/Pennzoil/Hangsterfer’s team.

"All of the fans out there are always amped up, and that’s what makes me want to rise to the occasion. I just want to go out there and do well, keep my head down and let it do what it do, like Ray Charles."


LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster

NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Highlights:
  • Returns as the defending Top Fuel event champion
    • Is looking for her third consecutive Phoenix Top Fuel title after winning the 2016 and 2017 event
  • 2017 No. 1 qualifier
  • Reset the track Top Fuel E.T. record in 2017:
    • E.T.: 3.658-secs
  • Won her first Top Fuel event at the 2016 Phoenix event
2017 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Event winner (E1: Bye; defeated Clay Millican in E2, Shawn Reed in E3, Brittany Force in E4)

Last event (Pomona I):
Qualified fourth; First round exit (E1: Broke)

2018 Season Statistics:
Ranked eighth in points (three-way tie)

Career Statistics:
95 races; five wins; seven No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Her 3.658-sec run from the 2017 Phoenix event ranks among the Top 10 quickest runs in NHRA history
  • Became the unofficial fastest Top Fuel pilot in NHRA history during the 2018 Phoenix pre-season test session (334.73-mph)
  • Has defeated rival Brittany Force in the past two Phoenix final rounds

Quotable:
"[Phoenix] has actually climbed up the ladder to my number one spot believe it or not. Pomona used to be my number one because it’s my hometown track. Given the success I have had with a number of teams at Phoenix, the records that we’ve set both officially and unofficially there and it’s where I have the most wins. Every track we go to has an aura of the fan base. It’s no different in Phoenix where you see a lot of people that have escaped the cold to be out in the sun and they are just as excited as we are to get the season started. You get excited about the weather because it’s right on the perfect spot to make those good runs. It’s heightened excitement all the way around. The fans really bring it and the teams feed off that energy."


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

NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Highlights:
  • Five-time event winner (2000, 2002, 2005, 2013, 2015)
  • Five-time No. 1 qualifier (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2015)
  • Raced to a runner-up finish in 2012
  • Became the first NHRA driver to eclipse the 330-mph barrier (330.23-mph) at the 1999 Phoenix event

2017 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Terry Haddock in E1, Scott Palmer in E2; defeated by Brittany Force in E3)

Last event (Pomona I):
Qualified eighth; Runner-up (defeated Terry McMillen in E1, Terry Haddock in E2, Antron Brown in E3; defeated by Doug Kalitta in E4)

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

Career Statistics:
481 races; 83 wins; 84 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Leads the Top Fuel class in number of wins at Phoenix (five): 2000, 2002, 2005, 2013, 2015
  • Leads the class in number of No. 1 qualifiers (five) at Phoenix: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2015

Quotable:
"We won Phoenix quite a few times, but it’s really the place where I kind of felt like 'I can do this'. Back in 1999, I had yet to win a race and we went out there and went 330-mph. At that time, I think the fastest anyone had gone was something like 326-mph. That just set an awesome tone to want to go back and it’s always been fun racing there since.

"Going there is kind of like this: it’s the beginning of the season. Everybody was away from racing for a couple of months then we went to Pomona and you go through that shock and awe of being back in the seat and feel a little pressure. No matter what happened in that first race, you are kind of starting to get your mojo back.

"I just love going to Phoenix. It’s a great track the temperature is great. It’s a fun place to do some Harley riding before we race and the fans come out and pack the place. The other variable is that we test there before the season starts. So you are going back to a place where you have already ran down the track. You have some good data and it’s a throw down race. To win it you have to beat good cars because everyone has tested there. Everyone is pretty good there. And if you are going to earn that trophy, it’s because you stepped up against a lot of really good cars."

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

NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Highlights:
  • Three-time event winner (2008, 2010, 2011)

2017 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified sixth; First round exit (E1: broke)

Last event (Pomona I):
Qualified third; Semifinal finish (defeated Bob Tasca III in E1, Tim Wilkerson in E2; E3: broke)

2018 Season Statistics:
Two round wins; ranked third in points

Career Statistics:
277 races; 26 wins; 23 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
"Right now we have a great race car and a solid team, we just haven’t had any race day luck. Phoenix has treated me well in the past, and this would be the perfect time - early in the season - to make a statement with our Infinite Hero Dodge Charger."


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

NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Highlights:
  • 2017 Funny Car runner-up
  • Three-time event winner (2003, 2009, 2013)
  • Three-time No. 1 qualifier (2000, 2009, 2016)
  • Four-time runner-up (1998, 2000, 2005, 2017)
  • Reset the track Funny Car speed record in 2017:
    • Speed: 333.58-mph
  • Reset career-bests at the 2017 Phoenix event
    • E.T.: 3.839-secs
    • Speed: 333.58-mph

2017 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified third; Runner-up (defeated Jeff Arend in E1, Gary Densham in E2; Jim Campbell in E3; defeated by Matt Hagan in E4)

Last event (Pomona I):
Qualified fifth; Semifinal finish (defeated Shawn Langdon in E1, Jonnie Lindberg in E2; defeated by Matt Hagan in E3)

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

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

Noteworthy:
  • Made his professional debut at the 1995 event in the Top Fuel category

Quotable:
"We’re looking forward to the NHRA Arizona Nationals after going to the final round and setting the speed record last year, and even more so after how successfully we ran at the Phoenix pre-season test session. I know our NAPA team is pretty pumped to get on the track for qualifying on Friday. We always have a huge amount of NAPA racing fans and NAPA AutoCare customers that come out to this race, as well as our great friends at local rock station, KUPD. It all makes for a fun race."


MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T

NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Highlights:
  • Returns as the defending Funny Car event champion
  • Two-time Arizona Nationals event winner (2015, 2017)
  • 2015 No. 1 qualifier
  • 2013 runner-up

2017 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified fourth; Event champion (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Tim Wilkerson in E2; Tommy Johnson Jr. in E3; Ron Capps in E4)

Last event (Pomona I):
Qualified No. 1; Event champion (defeated Jim Campbell in E1, Cruz Pedregon in E2; Ron Capps in E3; Robert Hight in E4)

2018 Season Statistics:
Four round wins; ranked first in points

Career Statistics:
217 races; 27 wins; 31 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Won the 2018 NHRA season-opener in Pomona, California from the No. 1 spot
  • Current Funny Car points leader

Quotable:
"We had a great test session in Phoenix, and obviously a great race weekend in Pomona. Rolling right back into Phoenix where we ran really well, shook down both cars and had an excellent showing during testing.

"The weather is supposed to be cool, and that means things are going to be fast. Pull the seatbelts down, put your mouthpiece in and hang on. One thing Dickie Venables knows how to do is go fast, so I’m pretty excited to get strapped in to the car and do big things. Of course, it’s a fuel Funny Car and you never know what you’re going to get so we’ll see. Stand on the loud pedal and hope for the best, but we have a solid team and I’m feeling really confident."


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

NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Highlights:
  • 2017 Funny Car No. 1 qualifier
  • Reset the track Funny Car E.T. record in 2017:
    • E.T.: 3.837-secs
      • Career-best
  • 2006 Funny Car event winner

2017 Phoenix Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Defeated Phil Burkhart in E1, Robert Hight in E2; defeated by Matt Hagan in E3)

Last event (Pomona I):
Qualified ninth; First round exit (defeated by Cruz Pedregon in E1)

2018 Season Statistics:
Ranked 10th in points (three-way tie)

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

Noteworthy:
  • Made his NHRA debut at the 1989 Phoenix event

Quotable:
"Looking forward to getting back to Phoenix. We qualified No. 1 there last year and ran really well.

"We made some really good test runs during the Phoenix pre-season test session; we just stumbled at Pomona. We’re looking forward to getting back on track this weekend. Pomona wasn’t how we wanted to do it, so we’ll see if we can’t build off of what we did in Phoenix during testing."​
 

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