Beckman is Heating Up
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 9 Qualifier – 3.971 seconds at 322.04 mph
“What happens when you start running consistent is the other cars know that they have to step up a little, and I think that we just enjoyed a little bit of that for the last couple weekends. We weren’t spectacular, but our car went to the finish line pretty consistently and folks knew they had to step up. When I say we weren’t spectacular, I’m talking about a tenth of a second off of where we’d like to be, which is not even a blink of an eye. But we need to pick that up. I have every confidence we will pick that up. If it doesn’t happen tomorrow we’re going to keep testing this thing.
“We want to win some more races and we want to win the championship, which means by Indy, we have to have a combination that listens to us. But between now and then, they’re giving a trophy away every weekend.”
Matt Hagan, Mopar® Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 1 Qualifier – 3.865 seconds at 333.33 mph
“We couldn’t do anything wrong in qualifying and set the track record. We just did everything right. For some reason, race day wasn’t our day. We smoked the tires both laps. We thought we could change and fix some stuff, but race day just wasn’t as kind to us as qualifying was.
“We get a weekend off to let these boys (the crew) recover and rest a little bit. We’ll get back after it in Chicago.”
Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 5 Qualifier – 3.925 seconds at 329.34 mph
“It was a good day; the car was on and running great. We had low E.T. second round and just thought we were really on track, and just out of nowhere, smoked the tires. We’ll have to look and find what changed. We didn’t really change anything on the car for it, so something happened and we’ll keep searching. But I’m really happy with the way the car’s running, especially on race day. The guys are doing a great job of racing and that’s what we’ve done over the last few years to get where we were at the end of last season. They’re doing a great job with that and we’ll continue to progress.”
Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 13 Qualifier – 4.018 seconds at 321.19 mph
“I’ve said it time and time again, we could qualify dead last in 16th and I’d still feel like we have as good a chance, if not more, on race day. It’s just how (crew chief Rahn) Tobler and the guys race. We just kept sneaking up on it. You’ve got to look at the silver lining. We lost, but we learned quite a bit about this racecar here. We can add to what we learned in Bristol, and I’m very excited about going to Chicago.”
Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster
No. 4 Qualifier – 3.720 seconds at 322.27 mph
“It’s a good way to wrap up the swing. We’re constantly learning with our power. We’re confident we make some of the highest amounts of power in comparison to our competition. Our overall fuel setup still needs some proper fine-tuning. (The crew) is still discovering how to harness that power in heat conditions.
“Everyone’s done a stand-up job. Our parts have held together. Halfway through the season, if I were to give a progress report right now, I would give us a solid A.”
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 8 Qualifier – 3.766 seconds at 325.06 mph
“The U.S. Army car went down the track every time until that second-round run. This is a new car and we made six runs; and my guys continued making changes to it. Doug (Kalitta) has been running well this weekend and we knew it was going to take our best run to beat him. Unfortunately, that was the first time we really spun the tires that far down the track. We know what is going on. We have to fix what is going on. We have all been frustrated, but we’ve been doing this a long time. We’re halfway through the year and we’ve won championships a lot of different ways. The big picture is still in focus. None of us like to lose. We will figure it out, no matter how hard we have to work at it.”
Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) FCA – Global
“As the season reaches its halfway point, the success of our Mopar HEMI®-powered NHRA Nitro teams continues to roll on. Congratulations to Jack Beckman on winning the NHRA Nationals in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T. As our brand continues its 80th anniversary celebration, it will be very fun to see what the second half of the year has in store for our Mopar drivers and teams.”
After a one-week break, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is back in action on July 6 – 9 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, for the 20th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
In 2016, Mopar driver Jack Beckman defeated his teammate, Ron Capps, in the Funny Car final. Beckman also set the speed record during last year’s race weekend, reaching 322.50 mph. Matt Hagan set the E.T. record in 2016, turning in a 3.882-second pass.
Hagan has won three times at Route 66 Raceway, while Beckman, Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. all have one Funny Car win there. Mopar-powered Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher has won in that category five times — the most in history.
The Route 66 NHRA Nationals will be broadcast LIVE on FOX Sports 1. A qualifying show is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 8, while elimination rounds will air at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 9.
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 12 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)
NHRA Funny Car
- Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (5) – 1,095
- Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 946
- Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 855
- Robert Hight – 809
- Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 739
- Courtney Force – 714
- John Force (1) – 683
- Tim Wilkerson – 525
- J.R. Todd – 508
- Cruz Pedregon – 431
NHRA Top Fuel
- Steve Torrence (4) – 1,071
- Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (3) – 1,021
- Antron Brown (2) – 990
- Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI (1) – 856
- Doug Kalitta – 781
- Brittany Force (1) – 734
- Clay Millican (1) – 695
- Terry McMillen – 477
9t. Troy Coughlin Jr. – 464
9t. Scott Palmer – 464