Mopar®/Dodge Notes & Quotes: Route 66 Nationals, Joliet, IL

5 years ago Racing

Capps Wins Sixth Wally, Extends Points Lead

Ron Capps, NAPA Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 9 Qualifier – 3.942 seconds at 292.08 mph

“It’s been a season you can’t even dream about. It may have looked on the outside like maybe we were struggling (this weekend) and I’m sure some of our opponents may have thought the same. But as every Sunday goes with (crew chief) Rahn Tobler, he wakes up in the morning and he is a big-picture guy. It’s so fun to race with him and he’s taught me a lot. I get up to drive that car and make him proud.

“This weekend, on top of everything else with Terry (Chandler), the fans were just crazy. You already knew how much she was loved, but people that had never met her before were wanting to give their respects. Then to be lined up with one of her cars (in the final), I saw her standing outside my car because I guess you just get so used to it and I had to shake my head for a second. You’re not used to her not being here. So it was a very emotional weekend. Bittersweet, but at the same time, it’s a DSR car and I’m glad we can give Don (Schumacher) the trophy to do what he’s going to do with her family.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar® Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 4 Qualifier – 3.895 seconds at 332.10 mph

“We would do things a little different than what we did in the semis, but we still went to the semis. Obviously, we’re trying to catch (Ron) Capps and he’s just kind of pulling away. But that’s why they have the Countdown nowadays. So we’re just going to keep working on it. I wouldn’t trade (crew chief) Dickie Venables or (assistant) Mike Knudsen for anybody out here. I know when things cool down a little bit, nobody can touch our racecar so I’m really looking forward to the Countdown and the last six races.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster 
No. 2 Qualifier – 3.723 seconds at 326.56 mph

“It’s never a good thing when you race Antron Brown in the second round; you want to meet him in a final. Our issue in the second round was our clutch regulator had hung open and we smoked the tires. We hadn’t smoked the tires all weekend. But more than anything, we’re proud of the nine points we picked up in qualifying, which almost equals out to a round win. But, man, every little bit counts between (Steve) Torrence and Antron.

“From a high note, going out there, Antron and I were pretty much side-by-side. I go up in smoke, I pedal it one time and then I see he’s on a clean run and there’s no way I’m getting to the finish line now before him, even if he chucks the belt. That’s doing two things at once. You’re racing, you’re trying to make it, but you’re also being smart about your moves because we have a big swing coming up that’s going to require a lot of parts and pieces.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 6 Qualifier – 3.913 seconds at 3260.00 mph
“It was a tough weekend for everybody with the loss of Terry (Chandler). I’m proud of the guys for sticking together and wanting to go out here and win this thing for Terry. To have to put the stickers on the car in memory of her was tough and we wanted nothing more than to win this race for her. No matter what, I know she was proud of us. But we wanted to win this one awful bad for her.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 2 Qualifier – 3.856 seconds at 330.23 mph
“Normally, I leave here with a philosophical approach and a silver-lining type of thing. We really just had one goal this weekend. Terry (Chandler) was just laid to rest and we wanted to put her car in the winner’s circle. We didn’t get it done. So that’s a little bit heartbreaking. To put it in context, though, we get a chance at another race. We can still do some great things for her and for Infinite Hero the rest of the year. We’ll have a week to look at data and think about it. It’s been a tough weekend. I thought today would be a little bit easier for me to flip that switch and go into race mode. Once the car started, it was okay; but when it’s not, it’s a tough day. It’s just a lot to deal with having lost somebody that did so much for us.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 5 Qualifier – 3.758 seconds at 325.37 mph

“That was a terrible way to end a weekend at home. The game has always been a timing thing and you can push blame off and make excuses. I had a terrible light. I thought he redlighted, but I still should have had a much better light. The bottom line is that I need to get better. I need to do a better job and the car needs to run faster. As a team, we just have to be better and I have all the confidence that we will get it together. I am surrounded by an incredible group of people and this U.S. Army team will be ready when we show up on the mountain in a couple weeks.”

Next Event
The yearly Western Swing is up next on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, kicking off in two weeks with the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, near Denver. Last year, Mopar Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher took the event win in the category, his third at the track. Jack Beckman leads all current Mopar Funny Car drivers with three wins at the facility, while Ron Capps has one.

Mopar Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has claimed seven “King of the Mountain” titles to lead all current competitors, including a win at Bandimere last summer.

Mopar will host a number of special events throughout the week, including a block party in downtown Golden, Colorado, on the evening of Thursday, July 20.

The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will take place July 21 – 23, with qualifying coverage provided by FOX Sports 1. The FOX Network will broadcast eliminations LIVE on Sunday, July 23 at 3 p.m. ET.

For more information on Mopar and Dodge in NHRA, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog,

2017 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 13 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (6) – 1,208
2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 1,022
3. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 914

4. Robert Hight – 853
5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 833
6. Courtney Force – 749
7. John Force (1) – 718
8. Tim Wilkerson – 599
9. J.R. Todd – 559
10. Cruz Pedregon – 463

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (5) – 1,188
2. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (3) – 1,087
3. Antron Brown (2) – 1,085
4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI (1) – 894
5. Doug Kalitta – 813
6. Brittany Force (1) – 795
7. Clay Millican (1) – 773
8. Terry McMillen – 509
9. Scott Palmer – 496
10. Troy Coughlin Jr. – 480



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