Mopar®/Dodge Notes & Quotes: Brainerd, Minnesota

6 years ago Racing

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar® Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster 

No. 1 Qualifier – 3.640 seconds at 330.63 mph

“Don Schumacher has given me the best team, in my opinion, and we keep continuing to prove that. I say we have the best team because we have the best hot rod. To go multiple times backing up our national record, doing incredible things in Denver (with a No. 1 and final round), being No. 1 (six times this year), it’s absolutely amazing. The only thing that would ever be better than this is if we can keep this through all the way to the end. But right now, we’re going to enjoy this win because those guys, they deserve it.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

No. 5 Qualifier – 3.880 seconds at 329.58 mph

“It’s another runner-up, which is frustrating, but at the same time, it’s a really good thing. We made a move in the points today, got ourselves in the top four, and one of these days, if we continue to run like that, that runner-up’s going to become a win. I’d love nothing more than to do that at Indy or in the Countdown (to the Championship). We’re saving all those wins I guess. But I have a really good team, a really consistent car and just can’t get a little bit of luck in the final. Other than that, we have a really good team that I think is going to be tough to deal with.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

No. 2 Qualifier – 3.807 seconds at 336.57 mph

“It’s the second time in my career (the kill switch) messed some runs up. At the end of the day, it was a faulty wire that caused that (the car shutting off). Backing up on the burnout, obviously, it just quit, and that’s an eerie feeling. It’s not something that we really had control over and knew about. There was nothing we could do, so we pushed the car off and I guess we’ll head to Indy.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

No. 6 Qualifier – 3.886 seconds at 333.25 mph

“We’re okay, we’re solidly in the Countdown, but we want to win Indy, and we still have a chance to move up a position or two before they re-set the Countdown points. So we will work our tails off Wednesday and Thursday (during testing at Lucas Oil Raceway), and flog this car, and make sure we exorcise our demons. I am not superstitious, but we just had a whole bunch of dumb racing luck here at Brainerd. We’ll get that out of our system and move forward.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 8 Qualifier – 3.928 seconds at 325.14 mph

“This is a great tune-up for the Countdown as far as the track conditions: cool conditions, a great racetrack, and we’re going to see a lot of that later in the Countdown. The big points lead that we’ve had throughout the summer swing really allowed us to do some things and try some things we’ve been wanting to try under race conditions. It’s unfortunate we lost to (Robert) Hight’s team; we’re going to see that matchup a lot this year. I have a feeling the championship’s going to have to go through that team as well as my teammates.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

No. 4 Qualifier – 3.695 seconds at 329.42 mph

“That was quite the run Clay (Millican) and his boys put together. They’ve been running well. We were actually targeting a .67 (3.67 seconds), but had a little something go wrong with the clutch that we haven’t figured out yet. It would’ve won that race and put us in the semis. But, so far, so good with our new car after its first six runs. It’s a championship-caliber car, in my opinion, and that’s our goal every year. This new car is fast, it’s consistent, and I think we’re headed to the right race with the right car at the right time. We’re all getting confident.”

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) FCA – Global

“We couldn’t be prouder of what Leah Pritchett and her Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil team accomplished this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway. Congratulations to everyone involved on the win in the NHRA Nationals. It’s exciting to watch so much hard work pay off.”

Next Event

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is next in action on Labor Day Weekend for the 63rd annual U.S. Nationals — the most prestigious drag race in the world. Slated for August 30 – September 4 at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, the event will also feature the 16th edition of the popular Mopar HEMI® Challenge and the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for race winners.

Last year, Mopar driver Matt Hagan won the U.S. Nationals in the Funny Car category, while his Mopar teammate Tony Schumacher took home the victory in Top Fuel. Schumacher has won the event a record 10 times, while Hagan and fellow DSR driver Jack Beckman each have one victory in Funny Car at the historic race.

Long known as “The Big Go”, the U.S. Nationals will receive coverage from FOX Sports 1 throughout the weekend, with the opening elimination rounds airing LIVE on the network at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, September 4. Later that afternoon, the FOX Network will pick up the broadcast at 1 p.m. ET and will continue through the finals.

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

2017 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 17 of 24

(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car

  1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (6) – 1,383
  2. Robert Hight (2) – 1,247
  3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 1,214
  4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 1,180
  5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 1,160
  6. Courtney Force – 1,012
  7. John Force (1) – 954
  8. Tim Wilkerson – 792
  9. J.R. Todd (1) – 788
  10. Alexis DeJoria (1) – 664

NHRA Top Fuel

  1. Antron Brown (4) – 1,513
  2. Steve Torrence (6) – 1,482
  3. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (4) – 1,453
  4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI (1) – 1,121
  5. Brittany Force (1) – 1,052
  6. Doug Kalitta – 1,038
  7. Clay Millican (1) – 1,014
  8. Terry McMillen – 722
  9. Scott Palmer – 679
  10. Troy Coughlin Jr. – 576



More Racing Articles