Mopar®/Dodge Notes & Quotes – Sonoma NHRA Nationals

5 years ago Racing

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar® Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster 
No. 1 Qualifier – 3.669 seconds at 304.80 mph

“You go into every race day with a good, confident feeling. I feel like this Sunday, we had the most confidence because everything was jelling. Everyone was so on top of their game, with the track record and we were low three out of four qualifiers. This morning, if someone asked, ‘What’s it going to take to win this race?’ I would’ve said, ‘no mistakes.’ We all just do our jobs, no mistakes; that’s what it’s going to take. We were proven wrong. You can make no mistakes and still lose. We had a clutch lever malfunction. It broke, we dropped a hole (cylinder), and Terry McMillen beat us to the finish line first. Broken parts can break hearts but it can’t break our spirit when we go to Seattle.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 6 Qualifier – 3.904 seconds at 330.39 mph

“These guys are going to spend a couple days here at the racetrack going through this car. Unfortunately, we smoked the tires four out of the five times that we were up there on the starting line and that’s just not common. We’re going through everything, we’re going to tear the car apart from front to back and just make sure there’s nothing wrong in this racecar that we’re missing. So at least we’ll roll into Seattle knowing that everything’s in tip-top shape and kind of go from there.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 3 Qualifier – 3.854 seconds at 328.70 mph

“It’s always disappointing to lose. The car in the other lane, J.R. (Todd), had massive problems. They smoked the tires instantly; they gave us a huge window to go through. We couldn’t do it. Our car just quit running at 200 feet. I was dead in the water and we were coasting, and it’s a helpless feeling to know that that car’s coming up on you at 150 miles an hour faster than you’re going. You’re hoping you’re going to get to the finish line first and we weren’t able to do it.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 5 Qualifier – 3.896 seconds at 325.85 mph

“The track was extremely tricky all weekend long and a lot of people were struggling with it, but I was surprised in the second round to come loose. We ran so well in the first round, changed everything we thought would calm (the car) down for the second round with the hotter conditions, but it just didn’t hardly move at all. We made a huge recovery from what happened in the first run on Friday (contacted wall) to come back and make two strong runs in qualifying and a nice first round and kind of keep going rounds. Even though it’s the second round, we’re still getting some round wins and we’ll see if we can build on that in Seattle.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 12 Qualifier – 4.000 seconds at 321.96 mph

“The first thing (crew chief Rahn) Tobler will tell you is we’ve got to qualify better and there was nothing fancy, we weren’t trying anything special. We had a couple of runs where we had dropped cylinders, and I brag about how good Tobler is at catching these small things that might trouble a team two or three races. It only took (Tobler) two or three runs. That was a great run first round. I actually clicked it off a little early when Tommy crossed the finish line so it would’ve run a tiny bit better E.T.-wise. But we can’t qualify like that and race a good car like our teammate’s in the first round. The good thing is we’ve earned the fact that we’ve got this points lead and we can afford to give up a round or two here.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 5 Qualifier – 3.709 seconds at 328.30 mph

“Something is definitely wrong. That’s not a simple adjustment thing. But they’ll fix it. Every time we go through that, we change something and it goes down the racetrack. Something just isn’t right. I can’t even guess at it because right now the crew chiefs can’t even guess at it. It’s something they’ll ponder over the next day or so and make changes and we’ll go to Seattle and go down the racetrack. That’s why we have great people on this U.S. Army team. They can look at stuff and evaluate it and make decisions.”

Next Event

The three-race Western Swing for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series concludes next week with the 30th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington, outside of Seattle.

Mopar Funny Car driver Ron Capps won the 2016 edition of the event, while his teammate Jack Beckman set the track speed record, reaching 334.15 mph. Capps, Beckman, Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. have each won the Northwest Nationals one time in Funny Car, while Mopar Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher has collected four wins at the event. Capps also picked up his only career Top Fuel win at the track, while Johnson scored one of his two Top Fuel wins there.

The 30th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals are scheduled for August 4 – 6, with qualifying coverage provided by FOX Sports 1. The national FOX Network will air the elimination rounds LIVE at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 6.

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

2017 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 15 of 24

(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (6) – 1,276
2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 1,093
3. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 1,049

  1. Robert Hight (1) – 1,035
  2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 982
  3. Courtney Force – 874
  4. John Force (1) – 821
  5. Tim Wilkerson – 727
  6. J.R. Todd (1) – 724
  7. Cruz Pedregon – 570

NHRA Top Fuel

  1. Steve Torrence (6) – 1,369
  2. Antron Brown (3) – 1,294
  3. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Hemi® (3) – 1,250
  4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI (1) – 1,008
  5. Brittany Force (1) – 935
  6. Doug Kalitta – 933
  7. Clay Millican (1) – 861
  8. Terry McMillen – 598
  9. Scott Palmer – 575
  10. Troy Coughlin Jr. – 528




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