Mopar®/Dodge Notes & Quotes: Carolina Nationals

6 years ago Racing

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 3 Qualifier – 3.901 seconds at 325.06 mph

“We obviously didn’t go as far as we wanted today but it was a positive. A lot of people who lost first round I’m sure would’ve liked to have won. We’ll continue to work at it and go into Reading. We won that race last year and ran really well. That gives you a little confidence coming in. With the way we’re coming back from a struggle at Indy, I’m pretty positive the performance will continue to increase. Being the No. 3 qualifier here puts us in a good position. If we can go there (to Reading) and continue to do the same, I think the results will follow.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 10 Qualifier – 3.980 seconds at 323.04 mph

“All things considered, this was one of those weekends where we had to grind it out. We obviously had to shut the car off Q2 on Friday night, with the best conditions which would basically set the field. We didn’t qualify where we wanted but, again, that shows what our team can do. With no lane choice and up against one of the toughest guys, Tim Wilkerson, we got a win first round. Then to go up and run a .96 in the left lane (in the second round) when no Funny Cars even went down, to run a .96 was a great run. It hurts and it hurts us in points, but we will definitely bounce back from it. It’s just good to know that we have a good hot rod.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar®/Freightliner Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 11 Qualifier – 3.981 seconds at 324.12 mph

“It’s a super tough loss in the Countdown, but you know what, there are going to be other guys that go out first round here and there. We’ve just got to make them count when we can. The right lane obviously was better and they (Hight’s team) had lane choice. Running that car, you know you have to set up to push. We pushed and it just didn’t stick. It just came down to obviously getting a little behind in qualifying and not having lane choice first round. It is what it is. We’ll move on to Reading and make these next five count.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster 
No. 3 Qualifier – 3.725 seconds at 327.98 mph

“If there’s a time to have our second first round loss of the entire season, this was not it. But I believe in our car. The most frustrating part about it, beyond the loss itself, is just three runs in a row (including qualifying) smoking the tires, which is something this team has never done in its existence. We’re unsure why. We haven’t really had gremlins at all this year and there’s something going on. At this moment, we don’t know what it is. Between now and Reading, I have no question in my mind the capabilities of this team to figure it out. Coming up from behind for a championship chase is what it’s going to take, and that’s what we’re ready for.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 4 Qualifier – 3.906 seconds at 330.47 mph

“I just hope that this one doesn’t come back to bite us at the end of the year. You can’t not take advantage of that big of an opportunity. If someone had told me that you’re going to race the No. 13 car and you’re going to have a reaction time of more than three tenths better than them, you get a free head start, I would have thought it’s a one hundred percent shot that we win the race and we smoked the tires. I pedaled, and it started to move over towards the center line and I didn’t want to take the cones out, so I lifted early and we lost by 16 thousandths of a second. If we would have lost by a second, it wouldn’t have stung this bad because I feel like if I would have done a better job of pedaling the car, we would have been 17 thousandths ahead and we would have still been able to salvage the win light.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 9 Qualifier – 3.788 seconds at 325.30 mph

“The big picture is that we have a good U.S. Army car. We are finally starting to run right. Yes, we got beat second round, but the guys ahead of us also lost early. It’s going to bunch everyone up in the top six or seven. It’s tough, because we could have left here with the lead in the Countdown when you see all the other teams you are chasing go out. Unfortunately, we let that one slip away. The good news is we get to get right back at it next week with momentum.”

Up Next: Dodge NHRA Nationals

Next week, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Pennsylvania for the 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at famed Maple Grove Raceway outside of Reading. Mopar power dominated the event last season, with Tommy Johnson Jr. winning an all-Mopar Funny Car final over teammate Ron Capps. Matt Hagan meanwhile was the No. 1 qualifier and set the track speed record, reaching 333.99 mph, while Jack Beckman set the Funny Car elapsed-time record during the weekend with a pass of 3.850 seconds. Mopar’s Leah Pritchett was also the No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel.

Beckman and Johnson each have two Funny Car wins at the track, while Hagan has visited the winner’s circle once. Mopar-powered Tony Schumacher has claimed five victories there in Top Fuel.

The Dodge NHRA Nationals are scheduled for September 21 – 24, with coverage on FOX Sports 1 throughout the weekend. The elimination rounds will air on FS1 on Sunday, September 24, with LIVE coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

For the second consecutive year, the event will kick off with the Mopar Mega Block Party on the evening of Thursday, September 21. A home run derby, Mopar autograph session, live bands and much more are on tap for the family-friendly event at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. All festivities are free and open to the public.

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

2017 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 19 of 24

(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car

  1. Robert Hight (3) – 2,197
  2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (6) – 2,153
  3. Courtney Force – 2,141
  4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 2,107
  5. 5t. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 2,102
  6. 5t. J.R. Todd (2) – 2,102
  7. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 2,095
  8. John Force (1) – 2,085
  9. Tim Wilkerson – 2,046
  10. Cruz Pedregon – 2,033

NHRA Top Fuel

  1. Doug Kalitta – (1) 2,173
  2. Steve Torrence (7) – 2,159
  3. Antron Brown (4) – 2,135
  4. Brittany Force (1) – 2,117
  5. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI® (1) – 2,115
  6. Clay Millican (1) – 2,110
  7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (4) – 2,108
  8. Terry McMillen – 2,051
  9. Scott Palmer – 2,042
  10. Shawn Langdon – 2,036



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