Mopar® Dodge//SRT® NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes NHRA Southern Nationals, Commerce, Georgia

5 years ago Racing

Leah Pritchett, Mopar® Dodge/FireAde Top Fuel Dragster

No. 4 Qualifier – 3.788 ET

“This win feels incredible. It’s been a while, but I think a (win) drought is all relative. This FireAde/Mopar®/U.S. Army team knows what it’s like to win and we still have that in our hearts and that’s what we grasp to. And, yes, we may have been the only Top Fuel car for DSR that advanced out of the first round today, but we felt the world of support from the entire organization knowing they were all behind us as we made our run to this win today. Thank you, Don Schumacher, for believing in me and giving me a chance two years ago. And for all of Don Schumacher Racing, all the fans, all the guys back at the shop that put those racecars together and keep us safe, this one is for you. It was a special weekend here in Atlanta for a lot of reasons, including the ability to fulfill a dream of Make-A-Wish child Luci Toman. She is a true inspiration and it was great having her with me all weekend. We both got our dreams to come true this weekend.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

No. 11 Qualifier – 4.054 ET

“All in all, a good day. It’s like old-school match racing with this track prep. (Crew chief) Dickie Venables did a great job adapting. I can’t say enough about my Mopar Express Lane Dodge team. We had a hole out, killed the tree. It was all there for the taking, it was just a matter of it all coming together, but hey, it’s drag racing. We’ll go to Topeka and get it done.”

On starting race day from the back half of the field:

“I’ve won from the back, I’ve won from the front; it’s just a matter of being in it to win it.”

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

No. 10 Qualifier – 4.038 ET

“I’m a competitor and I’m always upset when we get beat, but you’ve got to recognize big picture. We did a good job this weekend. We went to the semifinals; we lost to another Mopar, so we know a Don Schumacher Dodge is going to be in the final round. We’re going a long way towards inching towards that championship so there’s no reason not to feel optimistic moving forward.”

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

No. 3 Qualifier – 3.968 ET

“We had a really good racecar and I felt confident going into the day. It’s been a really hard track to navigate. There’s bumps out there and they’re experimenting with track prep. We seemed to have been adapting pretty well, but, unfortunately, the bump got us the second round. It was in the lead and pulling away then hits the bump and comes loose. It’s aggravating, but we’ll keep learning and see if we can’t make what we learned today work for us down the road and make us better.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

No. 12 Qualifier – 4.107 ET

“We came in as defending champions in this race last year. It’s a tricky track with tricky conditions and we thought we were going to take the NAPA Dodge in the winner’s circle again, but we got stuck in the left lane. It’s a little more difficult to get down there. We had Cruz Pedregon, who’s probably got the toughest car right now in the class. You’re always disappointed when you don’t win, but I think we made huge gains as far as where we started out Friday in qualifying. We’re going to go on to Topeka, where we won last year and see if we can’t get back in winner’s circle there and start the streak that we did last year.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

No. 5 Qualifier – 3.794 ET

“I knew we were in trouble as soon as I hit the gas. Litton had only gone down the track once all weekend and we weren’t taking him lightly. We were prepared to make a run in the 3.70s. Hats off to him for making it down the track again, we just couldn’t get by him on seven cylinders. You do everything you can to be ready, but sometimes in racing, something out of your control costs you. This U.S. Army team is filled with incredibly talented and smart people, and we will not give up. I know we will win races. It’s on to Topeka now.”

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

“Thanks to Leah Pritchett for putting the Mopar and Dodge brands in the winner’s circle at the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Leah’s victory also marks the third for a Mopar-powered driver in seven NHRA events and puts an exclamation point on our brand’s early-season success on the drag strip.”

Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT®, Chrysler and FIAT®, FCA North America

“Hats off to Leah Pritchett for earning her first victory of the season at the NHRA Southern Nationals. With three wins early on in the season, it’s clear the combination of Dodge, Mopar and the Don Schumacher Racing organization is a successful one.”

2018 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 7 of 24 (Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Top Fuel

  1. Steve Torrence (3) – 581
  2. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI® – 461
  3. Doug Kalitta (1) – 458
  4. Clay Millican – 448
  5. Leah Pritchett, Mopar Dodge HEMI (1) – 435
  6. Antron Brown – 390
  7. Brittany Force (1) – 375
  8. Terry McMillen – 336
  9. Richie Crampton (1) – 280
  10. Mike Salinas – 275

NHRA Funny Car

  1. Courtney Force (2) – 546
  2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 538
  3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 487
  4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T – 436
  5. J.R. Todd (2) – 428
  6. Robert Hight – 421
  7. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T – 404
  8. Cruz Pedregon (1) – 357
  9. Shawn Langdon – 301
  10. Tim Wilkerson – 293



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