Dodge Charger of Johnson Jr. Tops Qualifying at Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
3 years ago Racing
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Tommy Johnson Jr. kicked off the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil by driving his MD Anderson Dodge Charger right to the top of the Funny Car timing sheet at Lucas Oil Raceway to earn his 20th career No. 1 qualifier position. Johnson led a trio of HEMI®-powered DSR Funny Cars made up of No. 2 qualifier Matt Hagan and No.3 qualifier Ron Capps at the third Indianapolis-based National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event since the season resumed in July after a four-month hiatus.
On his first pass of the weekend, Johnson posted a 3.976-seconds run at 318.54-mph, a time that held up through both Saturday qualifying sessions, to earn his second No.1 qualifier honor of the restarted season. He’ll face Alexis DeJoria as his first round opponent in eliminations.
“We have a really solid race car here at Indy,” said Johnson, who sits second in the Funny Car points battle behind DSR teammate Jack Beckman after a win at the Arizona Nationals early in the year, along with a runner-up and semifinal finish at the first two Indianapolis races in July. “Three races here and we’ve been No. 1, 2 and No. 1 again. That gives you a ton of confidence going into race day knowing you have such a good car. Now if we can just turn these No. 1 qualifying positions into a win. We’ve gone rounds at these first two Indy races, the only thing left on the plate is a win.”
Hagan, who is once again showing off a demon-red, black and chrome livery on his Mopar® Dodge Charger SRT® Hellcat Redeye, qualified second and hopes to drive his way to a third consecutive final elimination round appearance and a second win to help him move up from his third place position in the championship standings.
In the last national event, Hagan advanced to a final round elimination against Beckman that was postponed due to rain until the U.S. Nationals next month. The two are paired up again on Sunday, this time for a first round match-up after Beckman hazed the tires on both his run to qualify 15th.
Capps rounds out the trio of qualified Dodge Charger entries as the third-seeded Funny Car and will have lane choice over No. 14 qualifier Tim Wilkerson.
In Top Fuel qualifying, Leah Pruett followed up her No. 2 qualifier performance from the previous event with the third quickest run of the day to earn two bonus points. She did it aboard her DSR dragster which, for a second event, featured a fierce-looking Redeye livery, similar to Hagan’s, to promote the July reveal of the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world. Pruett sits second in the Top Fuel championship standings and hopes to add a few more points by making her way through a few rounds of eliminations, starting with No. 14 qualifier, Shawn Langdon. Qualifying highlights will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) on Sunday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. ET. Elimination rounds at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil begin at 10 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, Aug. 9, while television coverage will air on the FOX national network from 1-4 p.m. (ET) and will include LIVE final round action.