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DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Post Race Recap



DSR Las Vegas Race Day Highlights:

  • Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Jack Beckman (Funny Car) earned runner-up finishes
  • Jack Beckman moved into the Funny Car points lead
  • Antron Brown competed in his 1,000th professional round on Sunday
  • Don Schumacher Racing had four cars (two Top Fuel, two Funny Car) in the final elimination quad
Four-Wide Nationals note: Bolded driver/time advanced to the next round. Drivers are listed in order of how they finished.

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:


ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 2 (3.772 E.T. at 324.83 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Antron Brown 3.797 E.T. at 327.35 MPH
Leah Pritchett 3.793 E.T. at 324.05 MPH

Terry Totten 4.139 E.T. at 278.17 MPH
Mike Salinas 4.398 E.T. at 191.81 MPH

E2:
Doug Kalitta 3.864 E.T. at 320.13 MPH
Antron Brown 4.050 E.T. at 278.58 MPH
Richie Crampton 4.261 E.T. at 261.47 MPH
Leah Pritchett 5.391 E.T. at 149.51 MPH

E3:
Steve Torrence 3.771 E.T. at 326.63 MPH
Tony Schumacher 3.790 E.T. at 325.22 MPH
Doug Kalitta 3.914 E.T. at 273.27 MPH
Antron Brown 4.097 E.T. at 252.52 MPH

Race Recap:
Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel team had their sights set on winning their third consecutive title at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but finished as semifinalists on Sunday.
During the opening session, Brown ran a 3.797-second lap at 327.35-mph run to earn their round win.

He had to pedal his way to a 4.050-sec at 278.58-mph pass to get the second-round victory, his 1,000th round of professional competition.

During the final quad of competition, the three-time Top Fuel world champion went into tire smoke and slowed to 4.097, finishing as a Four-Wide Nationals semifinalist.

Quotable:
“The guys did a great job today but we just couldn’t get it to go. On that final run, it did like it did the run before where it got through the clutch early and then tried to make it up in the middle there and it smoked the tires. If we could just get off the starting line like we did in the first round today and the second qualifying run Friday, we would’ve been fine – we would’ve had a shot to win. It just didn’t get going and it spins the tires because it tries to make it up. We’re growing, we’re learning, we got to another semifinal and are doing decent in the points and we just need to keep pressing, moving forward, and growing and learning from there. We’ll make it better. Right now, we’ll just keep evolving and keep adapting and, trust me, this team does not quit. We’ll be back, we’ll be strong. We’ll test here tomorrow and keep growing."

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
290 points, ranked No. 3
Leads fourth ranked Clay Millican by 35 points
Trails second ranked Tony Schumacher by 10 points

LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the Papa John's Pizza Top Fuel Dragster


Qualified: No. 7 (3.798 E.T. at 323.35 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Antron Brown 3.797 E.T. at 327.35 MPH
Leah Pritchett 3.793 E.T. at 324.05 MPH

Terry Totten 4.139 E.T. at 278.17 MPH
Mike Salinas 4.398 E.T. at 191.81 MPH

E2:
Doug Kalitta 3.864 E.T. at 320.13 MPH
Antron Brown 4.050 E.T. at 278.58 MPH
Richie Crampton 4.261 E.T. at 261.47 MPH
Leah Pritchett 5.391 E.T. at 149.51 MPH

Race Recap:
Papa John’s Pizza Top Fuel dragster driver Leah Pritchett had the quickest pass of her quad with a 3.793 E.T. while finishing second in round one of eliminations to No. 2 qualifier Antron Brown. She was No. 7 qualifier and helped oust Terry Totten and Mike Salinas in the first Top Fuel quad run.
Her runner-up spot earned her lane choice for round two and a big dose of confidence, but she just missed the finals when her 11,000-horsepower machine lost traction.

Pritchett plans to test at The Strip on Monday and take all of the valuable information with her to Charlotte, N.C. at the end of the month when competitors face the four-wide format once again.
Quotable:
“Sometimes we’re able to come back from a run and know what we did right, like we did on elimination round number one. We were quickest car of the four. It brought confidence back to the team, we felt like we had our hot rod back. Just as soon as you believe that, round number two comes up and sometimes you’re able to see immediately if you got it right or of you didn’t, decipher exactly why. We’re still in the process of understanding why we smoked the tires because we weren’t trying for any record or be the quickest of the day. We were just trying to get down the track on all eight (cylinders) and, instead, for a reason we’re still trying to figure out, it didn’t want to take one of the clutch arms out of play so we ended up smoking the tires. But, the progression has been upward, so that’s positive, although not at the accelerated rate that we would like. I, as a driver, have struggled this weekend on the tree, so to speak, because the number one thing for me is to maintain consistent staging. Racing four-wide here this weekend for the first time, there were multiple new variables than we weren't used to. It’s the same for everybody else, but we just didn’t come out ahead. So, how to put a pretty bow on this weekend, so to speak, every bit of this for the four-wide is very much duly noted for when we get back to this kind of racing in a month at Charlotte. It just stings a little bit because we need the momentum very badly, but today just not at the rate that we want for unknown reasons at the moment. We’ll test here tomorrow and, with the way this team is able to take adversity and make something positive out of it, I’m confident we’ll get things sorted out and we’ll come back better for it at Houston in two weeks.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
202 points, ranked No. 7
Leads eighth ranked Scott Palmer by seven points
Trails sixth ranked Richie Crampton by 13 points

TONY SCHUMACHER

Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 1 (3.765 E.T. at 328.46 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Tony Schumacher 3.899 E.T. at 257.43 MPH
Steve Chrisman 4.111 E.T. at 284.81 MPH

Terry McMillen 4.697 E.T. at 173.01 MPH
Scott Palmer 7.957 E.T. at 94.17 MPH

E2:
Steve Torrence 3.763 E.T. at 326.08 MPH
Tony Schumacher 4.297 E.T. at 249.49 MPH
Steve Chrisman 4.568 E.T. at 216.25 MPH
Clay Millican 5.970 E.T. at 108.82 MPH

E3:
Steve Torrence 3.771 E.T. at 326.63 MPH
Tony Schumacher 3.790 E.T. at 325.22 MPH
Doug Kalitta 3.914 E.T. at 273.27 MPH
Antron Brown 4.097 E.T. at 252.52 MPH

Race Recap:
Tony Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, was the top qualifier for the 86th time of his career and second time in 2018. He won his first round of eliminations despite an engine that let go with a fireball when a fuel line broke.
In quad two, Schumacher finished as the runner-up, advancing him to the finals.

Schumacher turned in an excellent pass in the finals for the division’s runner-up honors, just getting edged by Steve Torrence, who took home the Wally.
Quotable:
“The problem is our car is awesome but the track’s too long – we should’ve won. (Laughs) Seriously, it was an excellent weekend for the Army car. There’s nothing easy about this. We had a runner-up finish with four amazing cars in the final. But, ifs, ifs, ifs don’t matter. I’m not holding the trophy because someone else got to the finish line first. We’ll regroup, we’ll go to Houston and we’ll do it again. We moved up in points [to second], so that’s a good thing. You don’t always have to make world-record runs. You’ve just got to beat the other cars. Torrence went out and kind of ran medium all weekend but got to the finish line first on the runs he needed. It was a good run for us, too, in that final. Everything was fine but we just didn’t make it all the way to the finish line. We literally made it to the finish line one time this weekend and it was our first qualifying run. It’s the little things – we broke a fuel line in the first round today and got away with it. We’re working on the details, and the trophy’s usually in the details. We’ll get it figured out.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
300 points, ranked No. 2
Leads third ranked Antron Brown by 10 points
Trails first ranked Steve Torrence by 33 points

Funny Car:
JACK BECKMAN

Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T


Qualified: No. 13 (4.028 E.T. at 310.05 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Jack Beckman 4.082 E.T. at 305.56 MPH
Gary Densham 5.304 E.T. at 149.66 MPH
Robert Hight 6.165 E.T. at 109.93 MPH
Ron Capps 6.697 E.T. at 78.55 MPH

E2:
Jack Beckman 4.013 E.T. at 317.05 MPH
Courtney Force 4.126 E.T. at 298.67 MPH
Jonnie Lindberg 4.674 E.T. at 188.65 MPH
Gary Densham 5.379 E.T. at 136.72 MPH

E3:
J.R. Todd 4.041 E.T. at 317.05 MPH
Jack Beckman 4.052 E.T. at 312.21 MPH
Courtney Force 4.007 E.T. at 300.53 MPH
Tommy Johnson Jr. 3.978 E.T. at 311.70 MPH

Race Recap:
Jack Beckman started race day from the No. 13 seed, unfamiliar territory for the 2012 Funny Car world champion who hasn’t qualified outside of the ‘top three’ for the past six events, dating back to Dallas 2017.
In the first quad of eliminations, Beckman faced his teammate Ron Capps, reigning world champion Robert Hight, and Gary Densham. Beckman wheeled his Dodge Funny Car straight down the groove to take the round win and advance to the second session.

In round two, Beckman had the starting line advantage and powered Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation machine to another smooth pass, never trailing for the win.

The most recent Funny Car event champion (Gainesville) was hoping to go back-to-back and pick up his second win of the year, and third ‘four-wide format’ victory (Charlotte I 2011, 2015). In the final elimination quad, Beckman was once again quick off of the line and raced to a hole shot runner-up finish. Although he wasn’t able to leave as the inaugural Las Vegas Four-Wide Funny Car champion, he was able to move into the points lead for the first time in 2018.
Quotable:
“It wasn’t the best weekend after qualifying Saturday night. We had problems, we were dropping cylinders, we were the spinning tires, we ended up 13th. We haven’t qualified out of the Top 3 in the last six months and it’s certainly not what our potential is, but we left here with a runner-up. We got our act together on race day and we leave here with the points lead, so I think we did a great job of figuring out what was ailing our car and making the appropriate adjustments and going out there and gobbling up a bunch more points. Of course you want to win in the final round but I’m confident that the things we did here today are going to help us have a better performing car for the rest of the season and we’re going to stay and test tomorrow.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
338 points, ranked No. 1
Leads second ranked Courtney Force by 36 points

RON CAPPS

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T


Qualified: No. 4 (3.953 E.T. at 321.50 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Jack Beckman 4.082 E.T. at 305.56 MPH
Gary Densham 5.304 E.T. at 149.66 MPH
Robert Hight 6.165 E.T. at 109.93 MPH
Ron Capps 6.697 E.T. at 78.55 MPH

Race Recap:
Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team qualified in the top half of the field among a stacked 20-car entry list for the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

As the No. 4 qualifier, Capps faced teammate Jack Beckman, Robert Hight and Gary Densham in the first elimination quad. Unfortunately for the NAPA team, Capps would not be one of two drivers to advance to the second round of eliminations when a dropped cylinder and early deploying parachutes ended his chances at winning the first West Coast four-wide event.

Despite the early exit, the NAPA team showed promise of a solid hot weather tune-up at the Las Vegas event which featured temperatures reaching in the high 80’s [degrees, Fahrenheit] and low 90’s for the first time in 2018. In three out of four qualifying sessions, Capps made session-best ‘top three’ runs and was able to collect five bonus points.

Quotable:
“We’re not sure what happened just yet. We’re trying to analyze the run. It definitely had a cylinder go out at the hit of the throttle which immediately shoved my NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge to the right towards Robert Hight’s lane. I was able to turn the steering wheel and get it back towards the center. You don’t know what’s going on in the other three lanes, so you have to stay in the throttle; that’s part of the four-wide race day strategy, and in this case, it ended up backfiring so we were done for the day.

“It’s a bummer. We felt really good about today. We say that a lot but really, today, we felt like we had a good car all weekend in the heat and it was hot today, but sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. We have the best parts, the best sponsor, and the best people, but that doesn’t guarantee you anything out here with the competition.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
258 points, ranked No. 5
Leads sixth ranked J.R. Todd by 23 points
Trails fourth ranked Tommy Johnson Jr. by eight points

MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T


Qualified: No. 7 (3.987 E.T. at 322.96 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.030 E.T. at 316.01 MPH
Del Worsham 4.496 E.T. at 244.25 MPH
Tim Wilkerson 4.855 E.T. at 172.36 MPH
Matt Hagan 5.899 E.T. at 117.68 MPH


Race Recap:
Matt Hagan, driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, qualified seventh but was instantly disqualified in round one when he got on the throttle before the tree indicated to start, causing a red light. He’ll put that rare miscue behind him and get ready for the next event even more determined to do well.

Quotable:
“I don’t know what the deal was with Vegas this weekend, but it’s just been a struggle from qualifying on. We had some holes out and a burnout I messed up, had a fuel cable break on us and I pulled down a red bulb on E1; just simple stuff that shouldn’t be happening. I think I let a little bit of that get in my head from the last weekend at Gainesville with Beckman and not giving enough and not being up enough. I went up there with that mentality that I wasn’t getting left by nobody today. It was just up and a little bit over center today and I probably should have had my breathing calmed down a little bit more and that kind of thing. Everybody got staged and my foot said ‘go’, it was double 03 [0.003] red, you know. It was just unfortunate. I think we had a race car that could have done some stuff out here today, but we won’t know until next year. It’s a hard pill to swallow, obviously after the final in Gainesville, having a 60 light, when I’m usually 50s or 40s in the finals. We’ve got stuff we’ve got to work on with the car too. I put a lot of pressure on myself. It takes all of us to do everything. It all plays into part. I’ll get my mind right and get focused and hit the practice tree and get right with it.”

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
301 points, ranked No. 3
Leads fourth ranked Tommy Johnson Jr. by 36 points
Trails second ranked Courtney Force by one point


TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 2 (3.932 E.T. at 318.84 MPH)

The Results:
E1:
Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.030 E.T. at 316.01 MPH
Del Worsham 4.496 E.T. at 244.25 MPH
Tim Wilkerson 4.855 E.T. at 172.36 MPH
Matt Hagan 5.899 E.T. at 117.68 MPH

E2:
Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.007 E.T. at 314.68 MPH
J.R. Todd 4.054 E.T. at 314.17 MPH
John Force 4.050 E.T. at 315.34 MPH
Del Worsham 4.049 E.T. at 307.93 MPH

E3:
J.R. Todd 4.041 E.T. at 317.05 MPH
Jack Beckman 4.052 E.T. at 312.21 MPH
Courtney Force 4.007 E.T. at 300.53 MPH
Tommy Johnson Jr. 3.978 E.T. at 311.70 MPH

Race Recap:
Tommy Johnson Jr. was set up to repeat his victory at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from last spring. He entered race day qualified second with his time of 3.932 at 318.84-mph.
During the first session of competition, Johnson drove Terry and Doug Chandler's Make-A-Wish Dodge to a 4.030 -second at 316.01-mph to advance to the second round.

Johnson then ran the best lap of the session in round two with his stout 4.007-sec pass to advance to the final quad along with his DSR teammate, Jack Beckman.

Unfortunately, during the finals, Johnson was eliminated from competition when he left the starting line early and fouled out.
Quotable:
“The car was running flawless and just performed exceptionally well this weekend and we found a problem after Gainesville and I’m super excited about what we’ve got in store for us. We were just a little short on completing a great weekend but I’m not disappointed whatsoever.
“I’m excited about coming up on three in a row. Once you get running well you want to try to keep that going and with three in a row there’s a good chance we can go out there and win all three of those. I’m just super excited about the way this team is performing.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standing:
265 points, ranked No. 4
Leads fifth ranked Ron Capps by eight points
Trails third ranked Matt Hagan by 31 points

 

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