Pritchett guides DSR's Demon dragster to third pole of season; Capps jumps to 3rd from 14th in NAPA Dodge, goes for fifth straight

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://dragracingedge.com/new-site/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Header_DSR.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation="left" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

EPPING, N.H. (June 3, 2017) - Don Schumacher Racing's Dodge Demon/Pennzoil dragster driven by Top Fuel points leader Leah Pritchett earned its third No. 1 qualifying spot Saturday in the NHRA New England Nationals at Epping, N.H.

It is the third pole of the season for Pritchett and as in the other two times when she earned the No. 1 seed, it resulted in a bye run to open Sunday in the 15-car field. She went on to win the titles from the pole at this year's first two events of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season with DSR's newest team.

The Funny Car leader at New England Dragway for DSR once again is the NAPA AUTO PARTS 2017 Dodge Charger R/T Powered by Pennzoil driven by reigning world champion and points leader Ron Capps, who will go for his fifth straight event title when racing begins at 11 a.m. (EDT).

Following Capps for DSR is Matt Hagan (Mopar Express Lane) in fourth, Jack Beckman (Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge) in fifth and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Chandler's Make-A-Wish Dodge) in ninth.

Capps, who won the New England title a year ago, started the fourth qualifying session seeded 14th but jumped to the third spot with a time of 3.863 (328.30).

Pritchett traded the track time record on Friday with Brittney Force, and then reclaimed it to start Saturday with a time of 3.673 seconds at 328.86 mph that held up to earn her team its third No. 1 seed of the season through nine Mello Yello events.

What made this pole more special to Pritchett was that it was with a unique paint scheme that is a collaboration between DSR and Pennzoil to promote the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, which will be released to the public later this year.

"A lot of fans love it, we love it," she said.

"It's bringing out our inner Demon, so to speak, even though we're still gold-blooded and gold-hearted," she added in reference to her normal gold Papa John's Pizza dragster.

"The guys back at home (at DSR are) making us look so good, and our lack of parts failures is due to our machine and fabrication shops. We wouldn't to have a Dodge Demon dragster if it wasn't for Pennzoil and Mopar. This whole entire weekend has been about teamwork.

"I want to say that I am above and beyond grateful and blessed to be able to be in this car. Don Schumacher has had the vision for it and has been able to put the right people in the right places and I'm honored to be here. We just want to keep going No. 1 as much as possible for everybody."

The New England Nationals is the race Capps looks to as a turning point the past season when it started a run of three titles in four races over four weeks that helped propel his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge to his first world championship.

"We weren't testing, we weren't doing anything weird," Capps said of not finishing his first three qualifying runs under power. "You know we put the new fuel pump on at Topeka, we won the race on Sunday. It's just a different animal. We got here and (crew chief Rahn) Tobler was just kind of chasing it.

"That's what's great about Tobler, (assistant Eric Lane)  and all the NAPA AutoCare guys. You know, we might have issues in the pit area but it's so fun to watch them get through it and go up there and finally have a plan come together."

DSR TOP FUEL DRAGSTERS                                                                                            

No. 1 qualifier: Leah Pritchett (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.673 seconds-track record, 328.86 mph

 

LEAH PRITCHETT, Dodge Demon/Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster                                    

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS

Qualified: No. 1

First round: bye

QUALIFYING

FRIDAY: 3.747 sec., 324.59 mph, (Session 1); 3.696, 328.92, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 3.673, 328.86, (Session 3); 3.701, 313.44, (Session 4)

Best Time, Speed: 3.658 sec.-world record (2017, Phoenix); 330.23 mph (2017, Topeka)

Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 2, lost in semifinals to DSR teammate and event winner Antron Brown

A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 10 (with Lagana Racing), lost to Tony Schumacher in second round

Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 1 (2017)

 

TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster                                                     

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS

Qualified: No. 3

First round: Smax Smith

QUALIFYING

FRIDAY: 4.956 sec., 142.70 mph, (Session 1); 7.434, 83.93, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 3.721, 315.49, (Session 3); 3.721, 315.49, (Session 4)

Best Time, Speed: 3.660 sec. (2017, Topeka); 332.51 mph (2016, Brainerd)

Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 1, lost in second round to Clay Millican

A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 4, lost in semifinals to DSR teammate and event winner Antron Brown

Career at Epping: Wins 2 (2014-15); Runner-ups 0; Poles 1 (2015)

 

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster                                      

Qualified: No. 4

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS First round: Shawn Reed

QUALIFYING

FRIDAY: 6.995 sec., 96.30 mph, (Session 1); 3.744, 309.98, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 3.752, 327.11, (Session 3); 3.752, 327.11, (Session 4)

Best time, speed: 3.667 (2017, Phoenix); 333.16 mph (2017, Topeka)

Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 3, won in championship round over Steve Torrence

A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 1, won in championship round over Steve Torrence

Career at Epping: Wins 1 (2016); Runner-ups 0; Poles 2 (2014, 2016)

 

DSR FUNNY CARS                                                                                                            

No. 1 qualifier: Robert Hight (John Force Racing), 3.822 seconds, 336.74 mph (track records)

 

RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2017 Dodge Charger R/T                                       

Qualified: No. 3

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS

First round: Jeff Diehl

QUALIFYING

FRIDAY: 4.323 sec., 198.70 mph, (Session 1); 8.701, 79.24, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 4.252, 212.26, (Session 3); 3.863, 328.30, (Session 4)

Best Time, Speed: 3.839 sec. (2017, Phoenix); 333.58 mph (2017, Phoenix)

Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 7, won in championship round over DSR teammate Matt Hagan

A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 1, won in championship round over DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr.

Career at Epping: Wins 2 (2014, 2016); Runner-ups 0; Poles 1 (2016)

 

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane 2017 Dodge Charger R/T                                   

Qualified: No. 4

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS

First round: John Force

QUALIFYING

FRIDAY: 4.789 sec., 162.78 mph, (Session 1); 11.371, 57.45, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 3.877, 333.66, (Session 3); 3.874, 333.00, (Session 4)

Best Time, Speed: 3.802 sec. (world record, (2017,Topeka); 338.85 mph (world record, 2017, Topeka)

Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 1, lost in championship round to DSR teammate Ron Capps

A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 2, lost in second round to Del Worsham

Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

 

JACK BECKMAN, Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero 2017 Dodge Charger R/T               

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS

First round: Del Worsham

Qualified: No. 5

FRIDAY: 3.878 sec., 330.23 mph, (Session 1); 7.204, 94.24, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 10.532, 58.27, (Session 3); 10.934, 62.13, (Session 4)

Best Time, Speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)

Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 4, lost in semifinals to DSR teammate Matt Hagan

A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 6, lost to DSR teammate Tommy Schumacher in second round

Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

 

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler's Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T    

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS

Qualified: No. 9

First round: J.R. Todd

QUALIFYING

FRIDAY: 3.922 sec., 325.77 mph, (Session 1); 9.059, 77.43, (Session 2)

SATURDAY: 3.900, 325.77, (Session 3); 4.360, 199.58, (Session 4)

Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)

Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 5, lost in first round to Del Worsham

A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 3, lost in championship round to DSR teammate Ron Capps   ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING

Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered near Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional teams in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher, the three-time and reigning world champion Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett in the Dodge Demon/Pennzoil dragster.

In 2017 Dodge Chargers R/T Funny Cars, two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 304 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Jeff Wolf (wolfj@shoeracing.com), 702.524.1368

Leah Vaughn (vaughnl@shoeracing.com), 618.516.1988

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]