Pritchett No. 2, Beckman No. 3 to lead DSR in New England Nationals; Funny Car leader Capps mired in 12th, looks for 5th straight title

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EPPING, N.H. (June 2, 2017) - Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T has a steep hill to climb if it is to sweep the No. 1 qualifying spot and win the New England Nationals title like he did a year ago.

Capps, the reigning Funny Car world champion, also has won the last four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series titles but was unable to complete a qualifying run in Friday's two sessions at New England Dragway at Epping, N.H.

Capps arrived at Epping with a 119-point lead over DSR teammate Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane Dodge and Hagan also didn't cross the finish line under power on either of his attempts.

The Funny Car leader for DSR is Jack Beckman and Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation is No. 3  with a 3.878-second run at 330.23 mph.

The New England Nationals was contested under beautifully sunny skies until a brief shower around 8 p.m. (EDT) delayed the last three pairs of Top Fuel dragsters from running. Included in the group was Don Schumacher Racing's Dodge Demon/Pennzoil dragster driven by points leader Leah Pritchett.

Pritchett, who has won three of eight event titles this year, was quickest after the first session with a time of 3.747 seconds at 324.59 mph, but that track record time was short-lived when it was shattered in the evening session by Brittany Force's 3.868 (331.360). Pritchett dropped to No. 5 before moving up to the second spot with a 3.696 (328.78) on her last run.

Three-time and reigning Top Fuel world champ Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster might have been the best car in the last session. He completed the run in 3.744 seconds, good for No. 5, but slowed to 309.98 after both parachutes deployed near halftrack.

"The car was on a run in the ballpark of 3.67 seconds, but we had a little glitch that threw the parachutes out, said Brown, who won the pole and title a year ago at New England. "Tomorrow is going to be a new day. The cool part about tonight, is that we got to see how good the car ran. It's a new car, and it's working great. That was a great run and we're looking forward to two runs to get after it."

DSR TOP FUEL DRAGSTERS                                                                                              

Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Brittany Force (John Force Racing), 3.686 sec.-track record, 331.36 mph

LEAH PRITCHETT, Dodge Demon/Pennzoil/Mopar Top Fuel dragster
QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
Provisional qualifying position: No. 2
FRIDAY: 3.747 sec., 324.59 mph, (Session 1); 3.696, 328.92, (Session 2)
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 0

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster
QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
Provisional qualifying position: No. 5
FRIDAY: 6.995 sec., 96.30 mph, (Session 1); 3.744, 309.98, (Session 2)
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)

TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster
QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
Provisional qualifying position: No. 11
FRIDAY: 4.956 sec., 142.70 mph, (Session 1); 7.434, 83.93, (Session 2)
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)

 

DSR FUNNY CARS
Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Courtney Force (John Force Racing), 3.842 sec.-track record, 331.53 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
Provisional qualifying position: No. 3
FRIDAY: 3.878 sec., 330.23 mph, (Session 1); 7.204, 94.24, (Session 2)
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 Johnson, Jr.  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
QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
Provisional qualifying position: No. 6
FRIDAY: 3.922 sec., 325.77 mph, (Session 1); 9.059, 77.43, (Session 2)
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
Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 2 (2015, 2016); Poles 1 (2015)

RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
Provisional qualifying position: No. 12
FRIDAY: 4.323 sec., 198.70 mph, (Session 1); 8.701, 79.24, (Session 2)
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
QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
Provisional qualifying position: No. 13
FRIDAY: 4.789 sec., 162.78 mph, (Session 1); 11.371, 57.45, (Session 2)
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

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

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