DSR Bristol Qualifying Recap

NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Event 11 of 24 (Bristol)
Bristol Dragway
Bristol, Tennessee
June 15-17, 2018

DSR Bristol Qualifying Highlights:

  • Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher qualify inside of the Top Fuel ‘top three’
  • Leah Pritchett makes the second quickest run of Q4, earning two bonus points
  • The entire DSR Top Fuel trio earned bonus points over the course of Bristol qualifying
  • Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. will start race day from the top half of the field
  • Ron Capps and Johnson run ‘top three’ during Saturday’s two qualifying rounds
  • Matt Hagan made the quickest pass of Funny Car Q4
  • Pritchett advances beyond E1 in the Factory Stock Showdown series
  • ‘Papa John’ Schnatter extended his lead to 3-0 over Antron Brown during the Papa John’s Charity Challenge. $20K was awarded to the Infinite Hero Foundation

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

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

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Richie Crampton

The Results: 
Q1: 4.648 E.T. at 169.00 MPH
Q2: 3.832 E.T. at 319.67 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.077 E.T. at 266.85 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 6.694 E.T. at 100.82 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

“Well, we were third-quick in the first session today and I think if I could’ve legged it down there, we could’ve been No. 1 or No. 2 for the session. We’ve just been working on picking it up and it picked it up there, so it did what we wanted it to do but I was just a little bit fast. If I stayed in it, it might have made it, but I was on high alert because I didn’t want anything to go wrong. When it started rattling the tires, I just shut it off. But the car went quicker, so the good part is that we’re just building each and every run.

“This weekend, we did what we wanted to accomplish in qualifying – run something in the top-five, which we did by qualifying third. Tomorrow’s going to be a hot race day, and we know how to get down a hot race track. I have all the confidence in our team and our crew chiefs and I’m just ready to get on that horse, go out there and do what we do. Stay calm, focused and poised and go out and have fun tomorrow. That’s going to be the name of the game. It’s going to be a challenging race for everybody, but I firmly believe, and I have all the confidence in the world that our Matco Tools/U.S. Army team will go out there and make it ‘do what it do,’ like Ray Charles says.”


Driver of the Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 9

The Competition: No. 8 Mike Salinas

The Results:
Q1: 4.184 E.T. at 224.25 MPH
Q2: 4.129 E.T. at 221.52 MPH
Q3: 4.370 E.T. at 193.99 MPH
Q4: 4.001 E.T. at 296.31 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Two

“Absolutely much-needed move forward for us in Q4. To be honest, I don’t think ever in our history have we been so excited about a 4.001 pass. It just shows how challenging the conditions are, not just the racetrack and air temperature, but making power and getting all eight (cylinders) to keep lit. We even spun on the top end that last run but we spun farther down the track than the other three runs this weekend. It just goes to show that a 4.001 being No. 9, one spot from being in the top half, it’s just a testament to our team continuing to find what our issues were and just chipping away at the tune-up. So far this weekend we haven’t had mechanical situations, so I feel good about tomorrow. Running like that today is most important because it’s the best tee-up we can have for race day. We’re pumped for it and I know the fans are. We’ve had our own kind of adversity here this weekend and it was really cool to see all the Schumacher teams come together and rally in times of need.

“This Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde race car has got momentum, the team’s got momentum, and we’re going to make it stick tomorrow. All eyes are going to be on that weather station tomorrow, for sure. It will definitely not just be a tuner’s race. I think we’ll see a tuner-and-driver team package, altogether, that will succeed. Whoever wins at the end of the day Sunday will be the most comprehensive team and I feel we’ve got what it takes.”


Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 15 Terry McMillen

The Results:
Q1: 6.469 E.T. at 92.01 MPH
Q2: 3.830 E.T. at 323.66 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.294 E.T. at 202.12 MPH
Q4: 4.081 E.T. at 290.94 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

“We were on a great Q4 run and just had a little glitch in our clutch management, but that’s probably an OK thing to happen today and not tomorrow. It dropped a cylinder right away and that was all she wrote. We were trying to run a 3.92 – that’s what it was set up to run – and felt we could’ve done that. Otherwise, we’ve got a great U.S. Army car. I have every reason to believe we’re going to go out and win this thing. Everybody’s expecting a very extreme weather day with heat and humidity. We’ll just have to sweat it off, keep our focus, and go out and do our job.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 7 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 10 Shawn Langdon

The Results:
Q1: 4.311 E.T. at 284.51 MPH
Q2: 4.130 E.T. at 307.86 MPH
Q3: 6.246 E.T. at 115.00 MPH
Q4: 4.276 E.T. at 260.51 MPH

“Battle of the Super Comp guys in the first round! We’re still dialing it in from our new chassis, our new clutch program, and new track prep deal. We did make a couple of representative runs, and even the ones where we stumbled, I think we got some data on those. It’s brutally hot; we have not had track conditions like this all year long. This is where you have to tiptoe and then go even slower than that. You’re trying to run fast with 11,000-horsepower and beat somebody in the other lane without beating yourself. It’s going to be a bit of a chess match tomorrow. Yes, as drivers we’re going to have to stay on our toes and be prepared to pedal the cars, but the crew chiefs are going to be pulling their hair out. It’s going to be a 140-degree race track. There’s not going to be any traction relative to running any hero runs here, and we’re somehow going to try and negotiate it four times, and I actually can’t wait for tomorrow.”


Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 11

The Competition: No. 6 John Force

The Results: 
Q1: 4.362 E.T. at 215.93 MPH
Q2: 4.393 E.T. at 214.01 MPH
Q3: 4.193 E.T. at 301.07 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 4.211 E.T. at 299.13 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Five

“That’s a matchup you pay money for, and we’re not going to have lane choice, but there’s such a big change in the confidence in (crew chief) Rahn Tobler after Q4 than we had coming in this morning. He looked like a beat down dog after yesterday. I’ve even heard rumblings lately of crew chiefs wanting to go into early retirement because it’s been so difficult for them to go down these tracks in the heat with the conditions we’re seeing. I really want people at home and our fans to know how difficult this is right now. Just to go down under full power today, both runs – we were quickest of the first session, second quickest of second session – is a major accomplishment and you can’t believe the difference in the attitude of our NAPA AutoCare crew and Tobler. I told him this morning ‘you are the man in these types of conditions; you’re the one that set the bar, let’s go out and prove that,’ and he did. He proved why I brag about him and talk about his NAPA Know How.

“We’re going to see the heat again tomorrow, but I’m pumped about Father’s Day. We left here with the Wally last year and I took it to my dad, and I’d love nothing better than to hand it to Don Schumacher, our ‘dad’ here at DSR. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but you can’t look past John Force. It’s going to be a fun matchup.”

Driver of the Shell ROTELLA Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 9

The Competition: No. 8 Tommy Johnson Jr.

The Results: 
Q1: 4.192 E.T. at 296.24 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: No Time (broke)
Q3: 4.302 E.T. at 256.02 MPH
Q4: 4.188 E.T. at 292.14 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Four

“We just laid down a really nice run in Q4, so we’ve got a lot to work off of. It’s anyone’s ball game. He’s going to have lane choice, but this Shell ROTELLA Dodge has made it down both lanes, so we feel pretty confident with that. Hopefully we go out there, make some good solid runs, and turn on some win lights tomorrow. We’re running the Shell ROTELLA scheme this weekend for the first time, and it would be really nice to put some new love, and new blood in the winner’s circle.”

Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T 
Qualified: No. 8 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 9 Matt Hagan

The Results:
Q1: 4.167 E.T. at 303.03 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 4.221 E.T. at 296.63 MPH
Q3: 4.263 E.T. at 291.63 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 4.216 E.T. at 283.49 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Four

“We had a really consistent car during qualifying. Our Make-A-Wish Dodge made it down all four runs, and I don’t know anyone else that did. We had a really good car for four sessions and we’re starting to get a handle on this new car and the setup so it’ll be interesting tomorrow because it’ll be similar conditions. Performance isn’t going to win the race; it’ll be whoever can best deal with the conditions.”

Factory Stock Showdown Series:

Driver of the Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drak Pak
Qualified: DNQ

The Results: 
Q1: 9.858 E.T. at 137.76 MPH
Q2: 10.986 E.T. at 74.73 MPH
Q3: 8.756 E.T. at 160.21 MPH

“160-mph on seven cylinders, so I’ve got to believe with eight, we can at least run 160.5 (laughs). It was a disappointing first weekend out. We really wanted to qualify, but it’s very tough bringing a new car out with a new driver and having never been down the track before in this car. The crew worked really hard. Every run, we found some minor problems that we continue to work on. We’ll work through them and we look forward to going to Norwalk and qualifying and hopefully going some rounds at my home track.”


Driver of the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drak Pak
Qualified: No. 13

The Results:

Q1: 9.288 E.T. at 162.49 MPH
Q2: 8.384 E.T. at 164.59 MPH
Q3: 15.924 E.T. at 82.53 MPH

E1: 8.406 E.T. at 165.33 MPH defeated Leonard Libersher, Foul (Red light)
E2: To be contested Sunday

“We really took our Q2 solid qualifying effort and applied that to today’s conditions, even though today, the conditions were a little worse. Our mentality is to go out there to win. We’re not going to race to lose. We’re here to win and race smart, and I feel like that’s what we did. Yes, we won (E1) maybe by default, but a team still has to have a killer package to beat our 8.40.

“It’s always something to have a full 18 hours to accumulate information. These cars take a lot and we have a lot to go over, but our Mopar power is showing through. A win from the 13th spot over a No. 5, shows you can win from anyplace and I’m really proud of the Mopar team for bringing it together and continuing to make this program stronger.”

Papa John’s Charity Challenge Recap:

  • Antron Brown competed against ‘Papa John’ Schnatter in the Papa John’s Charity Challenge on Saturday afternoon to benefit the Infinite Hero Foundation
  • Schnatter defeated Brown, extending his lead to 3-0 over the Top Fuel pilot
  • Schnatter is 4-1 this season versus Brown and Leah Pritchett
  • $20,000 was donated to the Infinite Hero Foundation on behalf of DSR and Papa John’s Pizza, bringing the running total to $100,000 in 2018


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