Tommy Johnson Jr. Earns NHRA Arizona Nationals Win for Mopar Dodge//SRT in Phoenix

February 23, 2020

, Phoenix, Arizona

It was an all-Mopar Dodge //SRT Funny Car final turn showdown during a Arizona Nationals with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) motorist Tommy Johnson Jr. earning his initial feat of a 2020 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Series deteriorate over his teammate, Jack Beckman.

From his No. 4 qualifier position, Johnson gathering his MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat past Paul Lee and Bob Tasca, afterwards used a holeshot win over DSR teammate Ron Capps to set adult a final rejecting conflict opposite Beckman. Johnson powered past his DSR opponent, who mislaid traction early, to make his approach to a winner’s turn in a second eventuality of a season.

With a win, Johnson collected his 18th career Funny Car inhabitant eventuality Wally trophy, his second during Phoenix’s Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park and his initial final turn feat over Beckman in 5 final-elimination encounters.

The early deteriorate win supposing some use for Johnson and his team, who were looking to redeem fast from a formidable 2019 Countdown to a Championship that followed a earnest unchanging season.

“We had such a good automobile final year and we didn’t finish good during all, so to come out clever and get that out of a approach right off a bat and know how good a automobile we have right now is great,” pronounced Johnson, who jumps 4 spots into second place in a Funny Car championship standings with his efforts this weekend.

“Now we usually change to progressing it and learn from a mistakes we make. we consider we schooled unequivocally good what we did wrong final year and what we indispensable to do to repair it. It’s good to be means to know that we did repair it.”

In a final opposite Johnson, Beckman primarily had a advantage as they launched off a starting line yet mislaid traction in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and, while he done efforts to pedal it, was incompetent to redeem control fast enough.

Coming off uninterrupted wins in both a 2019 deteriorate culmination and a 2020 deteriorate opening inhabitant eventuality during Pomona, Beckman’s runner-up finish to his teammate keeps him atop a Funny Car championship standings with 220 points.

The fortifying Arizona Nationals pretension winner, Matt Hagan, gathering his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to a provisional stick position with Friday’s second subordinate run and an elapsed time pass of 3.859 seconds during 331.61 mph. That time stood by Saturday’s subordinate session, condensed to usually one run due to rain, to give him his second No.1 qualifier of a year, a 38th of his career and his second during Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
In eliminations, Hagan kick his initial turn challenger, Jeff Diehl, off a starting line yet as he began to energy down a line his HEMI®-powered float began to lift toward a centerline where it clipped a timing retard to invalidate a run and pierce his competition day to a beforehand end. Despite a discerning exit, Hagan stays fifth in points.

After subordinate eighth, Capps gathering his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat by a eliminations ladder with a win over J.R. Todd in a initial round, followed by a quarterfinal feat opposite Jeff Diehl. That quarterfinal feat warranted Capps a 750th career turn win given creation his veteran entrance in 1995 during this lane while racing Top Fuel and earning his initial turn win opposite Joe Amato.

Capps afterwards faced-off opposite his DSR teammate and contingent eventuality leader Johnson in a semifinals for a plain corresponding conflict to a stripe. While he didn’t get a win, a outcome propelled Capps to a fourth symbol in a Funny Car points standings.

In Top Fuel action, for a second uninterrupted inhabitant event, Leah Pruett gathering her DSR Mopar Dodge//SRT dragster to a third symbol on a eliminations ladder to put herself in a good position to have a plain race-day showing. Bolstered by a memory of her initial career Top Fuel feat during Phoenix in 2016, a No. 1 qualifier position in 2017 and runner-up finish final deteriorate in 2019, Pruett done discerning work of removing by a initial turn and past Doug Foley with a plain 3.654-second run to make her approach to a quarterfinals to face Billy Torrance. Once again, Pruett done another plain run with a 3.688-second elapsed time run yet it wasn’t utterly adequate to kick her competition to pierce serve by rejecting rounds. Pruett stays third in a Top Fuel standings.

With DSR Mopar Dodge//SRT entries top-five in championship points and looking to continue to build on a movement generated from dual back-to-back Funny Car wins and No.1 qualifier positions to open a season, they now ready to conduct to a East Coast for a third of 24 events on a 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, a NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, Mar 13–15.

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.889 seconds during 329.42 mph)

Round 1: (.090-second greeting time, 4.051 seconds during 318.02 mph) kick No. 11 Cruz Pedregon (.065/ 6.254 sec/109.34 mph)
Round 2: (0.095/3.895/329.42) kick No. 14 Jim Campbell (0.088/8.959/70.61)
Round 3: (0.076/3.882/329.91) kick No. 2 John Force (0.068/3.917/326.63)
Round 4: (0.030/6.156 /119.31) detriment to No. 4 Tommy Johnson Jr. (0.065/3.883/326.40)

“How do we hang your head? We still have a best automobile and a points are display that. We didn’t have a best automobile here this weekend. We indeed struggled a small bit yet it goes to uncover we good teams lift out all a stops on competition day and figure out how to make it happen. I’m happy for my teammate and his MD Anderson car. We didn’t give it to them. They warranted it. But we’re going to be tough to kick a whole rest of a year.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car  
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.859 seconds during 331.61 mph)

Round 1: (.0103-second greeting time, 9.999 seconds during no speed) mislaid to No. 16 Jeff Diehl (0.138 No Time)

“My guys did a heck of a pursuit today; a automobile was on a unequivocally good run. It was usually one of those deals where it got inside on me and we couldn’t get it back. we suspicion we carried shortly adequate not to strike anything yet a header brushed a timing retard and that DQ’d us. But a heck of a pursuit for this Mopar group to run such a good array like that on competition day. We were No. 1 qualifier, have such a good competition car, and we hatred that we let my group down like that. It’s competition day; we was usually perplexing to get to a finish line first. All in all, we’ve got a good car, things are going in a right direction, a guys are operative hard, a tools and pieces are operative well, and it’s all entrance together.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.868  seconds during 323.81 mph) 

Round 1: (0.058-second greeting time, 3.878 seconds during 325.85 mph) kick No. 13 Paul Lee (0.111/3.898/320.05)
Round 2: (0.075/3.864/323.74) kick No. 5 Bob Tasca (-0.053/3.918/331.77)
Round 3: (0.079 /3.871/319.98) kick No. 8 Ron Capps (0.089/3.864/328.06)
Round 4: (0.065/3.883/326.40) kick No. 6 Jack Beckman (0.030/6.156 /119.31)

“We had a good automobile a final subordinate run and it showed us that we had a plain car. Coming adult here currently we had a lot of confidence. To go out there initial turn and lay down a plain number, unequivocally happy with that. We weren’t low e.t. initial turn yet we were genuine tighten and to come out second turn and set low e.t., so we knew we had a plain car. As a driver, going into any turn meaningful you’ve got a automobile that’s going to perform, it creates your pursuit a small easier and gives we a small reduction stress. The guys did a good job. we mean, even in Pomona we had a good automobile and usually forsaken a cylinder second round. We even had a small emanate with that in subordinate here and they worked tough to repair that and now it’s using unequivocally good and consistent. They did their task over a off-season.”

On how gratifying it is to get that initial win so early in a season: 
“Yes. Especially given we weren’t happy with a approach finished final year so it is (satisfying). we was indeed unequivocally relieved when we incited a dilemma down there and it felt like it was a small bit of vigour relief. We had such a good automobile final year and we didn’t finish good during all so to come out clever and get that out of a approach right off a bat and know how good a automobile we have right now. Now we usually change to progressing it and training from a mistakes we make. You try to learn from them. we consider we schooled unequivocally good what we did wrong final year, and what we indispensable to do to repair it. It’s good to be means to know that we did repair it.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.896 seconds during 327.66mph)  

Round 1: (0.070-second greeting time, 3.905 seconds during 329.02 mph) kick No. 9 J.R. Todd (0.097/6.383/103.46)
Round 2: (0.100/4.184/232.19) kick No. 16 Jeff Diehl (-0.005/8.236 /82.57)
Round 3: (0.089/3.864/328.06) mislaid to No. 4 Tommy Johnson Jr. (0.079 /3.871/319.98)

“For this team, deliberation where we were and how few runs we had entrance in here, we’ve done outrageous strides for Rahn Tobler. Even yet we mislaid that tighten competition in a semifinals, he was overjoyed and it unequivocally feels like we have his competition automobile behind and that creates everybody around here feel good. We had a unequivocally vast purchase wear problem that we’ve been fighting and he finally got it down to where he was gentle and when he does that, a automobile goes out and runs 3.80s like that. Just a tighten drag race. we incidentally went in and illuminated a pre-stage and theatre lights opposite TJ and usually kind of sat there. Him and we have raced and been teammates for a prolonged time. He gave me a second before he went in. It was usually vouchsafing dual cars do a talking. The good thing was it was a DSR automobile going into a final opposite a teammate (Jack Beckman). Unfortunately, we mislaid a tighten one. But, we feel unequivocally gentle and good and Rahn Tobler is happy and vehement to get to Gainesville.”

Leah Pruett, Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster  
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.680 seconds during 328.06 mph) 

Round 1: (0.081-second greeting time, 3.654 seconds during 331.12 mph) kick No. 14 Doug Foley (0.087/5.328/127.81)  
Round 2: (0.205/3.688/324.20) mislaid to No. 6 Billy Torrance (0.100/3.703/328.78)

“We sealed out a Sunday many progressing in a afternoon than we had wanted. Phenomenal opening by a Mopar group in E1 with that 65. I’m unhappy in myself with what happened in E2. Putting that double-bulb on, that was unintentional. we got antsy and we two-stepped it and was late on a tree. On a lapse of that, we can guarantee, Gainesville will be zero yet ‘heads down,’ and I’ve got dual cars to run. It would be extraordinary to put them both in a winner’s circle, yet a automobile and a group are doing a unusual job. I’m perplexing to ideal my weaponry – my pushing perspective, and we didn’t conquer that this weekend in a second turn of eliminations, yet one thing is for sure, we pledge we that we will.”

NHRA Championship Points Standings:
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses):
1. Jack Beckman (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 220 (1)
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 175 (1)
3. John Force – 173
4. Ron Capps (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 128
5. Matt Hagan (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 124

6. Tim Wilkerson – 107
7. Robert Hight – 100
8. Alexis DeJoria – 99
9. Bob Tasca III – 87
10. Paul Lee – 65
J.R. Todd – 65

TOP FUEL (season wins in parentheses):
1. Doug Kalitta – 212 (1)
2. Brittany Force – 153
3. Leah Pruett (Mopar Dodge//SRT) – 137
4. Austin Prock – 131
5. Steve Torrance – 121 (1)
6. Justin Ashley – 108
7. Antron Brown – 103
8. Shawn Langdon – 91
9. Clay Millican – 85
10. Shawn Reed – 82
Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow all a NHRA’s movement this deteriorate during Dodge Garage, a one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag racing news. The site includes daily updates and entrance to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, accessible downloads and merchandise. For some-more information, greatfully visit

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The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to share calm capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in movement in a NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as good as additional motorsports series.

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