Mopar and Dodge Perfect in NHRA Nitro Competition as Hagan, Pritchett Victorious Again at NHRA Arizona Nationals

Mopar and Dodge Perfect in NHRA Nitro Competition as Hagan, Pritchett Victorious Again at NHRA Arizona Nationals

Matt Hagan wins second straight event and 24th Funny Car event of his career in the Mopar Sandvik/Coromant Dodge Charger R/T
Leah Pritchett wins second consecutive Top Fuel event and third of her career in the Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Dragster
Two Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars advance to final round; four Dodge Charger R/T machines appear in semifinals

Mopar is undefeated in Nitro competition in 2017
Three Mopar vehicles advance to final eight of Stock Eliminator in Sportsman ranks
February 26, 2017 (Chandler, Arizona) – The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season is off to a dream start for the Mopar and Dodge brands. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) and Mopar teammates Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett won their respective classes in the 33rd Annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Sunday, just as each did during the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona two weeks ago. Hagan took home the Funny Car Wally for the second consecutive event and the 24th time in his career, while Pritchett won in Top Fuel for the third time overall and the second time in a row.

Hagan and the Mopar/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team qualified in the No. 4 position and were matched up against Mopar teammate Ron Capps in the NAPA Dodge Charger R/T in the final round. Hagan turned on the win light in the right lane as he made a pass of 3.878 seconds at 330.88 mph with a reaction time of .057. Capps narrowly missed the victory with a reaction time of .075 paired with a 3.883-second pass at 333.88 mph. Hagan beat Cruz Pedregon in the first round, then defeated Tim Wilkerson in the second before matching up against and besting his Mopar and DSR teammate, and No. 1 qualifier, Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semis. .

After a heartbreaking redlight in the semifinals during the Winternationals, 2016 Funny Car champion Ron Capps righted the ship with his advance to the final round. Capps bested Jeff Arend in the first round before defeating Gary Densham in the second. He then dispatched of Jim Campbell to advance to the final round against Hagan.

Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T set a track elapsed-time record at Wild Horse Pass in round four of qualifying on Saturday evening with a 3.837-second run at 329.10 mph. Johnson looked to be the early favorite, and from his No. 1 positon he knocked out fellow Dodge competitor Phil Burkart Jr. in the first round, before beating Robert Hight in the second. However, he was ultimately defeated by teammate Hagan.

The aforementioned Jim Campbell was the feel-good story of the day as he advanced all the way to the semis after defeating both Courtney Force and J.R. Todd. Campbell campaigns a Dodge Charger R/T for longtime drag racing stalwart Jim Dunn.

A clutch issue at the starting line kept 2012 Funny Car Champion Jack Beckman from making a pass in round one with his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T.

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett has now won the first two events of the season in her Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Dragster, and has won the Arizona Nationals for the second year in a row. She defeated Brittany Force on a holeshot from the left lane and covered the track in 3.705 seconds at 328.22 mph with a reaction time of .053. Pritchett defeated Force in the final of the same event last year. Force had a reaction time of .081 on a lap of 3.704 seconds at 330.09 mph.

Pritchett earned the No. 1 qualifying position on the strength of a national elapsed time record pass of 3.658 seconds at 329.34 mph on Friday which gave her a bye into the second round. There she beat Clay Millican before besting Shawn Reed in the semis to reach the final.

Also in Top Fuel action, Mopar-powered driver and eight-time champion Tony Schumacher knocked off Terry Haddock in the first round, then beat Scott Palmer in the second. He was defeated by Brittany Force in the semis to set up the all-female Top Fuel final round.