February 19, 2022,
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat that won last year’s Funny Car world title kicked off the 2022 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series season at the top of the qualifying timing sheets as driver and new team owner Ron Capps claimed the No. 1 qualifier position for the season-opening 62nd annual Lucas Oil Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California.
Capps, also the defending Winternationals winner, drove his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the provisional No. 3 spot in Friday’s qualifying session, posted the quickest run of the second session, then bettered that with a stout 3.857 second elapsed time lap at 332.43 mph under the lights to secure his 30th career No. 1 qualifier position. He’ll battle the No. 16 seed and fellow veteran racer John Force in the first eliminations round of the year to kick off his 28th NHRA season of competition.
Last season’s runner-up in the Funny Car championship and three-time (2011, 2014, 2020) NHRA World Champ Matt Hagan launched the new Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team’s season with a strong Friday evening qualifying run aboard his Dodge Power Brokers machine to provisionally sit No. 2 with 3.886-second pass at 329.344 mph. He repeated the exact same elapsed time lap under the lights in the final qualifying session, clicking off just before the finish line, to secure the No. 3 spot on the eliminations ladder to pair him with No. 14 seed Chad Green.
Two-time Funny Car champ Cruz Pedregon, who is looking to build on a productive 2021 season that saw his team earn two national titles and finish fourth in the championship, took his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the fourth quickest time of the second session, then improved on that performance in the cooler evening air with a 3.906 sec./ 325.22 mph run that moved him from the seventh spot to No. 4 qualifier position. The Cruz Pedregon Racing HEMI-powered machine will have lane choice over No. 13 seed Terry Haddock as a first round pairing.
In Top Fuel qualifying, Leah Pruett took her Dodge Power Brokers dragster for its first official qualifying runs with the fledgling TSR team while looking to prepare to defend her 2021 Winternationals win. She took her HEMI-powered machine to the fourth quickest pass of the second qualifying session with 3.768 second elapsed time run at 326.63 mph, then powered to a 3.768 second/ 326.63 mph on her final run to keep her seventh overall placing on the timing sheets. Pruett will face off against No. 10 seed Antron Brown in Sunday’s first elimination round of the new season.
Highlights of qualifying at the Winternationals will air on FS1 this Sunday, February 20, at 7 a.m. Eastern, followed by three hours of elimination rounds coverage on FS1 beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern.
ADDITIONAL NOTES and QUOTES:
Leah Pruett, Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.726 seconds at 328.54 mph)
8.425 sec./ 77 mph
3.768 sec./ 326.63 mph
3.726 sec. / 328.54 mph
“This Dodge Power Brokers team has qualified seventh for this first race. We had a little bit of tire shake on Friday night but got that power under control. We ran a 3.726 on our final qualifying session. I'm very much looking forward to eliminations tomorrow. We've got [Antron Brown] in the next lane, but we do have lane choice.”
Matt Hagan, Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.886 seconds at 313.07 mph)
Qualifying 1: 3.886 sec./ 329.344 mph (2 bonus points for quickest run of session)
Qualifying 2: 5.497 sec./ 128.98 mph
Qualifying 3: 3.886 sec./ 313.07 mph (1 bonus point for third quickest run of session)
"We had a great qualifying session, ended up No. 3, and had some great runs. Two good night runs, but struggled a bit with our day run when we overpowered the track, but that's what ( Crew Chief) Dickie Venables does best, he makes a lot of horsepower. Looking to get this Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car car hopefully in the winner circle tomorrow. We have 16 cars to battle it out and we got a great race car. I feel very competent with my life. I feel confident with my lights. I feel confident with what the crew is doing and what Dickie is doing up there on the calls that he's making. We're just going to go out there and race our race car and have some fun doing it."
Cruz Pedregon, Pedregon Racing Snap-on® Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.906 seconds at 325.22 mph)
No Time (Timing blocks were hit by competitor negating both their times)
3.969 sec./ 283.13 mph
3.906 sec./ 325.22 mph
"I'm very happy with that last qualifying run. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has been consistent and even in testing we've been consistent, so it's nice to continue that. The first two runs I inadvertently shut them both off before the finish line. so what you saw on the scoreboard and what actually was running was better. We left a little bit on the table. For race day, everybody says, 'Oh, we don't pay attention to the opponent'. Baloney. Everybody pays attention to their opponents. We judge our performance based on who we have to race and what we think they're capable of running. That'll be our strategy, but we're still rocking and rolling just like we did at the end of last year. At the end of last year we were really strong and so it's nice to continue that."
Ron Capps–NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.857 seconds at 332.43 mph)
3.903 sec./ 329.84 mph (1 bonus point for third quickest run of session)
3.923 sec./ 326.40 mph (3 bonus points for quickest run of session)
3.857 sec./ 332.43 mph (3 bonus points for quickest run of session)
“That thing was a rocket ship, I was just hanging on.You start to wonder do you want to go No. 1? Or maybe two or three and stay away from John Force, but this yellow No. 1 hat means a lot. To start my career as a team owner from this position, it’s huge. We know we have what it takes as a team, we know we have the parts, the people. I always say ‘I wouldn’t want to race the NAPA car.’ It’s just a car that always goes down the race track, and it’s tough to beat. It’s great to get the No. 1 and show that we can run with the best of them, but that 92 from Q2 was even more impressive to me, because we did that in the heat, and we were half-a-tenth or so ahead of everybody else. We know we’ll have similar conditions tomorrow. So, to show we can throw down in the heat, and then come back up and do the same thing in cooler conditions, it just instills so much confidence in me.”
DodgeGarage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow all the NHRA action this season at DodgeGarage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag-racing news. The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. For more information, visit www.dodgegarage.com
@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers on the track. Fans can see action from the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers, competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge shifts into high gear with a lineup that delivers unrivaled performance in each of the segments where they compete.
Dodge drives forward as a pure performance brand, offering SRT Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Durango, as well as an R/T plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet, representing the brand’s first-ever electrified performance vehicle. Dodge delivers the drag-strip dominating 807-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock; the 797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world; and the 710-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, the most powerful SUV ever; and best-in-class standard performance in the compact utility vehicle segment with the Dodge Hornet. Combined, these four muscle vehicles make Dodge the industry’s most powerful brand, offering more horsepower than any other American brand across its entire lineup.
In 2022, the Dodge brand ranked No. 1 in the J.D. Power APEAL Study
(mass market), making it the only domestic brand ever to do so three years in a row. In 2020, Dodge was named the "#1 Brand in Initial Quality
," making it the first domestic brand ever to rank No. 1 in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS).
Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis. For more information regarding Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), visit www.stellantis.com
This year marks the 85th anniversary of Mopar, the global name for Stellantis genuine parts and authentic accessories.
A simple combination of the words MOtor and PARts, Mopar offers exceptional service, parts and customer-care. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, Mopar has evolved over 85 years to represent both complete vehicle care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.
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. For more information regarding Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), please visit www.stellantis.com
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