TOPEKA, Kansas, May 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
- Jack Beckman drives his Mopar HEMI-powered 2015 Dodge Charger R/T to victory at the rain-delayed NHRA Kansas Nationals
- The new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car has claimed six wins and advanced to the final round in seven of eight events this season
- Beckman makes NHRA history by becoming the first driver in a Funny Car to record four consecutive runs below 4 seconds
- Don Schumacher Racing Mopar Dodge drivers hold the top three spots in the Funny Car standings
- Matt Hagan reaches the semifinals in his Rocky Boots/Mopar Express Lane Dodge
- Mopar-powered Pro Stocker V. Gaines advances to quarterfinals
- "Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar" Dodge Dart Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson bows out early
Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Jack Beckman claimed his second win of the season and the sixth victory in eight events for the new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, defeating John Force in the final round of the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
The victory was the 17th of Beckman's career and a milestone 250th overall for the DSR organization. Beckman also made NHRA history by becoming the first driver in a Funny Car to record four consecutive runs below 4 seconds when he dipped into the 3-second range in the last two of three qualifying sessions, then started championship eliminations in the 3s for the first two rounds.
Beckman also moved to third in the point standings, behind DSR teammates Ron Capps (No. 1) and Matt Hagan (No. 2), putting Mopar-powered Dodge drivers in the top three positions. A 2015 Dodge Charger R/T DSR Funny Car driver has been to the final round in seven of the first eight events of the season.
"All of us at Mopar would like to congratulate Jack Beckman on the win in Topeka," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO - Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA. "We're very pleased to see the success of the DSR team with the new 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T. A lot of time, investment and hard work went into designing and building a fantastic new 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, and to see it win its sixth national title of this young season is a great reward."
Beckman secured the No. 6 spot in qualifying with a sub-four-second 3.991 elapsed time but was even quicker on Sunday against round one opponent Courtney Force, recording a winning 3.984-second elapsed time at 321.58 mph to her slower 4.035 pass. Beckman bettered that mark with a 3.972/322.04 to defeat Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge driver John Hale and advance to the semifinals against Del Worsham. In a back-and-forth affair, Beckman led early, gave up the lead after shaking the tires, then got back on the pedal for a winning 4.169/319.45 run after Worsham also struck the tires and slowed to a 4.331/216.03.
In the final, Beckman exacted revenge for his trio of DSR teammates, Tommy Johnson Jr., Capps and Hagan, who all fell to John Force. Beckman once again took his 2015 Dodge Charger R/T below the four-second mark, posting a 3.984 ET to defeat Force and his 4.002 pass.
"We did not have a good weekend of racing, we had an incredible weekend of racing," Beckman said. "I thought we had a car that that nobody could touch."
After swapping bodies following a fire during Friday qualifying, defending 2014 Funny Car champ Hagan rebounded with a strong semifinals run that kept his grip on the second spot in the standings. Hagan qualified his Rocky Boots/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T No. 8, then took out Robert Hight with a 4.027/321.58 mark and Chad Head with a 4.014/315.93. Matched in the semis against arch-rival John Force, Hagan recorded a 4.255/310.48 but watched Force pull away for the win with a quicker 3.997/324.83.
No. 12 Pro Stock qualifier V. Gaines scored a major upset over No. 5 qualifier Jason Line in round one of Topeka eliminations. Gaines got out of the gate first with a .019 reaction time to Line's .030 and then motored to the win with a 6.632/206.73 pass after Line experienced problems and slowed. In the second round, Gaines was too quick off the tree, losing to Larry Morgan on a red-light foul.
Three-time Topeka winner and defending event champ Allen Johnson was hoping for another strong performance at the venue, but unfortunately his day would end prematurely. Johnson, the No. 6 qualifier, recorded a 6.651/207.46 pass in his "Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar" Dodge Dart but was beaten to the finish line by first-round foe Vincent Nobile's 6.616/208.75.
"We made some real good progress all weekend," said Johnson. "The weather changed today and we just miscalculated. We had a misfire again that's been plaguing us, but every time we encounter it we learn, so we won't encounter it again in the same condition."
Deric Kramer nailed the start with a near-perfect .003 reaction time in his Pro Stock Dodge Avenger, but it wasn't enough to get past Chris McGaha in the opening round.
Next up for Team Mopar NHRA Funny Car, Pro Stock and Sportsman racers is the NHRA Summernationals, scheduled to take place June 4–7 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, the ninth of 24 events on the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
2015 NHRA Championship Points Standings
(following the NHRA Kansas Nationals)
PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)
1. Erica Enders-Stevens – 719 (3)
2. Jason Line – 661 (2)
3. Greg Anderson – 654 (1)
4. Chris McGaha – 542
5. Rodger Brodgon – 493 (1)
6. Larry Morgan – 452 (1)
7. Drew Skillman – 424
8. Vincent Nobile – 421
9. Shane Gray – 401
10. Allen Johnson – Dodge Dart – 369
12. V. Gaines – Dodge Dart – 294
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. Ron Capps – (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 580 (2)
2. Matt Hagan – (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 575 (2)
3. Jack Beckman – (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 531 (2)
4. Del Worsham – 507
5. John Force – 502 (1)
6. Robert Hight – 460
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. – (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 456
8. Tim Wilkerson – 447 (1)
9t. Alexis DeJoria – 395
9t. Cruz Pedregon – 395
10. Courtney Force – 388
About Mopar Brand
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words Motor and PARts) was trademarked in 1937 with the launch of an antifreeze product, but it truly made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era. From Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, the brand soon expanded to include technical service and customer support.
Today, Mopar is FCA's service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 27 customer contact hubs globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for FCA brands.
Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles. This offers a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at: www.mopar.com.
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
- Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with customers
- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format. First to offer complete vehicle-information kits in Spanish
- Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
- Wireless charging: first to introduce in-vehicle wireless charging for portable devices
- Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
- wiADVISOR: first to provide factory-connected tablet technology in the service lane for instant vehicle diagnosis
- wiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
- 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
SOURCE FCA US LLC