All-Dodge Charger Funny Car Finals leads to 7th Straight Win for DSR
It has been a remarkable season for the Dodge Charger funny cars of Don Schumacher Racing. The quartet of Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr have dominated the funny car class with plenty of all-Dodge final rounds leading to 8 wins in the first 9 races. Coming into Englishtown for the Summernationals, the DSR Charger funny cars were looking to make it 9 out of 10 and 7 in a row – and they did just that.
Also, once again, the Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Chargers dominated the field by beating the John Force Racing Chevrolet Camaros.
In the first round of qualifying, 9 of the 15 cars in the field ran in the 3.9X range with Ron Capps leading the way with a 3.895 at 323.04. Robert Hight in his John Force Racing Camaro was 2nd and his teammate Courtney Force was 3rd. The other DSR drivers included Matt Hagan in 6th, Jack Beckman in 9th and Tommy Johnson Jr in 14th while the other JFR driver – John Force himself – turned in the slowest run of the round.
In the second round of qualifying, both Hight and Courtney Force jumped ahead of Ron Capps while Johnson and Beckman both turned in big runs to jump up into the top 7. This pushed Matt Hagan back to 9th after the second round and John Force continued to flounder at the rear of the field with another slow run.
The third and fourth rounds of qualifying didn’t have any big impact on the ladder, although both Matt Hagan and John Force were able to move up a bit, resulting in the following ladder order headed into eliminations.
01 -Courtney Force -3.862 -331.12
02 -Robert Hight -3.88 -332.43
03 -Ron Capps -3.883 -329.67
04 -Jack Beckman -3.907 -328.3
05 -Cruz Pedregon -3.915 -326.32
06 -Tim Wilkerson -3.944 -321.58
07 -Tommy Johnson Jr -3.945 -326.71
08 -Jonnie Lindberg -3.951 -320.81
09 -Matt Hagan -3.952 -317.72
10 -Bob Tasca III -3.961 -323.04
11 -Alexis Dejoria -3.979 -286.98
12 -John Force -4.015 -316.52
13 -Jim Campbell -4.022 -318.17
14 -Del Worsham -4.043 -315.71
15 -J.R. Todd -4.059 -315.86
16 -Jeff Diehl -6.432 -81.27
After struggling in qualifying, the problems continued for John Force in the first round of eliminations, with his Camaro losing to the Toyota of Cruz Pedregon. The other JFR Camaro drivers both won, with Courtney Force beating Jeff Diehl and Robert Hight beating JR Todd. The first round was good to the DSR team, with Capps, Hagan, Beckman and Johnson all winning while Tommy Johnson Jr turned in the quickest run of the round.
In the second round of eliminations, Courtney Force won the first DSR-JFR shootout of the Summernationals, beating Matt Hagan, while the second Camaro-Charger battle saw Robert Hight beating Tommy Johnson Jr. On the other side of the ladder, Ron Capps beat Alexis Dejoria and Jack Beckman beat Pedregon, setting up a semifinal round featuring a pair of Dodge Charger-Chevrolet Camaro battles.
As she had been for much of the event, Courtney Force laid down the quickest run of the elimination rounds against Jack Beckman. Force ran a 3.993 to Beckman’s 9.145, but unfortunately for Camaro fans – Force redlit and lost the race. In the second race, Robert Hight had the starting line advantage, but when he ran into troubles shortly into the run, Capps cruised to the easy win.
Once again, the funny car finals had a matchup of Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Chargers.
In the final round Jack Beckman grabbed a small starting line advantage (0.081 to 0.088) and when Capps ran into mechanical issues on the top end, “Fast” Jack Beckman was able to secure his first win of the season.
After 10 of 24 events in the 2017 NHRA schedule, Ron Capps and Matt Hagan are in 1st and 2nd with a huge lead over Jack Beckman in 3rd. Courtney Force is 4th, Robert Hight is 5th, Tommy Johnson Jr is 6th and John Force is 7th. That is a DSR Dodge Charger in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th while the John Force Racing Camaros are in 4th, 5th and 7th.