Mopar Dodge//SRT in the Staging Lanes for 2020 NHRA Season
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
Mopar and Dodge//SRT are just days away from kicking off another competitive season in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Commencing with the 60th annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California, on February 6-9, the 2020 season’s 24-race calendar will see Mopar and Dodge//SRT once again divide title sponsorship duties at four NHRA national race events:
This year’s spotlight will be on the full-time HEMI®-powered entries from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) in both Funny Car and Top Fuel classes, continued Mopar and Dodge//SRT brand support in the NHRA’s Sportsman classes, as well as on the debut of a fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak.
After amassing 12 NHRA World Championships and 267 event wins (150 Funny Car, 111 Top Fuel, three Pro Stock and three Factory Super Stock) since 2003, Mopar Dodge//SRT and DSR are ready to race into their 18th season together. All four DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car entries wrapped up last year’s campaign in the top 10 after earning a combined 11 victories. The 2020 DSR driver lineup remains unchanged, as does the ultimate goal: more wins and the addition of another Funny Car championship.
Teammates Jack Beckman and Matt Hagan made solid runs in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship to put both drivers in position to vie for the championship title at the season finale.
While Beckman and his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat didn’t get to repeat his 2012 World Championship title win, he did finish runner-up in the 2019 Funny Car standings by capping off the year at Pomona with his first-ever home track win to earn his second victory of the year. “Fast Jack” also started the Countdown in Reading, Pennsylvania, with a Wally trophy at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil race.
Hagan, a two-time NHRA World Champion (2011 and 2014), looks to start 2020 where he left off, by building on the momentum of his third-place finish in the 2019 NHRA Countdown. He and his team took the Mopar/Pennzoil/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to victory circle four times last season with wins at Phoenix, Epping, New Hampshire, and two more during the playoffs at the Dallas FallNationals and Las Vegas at the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil.
2017 Funny Car Champion Ron Capps drove his HEMI®-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to three wins last year to put him firmly in the Top 10 in points for a 15th consecutive season. Capps’ sixth-place finish in the standings was also highlighted by his performance at the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, earning his 24th career No. 1 qualifier honor with a track record and career-best run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph, the second fastest speed in NHRA history.
DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. finished eighth overall with two trips to the victory circle in the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, earning win lights at Chicago and Denver’s Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil. This season he will campaign in the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
Among the additional HEMI-powered entries expected to also battle in the competitive 2020 Funny Car category is Cruz Pedregon who, for a second consecutive year, will compete full-time aboard a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
DSR’s Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster returns to competition this season with Leah Pritchett at the helm. Pritchett drove her HEMI-powered dragster to the final round win at Brainerd, Minnesota, then scored a pair of No. 2 qualifier positions before earning the top qualifier spots at both the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the season finale at Pomona to finish a career-best fourth place in the Top Fuel championship rankings last season.
The Mopar Contingency Program continues its long-running support of the NHRA Sportsman class racers through 2020 with monetary awards for drivers who win or finish runner-up while running a Mopar contingency decal and using specified parts, including the brand’s valve covers, intake manifolds and cylinder heads. For a fourth consecutive year, the Dodge Top Finisher Awards will provide $500 to Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest at the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge, Chrysler or Plymouth race car at all 24 NHRA national events.
Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
DSR will once again campaign two Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak entries in the 2020 Factory Stock Showdown, an eight-race series in the Sportsman class, that will see the Mopar and Dodge//SRT racetrack-only factory-built vehicles compete in a heads-up contest against Ford Mustang Cobra Jets and Chevrolet COPO Camaros.
Drivers Leah Pritchett and Mark Pawuk will both return for a third season of competition with the team. This time, however, in a new, fourth-generation version of the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak car, unveiled at the 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.
The first V-8 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak made its Sportsman class debut in 2009 and was followed up with a race-ready V-10 package in 2011. A third-generation 2015 Challenger Drag Pak introduced the first supercharged 354 HEMI and a naturally aspirated 426 Gen-III HEMI to competition, and ran 8.0-second ETs right out of the box.
In 2018, Pritchett sped to the first official 7-second run aboard the third-generation Challenger Drag Pak and amassed three wins on her way to capturing the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown World Championship. In 2019, a runner-up finish at the season finale in Dallas secured a second-straight Top 10 finish.
Pritchett is scheduled to take her new generation race-ready 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak for its first competitive run in March at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
Mark Pawuk earned No. 1 qualifier honors in St. Louis (2018) and Indianapolis (2019) and drove to two final round appearances in 2018 at Norwalk and Indianapolis. He looks to race at all eight events this season aboard his Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak.
Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP)
After partnering with the NHRA’s Youth & Education Service (YES) program at seven national race events in 2019, the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP), an FCA program established in 1984 with the aim of developing the next generation of automotive service technicians, has committed to participate in 15 events this upcoming season.
The NHRA’s YES program provides exposure to exciting career paths, including automotive (technician) careers, to both middle school and high school students with a day at the race track. Students receive information from CAP representatives, as well as highly engaging speeches from Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers.
“The partnership with YES dovetails into our efforts to show those following the Mopar CAP program just how far they can go, whether it’s building a career with one of our 2,600 dealerships or working on one of our brands in the racing industry,” said Keith Yancy, who heads the Mopar CAP program. “The need for these skills is intense and the statistics show that demand for automotive technicians will only increase over time.”
Mopar CAP offers tailored service technician courses through 100 certified training institutions, such as universities, colleges, community colleges and technical centers. The curriculum is designed to immediately place students in FCA dealerships upon graduation. There are more than 9,000 active students enrolled in the Mopar CAP program.
Dodge Garage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow all the NHRA’s action this season at Dodge Garage, 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, please visit www.dodgegarage.com. Watch DSR Top Fuel star Leah Pritchett in “The Rundown” as she previews the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at www.dodgegarage.com/news/article/racing/2020/02/the-rundown-with-leah-pritchett-nhra-winternationals.html.
@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers in action in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.
Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.
Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.
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 proudly offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
The 2020 Dodge lineup also features the 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody and the 2020 Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. The 2020 Dodge Durango SRT, the fastest, most powerful and most capable American three-row SUV, completes the brand’s performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2020 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger. Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.
Follow Dodge, SRT and FCA US news and video on:
Company blog: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com
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