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Mopar, Dodge/SRT setting up drag racing for 2020

by David Zatz on

Mopar and Dodge//SRT are again sharing title sponsorships at four NHRA national race events:

  • April 16-19 – Mopar Express Lane NHRA near Houston
  • July 17-19 – Dodge Mile-High NHRA in Denver
  • Sept. 17-20 – Mopar Express Lane NHRA in Reading
  • Oct. 29-Nov. 1 – Dodge NHRA in Las Vegas

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) will run Hemi cars in the Funny Car and Top Fuel classes, while Mopar and Dodge//SRT will keep supporting the Sportsman classes and debut the fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak.

Funny Car
Mopar, Dodge, and DSR have gained 12 NHRA World Championships and 267 event wins (150 Funny Car, 111 Top Fuel, three Pro Stock and three Factory Super Stock) since 2003. 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.

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.

Beckman and his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Funny Car standings.

Hagan, a two-time NHRA World Champion (2011 and 2014), had a third-place finish in the 2019 NHRA Countdown in the Mopar/Pennzoil/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

2017 Funny Car Champion Ron Capps had three wins last year in his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to put him firmly in the Top 10 in points for a 15th consecutive season, and a sixth-place finish in the standings. He had 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 and will campaign in the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
Cruz Pedregon, for a second consecutive year, will compete full-time aboard a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Top Fuel
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  at Las Vegas and the season finale at Pomona, to finish a career-best fourth place in the Top Fuel championship rankings.

Sportsman Class
The Mopar Contingency Program continues its 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 Mopar 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 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)
The Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP), established in 1984 to develop new 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.

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.

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