After Jack Beckman opened the 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Funny Car season with a win at the Winternationals, the quartet of Don Schumacher Racing drivers came into the Arizona Nationals hoping to make it 2-for-2 for 2020. They did just that, dominating the event from qualifying to the final round of eliminations –with Tommy Johnson Jr. preventing Beckman from getting win number 2 on the young season.


The Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody race cars got off to a strong start at the 2020 Arizona Nationals. Matt Hagan was the second quickest car in the first round, running a 3.882 at 324.75, trailing only Robert Hight in his Camaro with a 3.867. Tommy Johnson Jr. was third-quickest in the first round with a 3.915 while Ron Capps and Fast Jack both had throwaway runs in the first round.

In the second round, Matt Hagan jumped into the top spot in the Funny Car class with a 3.859 at 331.61 miles per hour. Beckman also moved up, claiming the fifth spot with a 3.889 and Capps moved up to the tenth spot with a 3.953, but Johnson had a throwaway run in Q2 and his first round run dropped him back to seventh.

In the third and final round of qualifying for the Arizona Nationals, Hagan and Beckman stuck with their previous runs, but Johnson and Capps made big moves. Tommy Johnson Jr ran a 3.868 to move into the fourth spot and Capps’ 3.896 moved him into eighth, putting all four of the DSR Chargers in the top half of the 16-car field.

The full qualifying order is as follows.

01-Matt Hagan-3.859-331.61
02-John Force-3.861-331.94
03-Robert Hight-3.867-330.55
04-Tommy Johnson Jr-3.868-323.81
05-Bob Tasca III-3.883-328.86
06-Jack Beckman-3.889-329.42
07-Tim Wilkerson-3.889-329.1
08-Ron Capps-3.896-327.66
09-JR Todd-3.916-317.64
10-Alexis DeJoria-3.916-316.3
11-Cruz Pedregon-3.962-323.74
12-Blake Alexander-3.974-319.75
13-Paul Lee-4.257-210.37
14-Jim Campbell-4.352-269.67
15-Terry Haddock-5.612-125.56
16-Jeff Diehl-6.987-94.65


The first round of the Arizona Nationals didn’t go as Mopar fans as hoped, as top qualifier Matt Hagan lost in the first round to Jeff Diehl. Hagan had the reaction time advantage and was well on his way to victory when his car drifted to the side and hit the timing reflectors. That led to an automatic DQ, so Diehl got the win. Fortunately, the other three Don Schumacher Racing drivers got the win. Capps beat JR Todd, Johnson beat Paul Lee and Beckman beat Cruz Pedregon.

In the second round, Capps avenged Hagan and beat Diehl, Johnson beat Bob Tasca III and Beckman beat Jim Campbell. Tommy Johnson Jr had the quickest ET of the second round with a 3.864.

The semi-finals saw Capps take on Johnson in a Mopar-on-Mopar matchup while the other side had Jack Beckman taking on John Force in his Camaro. In the Mopar battle, Johnson grabbed the holeshot advantage over Ron Capps (.079 to .089), which was enough to hold onto the win, even though Capps ran a quicker ET (and the quickest ET of the round). Johnson won with a 3.871 to Capps’ 3.864.

Meanwhile, John Force grabbed the starting line advantage over Fast Jack, but Beckman’s Hellcat Charger drove around the Camaro on the big end for the win. Fast Jack ran a 3.882 at 329.91 to Force’s 3.917 at 326.63.

In the finals, Tommy Johnson Jr took on Jack Beckman and when Fast Jack got a big starting line advantage (.030 to .065), it looked like he would get his second win of the year. However, Beckman ran into issues shortly into the run and Johnson made a good pass, winning with a 3.883 at 326.4 miles per hour. You can watch that final round run below.

Below are the standings for the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Championship for the Funny Car class from the NHRA website. As you can see, after two events, the Don Schumacher Racing cars are all where we expect to see them – near the top of the list.