The Mopar and Dodge//SRT (Street and Racing Technology) performance brands are ready to race into the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Drag Racing Series’ 70th anniversary season as the defending 2020 Funny Car World Champions. The NHRA kicks off its 22-national event schedule this weekend with the 52nd annual Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway in Florida on March 12th through the 14th.
The Mopar and Dodge//SRT partnership wrapped up the previous NHRA season by earning a third Funny Car crown with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Matt Hagan (2011, 2014, 2020) aboard the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. It was also their sixth Funny Car world championship title with previous wins by Gary Scelzi (2005), Jack Beckman (2012), and Ron Capps (2016) since officially partnering with DSR in 2003.
As part of the preparations for the 2021 season with the winningest team in the NHRA series history, Mopar and Dodge//SRT have also extended the partnership with DSR for a 19th consecutive season, building on a relationship that began with Don Schumacher as a driver in 1971 before it was formalized with his team in 2003. Together they have earned 13 championships and 278 event wins in four different categories (161 Funny Car, 111 Top Fuel, three Pro Stock, and three Factory Super Stock) of the DSR organization’s 358 overall victories and 18 championships, and have reset countless track and national records.
In 2020, a dominant season-long performance by DSR Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., Matt Hagan, and Ron Capps saw the quartet combine to win all 11 national events’ Wally trophies and string together a record-total 14-race undefeated streak that dates back to October 2019.
This year’s DSR driver lineup will battle for national event wins and world championships with Hagan (Funny Car) and Leah Pruett (Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown) once again carrying primary Mopar and Dodge//SRT branding, while Capps (Funny Car) will do battle aboard his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
Mopar and Dodge//SRT will also debut the much anticipated fourth-generation 2021 Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak this weekend at the Gatornats in the Sportsman class’ Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) series. Pruett will once again pull double duty at eight national race events this season as she gets behind the wheel of the new Drag Pak between rounds in her nitro-fueled Top Fuel dragster. She’ll compete alongside her teammate Mark Pawuk as they both compete aboard DSR-prepared HEMI-powered entries.
Mopar and Dodge//SRT will have their 4,800-square-foot exhibit at Gainesville Raceway this weekend in the NHRA’s Manufacturers Midway. Among the display’s interactive features are Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators for competitive NHRA fans to virtually race themselves, as well as the opportunity to see and feel the experience of drag racing from the driver’s seat aboard an actual Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Funny Car simulator.
Fans can tune in to the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season-opening Gatornationals event beginning March 10th to the 11th with a free Livestream of testing on NHRA.TV. Television coverage returns to FOX all weekend long starting on Saturday, March 13th, as FS1 broadcasts two hours of qualifying highlights beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern. Sunday morning’s one-hour FS1 qualifying show will air March 14th at 11 a.m., while the live three-hour final eliminations show launches at noon Eastern on the national FOX Broadcast Network.