The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to New England Dragway, after a 1-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Looking for their first win of the 2021 season, the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar teams are looking to get back the success of last year’s undefeated season.
Reigning Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan returns to the track as the defending event champ and seeks his fourth consecutive Epping triumph after racing to victory in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Both Hagan and Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett will be sporting new paint schemes for the event, with DSR Performance branding on Hagan’s Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car (DSR Performance is the retail arm of Don Schumacher Racing, offering performance race parts and lifestyle gear) and Pruett will drive the DSM Precision Manufacturing (DSM is Don Schumacher Racing’s manufacturing arm and is a leader in complex machining for the aerospace, defense, and motorsports industries) Mopar Dodge//SRT dragster.
So let’s take a look at the DSR team going into this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals…
LEAH PRUETT – Driver of the DSM Precision Manufacturing Top Fuel Dragster:
Pruett will be celebrating her ‘silver anniversary’ as an NHRA competitor during the New England Nationals and will run a silver ribbon on her dragster’s roll cage to signify 25 years in the sport. In the last event in Houston, she qualified second, before being eliminated by Justin Ashley in Round 1. Leah is a two-time No. 1 qualifier (2017, 2018) at Epping.
“It always excites me when I get the opportunity to fly the flagship banner for products and brands that I believe in, especially ones that carry such high relevancy in our performance, like DSM Precision Manufacturing. From mass-produced blocks, heads, and rods, to brackets, and custom-developed parts, our dragster is the perfect vehicle to showcase DSM Precision Manufacturing and its capabilities in aerospace and defense. I look forward to all of our parts, pieces, and people excelling at their job this weekend in Epping, which should deliver a finished product of Wally gold on Sunday.” – Leah Pruett
MATT HAGAN – Driver of the DSR Performance Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye:
Hagan will campaign the DSR Performance Dodge Funny Car as he defends his three-year Epping win streak. Hagan’s three Epping wins are the most amongst any Camping World Series competitor at the facility. He is looking for his first victory of the season.
“We’ve won there three years in a row at Epping, and to make it four-in-a-row would be amazing. Obviously, that’s quite hard to do, but I feel like we’re definitely due for a win. We keep making adjustments, the car is responding, and we’re starting to get some of our mojo and momentum back. This Hellcat Charger hasn’t been in the winner’s circle yet this year, but I feel like we’re very capable. We have the people, and the parts and pieces to do it. My lights have been really good, and the car has been responding to the driving. Hopefully, Epping will bring us the same success we’ve had the last three times we’ve visited and we’ll get that first win of the season. I’m glad we’re going back up there since we missed it last year, and I can’t wait to see all of our New England fans; they always turn out in full force. There’s nothing better than rolling out and doing a burnout when you see full grandstands. It still gives me chill bumps just to think about it even after 15 years of doing this. I’ve got nothing but confidence in Dickie Venables and Mike Knudsen, and I’m certain we’ll turn a corner this weekend and hopefully bring home that fourth New England Dragway Wally in our DSR Performance Dodge Hellcat.” – Matt Hagan
RON CAPPS – Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat:
Ron Capps returns to Epping looking to capture his third event win at the famed track (2014, 2016). After a runner-up finish in Houston, Capps and his NAPA crew look the most poised to win this weekend.
“We’re heading into a stretch of races that probably a lot of us took for granted up until COVID when so many stops on our schedule got canceled, including this weekend’s race in New England, and the upcoming races in Norwalk, Denver, and Sonoma. The fans that come out to New England Dragway are like no other. When we first started racing there again back in 2013, it was so eye-opening to see how loyal and rabid the NHRA fans in that area are. And, New England Dragway has got such an old-school feel to it, so being able to win there in 2014 and 2016 was awesome. Last year made me really, really miss that area, and it taught me not to take any of our races for granted. Plus, it’ll be great to get to reunite with our NAPA AUTO PARTS family up there. The night before the race we’re going to a Boston Red Sox game with a lot of our NAPA customers.
“We’re hoping Epping will be where we get our first win of 2021, and the first win with our new team. ‘Guido’ (Dean Antonelli), John Medlen, and our entire NAPA AutoCare team has been consistent, we’ve qualified well, and have had a great race car every weekend this year, and that’s really all you can do. We’re a win waiting to happen, and I’d love nothing more than to do it this weekend in front of our New England NAPA friends at New England Dragway.” – Ron Capps
The TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals, starts today June 11th and last through the 13th at the New England Dragway near Epping, New Hampshire.