Don Schumacher Racing News: Antron Brown, Leah Pruett, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Mark Pawuk

Norwalk Pre-Race Report


NHRA Norwalk Nationals
Event No. 7 of 21
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park
Norwalk, Ohio
June 25-27, 2021

Noteworthy:

  • For the third time in 2021, Leah Pruett will assume double-duty responsibilities, campaigning for wins in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown Series categories
  • Mark Pawuk raced to his career-first Factory Stock Showdown final round at the 2018 Norwalk event
  • As a resident of Akron, Ohio, Pawuk considers Norwalk to be his home track
  • Ron Capps earned the Funny Car pole at the last NHRA Norwalk event (2019)
  • Matt Hagan, the reigning Funny Car world champion and No. 1 qualifier at the most recent event (Epping), owns the Norwalk Funny Car E.T. record

Appearance Note:
Antron Brown will make an appearance at Master Pizza (2736 Medina Rd, Medina, Ohio) tonight, June 23rd, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Area fans are invited to join the three-time Top Fuel world champion and Master Pizza owner, Brian Corradi, for food, fun, autographs, and photos. The event is free and open to the public.

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.865 seconds, Matt Hagan (2017)

DSR Driver Information:

Top Fuel:


ANTRON BROWN

Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Norwalk Event Highlights: 

  • 2014 event champion 
  • Two-time runner-up (2010, 2015)

2020 Norwalk Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Norwalk Recap:
Qualified seventh; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Scott Palmer in E1; defeated by Leah Pruett in E2)

Last Event (Epping):
Qualified sixth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Brittany Force in E1; defeated by Billy Torrence in E2)

Career Statistics:
447 races; 68 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 Qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:

  • Norwalk is considered a homecoming race for the Matco Tools Top Fuel team. Matco’s corporate headquarters are located approximately 75 miles east of the track in Stow, Ohio, and crew chief Brian Corradi is a native of the area.

Quotable:
“Really looking forward to getting back to Norwalk. We’re coming off of a really good test session this week in Indy, and we’re ready to show out in our Matco Tools Toyota, especially in front of our hometown Matco Tools crowd. Their corporate headquarters are not too far from Norwalk, so this is their home race. I’m ready to step on the gas, turn on some win lights, and have some fun. This track has always been good to us.

“Norwalk is also home to my crew chief Brian Corradi, and we always have a good time doing our annual Master Pizza/Matco Tools customer appreciation dinner so I’m excited about getting out there tonight, having fun, and then on Friday, it’s time to turn our focus to bringing that coveted blue Camping World winner’s circle hat back home to DSR.”

LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster

Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals

2020 Norwalk Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Norwalk Recap:
Qualified second; Semifinal finish (defeated Luigi Novelli in E1, Antron Brown in E2; defeated by Pat Dakin in E3)

Last Event (Epping):
Qualified 10th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Justin Ashley in E1; defeated by Steve Torrence in E2)

Career Statistics:
158 races; eight wins; 12 No. 1 Qualifiers 

Noteworthy:

  • For the third time in 2021, Pruett will assume double-duty responsibilities, campaigning for wins in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown Series categories

Quotable:
“Norwalk, we are ready for you to help us get on the good side of a good drag race. We left Epping, N.H. with a consistent car, and that’s what we will bring to Norwalk. Getting our program right and tight out of the box on Friday night will be key, and we are ready to unlock the potential this Mopar Dodge//SRT team has.”

Funny Car:

RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

2021 NHRA, Gatornationals2021 NHRA, Gatornationals2021 NHRA, Gatornationals
Norwalk Event Highlights: 2016 event champion Three-time runner-up (2011, 2013, 2014)2019 No. 1 qualifier2020 Norwalk Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Norwalk Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Bob Bode in E1; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E2)

Last Event (Epping):
Qualified second; First round exit (defeated by Terry Haddock in E1)

Career Statistics:
572 races; 66 wins (one Top Fuel); 26 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:Earned the Funny Car pole at the last NHRA Norwalk Nationals (2019)Quotable:
“This is one of my favorite parts of the season. I love racing during the summer when there’s a little more heat in the race track, a little bit trickier conditions, and a stretch of races that are one right after the other. Plus, I love that we’re able to welcome full grandstands of fans back and we’re visiting places that we didn’t get to go last year. Things are very, very exciting in the world of NHRA Drag Racing right now.
 
“Our team has had great performance all year long, and we expect more of the same this weekend. If we had a few lucky breaks here and there, we’d have several Wally trophies by now, but the wins are coming. I’m enjoying myself with this great NAPA AutoCare team. I was in Atlanta yesterday spending some time with NAPA executives at NAPA headquarters and now I’m headed to Ohio. It would be perfect to follow that visit up by winning our first Wally of the season this weekend.”

MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye
Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals
Norwalk Event Highlights:2018 event champion Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2015, 2017)

2020 Norwalk Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Norwalk Recap:
Qualified 11th; First round exit (defeated by Bob Tasca in E1)

Last Event (Epping):
Qualified No. 1; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Bye in E1; defeated by Tim Wilkerson in E2)

Career Statistics:
281 races; 36 wins; 41 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:

  • Owns the Norwalk Funny Car E.T. record (3.865 seconds)
  • Secured the pole at the most recent NHRA event (Epping)

Quotable:
“I remember winning the signature Norwalk ‘ice cream scoop trophy’ there in 2018. It was pretty cool to put that trophy up on the shelf and I’d love to win another one this weekend. We’ve been struggling a little bit this year, more than we’d like to especially compared to how well we ran last year. But, I’m feeling really confident, especially coming off of that No. 1 qualifier at the last race. The car is really coming around as far as us being aggressive and it’s handling well. We’re ready to put this Mopar Dodge Hellcat back in the winner’s circle.

“The Bader family always puts on a great show for the fans; they do it up big. The fans in the area always show up in full force, so I’m excited about seeing them since it’s been two years. We’re ready to put on a good show for them.”

Factory Stock Showdown Series:

MARK PAWUK
Driver of the Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

Norwalk Event Highlights:

  • 2018 event runner-up

2020 Norwalk Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Norwalk Recap:
DNQ

Last Event (Houston):
Qualified 13th; First round exit (defeated by David Barton in E1)

FSS Career Statistics:
21 races; three runner-ups; two No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • Raced to his career-first Factory Stock Showdown final round during the 2018 event
  • As a resident of Akron, Ohio, Pawuk considers Norwalk to be his home track

Quotable:
“As we head into the Norwalk, Ohio race at my hometown track where I grew up as a kid bracket racing in the 1970s, we’re hoping to get our Empaco Equipment Corporation/Ohio CAT/Mr. Heater/Westfield Bank Dodge Drag Pak turned around after having some struggles in Houston. We are testing in Indy this week, trying to sort out the gremlins and hopefully, we can get back to where we were at during the beginning of the season and qualify well and go some rounds on race day. I’m looking forward to entertaining the employees of Empaco Equipment, Ohio CAT, Northern Ohio Peterbilt, and Mr. Heater this weekend as they come out to support our team. The Bader family does a tremendous job with their facility, and with Ohio now being open to 100% capacity, I’m looking forward to the first race in over a year where we’re going to have full attendance and have all of the local fans back supporting our team and NHRA Drag Racing.”

LEAH PRUETT
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

2020 Norwalk Recap:
N/A (canceled due to COVID-19)

2019 Norwalk Recap:
Qualified 13th; First round exit (defeated by Drew Skillman in E1)

Last Event (Houston):
Qualified 10th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Arthur Kohn in E1; defeated by David Janac in E2)

FSS Career Statistics:
25 races; three wins; one runner-up; two No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“We were right there in the hunt until a mechanical failure took us out in the second round at our last race in Houston. Since then, our Mopar Dodge Drag Pak team has resolved that issue, and the subsequent domino effect it had. We’ve tested, and are ready for the double hitter this weekend!”

About Don Schumacher Racing:
Established in 1998 as a single-car Top Fuel team, Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) has grown to become the winningest organization in NHRA Drag Racing history, and further cemented its position as one of motorsports’ elite teams when it surpassed the ‘350 wins’ milestone during the 2020 season. DSR owns 18 world championships in three different NHRA categories, and including hall-of-fame team owner Don Schumacher’s five NHRA Funny Car triumphs from the 1970s, DSR has been successful in capturing 359 national event victories overall.

Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields four professional teams competing in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Three-time world champion Antron Brown, and double-duty driver Leah Pruett headline DSR’s Top Fuel dragster team. DSR’s two Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars are driven by 2016 Funny Car world champion Ron Capps, and Matt Hagan, who earned his third NHRA series title in 2020.

DSR also campaigns two entries in the Factory Stock Showdown Series. The duo of DSR Dodge Drag Paks is piloted by Pruett, the 2018 series champion, and former Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk.

For more information, visit shoeracing.com, or Follow Us @shoeracing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

COURTESY DON SCHUMACHER RACING

RELATED ARTICLES
NFL Week 12 Preview
2 weeks ago
NFL Week 9 Preview
4 weeks ago
Cincinnati Reds News
4 weeks ago
NFL Week 7 Preview
2 months ago
NFL News Week 5
2 months ago
NFL Week 4 Preview
2 months ago
NFL Week 3 Preview
2 months ago
NFL News: Important upcoming dates