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Confident Capps Is Back

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, July 19 2010

Ron Capps celebrates the end of the skid. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series)

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Funny Car driver Ron Capps ended a one-year winless streak Sunday with a victory at the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

The other winners at the 15th race in the 23-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season were Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

The owner of Capps’ NAPA Dodge Charger team, Don Schumacher, switched crew chiefs – bringing in John Medlen to replace Ed “Ace” McCulloch – in June and in the three races since the move Capps reached the quarterfinals in Norwalk, the final round in Seattle, and the Winner’s Circle in Sonoma.

“It’s all confidence and confidence is built on success,” said Capps (4.169, 296.44), who defeated teammate Jack Beckman (4.210, 298.93) and the Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger team in the final round for his first win since the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in July 2009. “It’s really a pleasure working with (John Medlen). His approach to racing is let’s have fun. Let’s win, but let’s have fun, too. I can’t even tell you how exciting that is for me.”

The win was the 31st for Capps, who moved up from seventh to fifth place in the Funny Car standings and clinched a berth in the Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs. Also clinching berths in Funny Car were Matt Hagan, Beckman and Tim Wilkerson.

In Top Fuel, Dixon (3.879, 317.12) and the Al-Anabi team defeated arch-rival Tony Schumacher (4.006, 300.73) and the U.S. Army team to remain perfect in final rounds this season, winning for the eighth time in eight trips there including twice against Schumacher.

“You know when you’re racing Tony, he’s won a lot of races and the last six championships so you know he’s going to keep you honest,” Dixon said. “You’ve got to go up there and fire your best shot and hope it’s enough. I enjoy racing him. When you (beat the U.S. Army team), there’s no blower belt coming off, you know he’s going to make you earn it so when you do win it makes it that much more gratifying.”

The win capped off a weekend sweep for Dixon, who qualified No. 1 and was competing in his 100th career final round.

“The car was flawless, unbelievable job by Alan Johnson just pulling everyone on the team. You see those numbers, running 84 a couple of times, to me that humbling. They were on their game. They weren’t leaving anything in their back pocket,” Dixon said.

In Pro Stock, Coughlin delivered a stout 6.590 at 209.52 in the JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to defeat Jason Line (6.502, 209.39) in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP. Like Dixon, Coughlin was also in his 100th career NHRA Full Throttle Series final round and the win was his 51st, one shy of Joe Amato for eighth place on the all-time NHRA Full Throttle Series wins list.

“It was a good race car and that’s exactly what you need in Pro Stock when you’re separated by literally 10-thousandths of a second. There is no room for error,” Coughlin said.

Coughlin also defeated the other half of the Summit team, Greg Anderson, who had won the previous two races, in the second round.

“They are multi-time world champions so any time you get by them it’s awesome, to get by both of them in the same day, that’s a tough feat,” Coughlin said.

Line did clinch a berth in the Countdown to 1.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Phillips set a national record for speed aboard the Racers Edge Suzuki with his 6.886-second pass at 196.76 mph in the final round and he needed every bit of the power to defeat Andrew Hines’ 6.909 at 194.16.

“We’ve been playing with different carburetors and that’s where we picked up. We’ve been running crazy mile-per-hour,” Phillips said.

Phillips, Matt Smith and Andrew Hines all clinched berths in the Countdown to 1.

None of the three winners from Seattle repeated so there will be no chance for a sweep of the Western Swing, which will conclude next weekend, July 23-25, with the 31st running of the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway outside Denver.

Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway. The race is the 15th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Larry Dixon; 2. Tony Schumacher; 3. Brandon Bernstein; 4. Cory McClenathan; 5. Terry McMillen; 6. Mike Strasburg; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Steve Torrence; 9. Shawn Langdon; 10. David Grubnic; 11. Morgan Lucas; 12. Steven Chrisman; 13. Troy Buff; 14. Bob Vandergriff; 15. Rod Fuller; 16. Antron Brown.

FUNNY CAR:

1. Ron Capps; 2. Jack Beckman; 3. Matt Hagan; 4. Bob Tasca III; 5. Cruz Pedregon; 6. John Force; 7. Robert Hight; 8. Melanie Troxel; 9. Ashley Force Hood; 10. Del Worsham; 11. Jeff Arend; 12. Jeff Diehl; 13. Tony Pedregon; 14. Gary Densham; 15. Paul Lee; 16. Tim Wilkerson.

PRO STOCK:

1. Jeg Coughlin; 2. Jason Line; 3. Shane Gray; 4. Kurt Johnson; 5. Greg Anderson; 6. Allen Johnson; 7. Greg Stanfield; 8. Mike Edwards; 9. Johnny Gray; 10. Ron Krisher; 11. V. Gaines; 12. Warren Johnson; 13. Vinnie Deceglie; 14. Rodger Brogdon; 15. Larry Morgan; 16. Bob Yonke.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Michael Phillips; 2. Andrew Hines; 3. Hector Arana; 4. Eddie Krawiec; 5. David Hope; 6.

Jim Underdahl; 7. Matt Smith; 8. Steve Johnson; 9. LE Tonglet; 10. Angie Smith; 11. Shawn Gann; 12. Craig Treble; 13. Mike Berry; 14. Freddie Camarena; 15. Larry Cook; 16. Karen Stoffer.

SONOMA, Calif. — Sunday’s final results from the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway. The race is the 15th of 23 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Larry Dixon, 3.879 seconds, 317.12 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 4.006 seconds, 300.73 mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.169, 296.44 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.210, 298.93.

Pro Stock — Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt, 6.590, 209.52 def. Jason Line, Pontiac GXP, 6.602, 209.39.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.886, 196.76 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.909, 194.16.

Final round-by-round results from the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway, the 15th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Steve Torrence, 3.913, 310.20 def. David Grubnic, 3.998, 293.03; Tony Schumacher, 3.883, 317.19 def. Morgan Lucas, 4.002, 306.26; Brandon Bernstein, 4.009, 296.50 def. Troy Buff, 4.059, 289.07; Mike Strasburg, 3.982, 307.44 def. Rod Fuller, 4.448, 190.48; Larry Dixon, 3.840, 319.75 def. Steven Chrisman, 4.051, 267.69; Terry McMillen, 4.285, 240.85 def. Antron Brown, 4.906, 184.67; Cory McClenathan, 3.913, 310.91 def. Bob Vandergriff, 4.305, 291.38; Doug Kalitta, 3.883,

317.94 def. Shawn Langdon, 3.941, 306.95; QUARTERFINALS — Bernstein, 3.928, 305.91 def. Strasburg, 4.113, 254.09; Schumacher, 3.930, 310.70 def. McMillen, foul; McClenathan, 3.977, 288.15 def. Kalitta, 4.414, 264.29; Dixon, 3.878, 315.34 def. Torrence, 4.694, 201.73; SEMIFINALS — Schumacher, 3.914, 313.88 def. Bernstein, 3.930, 308.43; Dixon, 3.845, 319.52 def. McClenathan, 5.191, 117.88; FINAL — Dixon, 3.879, 317.12 def. Schumacher, 4.006, 300.73.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.123, 308.14 def. Ashley Force Hood, Mustang, 4.206, 298.87; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.198, 301.13 def. Paul Lee, Chevy Impala SS, no time; Melanie Troxel, Dodge Charger, 5.354, 194.27 def. Gary Densham, Impala, 6.513, 140.66; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.257, 287.41 def. Jeff Diehl, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.853, 174.80; John Force, Mustang, 4.255, 299.26 def. Tony Pedregon, Impala, 5.171, 148.90; Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.543,

225.82 def. Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.737, 272.94; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.172, 297.81 def. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.449, 234.66; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.188, 298.14 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, DQ; QUARTERFINALS — Tasca III, 4.152, 299.13 def. C. Pedregon, 4.170, 300.00; Beckman, 4.252, 292.96 def. Hight, 5.034, 184.07; Hagan, 4.187, 297.22 def. Force, 4.228, 294.11; Capps, 4.236, 292.39 def. Troxel, 5.337, 165.33; SEMIFINALS — Capps, 4.169, 298.54 def. Hagan, 4.192, 295.59; Beckman, 4.221, 298.73 def. Tasca III, 4.220, 296.83; FINAL — Capps, 4.169, 296.44 def. Beckman, 4.210, 298.93.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 6.636, 208.88 def. Bob Yonke, Pontiac GXP, 6.662, 207.62; Shane Gray, GXP, 6.619, 208.33 def. Johnny Gray, GXP, 6.604, 209.52; Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.594, 208.88 def. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.620, 209.23; Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.583, 209.92 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.649, 208.26; Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.623, 207.78 def. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.615, 208.62; Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.591, 209.69 def. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.632, 208.46; Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.583, 209.69 def. Vinnie Deceglie, Avenger, 6.621, 209.39; Jason Line, GXP, 6.593, 209.43 def. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.619, 209.17; QUARTERFINALS — Line, 6.575, 210.08 def. Stanfield, foul; S. Gray, 6.622, 209.20 def. Edwards, 11.798, 72.28; K. Johnson, 6.677, 208.81 def. A. Johnson, 6.738, 196.64; Coughlin, 6.595, 209.72 def. Anderson, 6.590, 209.07; SEMIFINALS — Coughlin, 6.589, 210.05 def. S. Gray, 6.627, 209.07; Line, 6.579, 210.14 def. K. Johnson, 6.637, 209.33; FINAL — Coughlin, 6.590, 209.52 def. Line, 6.602, 209.39.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.957, 192.17 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.952, 190.30; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.918, 192.93 def. Larry Cook, Buell, 7.312, 183.84; Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.002, 194.46 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, foul; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.896, 192.80 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.984, 189.44; David Hope, Buell, 6.933, 190.22 def. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.052, 189.84; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.892, 194.46 def. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.128, 189.71; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.931, 192.22 def. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.971, 187.70; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.883, 194.16 def. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.067, 185.00; QUARTERFINALS — Phillips, 6.893, 195.08 def. M. Smith, 6.949, 192.25; Hines, 6.930, 192.25 def. Hope, 6.919, 192.36; Krawiec, 6.896, 194.86 def. Johnson, 7.023, 192.88; Arana, 6.849, 195.73 def.

Underdahl, 6.939, 192.91; SEMIFINALS — Phillips, 6.871, 197.65 def. Krawiec, 6.928, 193.63; Hines, 6.895, 194.69 def. Arana, 6.919, 195.03; FINAL — Phillips, 6.886, 196.76 def. Hines, 6.909, 194.16.

Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway, the 15th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1. Larry Dixon, 1,444; 2. Tony Schumacher, 1,233; 3. Cory McClenathan, 1,227; 4. Antron Brown, 1,066; 5. Doug Kalitta, 1,039; 6. Brandon Bernstein, 953; 7. Shawn Langdon, 727; 8. Morgan Lucas, 693; 9. Steve Torrence, 619; 10. Terry McMillen, 557.

Funny Car

1. John Force, 1,114; 2. Robert Hight, 1,071; 3. Jack Beckman, 1,008; 4. Matt Hagan, 994; 5.

Ron Capps, 959; 6. Tim Wilkerson, 929; 7. Bob Tasca III, 906; 8. Ashley Force Hood, 905; 9. Del Worsham, 839; 10. Tony Pedregon, 699.

Pro Stock

1. Mike Edwards, 1,526; 2. Allen Johnson, 1,113; 3. Jeg Coughlin, 1,013; 4. Greg Anderson, 970; 5. Jason Line, 838; 6. Greg Stanfield, 763; 7. Ron Krisher, 762; 8. Shane Gray, 686; 9. Rodger Brogdon, 646; 10. Johnny Gray, 637.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Hector Arana, 804; 2. Matt Smith, 663; 3. Andrew Hines, 661; 4. Michael Phillips, 658; 5.

Steve Johnson, 564; 6. Eddie Krawiec, 526; 7. LE Tonglet, 514; 8. David Hope, 467; 9. Craig Treble, 423; 10. Karen Stoffer, 411.

Sunday’s final results from the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway. The race is the 15th of 23 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

Competition Eliminator — Mike DePalma, Chevy S-10, 8.156, 159.46 def. Tom Mettler, Dodge Dakota, 7.365, 176.03.

Super Stock — Tony Mandella, Chevy Camaro, 9.735, 133.98 def. Jimmy DeFrank, Chevy Cobalt, 8.809, 155.94.

Stock Eliminator — Jimmy DeFrank, Chevy Camaro, 10.421, 113.92 def. Jim Durham, Dodge Duster, DQ.

Super Comp — Kyle Seipel, Dragster, 8.916, 155.33 def. Aaron Kinard, Dragster, 8.885, 166.46.

Super Gas — Shawn Langdon, Chevy Camaro, 10.489, 117.58 def. Val Torres, Chevy Corvette, foul.

Top Sportsman — Mike Ferderer, Pontiac Grand Am, 7.431, 182.50 def. Gary Forkner, Pontiac GTO, 7.175, 193.68.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, July 19 2010
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