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Capps Gets Second Funny Car Victory Of Season

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, April 26 2015
Ron Capps is in the win column.  (RacinToday/HHP file photo)

Ron Capps is in the win column. (RacinToday/HHP file photo)

RacinToday.com

Ron Capps raced to his second Funny Car victory of the season Sunday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) also were winners at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.

Capps powered past Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the final round to earn his 44th career Funny Car victory and move into second behind John Force on NHRA’s all-time wins list in that category.

Capps finished in 4.244 seconds at 258.32 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, while event top qualifier Beckman trailed with a 4.480 at 205.16 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Charger.

“It’s crazy to think that I am No. 2 on that list,” Capps said. “I am not that good, so it just shows you from my time with (team owner) Don Prudhomme on down to my team at Don Schumacher Racing, all of the great people I have worked with over the years, it’s a credit to them.”

Capps defeated John Hale, Matt Hagan and Robert Hight in earlier rounds, posting a string of low 4.0-second runs on a hot and humid day in the Lone Star state.

“This is one of those races that when you can win it, you feel like you really earned it,” said an exhausted Capps of his third Houston win. “With the conditions that we had to drive in and tune in this weekend it feels great to get a win here.”

Capps moved into the series points lead with the victory, while Beckman moved up to sixth in the standings.

The California native also over the championship points lead for the first time since the fifth event of the 2013 season.

“We have a long season ahead of us but it means that everything Tobler and our NAPA guys have been doing has us going in the right direction,” he said. “We won at Gainesville with our old car and Tobler had the NAPA Know How to decide to switch to our new one at the last race.

“Winning with this NAPA Dodge in only its second race so much about our NAPA team and our teammates back at headquarters in our machine and fabrication shops that built this.”

In Top Fuel, Kalitta outran longtime rival Tony Schumacher in the final round to earn his 36th career victory and his first win since last August in Seattle. Kalitta, who passed “Big Daddy” Don Garlits on the all-time Top Fuel wins list with the effort, drove his Mac Tools dragster to a winning time of 3.820 at 324.98 while Schumacher’s U.S. Army machine slowed near the finish line with a 4.014 at 225.60.

“I’ve had a couple dry spells,” said Kalitta, who beat Troy Buff, Larry Dixon and top qualifier Spencer Massey in the opening rounds. “It’s one of those deals where you never know when you’re going to win one of these, so you have to appreciate the opportunity and appreciate these wins when you get them. It’s a good feeling.”

It is the first time Kalitta has defeated eight-time world champ Schumacher in a final round since Brainerd in 2003, a stretch of 10 consecutive final rounds.

“We got by him, so it wasn’t until the end that we got him,” Kalitta said. “Tony’s a tough competitor, and here lately, we’ve had a tough time getting around him. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.”

With the win Katlitta moved to fifth in the series standings and Schumacher moved into the series points lead with the runner-up finish.

Defending Pro Stock world champ Enders-Stevens earned her second-straight victory at this event and the 14th of her career by outrunning fellow Texan Chris McGaha in the final round. She powered her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro to a winning performance of 6.571 at 211.73, while McGaha’s Harlow Sammons of Odessa Camaro trailed with a 6.598 at 211.66. With the win, her second of the season, Enders-Stevens moved into the series points lead for the first time this season.

Enders-Stevens said her Elite Motorsports team went above and beyond in order to get this victory. Just before the semifinal round her team had to change an engine in 11 minutes to make the semifinal. She beat Allen Johnson, Vincent Nobile and Jonathan Gray en route to the final.

“It’s so hard to win,” Enders-Stevens said. “People have no idea how challenging it is to pull together and to be on top two weeks in a row is an incredible accomplishment. This was one of the more emotional wins for me given the adversity we faced and what we all overcame today.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues May 15-17 with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga.

BAYTOWN, Texas — Final finish order (1-16) at the 28th annual O’Reilly NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway.  The race is the sixth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

  1. Doug Kalitta; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  Spencer Massey; 4.  Clay Millican; 5.  Brittany Force; 6.  Larry Dixon; 7.  Steve Torrence; 8.  Antron Brown; 9.  J.R. Todd; 10.  Richie Crampton; 11. Shawn Langdon; 12.  Dave Connolly; 13.  Troy Buff; 14.  Jenna Haddock; 15.  Leah Pritchett; 16. Kebin Kinsley.

FUNNY CAR:

  1. Ron Capps; 2.  Jack Beckman; 3.  Robert Hight; 4.  Courtney Force; 5.  Alexis DeJoria; 6.  Matt Hagan; 7.  John Force; 8.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 9.  Tim Wilkerson; 10.  Chad Head; 11.  Bob Bode; 12. Del Worsham; 13.  John Hale; 14.  Tony Pedregon; 15.  Cruz Pedregon; 16.  Terry Haddock.

PRO STOCK:

  1. Erica Enders-Stevens; 2.  Chris McGaha; 3.  Jonathan Gray; 4.  Greg Anderson; 5.  Jason Line; 6.  Larry Morgan; 7.  Shane Gray; 8.  Vincent Nobile; 9.  Rodger Brogdon; 10.  Drew Skillman; 11. V. Gaines; 12.  Richie Stevens; 13.  Allen Johnson; 14.  Richard Freeman; 15.  Deric Kramer; 16. Jimmy Alund.

Sunday’s final results from the 28th annual O’Reilly NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway. The race is the sixth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Doug Kalitta, 3.820 seconds, 324.98 mph  def. Tony Schumacher, 4.014 seconds, 225.60 mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.244, 258.32  def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.480, 205.16.

Pro Stock — Erica Enders-Stevens, Chevy Camaro, 6.571, 211.73  def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.598, 211.66.

Pro Modified — Don Walsh, Chevy Camaro, 5.872, 249.12  def. Bill Glidden, Ford Mustang, 8.945, 123.41.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Randy Meyer, 5.327, 271.73  def. David Brounkowski, foul.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Doug Gordon, Chevy Camaro, 5.813, 241.76  def. Ulf Leanders, Chevy Monte Carlo, 8.666, 98.79.

Competition Eliminator — David Rampy, Roadster, 7.268, 181.98  def. Joey Tanksley, Dragster, 6.397, 211.66.

Super Stock — Jimmy Hildago Jr, Pontiac Firebird, 9.865, 120.32  def. Gary Emmons, Chevy Camaro, foul.

Stock Eliminator — David Latino, Chevy Corvette, 10.596, 124.65  def. Brett Candies, Chevy Camaro, broke.

Super Comp — Jeff Lopez, Dragster, 8.895, 164.21  def. Dan Foley, Dragster, 8.869, 171.14.

Super Gas — Robby Lopez, Chevy Corvette, 9.941, 138.02  def. Steve Collier, Chevy Vega, 9.916, 168.32.

Super Street — Rick Huffman, Chevy Camaro, 10.887, 143.57  def. Frank Kohutek, Chevy Vega, foul.

Top Dragster — J.R. Baxter, 6.628, 192.69  def. William Kruse, 6.960, 147.33.

Top Sportsman — Bob Gulitti, Chevy Camaro, 6.695, 208.46  def. Trent Wilson, Camaro, 6.984, 193.13.

Final round-by-round results from the 28th annual O’Reilly NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway, the sixth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Brittany Force, 3.768, 326.40 def. Leah Pritchett, 3.974, 292.39; Clay Millican, 3.751, 312.78 def. Richie Crampton, 3.756, 320.51; Doug Kalitta, 3.732, 325.77 def. Troy Buff, 3.844, 313.88; Tony Schumacher, 3.726, 328.70 def. Jenna Haddock, 3.966, 300.86; Spencer Massey, 3.770, 327.98 def. Kebin Kinsley, 10.275, 54.99; Larry Dixon, 3.779, 323.89 def. Shawn Langdon, 3.765, 321.73; Steve Torrence, 3.759, 325.14 def. J.R. Todd, 3.755, 326.40; Antron Brown, 3.756, 321.73 def. Dave Connolly, 3.807, 322.73;

QUARTERFINALS — Massey, 3.807, 324.83 def. Force, 3.786, 320.13; Millican, 3.765, 320.36 def. Torrence, 3.798, 323.89; Kalitta, 3.751, 323.50 def. Dixon, 3.788, 316.97; Schumacher, 3.774, 326.48 def. Brown, 3.808, 318.99;

SEMIFINALS — Schumacher, 3.855, 319.37 def. Millican, 5.971, 106.55; Kalitta, 4.177, 256.75 def. Massey, 5.484, 105.38;

FINAL — Kalitta, 3.820, 324.98 def. Schumacher, 4.014, 225.60.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.056, 318.69 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.046, 314.46; Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.034, 319.45 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.974, 160.98; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.386, 207.27 def. Terry Haddock, Toyota Solara, 11.665, 85.68; John Force, Camaro, 4.093, 317.87 def. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.800, 208.71; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.068, 313.44 def. Bob Bode, Camry, 4.620, 194.35; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.017, 320.81 def. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 7.330, 85.01; Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.012, 319.75 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.053, 313.22; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.061, 314.02 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 8.175, 85.47;

QUARTERFINALS — C. Force, 4.113, 316.60 def. DeJoria, foul; Capps, 4.054, 316.82 def. Hagan, 4.130, 303.57; Hight, 4.140, 299.40 def. J. Force, 6.494, 102.88; Beckman, 4.047, 315.12 def. Johnson Jr., 8.395, 91.31;

SEMIFINALS — Capps, 4.084, 308.35 def. Hight, 4.084, 318.39; Beckman, 4.066, 309.56 def. C. Force, 4.173, 312.42;

FINAL — Capps, 4.244, 258.32 def. Beckman, 4.480, 205.16.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Jonathan Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.565, 210.44 def. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.565, 210.73; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.564, 210.90 def. Richard Freeman, Camaro, 6.630, 208.68; Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.559, 211.53 def. V. Gaines, Dodge Dart, 6.581, 210.47; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.597, 209.72 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.576, 210.11; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.557, 210.21 def. Jimmy Alund, Pontiac GXP, 6.666, 209.49; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.583, 209.75 def. Richie Stevens, Dart, foul; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.547, 210.70 def. Deric Kramer, Dodge Avenger, 6.655, 208.30; Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.562, 209.46 def. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.617, 209.36;

QUARTERFINALS — McGaha, 6.575, 210.28 def. S. Gray, 6.567, 209.75; Enders-Stevens, 6.553, 210.54 def. Nobile, foul; Anderson, 6.572, 210.47 def. Morgan, 6.563, 211.36; J. Gray, 6.581, 210.11 def. Line, 6.556, 211.06;

SEMIFINALS — McGaha, 6.561, 211.10 def. Anderson, 6.588, 210.50; Enders-Stevens, 6.570, 211.03 def. J. Gray, 6.574, 211.03;

FINAL — Enders-Stevens, 6.571, 211.73 def. McGaha, 6.598, 211.66.

Point standings (top 10) following the 28th annual O’Reilly NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway, the sixth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

  1. Tony Schumacher, 474; 2.  Spencer Massey, 441; 3.  Antron Brown, 437; 4.  Shawn Langdon, 406; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 390; 6.  Richie Crampton, 374; 7.  Steve Torrence, 325; 8.  Larry Dixon, 318; 9. Clay Millican, 312; 10.  J.R. Todd, 299.

Funny Car

  1. Ron Capps, 431; 2.  Matt Hagan, 425; 3.  Del Worsham, 401; 4.  Robert Hight, 397; 5.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 369; 6.  Jack Beckman, 353; 7.  (tie) Alexis DeJoria, 328; John Force, 328; 9. Courtney Force, 301; 10.  Cruz Pedregon, 291.

Pro Stock

  1. Erica Enders-Stevens, 510; 2.  Jason Line, 495; 3.  Greg Anderson, 458; 4.  Chris McGaha, 432; 5.  Rodger Brogdon, 385; 6.  Vincent Nobile, 337; 7.  Drew Skillman, 334; 8.  Larry Morgan, 320; 9. Shane Gray, 295; 10.  Allen Johnson, 280.

 

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, April 26 2015
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