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Capps Stays Hot In Norwalk

| , RacinToday.com Monday, June 27 2016
Ron Capps chatted with the legendary Chris Karamesines during a break in the action in Norwalk. When the action had concluded, Capps had notched another Funny Car victory. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA)

Ron Capps chatted with the legendary Chris Karamesines during a break in the action in Norwalk. When the action had concluded, Capps had notched another Funny Car victory. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA)

RacinToday.com

Ron Capps continued his midseason dominance in Funny Car Sunday with his fourth win of 2016 at the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio.

Capps recorded a winning 1,000-foot pass of 3.956-seconds at 317.49 mph to defeat Courtney Force’s 4.010-second run at 314.17 mph.  Capps won for the third time in the past four national events at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park and extended his championship point lead to 130 after the 12th of 24 events of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

“It feels awesome,” said Capps, whose Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund/NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T is led by crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane. “This is one of the only two tracks where I hadn’t won. It’s just a great place to race and now I have a trophy from Norwalk.”

Additionally, the 49th victory of Capps’ career tied him with mentor Don “The Snake” Prudhomme for 11th on the NHRA’s all-time nitro wins list. Capps began his driving career for Prudhomme and continues to admire one of the sport’s legends.

“He was my hero growing up,” Capps said. “These wins happen and you’re told you have tied someone you are completely enamored with growing up, so when you’re mentioned like that it blows me away. It doesn’t seem possible; to be mentioned with someone like ‘Snake’ is crazy.”

The win helped overcome the mild disappointment of qualifying second at Norwalk, ending the Don Schumacher Racing team’s run of three straight poles. Capps defeated Jeff Diehl, two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon and 2009 world champ Robert Hight en route to the final.

Capps arrived in Cleveland on Tuesday for an NHRA media tour that happened to be the day before the city was celebrating its Cavaliers and LeBron James winning the NBA championship. That night, Capps threw out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game and the following day was given a VIP tour of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 “I felt like I belonged in Cleveland,” Capps said. “It was a whole week of just getting ready to win this race. It was fun.

“I want Tobler to get the recognition for another race when all eight runs down the track were in the 3-second range. I’m the luckiest guy in the world to be driving this NAPA Dodge. Four runs in 3-seconds on a hot day like this … that’s a big deal. What Rahn Tobler and this NAPA team are doing right now is just old-fashioned hard work and using their ‘NAPA Know How.’ It’s not bolting on one piece or bolting on headers, it’s these guy working their tails off. Eric, his assistant, is going to get this trophy.

“Rahn is all about the big picture. He’s not just a good crew chief, he’s a good racer. I love when he points at me in the windshield before a run. It gives me all the confidence in the world. I’ve been around this long enough to know this won’t last forever. Our NAPA guys have been giving me a perfect race car.”

Norwalk marked the end of a grueling stretch dubbed “The Eastern Swing” that had Mello Yello teams racing in four states over four weekends. Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners as the season reached halfway.

Langdon, a DSR teammate to Capps, piloted his Red Fuel dragster to his second consecutive win of the year when he bested J.R. Todd in the final. Langdon’s winning 1,000-foot run of 3.846-seconds at 319.75 mph to the losing effort of Todd at 3.937 and 285.05 earned Langdon his 13th career Top Fuel victory. Langdon defeated Troy Buff, two-time/reigning world champion Antron Brown, Brittany Force as well as Todd for the win.

Langdon had fortune on his side in the first round when Buff red-lighted, giving Shawn the automatic win while his dragster lost traction early in the run.

“I think we’re starting to see a little luck go our way. We really should have been out first round,” said Langdon, the 2013 world champion. “We were just fortunate Troy Buff red-lit and we went back and looked at everything and couldn’t find out why it did what it did. We went back to what we did in qualifying on Saturday with a hot weather tune up. We were able to put together three good straight runs and felt like we had a very strong car.”

In Pro Stock, Line faced teammate and No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson in another Ken Black Racing final. Line posted a winning quarter-mile pass of 6.678-seconds at 208.42 mph to Anderson’s 6.717 at 208.36. Line defeated Curt Steinbach, two-time/reigning world champion Erica Enders-Stevens and Vincent Nobile en route to the final.

“It was hard today, it was very hot out there,” said Line, a two-time world champion and driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro. “We didn’t run as well as we would have liked and there were cars that were very close to us. They’re getting closer and to win at the Summit race, in a Summit car, at a Summit track is a huge deal. Greg and I have been very fortunate to make that happen a bunch of times _ it’s fun.”

 Krawiec won his third Pro Stock Motorcycle race of 2016 when he defeated Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Andrew Hines in the final. Krawiec, the No. 1 qualifier, posted a winning quarter-mile run of 6.926-seconds at 194.72 mph to defeat Hines, who covered the distance at 6.937 at 193.29. Krawiec’s path to the win was eventful, as his V-Rod went off the end of the track and into the sand trap following his semifinal and final runs.

“We went back to the pit and had to take out 30 pounds of pea gravel,” said Krawiec, a three-time world champion. “We put new brake pads on it, checked the fluid, drained everything and made sure it was 100 percent. We stopped fine in the lanes and everything. I see my fourth round win light against my teammate and went ‘Not again!’ I pulled the clutch in and went in for a ride.”

The NHRA schedule will resume July 7-10 with the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, in Joliet, Ill.

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Final finishing order (1-16) at the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.  The race is the 12th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel _ 1.  Shawn Langdon; 2.  J.R. Todd; 3.  Doug Kalitta; 4.  Brittany Force; 5.  Tony Schumacher; 6.  Antron Brown; 7.  Leah Pritchett; 8.  Pat Dakin; 9.  Tripp Tatum; 10.  Troy Buff; 11.  Chris Karamesines; 12.  Richie Crampton; 13.  Clay Millican; 14.  Luigi Novelli; 15.  Terry McMillen.

Funny Car _ 1.  Ron Capps; 2.  Courtney Force; 3.  Robert Hight; 4.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5.  John Force; 6.  Alexis DeJoria; 7.  Del Worsham; 8.  Cruz Pedregon; 9.  Tim Wilkerson; 10.  John Hale; 11.  Matt Hagan; 12.  Jack Beckman; 13.  Brandon Welch; 14.  Jeff Diehl; 15.  Chad Head.

Pro Stock _ 1.  Jason Line; 2.  Greg Anderson; 3.  Shane Gray; 4.  Vincent Nobile; 5.  Allen Johnson; 6.  Alex Laughlin; 7.  Erica Enders; 8.  Drew Skillman; 9.  John Gaydosh Jr.; 10.  Chris McGaha; 11.  Jeg Coughlin Jr.; 12.  Curt Steinbach; 13.  Charlie Westcott Jr.; 14.  Kenny Delco; 15.  V. Gaines; 16.  Bo Butner.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1.  Eddie Krawiec; 2.  Andrew Hines; 3.  Jerry Savoie; 4.  Angelle Sampey; 5.  Matt Smith; 6.  Cory Reed; 7.  Hector Arana; 8.  LE Tonglet; 9.  Hector Arana Jr.; 10.  Michael Phillips; 11.  Jim Underdahl; 12.  Steve Johnson; 13.  Scotty Pollacheck; 14.  Michael Ray; 15.  Chip Ellis; 16.  Angie Smith.

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Sunday’s final results from the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park:

Top Fuel _ Shawn Langdon, 3.846-seconds, 319.75 mph def. J.R. Todd, 3.937-seconds, 285.05 mph.

Funny Car _ Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.956, 317.49 def. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.010, 314.17.

Pro Stock _ Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.678, 208.42 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.717, 208.36.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.926, 194.72 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.937, 193.29.

Pro Modified _ Bill Glidden, Chevy Camaro, 5.893, 245.63 def. Bob Rahaim, Chevy Corvette, Foul/Red Light.

Top Alcohol Dragster _ Rich McPhillips, 5.434, 267.16 def. Jeff Veale, Broke/No Show.

Top Alcohol Funny Car _ Jonnie Lindberg, Chevy Camaro, 5.546, 266.95 def. Kris Hool, Camaro, 5.646, 261.07.

Competition Eliminator _ Doug Doll Jr., Dragster, 7.474, 165.70 def. Frank Cervelli, Dragster, 6.853, 194.04.

Super Stock _ Rick Baehr, Chevy Camaro, 10.618, 122.05 def. Nick Morris, Ford Mustang, 9.943, 129.49.

Stock Eliminator _ Joe Santangelo, Chevy Camaro, 10.695, 112.98 def. Craig Marshall, Dodge Dart, 11.104, 113.19.

Super Comp _ Don Higgins, Dragster, 8.892, 176.58 def. Ray Connolly, Dragster, 8.874, 177.56.

Super Gas _ Steve Collier, Chevy Vega, 9.923, 163.49 def. Rusty Cook, Chevy Corvette, 9.965, 162.22.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com _ Lauren Freer, Dragster, 6.421, 215.20 def. Danny Nelson, Dragster, 6.485, 216.10.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com _ Gary Wojnowski Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 6.916, 194.94 def. Larry Demers, Chevy Cobalt, 7.313, 189.73.

Factory Stock Showdown _ David Barton, Chevy Camaro, 8.410, 162.84 def. Bruno Massel, Chevy Camaro, 8.522, 160.71.

AA Gassers _ Brian Spotts, Anglia, 5.677, 123.88 def. Alan Borowski, Anglia, 5.692, 124.22.

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Final round-by-round results from the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park:

TOP FUEL

ROUND ONE _ Shawn Langdon, 8.819, 86.59 def. Troy Buff, Foul/Red Light; Leah Pritchett, 3.884, 318.17 def. Richie Crampton, 4.133, 288.27; Antron Brown, 3.771, 321.50 def. Luigi Novelli, 6.260, 104.74; Doug Kalitta, 7.521, 110.42 was unopposed; Brittany Force, 3.776, 323.74 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.035, 293.35; J.R. Todd, 3.806, 322.04 def. Terry McMillen, 6.379, 109.36; Tony Schumacher, 3.792, 323.81 def. Tripp Tatum, 3.887, 318.09; Pat Dakin, 3.830, 316.67 def. Clay Millican, 5.267, 135.24;

QUARTERFINALS _ Kalitta, 3.814, 324.05 def. Dakin, 11.088, 72.77; Todd, 3.831, 302.89 def. Pritchett, 3.881, 314.75; Force, 3.805, 321.96 def. Schumacher, 3.840, 316.15; Langdon, 3.800, 325.14 def. Brown, 3.873, 311.77;

SEMIFINALS _ Todd, 3.868, 297.09 def. Kalitta, 3.874, 312.42; Langdon, 3.808, 321.35 def. Force, 4.579, 206.16;

FINAL _ Langdon, 3.846, 319.75 def. Todd, 3.937, 285.05.

FUNNY CAR

ROUND ONE _ Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.966, 317.87 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 6.794, 102.96; Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.337, 210.50 was unopposed; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.976, 319.52 def. Brandon Welch, Chevy Monte Carlo, 6.347, 110.53; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.943, 322.42 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.638, 186.18; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.980, 319.82 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.710, 124.61; John Force, Camaro, 4.254, 237.71 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 5.042, 272.78; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.800, 170.34 def. Chad Head, Camry, 8.107, 91.20; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.984, 317.72 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.991, 322.34;

QUARTERFINALS _ Capps, 3.990, 305.36 def. Pedregon, 4.654, 184.47; C. Force, 3.988, 317.05 def. DeJoria, 4.002, 317.19; Hight, 3.982, 318.17 def. J. Force, 3.998, 319.14; Johnson Jr., 3.958, 320.58 def. Worsham, 4.049, 320.43;

SEMIFINALS _ C. Force, 4.042, 306.19 def. Johnson Jr., 5.283, 153.37; Capps, 3.963, 316.60 def. Hight, 4.018, 275.79;

FINAL _ Capps, 3.956, 317.49 def. C. Force, 4.010, 314.17.

PRO STOCK

ROUND ONE _ Alex Laughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.697, 206.23 def. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Dodge Dart, 6.736, 205.91; Erica Enders, Dart, 6.728, 205.76 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.734, 206.61; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.681, 208.36 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.853, 171.71; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.681, 207.56 def. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.723, 205.79; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.670, 208.39 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 11.324, 79.18; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.634, 209.23 def. Curt Steinbach, Camaro, 6.748, 204.66; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.636, 209.33 def. Charlie Westcott Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.849, 202.36; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.650, 207.34 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 8.457, 110.82;

QUARTERFINALS _ Gray, 6.681, 207.37 def. Johnson, 6.694, 205.10; Nobile, 6.678, 207.59 def. Skillman, 9.535, 99.17; Anderson, 6.652, 208.23 def. Laughlin, 6.698, 207.88; Line, 6.662, 209.04 def. Enders, 6.737, 205.57;

SEMIFINALS _ Line, 6.675, 208.62 def. Nobile, 6.762, 207.69; Anderson, 6.675, 208.04 def. Gray, 6.699, 206.86;

FINAL  _Line, 6.678, 208.42 def. Anderson, 6.717, 208.36.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

ROUND ONE _ Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.863, 196.10 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.022, 193.99; Cory Reed, Buell, 6.956, 194.24 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.730, 133.12; Hector Arana, Buell, 7.013, 194.07 def. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, Foul/Red Light; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.915, 194.83 def. Angie Smith, Broke; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.914, 194.97 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.085, 192.14; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.940, 193.54 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.949, 195.70; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.914, 194.80 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, Foul/Red Light; Matt Smith, 6.879, 195.36 def. Michael Ray, Buell, 8.088, 122.76;

QUARTERFINALS _ Savoie, 6.891, 194.66 def. Tonglet, 6.974, 193.77; Hines, 6.889, 194.83 def. Reed, Foul/Red Light; Krawiec, 6.909, 194.35 def. Arana, 6.951, 193.35; Sampey, 6.885, 195.31 def. M. Smith, 6.909, 192.96;

SEMIFINALS _ Krawiec, 6.891, 196.56 def. Savoie, 6.889, 195.62; Hines, 6.893, 195.79 def. Sampey, 10.165, 83.70;

FINAL _ Krawiec, 6.926, 194.72 def. Hines, 6.937, 193.29.

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Point standings (top-10) following the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park:

Top Fuel _ 1.  Doug Kalitta, 1,009; 2.  Antron Brown, 940; 3.  Steve Torrence, 846; 4.  Brittany Force, 832; 5.  Tony Schumacher, 729; 6.  Shawn Langdon, 711; 7.  J.R. Todd, 645; 8.  Clay Millican, 572; 9.  Richie Crampton, 570; 10.  Leah Pritchett, 463.

Funny Car _1.  Ron Capps, 966; 2.  Courtney Force, 836; 3.  Jack Beckman, 823; 4.  Del Worsham, 762; 5.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 750; 6.  Matt Hagan, 747; 7.  Tim Wilkerson, 723; 8.  Robert Hight, 722; 9.  John Force, 668; 10.  Alexis DeJoria, 640.

Pro Stock _ 1.  Jason Line, 1,389*; 2.  Greg Anderson, 1,274*; 3.  Bo Butner, 796; 4.  Allen Johnson, 719; 5.  Drew Skillman, 683; 6.  Vincent Nobile, 613; 7.  Chris McGaha, 557; 8.  Shane Gray, 532; 9.  Jeg Coughlin Jr., 528; 10.  Alex Laughlin, 498.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 557; 2.  (tie) Andrew Hines, 391; Jerry Savoie, 391; 4.  Angelle Sampey, 372; 5.  Chip Ellis, 300; 6.  Hector Arana, 291; 7.  LE Tonglet, 253; 8.  Matt Smith, 192; 9.  Scotty Pollacheck, 183; 10.  Steve Johnson, 179.

Note: *Clinched berth in NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

 

| , RacinToday.com Monday, June 27 2016
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