U.S. Nats Finals Set

| , RacinToday.com Monday, September 5 2022

Ron Capps looking good in Funny Car at the U.S. Nationals.


Ron Capps won the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout at the prestigious 68th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, trailering Matt Hagan in the final to earn an $80,000 payday during a bonus event at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 16th of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, and final event of the regular season.

Two hours of live eliminations coverage is scheduled to start today noon (EDT) on Fox Sports 1 and continue from 2 to 5 p.m. on the FOX Network.

Capps, the two-time/reigning world champion, put together a 1,000-foot run in 3.936-seconds at 330.47 mph in his Toyota Supra to defeat Hagan on a hole shot. Hagan, a three-time world champ, ran 3.900-seconds at 328.66 mph but Capps was quicker off the starting line to pick up the specialty race win. Capps beat Tim Wilkerson and 16-time world champ John Force to reach the final, while Hagan defeated Alexis DeJoria and three-time world champ Robert Hight.

Capps’ 0.026-second reaction time ultimately proved to be the difference in the final. “This turned out to be so much fun,” said Capps, who is in his first season as owner/driver of Ron Capps Motorsports. “The car was hauling the mail in the final round and it’s so cool to win on a hole shot and to do it for this much money. I love it for my guys. We’ve had so many special moments this year and this ranks right up there, until hopefully (Monday’s finals). But this one is really, really big for us.”

Chasing his first U.S. Nationals victory, Capps also secured his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season with a pass in 3.864-seconds at 333.58 mph against Wilkerson. Sunday’s win provided momentum, but Capps knows he could celebrate one of the biggest moments of his career this afternoon. He’ll open eliminations against Dale Creasy Jr.

“We’ve got a great race car right now,” Capps said. “Last year stung and that was the run of the year in Funny Car. We’ll take some time to enjoy this No. 1 and this (Callout) win, and we’ll get ready.”

In Top Fuel, Brit Force delivered another career moment Sunday, breaking both ends of the track record at IRP with an incredible 1,000-foot run in 3.640-seconds at 337.75 mph. That pass gave Force, the current point-leader and 2016 world champion, her seventh pole this season and 39th in her career.

Force will chase her first career U.S. Nationals victory by opening eliminations against Dan Mercier in what also ended up being the quickest qualifying field in NHRA history. Mercier qualified No. 16 with a 3.758-second pass at 318.99 mph, while Force will try for her fifth victory of 2022.

“This is definitely a big one for this Monster Energy team,” said Force, of John Force Racing. “This is the biggest race of the season, it’s the one race everyone wants to win. There’s extra motivation coming into it. It’s Indy and everyone wants to accomplish something here. That was a killer run, especially since we struggled every lap and then we finally got it figured out. It was outstanding. Then for it to be part of the quickest field in NHRA history and to be part of that with 25 cars is pretty incredible. That’s history and we want to leave our mark so to come here to Indy and take that No. 1, we’re just excited.”

Justin Ashley secured the second spot at 3.671-seconds and 335.32 mph, which momentarily set the speed record Saturday. Meanwhile, four-time/reigning world champion Steve Torrence is third at 3.692-seconds at 329.02 mph in his family-owned dragster.

Pro Stock’s Greg Anderson secured his third straight pole this season on the strength of a quarter-mile pass in 6.567-seconds at 208.10 mph from Saturday in his Hendricks.com Chevrolet Camaro SS. It’s part of a great late-season run for the five-time/reigning world champion, who still is seeking his first victory of 2022.

Anderson will start race day today against Fernando Cuadra Sr. and has one goal _ pick up his elusive 100th career victory at the world’s biggest drag race. Anderson also is trying to post his seventh U.S. Nats win, but first at IRP since 2011.

“It’s just nice to have a race car that can win again,” Anderson said. “We were not up to par for the first eight-10 races but we’re back. We’re climbing the ladder and we know that we can win again. Now, we just need to put it all together on Monday. The driver has to have his act together and do a good job. Indy is a marathon, so you’ve got to learn to save a little for Monday.”

Anderson’s Ken Black Racing teammate, Dallas Glenn, earned the second spot after running 6.578-seconds at 207.72 mph. Point-leader and four-time world champ Erica Enders finished third at 6.582-seconds and 208.97 mph in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevy. Enders has won the last two races at IRP.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Angelle Sampey held onto P1 from Saturday, clinching her fourth pole of the season via a quarter-mile run of 6.796-seconds at 199.88 mph aboard her Vance & Hines Suzuki. It’s also the 57th career No. 1 qualifier for Sampey, who will try to win the U.S. Nationals for the first time in 20 years. That would wrap up a stellar weekend for the three-time world champion who is seeking her third win at “The Big Go.” She will take on Ron Tornow to open eliminations.

“The last two runs (Sunday) were good, and we feel confident going into (Monday’s eliminations),” said Sampey, who has seven career poles at the U.S. Nats. “We’re going to hold onto this the best we can and we’re certainly capable of winning this race if I can keep my composure. I’m going to give it my all and I just want to win the race. But I need to do my job in the first round and that’s where I need to keep my focus. I’m just so comfortable on this bike.”

Five-time/reigning world champ Matt Smith made the best two runs on Sunday and finished second on the ladder at 6.800-seconds and 201.16 mph aboard his Suzuki. Four-time world champ Eddie Krawiec’s 6.826-second pass at 198.79 mph from earlier in the weekend placed him third in pursuit of his landmark 50th career win. Point-leader Joey Gladstone qualified seventh aboard his Suzuki.

Monday’s first-round eliminations pairings for the 68th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, 16th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based upon results in qualifying, which ended Sunday. DNQs listed below pairings:

Top Fuel _ 1. Brittany Force, 3.640-seconds, 337.75 mph vs. 16. Dan Mercier, 3.758, 318.99; 2. Justin Ashley, 3.671, 335.32 vs. 15. Shawn Langdon, 3.754, 322.73; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.692, 329.02 vs. 14. Austin Prock, 3.750, 333.58; 4. Mike Salinas, 3.701, 331.36 vs. 13. Tony Schumacher, 3.743, 325.37; 5. Clay Millican, 3.707, 324.98 vs. 12. Doug Kalitta, 3.741, 324.44; 6. Antron Brown, 3.712, 330.55 vs. 11. Tripp Tatum, 3.739, 326.71; 7. Billy Torrence, 3.717, 325.53 vs. 10. Leah Pruett, 3.725, 332.51; 8. Josh Hart, 3.722, 330.15 vs. 9. Doug Foley, 3.722, 326.56.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.795, 327.59; 18. Spencer Massey, 3.798, 323.89; 19. Alex Laughlin, 3.809, 319.14; 20. Will Smith, 3.832, 318.02; 21. Krista Baldwin, 3.866, 305.01; 22. Lex Joon, 3.901, 318.69; 23. Scott Palmer, 3.972, 264.39; 24. Cameron Ferre, 5.864, 116.44; 25. Scott Farley, broke.

Funny Car _ 1. Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.864, 333.58 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.075, 290.51; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.866, 327.27 vs. 15. John Smith, Charger, 4.034, 312.50; 3. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.878, 331.53 vs. 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 3.961, 319.22; 4. John Force, Camaro, 3.881, 333.25 vs. 13. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.937, 328.78; 5. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.881, 327.19 vs. 12. Chad Green, Mustang, 3.924, 324.28; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.891, 330.55 vs. 11. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 3.908, 318.92; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.892, 333.41 vs. 10. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 3.907, 329.02; 8. J.R. Todd, Supra, 3.894, 329.50 vs. 9. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.906, 324.83.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Justin Schriefer, 4.079, 294.37; 18. Terry Haddock, 4.159, 307.65.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.567, 208.10 vs. 16. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.661, 206.57; 2. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.578, 207.72 vs. 15. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.644, 208.42; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.582, 208.97 vs. 14. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.640, 207.02; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.584, 208.26 vs. 13. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.634, 208.01; 5. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.592, 208.14 vs. 12. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.629, 207.15; 6. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.594, 207.82 vs. 11. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.617, 207.27; 7. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.596, 208.97 vs.10. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.605, 207.62; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.598, 207.78 vs. 9. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.604, 209.20.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.674, 206.57; 18. Larry Morgan, 6.714, 205.79.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.796, 199.88 vs. 16. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.945, 192.28; 2. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.800, 201.16 vs. 15. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.937, 195.87; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.826, 198.79 vs. 14. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 6.924, 195.17; 4. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.828, 200.20 vs. 13. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.910, 196.02; 5. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.835, 197.57 vs. 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.900, 195.39; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.846, 196.50 vs. 11. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.899, 194.94; 7. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.873, 197.86 vs. 10. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.898, 195.00; 8. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.873, 195.70 vs. 9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.875, 197.05.

Did Not Qualify _17. Malcolm Phillips Jr., 6.946, 194.41; 18. Chris Bostick, 6.989, 191.38; 19. Gaige Herrera, 7.067, 188.31; 20. Michael Phillips, 14.068, 58.40.

Round-by-round results of the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout specialty event: 

ROUND ONE _ John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.931, 327.82 def. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 4.031, 311.49; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.870, 332.26 def. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 12.865, 60.32; Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.864, 333.58 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.920, 329.50; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.895, 334.15 def. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 7.413, 92.95;

SEMIFINALS _ Hagan, 4.180, 255.73 def. Hight, 10.119, 82.57; Capps, 3.896, 332.59 def. Force, 5.162, 147.65;

FINAL _ Capps, 3.936, 330.47 def. Hagan, 3.900, 328.86.




| , RacinToday.com Monday, September 5 2022
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