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Capps’ Final-Weekend Push Wins Funny Car Championship

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, November 14 2022

Ron Capps won a second-straight Funny Car championship on Sunday in Pomona.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

The No. 1 sticker on the roof of Ron Capps’ Funny Car will remain intact during the 2023 NHRA season.

Capps clinched his third NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world championship, second in a row and first as owner/driver of Ron Capps Motorsports at the expense of Robert Hight Sunday during the season-ending 57th annual NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.

Capps became NHRA’s first back-to-back Funny Car world champ in 20 years _ since John “Brute” Force claimed his 11th and 12th titles in 2001 and 2002 _ by finishing as runnerup to a suddenly revitalized Cruz Pedregon.

Capps qualified No. 1 Saturday at 3.837-seconds and 337.33-mph as he methodically overcame a 61-point deficit to Hight at the start of a weekend awarding points-and-a-half during qualifying and 30 points per round on Sunday. Capps’ title bid received a huge assist Sunday from Bob Tasca III, who upset Hight during their second-round match to set up a pairing with Capps in the semifinals. Capps won that round to take a three-point lead over Hight, whose season stalled-out despite a class-leading eight national event wins. 

Capps secured the championship with a clean, albeit losing, 1,000-foot pass in the final against fellow-Californian Pedregon. A two-time world champion, “The Cruzer” covered the distance in 3.839-seconds at 335.65 mph while Capps ran 3.850 at 333.16. 

Capps and Hight each won two events during the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs after Hight completed the 16-race “regular season” with a 279-point advantage over Capps. Once points were recalibrated for the Countdown, Hight’s advantage was reduced to one round, worth 20 points.

“Amazing? It’s amazing NHRA took away so many (points) from us,” Hight said during an interview with RacinToday.com prior to the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis on Oct. 14. “I had a 280-point lead, OK? And then it went down to 20. Anyway, it’s what we’re dealt with and we’ve just got to keep winning.”

Hight then speculated on how NHRA’s points-and-a-half scenario at the famed Southern California facility could ambush his push for a fourth title.

Standing in the shutoff area after Tasca’s second-round victory over Hight, a subdued Capps half-apologized for taking the lead against his longtime John Force Racing rival. 

“The Countdown was crazy. You think about the Funny Cars that had a chance, it just tells you the amount of competition in the field,” said Capps, owner/driver of the his Toyota GR Supra. “We’ve had so many amazing people around us and it’s like we don’t deserve it.”

Capps repeated the “I don’t deserve it” comment several times during that interview on FOX Sports 1.

Capps moved into the realm of team-ownership after winning the 2021 Ha-Ha Car championship with Don Schumacher Racing in a Dodge Charger. Capps and most of that title-winning team also changed manufacturers during the season by joining the Toyota Gazoo Racing North America camp. 

“I’ve leaned on some great people,” said Capps, a 57-year-old resident of Carlsbad, Calif. “Don Schumacher has been unbelievable. People like (Tim) Wilkerson, (John) Force _ all these people I race against for a livelihood _ have checked on me and asked if there’s any way they could help me, which has been very cool. I just didn’t think this was going to happen.

“To win a championship then become a team-owner and have that No. 1 on the car and then having to beat Robert Hight and his team _ which has had phenomenal success here at this track _ it just blows my mind that we’re here. It’s going to sink in soon.”

Capps, who won five events this season, defeated Jeff Arend and Wilkerson in the first two rounds of eliminations. Capps finished with that three-point lead (2,682-2,679) over Hight. Adding to the irony and Hight’s frustration, Sunday marked the only time Capps led the points all season.

Hight began race day from the No. 4 position on the 16-car ladder and with a 56-point lead over Capps. Three-time world champ Matt Hagan’s longshot title chance for first-year Tony Stewart Racing ended with an upset first-round loss against Steven Densham. With only Capps still in contention after Round 1, Hight smoked the rear tires on his Chevrolet Camaro SS en route to a pass of 6.292-seconds at 110.92 mph. Tasca completed a winning lap in 4.262 at 224.96 in his Motorcraft Ford Mustang.

Hight’s post-race comments were of the politically correct variety. He made no public mention of the Countdown format or the points-and-half scenario for this event.

“It’s a tough way to go out,” said Hight, a 53-year-old resident of Yorba Linda, Calif., who is paired with championship crew chief Jimmy Prock. “We had a great season. This Auto Club team, they worked hard all season long. We weren’t happy with our performance last year and we set out to change it, and we did.

“We knew it was going to come down to Pomona. We knew we’d need at least seven or eight wins, we knew we needed eight perfect runs this weekend. We came up short but that doesn’t take away from the amazing season we had. If anything, it motivates us even more to do even better next season. This team has it in them, they know how to get the job done and now we just hope the offseason goes by quickly.”

Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also clinched respective world championships at the season’s 22nd and final event to join Erica Enders (Pro Stock). Austin Prock (Top Fuel), Pedregon (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angie Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the sixth race in the Countdown.

Pedregon was near-perfect in winning his first race of the year thanks to a string of career-best passes. The topper was an outstanding 3.839 at 335.65 in his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the final against Capps. Pedregon laid down four runs of 3.84-seconds in qualifying on the road to his 39th career victory.

“This weekend feels surreal to me,” said Pedregon, a 59-year-old native of Gardena, Calif. “I’ve had some really great cars I’ve been fortunate to drive in my career, but this car is the best race car I’ve ever driven by a long shot. It says a lot for the team.

“I do want to point out we added Lee Beard as a consultant on the car, but I have to shout out (crew chief) John Collins and the team who has been with me for two years now and give them the credit. What Lee brought to the table fit what we were already doing. It all came together.”

Capps’ team was led by co-crew chiefs Dean “Guido” Antonelli and John Medlen. That veteran braintrust began working with the Toyota GR Supra bodywork at the season’s sixth event, the 4-Wide NHRA Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., in late April.

Capps will chase a fourth title in 2023 without the services of Medlen, who retired after Sunday’s event. “To send Medlen off and to send one of these (Wallys) to his cabin in Georgia, it’s going to be phenomenal,” Capps said. “He means so much to us.”

Ron Capps Motorsports will continue under the guidance of Antonelli, who like Medlen is a former tuner at John Force Racing. Antonelli joined Capps at the start of the 2021 season. “We both grew up crew guys _ I met him as a crew guy at John Force’s,” Capps said. “We feel like two kids playing marbles in the field. It’s phenomenal that we can go have fun and do this.”

Capps and his NAPA team will be honored Monday evening along with the other 2022 champions during the NHRA Awards Ceremony in Temecula, Calif.

The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season is scheduled to begin March 9-12 with the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway in Florida.

Brittany Force joined the ranks of NHRA’s multiple female champions by clinching her second Top Fuel title Sunday at her home track.

The No. 1 qualifier, Force bagged the championship with a 1,000-foot run of 3.701-seconds at 334.90 mph during the opening round of eliminations. Force’s 2022 title drive featured five wins, 10 poles and the fastest run in Top Fuel history on Friday.

“It just seems surreal. I can’t believe we’re here and it ended up this way,” said Force, driver of her by John Force Racing dragster. “I believed coming into today, I was motivated and we got the job done. I want everyone to remember this day, here in Pomona with this team. We have been working at this all season long and then we struggled (early) in the Countdown. But we recovered when we needed to in Las Vegas (with a victory in Round 5) and here in Pomona.”

Force is the last driver not named Steve Torrence to win the NHRA Top Fuel championship. Brit edged Torrence for the title in 2017, a defeat that triggered Torrence to four consecutive championships with his family-owned Capco Contractors dragster.

Force joined NHRA legend Shirley Muldowney (Top Fuel) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) as multiple female world champs.

Force, who finished with a 62-point lead (2,596-2,534) over runnerup Antron Brown, saw her season end in the semifinals against JFR teammate Austin Prock. 

In the Top Fuel final, Prock finished off his impressive run in the Countdown by winning for the second time with a remarkable 1,000-foot lap in 3.641-seconds at 336.23 mph in his dragster. The career-best run sent Prock past three-time world champion Brown and to his third career victory.

Prock finished third in the final point standings working with veteran crew chief Rahn Tobler, who retired Sunday after 50 years in the sport.

“I’m so happy for Rahn Tobler,” said Prock, a 27-year-old native of Lansing, Mich., and son of JFR tuner Jimmy Prock. “I’ve had a blast working with him. He’s an absolute legend and to go out like he did tonight speaks volumes about what he’s done for the sport. That was the quickest run he’s ever made in history, and it was his last one.

“During the semifinals (against Brittany Force), we were the quickest side-by-side run (in Top Fuel history). I’m really proud of Rahn and I still get butterflies when I watch him roll into the staging beams. He’s accomplished so much in the sport, and he believes in me to drive his race car. He came out of retirement to come work with me and that means a lot to me. I’m glad we went out on top with him.” 

Brown, formerly of Don Schumacher Racing, completed his first season as team-owner of AB Motorsports and driver of the dragster he wheeled into four final rounds in 2022.

Matt Smith earned his sixth Pro Stock Motorcycle title, and third in a row, with a first-round victory aboard his Buell. Smith secured his fourth Pro Stock Bike title in five years on the strength of four victories, forging a dynasty that has allowed him to join the late Dave Schultz and retired Andrew Hines as six-time NHRA world champions.

“This Denso bike has been awesome this year,” said Smith, whose season ended with a semifinal loss against Joey Gladstone. Both covered the quarter-mile in 6.757-seconds, with Gladstone earning the holeshot victory aboard his Suzuki at 199.40 mph.

Smith then tuned wife/teammate Angie’s bike to victory in the final. Angie Smith helped the team finish with a win for the third straight year, trailering Gladstone with a pass in 6.749-seconds at 199.55 mph aboard her Buell. Angie, who picked up her first win of 2022, now has won the season-finale twice in the past three years to make it an all-Smith Winner’s Circle for the race and championship.

“I just needed to go out there and qualify well and just turn on win lights,” said Angie, 43, who set the track speed record in PSM earlier in the weekend. “My goal in qualifying was just to make straight runs and every run we were going faster and faster, so I knew I had a good bike going into race day. I did my job and I won it on a holeshot (in the final). I think I’d rather win on a holeshot over anything. It’s nice to outrun people, but winning on a holeshot is pretty epic.”

Matt Smith finished 82 points (2,610-2,528) in front of Gladstone and his Suzuki in the final standings, with Angie Smith placing third. “Angie’s had a great bike,” said Matt Smith, a 50-year-old resident of King, N.C., and son of NHRA Pro Mod world champion Rickie Smith. “We took my motor out from the last two races and put it in her bike because we had a shot of being No. 1 and 2 in points and I think we just missed it, but hats off to her.

“She’s had a heck of a season going to three finals and winning the last race and then I won four races and won the championship. To be the one Pro Stock Motorcycle rider who has won every Camping World Drag Racing Series championship so far is pretty amazing.”

Greg Anderson failed to defend his Pro Stock championship this year, as Erica Enders rolled to her fifth title on the strength of a personal best 10 victories. But Anderson rallied to close-out 2022 with a victory in Pomona, defeating Enders in the final with a quarter-mile pass in 6.516-seconds at 210.31 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro.

A five-time world champ, Anderson notched his 101st career “Factory Hot Rod” win while handing team-owner Ken Black the perfect departing gift. Black retired after watching his final race day from the starting line.

“It was an emotional weekend for me. It’s been 20 years of glory, to be honest,” said Anderson, a 61-year-old resident of Charlotte, N.C. “It’s been a heck of a ride with (team-owners) Ken, Judy and the entire Black family. They’ve done everything for me. They’ve made all my hopes and dreams and wishes come true. I never dreamt in my life that I could ever achieve anything like this and I couldn’t do it without Ken Black. He absolutely made it happen.

“I love the man, love the family. He’s like a second father to me. So, coming into the weekend in Pomona, we know we’re not going to win a world championship this year so really the only way to give him a small ‘thank you’ for all he’s done (was a victory). All the cards fell right today. I felt great all weekend. I felt good as a driver and had a good weekend of driving. My race car was fast and the chips all fell down right.

“I think it all came down to the best way I could have written the story, just like back at Indy. When I won Indy this year (the U.S. Nationals) _ when I got No. 100 and this one to give Ken Black his final trophy _ probably my two biggest wins. It’s incredible.”

Enders clinched her latest title during Round 5 of the Countdown at the Nevada NHRA Nationals at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 30. A 39-year-old native of Houston, Enders finished a massive 242 points (2,823-2,581) in front of Anderson.

Erica advanced to her 13th final round Sunday in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Camaro, the finishing touch on one of the most lopsided seasons in Pro Stock history.

###

Final finishing order (1-16) at the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif. The race was the last of 22 events on the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule and sixth race of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs:

Top Fuel _ 1. Austin Prock; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Brittany Force; 4. Josh Hart; 5. Leah Pruett; 6. Clay Millican; 7. Ron August; 8. Krista Baldwin; 9. Justin Ashley; 10. Doug Kalitta; 11. Steve Torrence; 12. Steven Chrisman; 13. Alex Laughlin; 14. Tony Schumacher; 15. Shawn Langdon; 16. Mike Salinas.

Funny Car _ 1. Cruz Pedregon; 2. Ron Capps; 3. Alexis DeJoria; 4. Bob Tasca III; 5. Tim Wilkerson; 6. Steven Densham; 7. Robert Hight; 8. John Force; 9. Chad Green; 10. Jim Campbell; 11. J.R. Todd; 12. Jason Rupert; 13. Blake Alexander; 14. Matt Hagan; 15. Paul Lee; 16. Jeff Arend.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson; 2. Erica Enders; 3. Aaron Stanfield; 4. Fernando Cuadra; 5. Bo Butner; 6. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 7. Matt Hartford; 8. Cristian Cuadra; 9. Deric Kramer; 10. Camrie Caruso; 11. Chris McGaha; 12. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 13. Mason McGaha; 14. Dallas Glenn; 15. Kyle Koretsky; 16. Shane Tucker.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Angie Smith; 2. Joey Gladstone; 3. Matt Smith; 4. Steve Johnson; 5. Angelle Sampey; 6. Jerry Savoie; 7. Karen Stoffer; 8. Marc Ingwersen; 9. Ryan Oehler; 10. Gaige Herrera; 11. Chris Bostick; 12. Hector Arana Jr; 13. Freddie Camarena; 14. Michael Phillips; 15. Kelly Clontz; 16. Katie Justice.

Final Pro and Sportsman class results from the Auto Club NHRA Finals:

Top Fuel _ Austin Prock, 3.641-seconds, 336.23 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.701-seconds, 320.74 mph.

Funny Car _ Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 3.839, 335.65 def. Ron Capps, Toyota GR Supra, 3.850, 333.16.

Pro Stock _ Greg Anderson, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.516, 210.31 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.515, 210.01.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ Angie Smith, EBR, 6.749, 199.55 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.739, 199.67.

Top Alcohol Dragster _ Taylor Vetter, 5.272, 247.25 def. Joey Severance, 5.489, 206.73.

Top Alcohol Funny Car_ Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.441, 265.85 def. Doug Gordon, Camaro, 5.450, 268.17.

Competition Eliminator _ Allen Wilson, Dragster, 7.194, 182.30 def. Ryan Priddy, Chevy, 6.428, 207.27.

Super Stock _ Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Pontiac Firebird, 9.717, 131.65 def. Tim Seymour, Chevy Camaro, 9.060, 140.44.

Stock Eliminator _ Ryan Mangus, Chevy Nova, 11.396, 101.68 def. Chris Hall, Chevy Camaro, Foul/Red Light.

Super Comp _ Jerron Settles, Dragster, 8.942, 175.57 def. Angelina Ferre, Dragster, 8.947, 172.45.

Super Gas _ Bob Locke, Chevy Corvette, 9.904, 149.38 def. Brian Preszler, Corvette, 9.921, 148.51.

Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers _ Alan Kenny, Dragster, 6.137, 211.10 def. Dylan Hough, Dragster, 6.710, 197.97.

Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers _ Lance Abbott, Chevy S-10, 6.913, 188.10 def. Vince Hoda, Chevy Camaro, 8.033, 120.18.

Junior Dragster Shootout _ Mason Weaver, Halfscale, 8.042, 75.65 def. Mason Phlegar, Halfscale, 7.920, 81.12.

Final round-by-round results from the Auto Club NHRA Finals:

TOP FUEL

ROUND ONE _ Clay Millican, 3.746, 282.84 def. Tony Schumacher, 6.873, 97.33; Josh Hart, 3.801, 320.28 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.113, 255.92; Leah Pruett, 4.959, 150.20 def. Alex Laughlin, 6.518, 121.61; Brittany Force, 3.701, 334.90 def. Steven Chrisman, 4.794, 176.53; Krista Baldwin, 4.309, 192.88 def. Mike Salinas, 9.036, 86.20; Ron August, 3.903, 316.67 def. Steve Torrence, 4.267, 244.38; Austin Prock, 3.711, 329.34 def. Shawn Langdon, 7.377, 87.80; Antron Brown, 3.704, 333.82 def. Justin Ashley, 4.070, 290.01;

QUARTERFINALS _ Hart, 3.746, 314.75 def. Baldwin, 4.015, 234.78; Brown, 3.805, 318.99 def. August, 3.890, 315.56; Force, 3.687, 334.24 def. Millican, 3.864, 283.97; Prock, 3.704, 329.18 def. Pruett, 3.721, 324.20;

SEMIFINALS _ Brown, 3.725, 324.44 def. Hart, 3.717, 331.20; Prock, 3.642, 335.48 def. Force, 3.676, 337.58;

FINAL _ Prock, 3.641, 336.23 def. Brown, 3.701, 320.74.

FUNNY CAR

ROUND ONE _ Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.885, 330.63 def. Paul Lee, Dodge Charger, 8.753, 76.46; Steven Densham, Mustang, 4.170, 269.94 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 6.075, 124.87; Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.862, 333.74 def. Jason Rupert, Mustang, 5.244, 141.31; Ron Capps, Toyota GR Supra, 3.852, 334.98 def. Jeff Arend, Chevy Monte Carlo, 10.350, 81.52; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.872, 330.47 def. Chad Green, Mustang, 3.914, 327.82; Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 4.014, 266.32 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.272, 235.84; John Force, Camaro, 3.919, 317.49 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 5.548, 128.71; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.878, 331.12 def. J.R. Todd, Supra, 4.349, 218.27;

QUARTERFINALS _ DeJoria, 3.914, 326.56 def. Densham, 4.065, 298.47; Pedregon, 3.876, 330.96 def. Force, 6.495, 79.93; Capps, 3.865, 330.80 def. Wilkerson, 3.905, 330.55; Tasca III, 4.262, 224.96 def. Hight, 6.292, 110.92;

SEMIFINALS _ Pedregon, 3.864, 331.77 def. DeJoria, 3.880, 330.15; Capps, 3.865, 334.65 def. Tasca III, 3.905, 327.11;

FINAL _Pedregon, 3.839, 335.65 def. Capps, 3.850, 333.16.

PRO STOCK

ROUND ONE _ Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.520, 210.34 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.852, 208.14; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.549, 209.33 def. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.596, 209.30; Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.559, 209.20 def. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, Broke; Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.558, 209.23 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.548, 209.14; Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.581, 209.17 def. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 21.266, 70.20; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.552, 209.33 def. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, Foul/Red Light; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.523, 210.18 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.566, 209.56; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.518, 210.80 def. Shane Tucker, Camaro, Foul/Centerline; 

QUARTERFINALS _ F. Cuadra, 6.565, 209.82 def. C. Cuadra, 6.624, 209.17; Stanfield, 6.562, 208.84 def. Hartford, 6.544, 209.46; Anderson, 6.537, 209.95 def. Butner, 6.539, 210.44; Enders, 6.521, 210.11 def. Coughlin Jr., 6.542, 210.37;

SEMIFINALS _ Anderson, 6.546, 210.21 def. F. Cuadra, Foul/Red Light; Enders, 6.537, 209.92 def. Stanfield, 6.552, 209.72;

FINAL _ Anderson, 6.516, 210.31 def. Enders, 6.515, 210.01.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

ROUND ONE _ Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.855, 196.27 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.309, 192.96; Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.849, 195.08 def. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.898, 193.52; Angie Smith, EBR, 6.752, 202.09 def. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.994, 194.41; Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.828, 196.42 def. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.862, 197.83; Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.765, 198.29 def. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.971, 197.86; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.792, 198.09 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.956, 189.10; Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.829, 192.17 def. Katie Justice, Suzuki, Broke/No Show; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.770, 200.92 def. Michael Phillips, Buell, 7.037, 187.68;

QUARTERFINALS _ Johnson, 7.126, 152.80 def. Sampey, Foul/Red Light; A. Smith, 6.754, 202.24 def. Savoie, 6.792, 199.08; Gladstone, 6.746, 199.55 def. Stoffer, 6.882, 193.49; M. Smith, 6.915, 171.90 def. Ingwersen, Foul/Red Light;

SEMIFINALS _ A. Smith, 6.794, 200.26 def. Johnson, Broke; Gladstone, 6.757, 199.40 def. M. Smith, 6.757, 202.03;

FINAL _ A. Smith, 6.749, 199.55 def. Gladstone, 6.739, 199.67.

Final 2022 Countdown to the Championship point standings (top-10) following the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.:

Top Fuel _1. Brittany Force, 2,596; 2. Antron Brown, 2,534; 3. Austin Prock, 2,514; 4. Justin Ashley, 2,510; 5. Mike Salinas, 2,461; 6. Steve Torrence, 2,443; 7. Josh Hart, 2,419; 8. Clay Millican, 2,348; 9. Shawn Langdon, 2,339; 10. Doug Kalitta, 2,335.

Funny Car _ 1. Ron Capps, 2,682; 2. Robert Hight, 2,679; 3. Matt Hagan, 2,587; 4. Bob Tasca III, 2,504; 5. John Force, 2,490; 6. Cruz Pedregon, 2,410; 7. Alexis DeJoria, 2,372; 8. J.R. Todd, 2,344; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2,343; 10. Blake Alexander, 2,199.

Pro Stock _ 1. Erica Enders, 2,823; 2. Greg Anderson, 2,581; 3. Aaron Stanfield, 2,575; 4. Troy Coughlin Jr., 2,538; 5. Kyle Koretsky, 2,459; 6. Matt Hartford, 2,397; 7. Dallas Glenn, 2,375; 8. Cristian Cuadra, 2,295; 9. Bo Butner, 2,265; 10. Deric Kramer, 2,259.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Matt Smith, 2,610; 2. Joey Gladstone, 2,528; 3. Angie Smith, 2,519; 4. Jerry Savoie, 2,432; 5. Steve Johnson, 2,407; 6. Angelle Sampey, 2,353; 7. Eddie Krawiec, 2,306; 8. Marc Ingwersen, 2,284; 9. Karen Stoffer, 2,253; 10. Ryan Oehler, 2,229.

NHRA 2022 COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/WINNERS

Sept. 15-18 _ Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa: Austin Prock (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Sept. 23-25 _ Charlotte NHRA Nationals, zMAX Dragway, Concord, N.C.: Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock).

Sept. 30-Oct. 2 _ NHRA Midwest Nationals, World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill.: Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Oct. 13-16 _ Texas NHRA FallNationals, Texas Motorplex, Ennis: Justin Ashley (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Oct. 27-30 _ NHRA Nevada Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Brittany Force (Top Fuel); Matt Hagan (Funny Car); Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Nov. 10-13 _ Auto Club NHRA Finals, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.: Austin Prock (Top Fuel); Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); Angie Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Editor’s Note: John Sturbin is a Texas-based journalist specializing in motorsports. During a near 30-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he won the Bloys Britt Award for top motorsports story of the year (1991) as judged by The Associated Press; received the National Hot Rod Association’s Media Award (1995) and several in-house Star-Telegram honors. He also was inaugural recipient of the Texas Motor Speedway Excellence in Journalism Award (2009). His list of freelance clients includes Texas Motor Speedway, the Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Rome (N.Y.) Daily Sentinel, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller Times, NASCAR Wire Service, Ford Racing and Used Car Dealer magazine).

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, November 14 2022
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