BRAINERD, Minn. – Ron Capps earned his third Funny Car win of the season by racing to the victory Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int’l Raceway over teammate and points leader Matt Hagan.
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Brainerd.
Capps, driving his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, defeated his Don Schumacher Racing partner with a run of 4.063 seconds at 312.28 mph to Hagan’s losing pass of 4.095 at 312.78 in the tightly contested championship round. Capps rebounded to win for the 41st time in his career after failing to qualify for the previous event in Seattle. His team also overcame an engine explosion during qualifying on Saturday in Brainerd that forced the team to use a backup Funny Car body for eliminations. Capps knocked off Del Worsham, Jack Beckman and Tim Wilkerson to reach the final round.
“That is the nature of our sport and for sure the Funny Car division,” said Capps, who earned the 11th Funny Car win for Don Schumacher Racing in 2013. “It is a fun class but that final round just epitomizes how tight our category is right now. You have to be on your absolute best and I wasn’t today as a driver but Rahn [Tobler, crew chief] made up for it and man, wow, what a weekend.”
With the win, Capps was able to secure his entry into the Funny Car field for the Countdown to the Championship, also moving to second in the points standings. Capps joined Hagan, who was previously qualified for the six-race playoffs, as well as Johnny Gray, Cruz Pedregon, John and Courtney Force as drivers who all earned berths during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Defending world champion Beckman also earned the seventh slot in the Traxxas Shootout.