Records Fall As NHRA Invades Maple Grove

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Ron Capps reset both ends of the Funny Car track record Friday at Maple Grove Raceway. (Harry Cella Photo)
Ron Capps reset both ends of the Funny Car track record Friday at Maple Grove Raceway. (Harry Cella Photo)

MOHNTON, Pa. – Ron Capps powered to the top of the Funny Car category on Friday when he set both ends of the Maple Grove Raceway track record during the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

Capps, who is chasing his second title at Maple Grove, ran a 3.837-second pass at 339.28 mph in his NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to go to the provisional No. 1 spot and set a new elapsed time and speed record at Maple Grove Raceway at the first race of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

If his top qualifying position holds, it will be Capps’ second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 24th of his NHRA career.

“We knew there was a lot there,” Capps said. “Then we saw an high .80 (run) by (Bob) Tasca and a couple 90s and it paid off being at the back of the pack. We have the new Hellcat body and we really trimmed it out. We really did a lot of things because we ran so good the first lap. It really gave us the chance to try to see what we could do, not just here, but at other Countdown races.”

Tasca III trails Capps in second, while Tommy Johnson Jr. rounds out the top three.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories.

Top Fuel’s Force drove her Advance Auto Parts dragster to a 3.651-second run at 332.92 mph to set the track elapsed time record. If it holds up on Saturday, it will be Force’s seventh No. 1 of the season.

In Pro Stock, Enders went 6.480 seconds at 211.96 mph to take the provisional No. 1 spot in her Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. Enders is aiming for her first top qualifier of 2019.

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Sampey raced to the top spot on her Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, going 6.864 seconds at 194.63 mph. It would be Sampey’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season.