Capps Wins All-Dodge Final during Texas NHRA FallNationals; Three HEMI®-powered Championship Contenders Battle Atop Funny Car Standings

October 10, 2021

, Ennis, Texas

An all-Dodge final spin showdown during Texas Motorplex saw Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) maestro motorist Ron Capps better his teammate and stream National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car championship points personality Matt Hagan to acquire a desired champions’ black cowboy shawl given to winners of a Texas FallNationals. a fourth of 7 “Countdown to a Championship” playoff events. Capps’ 68th career Funny Car feat was his second of a 2021 deteriorate and helped slight a opening between him and Hagan atop a standings while associate Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat motorist Cruz Pedregon changed into a top-three with a semifinal spin entrance during a Dallas-area venue.
Capps arrived in Texas ranked second in a playoff standings, within 59 points of a difficulty personality Hagan, and shortly put his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in a good position for a rejecting rounds with a plain subordinate opening that authorised him to collect 4 prerogative points and secure a No. 2 symbol on a ladder. He likely of competitors Jack Wyatt and Paul Lee in a early rounds to pierce on to a semifinal compare opposite associate HEMI-powered driver, Cruz Pedregon. A holeshot win over Pedregon supposing Capps a eventuality to allege to his fourth final spin of a deteriorate and accommodate adult with DSR teammate Hagan.

Capps used a 0.046-second greeting time joined with a plain 3.930-second elapsed timed run during 326.87-mph for another holeshot win, this time violence his stablemate’s quicker 3.919 sec./328.78 pass, to make his approach to a winner’s spin for a initial time in some-more than 20 years given his usually other feat during a Dallas-area venue in Spring of 1998.

With Sunday’s victory, Capps, who finished runner-up in a championship 4 times before finally capturing a Funny Car climax in 2016, tightened adult this year’s conflict streamer into a final 3 foe weekends of a deteriorate and now sits usually 33 markers, or reduction than dual rounds, behind Hagan. 

Defending NHRA Funny Car universe champion and points personality streamer into Texas FallNationals, Hagan powered his DSR Western Technical College Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat from a No. 4 qualifier position to his second uninterrupted final spin showdown in a “Countdown to a Championship” with a array unchanging 3.9-second runs.

Coming off his win during a prior eventuality in St. Louis, Hagan accessible a 3.897-second elapsed time subordinate run during 332.34 mph in Q2 on Friday dusk to secure a fourth place spot. He began his Sunday expostulate with a starting line advantage and a initial spin win opposite No. 13 seed Dale Creasy Jr. to allege to a quarterfinals compare opposite No. 5 seed Bob Tasca III. While his foe was somewhat quicker on a draw, a DSR HEMI-powered appurtenance overtook him in a initial few feet and posted a 3.918 second/325.53 mph run to spin a win light on opposite Tasca’s 3.955 sec./331.61 mph pass. The semifinal pairing brought No. 8 seed J.R Todd to a line opposite Hagan who posted a 0.081-second greeting time and 3.904 sec./331.04 mph path after his foe had a 0.007-second start, though double-stepped and mislaid traction during a strike of a throttle. 

Hagan modernized to his 71st career final spin showdown, his sixth final spin entrance of a deteriorate (and his team’s seventh with Tommy Johnson Jr.’s win while subbing for Hagan during Reading), and one with championship implications as it was opposite No. 2 contender and teammate Capps. While a holeshot and 0.0121-second domain of feat by Capps was a sour tablet to swallow, a runner-up finish kept him in a points lead.

Also opposed for a Funny Car crown, Cruz Pedregon, a four-time leader during Texas Motorplex (1992, 1994, 2011, and 2013), warranted a No. 3 qualifier position for Sunday’s rejecting rounds after pushing his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to be among a top-three quickest laps in all 4 subordinate sessions and collect a sum of 5 changed prerogative points. The Cruz Pedregon Racing group owners and motorist put himself third on a ladder with his quickest subordinate pass from Friday dusk in Q2, a 3.892-second run during 325.14 mph, imprinting a sixth uninterrupted eventuality he has competent in a top-five.

Pedregon’s opening spin had him interconnected with No. 14 seed Terry Haddock opposite whom he got an early lead and never looked behind en lane to a winning 3.898-second run during 329.18 mph to allege to an critical quarterfinal showdown opposite No. 11 seed John Force. 

While Pedregon sat fourth behind Force in a Funny Car championship standings streamer into their meeting, that was no longer a box after he took his HEMI-powered Snap-on Tools “Socket to Breast Cancer” appurtenance for a 3.925 sec./329.10 mph expostulate to pass Force on lane by violence his 4.299/225.07 path and pierce past him in a standings. By advancing to a semifinals, Pedregon changed adult a symbol into third place as he chases his third Funny Car championship title. Unfortunately, that semifinal was opposite contingent eventuality leader Capps, who used a holeshot feat to put Pedregon 80 points behind him.

Top Fuel commander Leah Pruett took her DSR Performance Mopar Dodge//SRT dragster for a plain 3.773 second elapsed time subordinate run during 323.12 mph in a third event of a weekend to acquire a prerogative indicate for environment a third-quickest pass. That bid put her 11th on a Top Fuel eliminations ladder and set adult a initial spin assembly with No. 6 seed Josh Hart. Pruett was quicker on a stifle with a 0.048-second greeting time giving her HEMI-powered dragster a starting line advantage and a lead by to a median mark. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, her float tighten off and authorised her foe to get past. Pruett crossed a line with a 4.230 sec./192.63 mph posted time and speed behind Hart’s 3.755 sec./305.56 mph winning pass to discharge her from a rest of Sunday’ competition. Pruett and her Mopar Dodge//SRT dragster come divided from a Texas FallNationals sixth in Top Fuel championship standings.

Just 3 “Countdown to a Championship” playoff events sojourn in a 2021 Camping World Series deteriorate with a subsequent race, NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, scheduled for Oct 15-17 during Bristol Dragway, nearby Bristol, Tennessee.

Matt Hagan, DSR Western Technical College Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.897 seconds during 332.34 mph)
Round 1: (0.064-second greeting time, 3.910 seconds during 330.15 mph) defeats No. 13 Dale Creasy Jr. (0.076/4.032/297.29)
Round 2: (0.057/ 3.918/325.53) defeats No. 5 Bob Tasca (0.048/3.955/331.61)
Round 3: (0.081/3.904/331.04) defeats No. 8 J.R. Todd (0.007/7.983/71.40)
Round 4: (0.065/3.919/328.78) detriment to No. 2 Ron Capps (0.042/3.930/326.87)
“There’s a backside of a good drag race, and apparently it fell on my shoulders. Capps won on dual holeshots currently and apparently he was on it. We’ve got a good group and that would have been a large pitch in a indicate instruction for us (with a win) though we it’s always entrance down to a final deals. We’ve usually got to keep digging and operative hard. We’ve got a good Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, it’s responding good and it’s going to be a dog fight. It always is.”

Ron Capps, DSR NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.882 seconds during 329.34 mph)
Round 1: (0.085-second greeting time, 3.898 seconds during 324.75) defeats No. 15 Jack Wyatt (0.0.161/4.795/168.72)
Round 2: (0.087/3.928/323.58) defeats No. 10 Paul Lee (0.094/3.943/326.95)
Round 3: (0.056/3.924/326.56) defeats No. 4 Cruz Pedregon (0.105/3.906/327.59)
Round 4: (0.042/3.930/326.87) defeats No. 4 Matt Hagan (0.065/3.919/328.78)
“I can’t tell we how many times I’ve done a mistake over a years of counting out, initial of all, John Force, during anything. Everyone’s been bit by that. He always seems to find a approach to stand his approach behind in. We have Force, J.R. (Todd) and Cruz (Pedregon) respirating down a necks. Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight and we were talking, and we’ve been by this championship quarrel many times, though it’s never been this parsimonious top-to-bottom. Anybody can win on any given Sunday, so it was good to benefit a small bit on Hagan this weekend.
“(Matt) Hagan, and (crew chief) Dickie (Venables), those are my teammates and we don’t wish ill on anyone out here though I’m certain when we was heading a points a few times this year, they were anticipating we would fume a tires or we would remove early since we wish to benefit ground. So, we was anticipating (Bob) Tasca would do a unwashed work second spin when they had Hagan, and afterwards we suspicion J.R. had a good possibility since they had a good using car, though Hagan and Dickie, they usually kept surviving.”  
“I’m unequivocally advantageous to now be means to work with (Crew Chiefs) Guido (Dean Antonelli) and (John) Medlen. I’ve famous them for many, many years, and it’s been unequivocally fun. We have a unequivocally good foe car, so I’m usually perplexing not to be a diseased link. It raises my power any time to not be second withdrawal a starting line, and to not do anything wrong, and usually make certain that we do a best we can any time.”
“It’s singular to kick (Hagan) on a holeshot though we usually am so focused for my team. There was a lot of tension going into that round. It’s good to get a small bit of belligerent from third place and benefit a small bit on Hagan and those guys, and it’s good to go right to Bristol.”

Cruz Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon Racing Snap-on® Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.892 seconds during 325.14 mph)
Round 1: (0.120-second greeting time, 3.898 seconds during 329.18 mph) defeats No. 14 Terry Haddock (0.182/4.026/307.93)
Round 2: (0.072/3.925/329.10) defeats No. 11 John Force (0.033/4.299/225.07)
Round 3: (0.105/3.906/327.59) detriment to No. 2 Ron Capps (0.056/3.924/326.56)
“After subordinate a Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat into a No. 3 symbol with a good 3.89 elapsed time during over 326 mph, we modernized to a semifinals where we mislaid a tighten foe to Ron Capps with a 3.90 to a 3.92, though altogether it was unequivocally a good points foe for us. We did pierce adult from fourth to third in a championship points with 3 races to go. Obviously it was a heartbreaker to remove to Capps since we did run a small quicker, though we usually missed a tree there. we usually didn’t broach a products there so that’s on me one hundred percent. The group did a good pursuit in scheming me and giving me a good car. Qualifying was overwhelming as well.
We racked adult points in any subordinate event that gave us a sum additional prerogative of 5 points, that competence be a career initial for me to indeed measure in any of a subordinate rounds. They try to prerogative a good using cars and we really took advantage of that. Hats off to (Crew Chief) JC (John Collins) and (assistant Crew Chief) Rip (Reynolds) and a team. They were usually on their diversion and we’ll shake this off and pierce on to a Bristol.”
Leah Pruett, DSR Okuma Mopar Dodge//SRT Dragster  
(No. 11 Qualifier – 3.773 seconds during 323.12 mph)
Round 1:  (0.048-second greeting time, 4.230 seconds during 192.63 mph) detriment No. 6 Josh Hart (0.080/3.755/305.56)
“We really had some large expectations for a Stampede of Speed. Everything is bigger in Texas, though a one thing that wasn’t bigger here was a boost. Five pounds down during a step incited into a hole out and pitching a belt on a spin that we were winning from a get-go. One thing we can contend about this DSR Performance team, is that we will be fighting until a sour end. We might be out of strech of a tangible championship, though what we can do is continue to be a hulk killer, and give it positively all we’ve got for a final 3 races. We’re operative together and gripping a heads adult since that’s a usually approach that we’ll continue to be means to get a success we’re after for a rest of a season.”

NHRA Championship Points Standings:
Following a Texas NHRA FallNationals during Texas Motorplex
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. Matt Hagan (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,449 (3/1-TJ Johnson Jr.)
2. Ron Capps (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,416 (2)
3. Cruz Pedregon (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,336 (1)

4. John Force – 2,334 (3)
5. J.R. Todd – 2,315 (1)
6. Bob Tasca III – 2,291 (2)
7. Robert Hight – 2,261 (2)
8. Tim Wilkerson– 2,211 (1)
9. Alexis DeJoria – 2,197
10. Blake Alexander– 2,153
TOP FUEL (season wins in parentheses)
1. Steve Torrance – 2,473 (9)
2. Brittany Force – 2,421 (1)
3. Justin Ashley – 2,352 (2)
4. Mike Salinas – 2,305
5. Billy Torrence – 2,301 (2)
6. Leah Pruett (Mopar Dodge//SRT) – 2,255 (1)
7. Antron Brown – 2,221 (1)
8. Clay Millican – 2,212
9. Shawn Langdon – 2,196
10. Doug Kalitta – 2,148
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