Single Point Separates Capps and Hagan Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars in NHRA World Championship Battle after Thunder Valley Nationals Performances

October 17, 2021

, Bristol, Tennessee

A singular indicate separates dual Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars in a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) “Countdown to a Championship” playoff conflict after Ron Capps took a lead from stablemate Matt Hagan by subordinate No. 2 during Bristol Dragway, scoring his 800th career spin win and afterwards pulling to a semifinal coming during a Thunder Valley Nationals.

Fresh off a winning opening final weekend during Texas Motorplex, Capps arrived during Bristol Dragway second in a championship conflict with a 33-point necessity and as a winningest Funny Car motorist during a venue with 5 career wins (2001, 2006, 2012, 2017, 2018). He proceeded to validate his HEMI®-powered appurtenance second on a timing sheets with a 3.945-second run during 325.61 mph and acquire dual profitable reward points.

The opening spin of eliminations saw a 2016 Funny Car champ dispose of No. 13 seed Blake Alexander while No. 3 qualifier and points celebrity Hagan was dissapoint by No. 12 seed J.R. Todd, signaling a start of a change atop a championship standings. 

Capps’ quarterfinal match-up was with associate HEMI-powered motorist and third place championship contender, Cruz Pedregon. The dual competitors battled closely a whole length of a line with a plain 3.919-second run during 329.83 mph by Capps to kick Pedregon’s 3.920 sec./326.63 mph pass, collect his 800th career rejecting spin feat and, for a tenth time this season, allege to a semifinals. 

With championship implications in play among a top-five contenders, Capps lined adult his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat opposite Todd, who was looking to urge on his fifth place station and tie adult a points race. As he did opposite his prior dual adversaries, Capps was quicker off a starting line though found himself fighting to keep his racecar in a lane. By mid-track it drifted to a centerline where it done hit with a timing retard and nullified his run. An involuntary five-point chastisement was deducted from a DSR driver’s sum and a win awarded to his opponent, though notwithstanding a reversal Capps changed past Hagan to take a lead in a Funny Car championship by a singular indicate with only dual playoff array events remaining. 

The Cruz Pedregon Racing Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat began a competition day from a No. 7 symbol after a 3.975 sec./ 320.13 mph subordinate bid to span adult with No. 8 seed Dave Richards for a opening round. Pedregon lead early, never trailed and accessible his quickest pass of a weekend, 3.964 seconds during 294.11 mph, en lane to his 12th initial spin win of a year, a many for him given 2015 (15). Following a plain corresponding conflict opposite Capps that resulted in a quarterfinal loss, Pedregon, who is chasing his third Funny Car championship title, dump a symbol and into a tie for fourth place in a standings with John Force. 

Defending NHRA universe champ Matt Hagan began his expostulate during a Thunder Valley Nationals with a Funny Car points lead and competent his DSR Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat No. 3 for eliminations with a best run of 3.958 seconds during 330.31 mph to reset Bristol Dragway’s speed record with a initial 330 mph Funny Car pass. Hagan collected a sum of 4 critical reward points for environment a quickest run of a second subordinate event and putting himself third on a timing sheets in a final session.

With dual playoff wins and a runner-up finish final weekend during Texas Motorplex, Hagan’s DSR HEMI-powered appurtenance was lined adult for a opening spin with line choice over Todd and a motorist looking to spin on win lights and say a lead in a points battle. The three-time Funny Car champ gathering it true down a line for a discerning 3.958-second elapsed time run, a accurate same as his best subordinate effort, though unfortunately his opponent’s winning 3.924-second pass finished any hopes of advancing serve on this competition day. Hagan sits in second place behind Capps in a “Countdown to a Championship” and all top-five contenders (Todd, Pedregon and Force) within 100 points of any other streamer to a Dodge//SRT Nationals presented by Pennzoil during The Strip during Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a penultimate competition of a 2021 NHRA season.

DSR Top Fuel commander Leah Pruett powered her Sparkling Ice Spiked Mopar Dodge//SRT dragster to a second-quickest run of a second subordinate event to collect dual reward points and cumulative a symbol in a tip half of a eliminations ladder. Her No. 6 seeded position interconnected her adult for an opening spin competition opposite No. 9 seed Spencer Massey. With a pierce to holding a Thunder Valley Nationals in autumn came cooler line conditions that done competition day setups some-more of a plea than common for all competitors. 

As a DSR 11-thousand HEMI horsepower dragster launched, Pruett immediately worked to find traction and keep her float off a wall while her competition headed for a finish and, notwithstanding a burning blast in a shutting feet, incited on a win light. While a initial spin detriment effectively separated a team’s Top Fuel championship hopes, Pruett stays sixth in a rankings and expects to tighten out a deteriorate with clever formula in a final dual playoff events commencement with a Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil Oct 29-31 in Las Vegas.

Matt Hagan, DSR Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.958 seconds during 330.31 mph)
Round 1: (0.084-second greeting time, 3.958 seconds during 326.16 mph) detriment No. 12 J.R. Todd (0.069/3.924/324.90
“It’s a tough one though J.R. Todd and that team, they did their task and outran us and he left on us. That’s drag racing. we hatred to remove and I’m perplexing to put a grin on right now, though it browns we adult inside. We’ve got to go to these final dual races and unequivocally make them count. That’s since we competition them on Sunday since we never know what’s going to happen. I’ve got all of a certainty in (crew chief) Dickie Venables, and we’ll regroup and give it all we’ve got in Vegas.”
Ron Capps, DSR NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.945 seconds during 325.61 mph)
Round 1: (0.081-second greeting time, 3.945 seconds during 328.38 mph) defeats No.13 Blake Alexander (0.097/7.575/78.95)
Round 2: (0.077/3.919/329.83) defeats No. 7 Cruz Pedregon (0.098/3.920/326.63)
Round 3:  vs No. 12 J.R. Todd
“This is an all-out battle. We speak about a Countdown to a Championship and speak about how many tighter it seems this year. A lot of press people and media were observant it’s only Matt Hagan and me still in a hunt, and I’m discerning to counsel everybody since there are so many other cars who can step adult and run good and we’ve seen that currently with J.R. Todd and that DHL group and Alexis DeJoria. J.R. kick Matt initial spin and knocked us out in a semis. By no means, generally with Pomona (Calif.) being points-and-a-half, is this thing over. We wanted to squeeze some-more points while we were here during Bristol this weekend. The good thing is, we lead a points going into Vegas. It’s roughly even. We’re carrying so many fun and we still have such a good NAPA prohibited rod and we showed that with subordinate second and creation 3 solid, unchanging laps. I’m vehement about going to Vegas.”
Cruz Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon Racing Snap-on® Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.975 seconds during 320.13 mph)
Round 1: (0.085-second greeting time, 3.964 seconds during 294.11 mph) defeats No. 8 Dave Richards (0.129/4.023/311.63)
Round 2: (0.098/3.920/326.63) detriment to No.2 Ron Capps (0.077/3.919/329.83)
“B​ristol ​is a small wily with a few bumps that always gives a line personality, it adds to a racing, and adds to a plea of a race. We had a comfortable line though afterwards it incited cold so it was unequivocally a matter of organisation chiefs adjusting. (Crew chief​)​ JC (John Collins) and a group did a good pursuit of  giving me a good automobile for qualifying. We mislaid one of a runs (Friday) due to a clocks malfunctioning early on a unequivocally initial run. We estimated that we would have competent in a tip 5 there, though didn’t get an elapsed time​. ​​We recovered​​ ​and got​ a good ​3.97 ​(seconds) qualifying time​ ​which put us in a seventh spot. ​W​e went out there in a initial round​ and​ done a good plain run​ with a ​3​.​96 ​sec. ​against​ ​Dave Richards. we had to indeed ​shut it off ​early ​as the car was flapping over on me a small bit ​towards the core line though ​we made a good run. ​
“Seems like we​’re racing​ Ron Capps any week and mislaid another close ​nail biter ​with a 3​.​92 to 3​.​91​ that​ could have left presumably way. We only mislaid by a buffer there during a finish line​ but​ altogether a good competition for us​. ​Our idea is to always go to a semis and we came adult one short, though still a quarterfinal​ is ​not a bad​ outcome. These ​are a ​final countdown races and everybody’s​ ​giving we their best shot. ​We have copiousness of life left. We’re​ still​ withdrawal here in a tip 4 ​in points, ​but we’re within distinguished stretch of a championship. (Matt) Hagan went out comparatively early​, Capps went out​ in a semis, so yeah, we’re prepared for a final two. ​The Dodge//SRT Las Vegas Nationals is going to be a good race. There are some-more cars in a hunt now​ so​ we consider that’ll make for closer racing and afterwards ​Pomona is a points-and-a-half ​race. It’ll make a champion unequivocally acquire it​ ​before they tighten a deal.” 
Leah Pruett, DSR Okuma Mopar Dodge//SRT Dragster  
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.691 seconds during 327.11 mph)
Round 1:  (0.076-second greeting time, 7.565 seconds during 81.47 mph) detriment to No. 9 Spencer Massey (0.056/3.745/328.46)
“Drag racing does not defect on a drum coaster of emotions. We had a good subordinate effort, creation that run in a 3.60s and had a lot of certainty going into competition day. But man, a navigation of this line is flattering tricky. This is substantially one of a bumpiest outlines on a circuit though that’s a characteristic, and all competition outlines are opposite and we only didn’t have a reason of it today. Had a genuine tough shake and finished adult into fume early. It’s engaging how quick things happen, of course. Priority No. 1 is that Spencer (Massey) is protected after his explosion. we got to see it firsthand brazen of me. At one impulse there was nothing, and a subsequent impulse I’m pulling by a operation of tools raining down from a atmosphere, dodging and weaving perplexing to equivocate pulling over anything. Everyone is safe; unfortunately for us, that initial spin detriment flattering many takes us out of any championship row though we will continue to be on a large offense to finish out a deteriorate in a tip indicate station we presumably can, harm some feelings along a way, and continue pulling brazen as this Mopar group does. we unequivocally did consider a Sparkling Ice Spiked automobile was in good position to move home a Wally prize this weekend though we will continue to gleam and break expectations.”

NHRA Championship Points Standings:
Following a NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals during Bristol Dragway
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. Ron Capps (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,490 (2)
2. Matt Hagan (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,489 (3/1-TJ Johnson Jr.)
3. J.R. Todd – 2,407 (1)
4. Cruz Pedregon (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,389 (1)
4. John Force – 2,389 (3)
6. Bob Tasca III – 2,343 (2)
7. Robert Hight – 2,337 (2)
8. Alexis DeJoria – 2,319 (1)
9. Tim Wilkerson– 2,249 (1)
10. Blake Alexander– 2,184
TOP FUEL (season wins in parentheses)
1. Steve Torrance – 2,575 (9)
2. Brittany Force – 2,503 (1)
3. Justin Ashley – 2,428 (2)
4. Mike Salinas – 2,425 (1)
5. Billy Torrence – 2,357 (2)
6. Leah Pruett (Mopar Dodge//SRT) – 2,291 (1)
7. Clay Millican – 2,265
8. Antron Brown – 2,252 (1)
9. Shawn Langdon – 2,228
10. Doug Kalitta – 2,180
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