because you want to SEE it

Capps Keeps Dodge//SRT Mopar Finals Streak Going with Runner-up Result in NHRA Northwest Nationals

Auburn Hills, MI – Defending NHRA Northwest Nationals winner Ron Capps came up just short in his bid to score back-to-back wins in Seattle racing his Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car on Sunday at Pacific Raceways near Kent, Washington.

The two-time 2019 Funny Car winner made a charge through the field to give Dodge//SRT Mopar its fifth consecutive opportunity to capture an event victory. Capps wasn’t able to overtake John Force in the final after knocking out fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Matt Hagan in the semifinals. DSR teammate Jack Beckman also advanced to the semifinals.

Tommy Johnson, Jr., Capps and Beckman give Dodge//SRT Mopar three drivers inside the top-five in the championship standings through 16 of 24 events.

Capps began his repeat bid from the seventh position and posted an opening-round win aboard his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The 2016 Funny Car world champion grabbed the starting-line advantage from J.R. Todd and raced away to setup his semifinal matchup with Hagan. Both drivers and teams were on their game, but it was Capps that moved on with his run of 3.974 seconds to advance to the final round. The historic final pitted the two winningest drivers in the category; in their 103rd career meeting Capps had a slight advantage on the tree, but it was Force that took the win. With his run to the final, Capps moved up to fourth in the championship standings.

After racing to the final last weekend in Sonoma, Hagan kept his momentum pointing in right direction qualifying his Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody third in the field. The two-time Seattle winner dispatched Gary Densham and Shawn Langdon before his thrilling battle with Capps.

Beckman continued his push to becoming a championship contender. The 2007 NHRA Northwest Nationals champion qualified eighth for Sunday’s elimination rounds where he drove the DSR Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to victory over fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Johnson, Jr., with a smooth pass of 3.937 seconds to start his run for a second Seattle triumph. Beckman then bounced Bob Tasca III to reach his fifth semifinal in the previous eight events where his opponent was Force. After the two had identical reaction times, Beckman slowed when his machine lost traction allowing Force to pull away for the victory.

After opening the Western Swing with a victory in the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Johnson was looking to make it two wins in three races. The driver of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat made the best lap of the weekend to close qualifying but found himself running fellow DSR and Hellcat Funny Car driver Beckman. Johnson defeated Beckman en route to Denver triumph, but the outcome was different Sunday when his machine went into tire-smoke just after 200 feet. Johnson, who clinched his spot in the Countdown last weekend in Sonoma, ranks third with two races remaining before the points are reset for the six-race championship battle.

 

Cruz Pedregon raced his Snap-On Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat into the field but was defeated in the first round by Langdon. Jim Campbell was the sixth Dodge//SRT Mopar driver in the field, but he lost a close race to Force in the first round.

For Top Fuel standout Leah Pritchett, it was a bit of déjà vu as she qualified her HEMI-powered [DR1] Sparkling Ice Top Fuel Dragster fifth in the field. In a rematch of last week’s first round race with Austin Prock, Pritchett lost ground at the starting line, but was closing on Prock before losing by 0.0192 seconds (approximately 9 feet).

Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Bill Bushmaker and Kelly Thomas captured Dodge Top Finisher honors at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes, respectively.

Bushmaker, driver of a I/SA 1976 Plymouth Road Runner, qualified eighth in the field of 37 entries and the Auburn, Washington native took an opening-round victory before red-lighting in round two to close his day.

In Super Stock, Thomas raced his GT/LA 1969 Dodge Dart into round powered by Mopar 340 small block V8 that was consistently producing 10-second elapsed times all through the event.

The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its third year, awards $500 to Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge, Chrysler or Plymouth race car at all 24 NHRA national events.

Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Notes & Quotes

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 7 Qualifier – 3.898 ET)
Rd.1: (.093-second reaction time, 3.939 seconds at 327.35 mph) beat No. 10 Tim Wilkerson  (.081/4.205/253.95)
Rd.2: (.066/3.992/322.58) beat No. 2 J.R. Todd (.070/5.277/153.40)
Rd. 3: (.072/3.974/323.58) beat No. 3 Matt Hagan (.080/3.982/327.27)
Rd. 4: (.082/4.018/309.91) lost to No. 4 John Force (.084/3.971/320.58)

“I’m very happy with the way the swing ended. You know (Rahn) Tobler … we did a little bit of testing Saturday and that really showed a lot of progress. And we beat some great racecars to reach the final round. Honestly, we thought we had the run to win, but for some reason our car did not run in the middle of the track like it had all day. It was down a little bit of mile an hour. I didn’t hear or see John Force until about halftrack and he popped out about a car length on us. Great weekend. Good points weekend. I think we are in a good position moving forward.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.888 ET)
Rd.1: (.081-second reaction time, 3.988 seconds at 328.22 mph) beat No. Gary Densham (.121/4.058/322.04)
Rd.2: (.057/3.970/325.53) beat No. 6 Shawn Langdon (.082/5.067/148.69)

Rd.3: (.080/3.982/327.27) lost to No. 7 Ron Capps (.072/3.974/323.58)

“I think our western swing has been pretty good considering we went to the finals in Sonoma and semifinals here in Seattle. Our Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is running really, really good. I’m really happy with the performance. It’s been consistent and is reacting to everything (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is telling it to do. When you get beat on the backside of a good drag race like what happened to us against Capps, that’s a whole lot easier to swallow than when you’re out here smoking the tires or not going down the race track. As these races progress, and as we move toward the Countdown, I feel really good about what we’re doing with this race team and race car.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.917 ET)
Rd.1: (.089-second reaction time, 3.937 seconds at 327.59 mph) beat No. 9 Tommy Johnson, Jr. (.145/4.529/195.45)
Rd.2: (.086/3.973/323.04) beat No. 1 Bob Tasca III (.086/4.017/321.50)
Rd.3: (.071/4.480/197.65) lost to No. 4 John Force (.071/4.014/320.97)

“A frustrating end again. We have a top-five car. We ran into another top-five and it just becomes a battle of tuners and drives up there. Neither one of us ran particularly great, but our car just smoked the tires. And we know we have a car that is capable of winning a championship. We need to prove that we have a car that can win a race right now. The silver lining is that we leave here top-five in points. We gained some ground on the guys in front of us. The crew chiefs have a week off to go over some things and get us organized to go into Brainerd with the right frame of mind.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.886 ET)
Rd.1: (.083-second reaction time, 5.182 seconds at 141.86 mph) lost to No. 8 Jack Beckman (.089/3.937/327.59)

“Our qualifying position bit us more than anything. It hurt not having lane choice in the first round. The track became a one-lane-track pretty fast during that first round and not having lane choice was definitely a disadvantage. We’ll go home and put a new front-half on this car and go into Brainerd with a fresh car, and get our consistency back. I’d grade the swing a B for us, overall, with a win and a semifinal finish. You never like a first-round loss, and if we could have gone some rounds today, it would have been an A.”

Leah Pritchett, Sparkling Ice Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.725 ET)

Rd.1: (.086-second reaction time, 3.762 seconds at 325.30 mph) lost to No. 12  Austin Prock  (.068/3.761/321.95)

“We have a great hot rod, and we really wanted redemption against (Austin) Prock after Sonoma. Unfortunately, we were on the short end of it once again. The Swing has definitely taken its toll, but we’re coming out of it stronger than we were going into it which gives us momentum heading into Brainerd. My favorite thing about this team is they don’t hang their heads low. My guys that are led by (crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Neal (Strausbaugh) have got this hot rod figured out. It’s been a great western swing and I can’t thank the fans enough as we close out this swing and head onto Brainerd.”

Up Next: Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Following a week off, the Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers will resume the 2019 campaign with the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota, August 15-18.

Share
Team/Series News