Ron Capps Earns No. 1 Qualifier in Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals with Record-setting run in Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car
Mohnton, PA – Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Ron Capps launched his run to the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car world championship with a record-setting performance in qualifying for the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane at Maple Grove Raceway.
Capps captured his 24th career No. 1 qualifier on the strength of his track record-setting and career-best run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph in Friday night’s second qualifying session behind the wheel of the NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). The 2016 Funny Car world champion will take on Mike McIntire, Jr. in the opening round of Capps’ 550th professional event.
In the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship races, six other Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers qualified for Sunday’s 16-car field including Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson, Jr., Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon, Jim Campbell and John Smith.
Ron Capps Muscles Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Charger Hellcat Funny Car to Track Record Speed and ET in Opening Round Qualifying of Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
Mohnton, PA – Ron Capps opened the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway with a bang, powering the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) NAPA Filters Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the provisional pole with his track record-setting run of 3.837 seconds at 339.28 mph in Friday night’s second provisional qualifying session.
With the run, Capps raised the bar for Funny Car class elapsed time and speed records at Maple Grove making the fastest run of his career and establishing the top speed by a Funny Car driver in 2019. The 2017 Reading champion opened qualifying with the fastest pass of the first session as well. Capps will lead the field back on track Saturday with two more qualifying sessions that will set the field for Sunday’s eliminations.
“I was just hoping to get the Countdown started on the right foot,” said Capps, a three-time Funny Car winner in 2019. “I didn’t expect it to be a 3.83 (elapsed time/seconds). To go 3.84 in that first lap, I knew (Rahn) Tobler was pretty apprehensive about what he was doing with the car. I felt like I almost had to pedal it that first lap, but it made it through there and put a cylinder out about 800 feet.
Daniels Races to Record-setting Fourth Straight NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge Triumph at U.S. Nationals
Indianapolis – Making history in the NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge isn’t something new for Jimmy Daniels, and Friday night, the 23-year-old Pennsylvania native continued his undefeated streak at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis by driving his Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart to a record fourth consecutive event victory.
Daniels, the event’s No. 1 qualifier, defeated Ohio’s Rich Locker in his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda with a run 8.576 seconds at 156.01 mph in the final round of the 19th running of the special event, annually part of the U.S. Nationals. The victory was the sixth time a driver piloted the 1968 Dodge Dart to victory in the event. Daniel’s father, Jimmy Daniels, Sr., won the event in 2010 and David Barton won driving the same machine in 2000.
“We had some tough battles to get this fourth win, including that semifinal,” admitted Daniels. “This HEMI Challenge is everything. We work all year for this. It means a lot for us. Special thanks to Dodge for continuing to support these cars and to the NHRA for allowing them to have the HEMI Challenge here in Indy.
Indianapolis – After making the fifth-best quarter-mile pass in Wednesday’s opening qualifying session for the 19th annual NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, three-time consecutive and reigning champion Jimmy Daniels couldn’t wait to make his second and final qualifying run Thursday afternoon. The 23-year-old driver delivered the best run of the day powering his Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart to earn his first career No. 1 qualifier position at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
“I didn’t really think getting that No. 1 position was really possible with the warmer weather today,” said the Yardley, Penn. native, who will vie for his record-setting fourth straight triumph Friday. “We really worked on it coming into today. For us to come back tomorrow and win another Dodge HEMI Challenge, it’s going to take a lot of consistency, a lot of fine tuning by Ray and Dave Barton and I have to do a good job on the tree.”
Now in its 19th year, the HEMI Challenge contested during the NHRA U.S. Nationals continues to showcase Mopar-powered 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars. Drivers compete for the iconic 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy and $15,000 winner’s purse awarded after Friday’s elimination rounds.
Auburn Hills, MI – Three-time and defending NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge champion James Daniels leads a group of 20 drivers at the popular NHRA Sportsman event during the iconic U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis Aug. 28 – Sept. 2. The balance of the field of competitors piloting Mopar-powered 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars will look to end Daniels juggernaut of the event, now in its 19th consecutive year of sponsorship by FCA US LLC.
Daniels’ run of three straight NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge victories in his Dodge Dart are the most consecutive wins by any driver, and the 23-year-old Pennsylvania native is looking to continue his quest to catch six-time event winner Charlie Westcott, Jr. Daniels and Westcott are also part of the only father-son combinations to win the event. Charlie Westcott, Sr. and Jim Daniels, James’ father, won the HEMI Challenge race in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
“It’s just incredible for Dodge and Mopar to put on such a cool event during the biggest drag race of the year,” said Daniels, who will be one of seven competitors attempting to qualify for the field of 16, wheeling a 1968 Dodge Dart. “It means a lot to my father and myself. We came out to watch the race in 2003 before he started racing it in 2007. This will be my fourth year competing in it, and our goals haven’t changed. We’re really happy to be part of it and excited to be competing for another trophy.”
Pritchett and Capps Double Up for Dodge//SRT Mopar With NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car Triumphs at Brainerd
Auburn Hills, MI – Leah Pritchett and Ron Capps earned Dodge//SRT Mopar an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series double up with Top Fuel and Funny Car wins, respectively, in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota.
For Pritchett, the win Sunday was her first piloting the Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Top Fuel dragster in 2019 and first since winning the 2018 Dodge Mile-High Nationals, a span of 26 races. She scored her eighth career win by beating Kyle Wurtzel, Billy Torrence, Austin Prock and Mike Salinas.
Capps defeated fellow Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car racer Tommy Johnson, Jr. racing the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to score his third Wally of the season, 64th of this career and a record sixth in Brainerd.
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.