NHRA Top Fuel Point Leader Takes Down Schumacher and Pritchett on his way to Charlotte Victory
Concord, NC – U.S. Army Racing’s Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher, Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett looked at this weekend’s 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway as their last “real” opportunity to make a move for the 2018 Top Fuel world championship. The problem was championship leader Steve Torrence was up to the challenge.
Torrence defeated Brittany Force in Sunday’s Top Fuel final to earn his fourth consecutive win in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Countdown to the Championship playoffs and squeezed his grip on the competition even tighter. He dispatched Pritchett in the second round before eliminating Schumacher in the semifinals on a holeshot. Brown put up a formidable run against Schumacher in the opening round, but he couldn’t keep up with “The Sarge” who posted the fastest run of the weekend to start the day.
Schumacher, winner of the first Carolina Nationals in 2008, was looking to begin another memorable run to the Top Fuel championship Sunday aboard a very consistent U.S. Army Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). His path to history started with the three-time Top Fuel world champion and winningest Top Fuel driver at zMAX Dragway. Following four consistent qualifying runs, Schumacher made an early statement with his pass of 3.699 seconds at 329.91 mph to edge out Brown, who also made his best lap of the weekend at 3.736 seconds at 328.14 mph.
NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps Light the Way to Capps 60th Funny Car Victory
CONCORD, NC – Ron Capps piloted the NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps Dodge Charger R/T to his 60th Funny Car victory with his win Sunday at the NHRA Carolina Nationals. By claiming 121 points over the course of the weekend, Capps moved up three spots to third in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff standings, injecting new life into his bid for a second career Funny Car world championship.
Along his way to the zMAX Dragway winner’s circle, Capps defeated Dale Creasy Jr. and three of the top-ranked 2018 Funny Car championship contenders – Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson and J.R. Todd – in crucial matchups with major Countdown implications.
The milestone victory and 61st overall triumph which includes one Top Fuel win, came after two disappointing consecutive first-round losses, but Capps and his Rahn Tobler-led team were determined to not let their early Countdown stumbles deter their hopes for the 2018 title.
Auburn Hills, MI – Ron Capps raced to victory in his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T at the NHRA Carolina Nationals near Charlotte on October 14, 2018, capturing his third victory of the season and the 225th overall for a Mopar Dodge driver in NHRA Funny Car competition.
The win by Capps is also the eighth of the year for a Mopar-powered Dodge//SRT Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car driver. His 60th career Funny Car win moved Capps up three spots to third in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff standings, injecting new life into his bid for a second career Funny Car World Championship.
The Mopar HEMI-engine fueled NAPA Dodge Charger Funny Car star claimed 121 points over the course of the weekend. Along his way to the zMAX Dragway winner’s circle, Capps, the 2016 Funny Car Champion, defeated Dale Creasy Jr. and three of the top-ranked 2018 Funny Car championship contenders – Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson and J.R. Todd – in crucial matchups with major Countdown implications.
Concord, NC – The U.S. Army driver trio of Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher, Leah Pritchett and Antron Brown are sixth, seventh and 11th on the elimination ladder, respectively, after the final two rounds of qualifying Saturday for this weekend’s 11th annual NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway just outside of Charlotte.
Schumacher and the U.S. Army Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) continued their consistency in qualifying laying down two more competitive runs including his best of the weekend – 3.732 seconds at 329.42 mph – in Saturday’s first session. He closed qualifying with a solid trip down the track of 3.746 seconds at 328.94 mph to hold the No. 6 position and set up a meeting with Brown in Sunday’s opening round of eliminations. The U.S. Army Racing teammates have met in two of the first three Countdown races, with Schumacher advancing both times.
“We certainly were consistent through four rounds of qualifying, but we were a little disappointed in that last run,” said Schumacher, a two-time winner at zMAX Dragway. “We needed more power, and that’s data we can put to use tomorrow. It puts us in a good spot. We run Antron first round and if we can move on, the ladder gives us a shot at the guys we are chasing in the points. (Clay) Millican in the second round and (Steve) Torrence in the third round. It’s an incredible opportunity. We’ll bring our ‘A’ game tomorrow and let the fans get to see an A+ race.”
DSR Charlotte II Qualifying Report
CONCORD, NC – Tommy Johnson Jr. locked down the No. 1 Funny Car spot to start race day at the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C. Johnson nabbed the pole for the second consecutive weekend, marking the first time in his career that he has qualified No. 1 at back-to-back events.
Johnson claimed the top spot when he powered the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T down the zMAX Dragway strip in 3.873-seconds at 329.26-mph during Q4. At the start of the final qualifying session, Johnson was positioned fourth, standing on his Q1 run of 3.901-seconds, which was the quickest time of the opening session.
“We’ve got a really, really good race car,” said Johnson, who has raced to the semifinals or better at six of the last seven events. “The guys are doing such a great job and you can see their confidence. You can just see it in the way they walk and carry themselves.
Concord, NC – The U.S. Army Racing driver trio of Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher, Leah Pritchett and Antron Brown are fifth, seventh and 15th on the provisional ladder, respectively, after the opening two rounds of qualifying Friday for this weekend’s 11th annual NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway just outside of Charlotte.
Schumacher and his U.S. Army Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), a two-time Carolina Nationals winner, opened the day with a run of 3.747 seconds at 330.39 mph, the second-best of the session, and collected a pair of qualifying points. “The Sarge” nearly posted an identical elapsed time in Friday’s second run making it down the track in 3.748 seconds at 328.54 mph landing him the fifth position.
“We’ve got a really good U.S. Army car,” said Schumacher, one of two Top Fuel drivers to eclipse the 330-mph barrier Friday. “It felt like a bracket car today. In that second run, it was down on power just a little bit. We are running right where we wanted to run. Last weekend, we were way behind and that’s not the case right now. We have a good car. And I’m ready to race. It’s not over yet.”
DSR Charlotte II Friday Qualifying Report
CONCORD, NC – Ron Capps raced to the provisional Funny Car qualifying lead under the zMAX Dragway lights on Friday night during the second round of qualifying. Capps powered the NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps Dodge Charger R/T to a run of 3.875-seconds at 329.42-mph to take the No. 1 spot.
“We knew coming in that conditions were going to be better than great, and they quite possibly could be as good tomorrow during Q4, so by all means we’re not sitting on this No. 1,” said Capps, who is aiming for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and second at zMAX Dragway.
“In Q1, (crew chief Rahn) Tobler tuned our car just as he had during St. Louis Q3 and it went out and ran exactly the same,” said Capps of his opening pass of 3.925-seconds, which held up to be third quickest of the session. “And then in Q2 he said it would run an 87 or 88, and it ran 87. When he gets that kind of confidence flowing through his veins, it really trickles down to everyone else around me. The best part is looking up and seeing Don Schumacher smiling because he gives us everything. These moments, to see the boss smile, it’s big.”