A CHANCE TO MAKE HISTORY FOR NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES COMPETITORS AT PRESTIGIOUS DENSO SPARK PLUGS NHRA U.S. NATIONALS AT INDY
INDIANAPOLIS – It’s the biggest weekend of the NHRA Mello Yello Series season and Ron Capps is feeling plenty of momentum as he prepares to race on the sport’s grandest stage. The former Funny Car world champion won at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the first time in his illustrious career in August, putting him in prime position to win the biggest race in the sport, this weekend’s 66th annual DENSO Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals.
The race marks the fourth event at Lucas Oil Raceway since the NHRA restarted its season during the COVD-19 pandemic, but Labor Day weekend at Indy has had a special and historic feeling for the past 65 years. It’s the one thing Capps has yet to check off on his list, but there’s no denying the veteran is feeling good in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat after picking up an Indy win just weeks ago.
GLENDORA, CA – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHRA and Maple Grove Raceway have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
“We are extremely disappointed to announce the cancellation of the September national event, which has been a staple event for the past 35 years. Due to the pandemic, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf has severely limited attendance at events for the 2020 season,” said Maple Grove Raceway President, Kent Lewis.
GLENDORA, CA – The NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, scheduled for Aug. 28-30, has been canceled due the current COVID-19 pandemic. NHRA made this difficult decision after exhaustive deliberation with track representatives, health officials and government authorities.
NHRA and Atlanta Dragway came to this conclusion after carefully weighing the significance of the 40th anniversary of the NHRA Southern Nationals. The anniversary of the historic race will be celebrated in 2021.
JONATHAN GRAY EARNS SECOND CAREER E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES WIN WITH TRIUMPH AT INDY
INDIANAPOLIS – Jonathan Gray raced to his first career E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series victory since 2017 on Sunday as at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, slipping past Bo Butner in the final round as part of the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
The Pro Mod race, which was presented by Jerry Bickel Race Cars, was the second of the 2020 season in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. Gray went 5.5850-seconds at 249.49 mph in his nitrous-powered Camaro to knock off Butner, who went 5.899 at 248.48 in the finals. It gave Gray his second career win in the class in a matchup that featured two standouts driving for the injured Rickie Smith, a multi-time champ in the class.
Prior to last month’s NHRA Pro Mod season-opener, Gray had not raced in the class for nearly three years. But he impressed on Sunday in Indy, reaching the final round with victories against Jeffrey Barker, No. 1 qualifier Khalid Albalooshi and former world champ Mike Janis.
CAPPS GETS FIRST INDY WIN, JOINS S. TORRENCE, J. COUGHLIN JR. AND SAMPEY IN WINNER’S CIRCLE AT DODGE NHRA INDY NATIONALS PRESENTED BY PENNZOIL
INDIANAPOLIS – Ron Capps picked up his first career win at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, racing to the Funny Car victory on Sunday at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil and also giving the longtime standout a win at every track on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the fifth race of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and third straight at Indy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Capps won for the first time in 2020 and 65th time in his career with a final-round run of 4.110-seconds at 294.63 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to beat J.R. Todd in a battle of former world champs. It also gives Don Schumacher Racing its seventh straight Funny Car win and the organization its 349th overall win. Capps beat Tim Wilkerson, Blake Alexander and Bob Tasca III to reach his first final round of the year, leading to a memorable celebration after the first-time Indy win.
TOP FUEL’S MCMILLEN EARNS FIRST CAREER NO. 1, JOINED BY TOP QUALIFIERS JOHNSON JR., LINE AND M. SMITH AT DODGE NHRA INDY NATIONALS PRESENTED BY PENNZOIL
INDIANAPOLIS – Veteran Top Fuel driver Terry McMillen qualified No. 1 for the first time in his NHRA career on Saturday, powering to the top spot during the final qualifying session of the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth race of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and third straight at Indy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
McMillen, who has two career victories, jumped from 14th to the No. 1 position with a run of 3.807-seconds at 312.28 mph on his final pass of the day in his 11,000-horsepower AMALIE Motor Oil dragster. He will take on Lex Joon to open eliminations, looking for his first win of 2020.
AFTER ENTERTAINING START TO 2020, E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES WILL AWARD ITS FIRST WINNER OF SEASON AT INDY
INDIANAPOLIS – By advancing to the final round of the first race of the 2020 season in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Jason Scruggs and Chad Green put themselves in position to win their first career race in the class.
But with the completion of that race postponed to the upcoming DENSO Auto Parts U.S. Nationals, the chance to grab that first victory now comes this weekend as part of the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Like the opener, which took place last month, this race also takes place at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, and Scruggs will again look to put together an impressive weekend in his blown Scruggs Farm Camaro from Jerry Bickel Race Cars.
In just his seventh career NHRA Pro Mod start, Scruggs, who has enjoy remarkable success in his doorslammer career, advanced to his first career final, making significant strides in the off-season.
“We were happy to go some rounds,” Scruggs said. “We knew we could run with everyone here, so I was glad we were able to prove that. At the end of the day, we’ve got a good car. Everything kind of fell into place and we won the close races, and that’s what you have to do at this level. We changed some stuff on the car and the way we were running the car, and it has responded well.”