LUCAS, CAPPS, ENDERS, KRAWIEC COLLECT BRAINERD VICTORIES: Ron Capps raced to the Funny Car victory last Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals and moved into the Full Throttle Series points lead for the first time this season with one race remaining before the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the penultimate regular season event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Capps powered away from 15-time world champ John Force in the Funny Car final round to take his third win of the season, third at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) and 36th of his career.
In Top Fuel, Lucas edged Antron Brown at the finish line for his third victory of the season and his third win at this event, which is sponsored by his family’s oil company. Enders continues to make Pro Stock history; she raced to her third victory of the season and second in a row. Enders is the first female to win at BIR since Shirley Muldowney won a Top Fuel title there in 1982. Screamin’ Eagle Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson rider Krawiec remained undefeated in Pro Stock Motorcycle, claiming his sixth victory of the season in as many finals and increasing his series points lead by defeating final-round opponent Hector Arana Jr., who fouled at the start on his Lucas Oil Buell.
EIGHT DRIVERS CLINCH COUNTDOWN PLAYOFF BERTHS IN BRAINERD: Top Fuel racers Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Karen Stoffer clinched berths in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship as a result of last Sunday’s racing at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. As the result of their qualifying efforts, Brandon Bernstein and David Grubnic also clinched spots in Top Fuel. Earlier in the event, Top Fuel racer Doug Kalitta earned his spot by qualifying for the field, and Funny Car racers Mike Neff and Johnny Gray clinched berths by making their first qualifying passes. Nine of 10 spots are filled in Top Fuel, six in Pro Stock, and five each in Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Only the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus remains before the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series regular season concludes Labor Day weekend. A six-race playoff series will lead to the crowning of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series champs.
COUNTDOWN FIELDS TO DATE
|Top Fuel||Funny Car||Pro Stock||Pro Stock Motorcycle|
|1. Spencer Massey
||1. Robert Hight
||1. Greg Anderson
||1. Eddie Krawiec
|2. Antron Brown
||2. Ron Capps
||2. Jason Line
||2. Andrew Hines|
|3. Tony Schumacher
||3. Jack Beckman
||3. Allen Johnson
||3. Hector Arana Jr.|
|4. Steve Torrence
||4. Mike Neff
||4. Mike Edwards||4. Hector Arana Sr.
|5. Doug Kalitta
||5. Johnny Gray
||5. Vincent Nobile
||5. Karen Stoffer
|6. Morgan Lucas
||6. Erica Enders
|7. Shawn Langdon
|8. David Grubnic
|9. Brandon Bernstein
MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS ONCE AGAIN A HIGH-PERFORMANCE SHOWCASE: More than 950 competitors in 12 racing categories will perform at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus in front of the standing-room-only crowd during the Labor Day weekend classic. The event takes place at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, August 29–September 3. It is the 17th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for 2012 and the final of 17 regular-season races. Following this event, the top 10 drivers in each Pro category will be locked in for the six-race Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship—the NHRA’s postseason playoffs.
The 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus will be showcased nationwide on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD during more than 10 hours of coverage. Each year at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus, fans are offered a glimpse into the past with several attractions, and the 2012 edition of this event is no exception: Many additional events and special attractions will continue the celebration of the NHRA’s yearlong Nitro Generation theme. Throughout the weekend, an assortment of vintage hot rods will be on display in a special Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Car Corral. Several autograph sessions featuring many of the legends of the sport also will be featured throughout the weekend. A special Nitro Generation Track Walk also will be held prior to Monday’s pre-race ceremony, and many of the sport’s biggest stars will walk alongside fans down the historic dragstrip.
MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS PRESENTED BY AUTO-PLUS, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, August 29–September 3: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 17th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season, and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points at the last race in the regular season for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2011 winners were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to NHRATix.com.
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS PRESENTED BY SUPER START BATTERIES, zMAX Dragway, September 14–16: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 18th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season for the first event of the Countdown to the Championship. The top 10 drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points in the Countdown, NHRA’s playoffs. The 2011 winners were Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-455-FANS (3267) or log on to zMAXDragway.com.
AAA TEXAS NHRA FALL NATIONALS, Texas Motorplex, September 21–23: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 19th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season, and the second race of the Countdown. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points towards the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2011 winners were Bob Vandergriff (Top Fuel), Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-668-6775 or log on to TexasMotorplex.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
RON CAPPS BEATS THE BEST OF THE BEST, REFLECTS ON BRAINERD: After getting his third win of the season at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Ron Capps took the Funny Car points lead for the first time this season in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. However, it wasn’t an easy battle. He had to beat the best of the best: 15-time NHRA world Funny Car champion John Force. “Force is cagey. He’s good here. He could be having the worst year ever and still come here and win. I was doubtful that we were going to get a win. He’s been eking it out all day and getting on a roll. He knows how to take it to the next level.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
7: NUMBER OF DAYS LEFT TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE DRIVER TO COMPETE IN THE TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT IN INDIANAPOLIS:
Top Fuel drivers eligible for the eighth position:
- Khalid alBalooshi
- Brandon Bernstein
- Shawn Langdon
- Terry McMillen
- Clay Millican
- Bob Vandergriff Jr.
Funny Car drivers eligible for the eighth position:
- Alexis DeJoria
- Courtney Force
- Matt Hagan
- Todd Lesenko
- Cruz Pedregon
- Tony Pedregon
- Bob Tasca III
- Tim Wilkerson
Traxxas Nitro Shootout first-round pairings:
|TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT (TOP FUEL)||TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT (FUNNY CAR)|
|1. Antron Brown vs. No. 8 fan vote/lottery||1. Ron Capps vs. No. 8 fan vote/lottery|
|2. Spencer Massey vs. No. 7 David Grubnic||2. Robert Hight vs. No. 7 Jeff Arend|
|3. Tony Schumacher vs. No. 6 Morgan Lucas||3. Jack Beckman vs. No. 6 John Force|
|4. Steve Torrence vs. No. 5 Doug Kalitta||4. Johnny Gray vs. No. 5 Mike|
DID YOU KNOW…
FISHER NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NHRA MOTORSPORTS MUSEUM: Larry Fisher has been named executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. In his new position, Fisher will be responsible for administrative operations and fundraising efforts for the museum, which is on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Fairplex complex, also home to historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. He will also be responsible for the overall management of the museum’s two biggest fundraising events: the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield. For more information about this story, visit www.NHRA.com.