Challenger on back two wheels
4 min read

Mopar®/Dodge Notes & Quotes: Midwest Nationals, St. Louis Capps Wins Again

 2 years ago  Racing Dodge Garage

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 3 Qualifier – 3.849 seconds at 332.51 mph

“Last year, we said a semifinal average was going to win the championship and we did that going into Pomona. We beat them with consistency, we didn’t have a win. This year, we went out second round, I lost on a holeshot in Charlotte, and we fixed that average by winning (at Reading) so that we got our semifinal average. Thank God (crew chief Rahn Tobler) gave me a great racecar in Pennsylvania. I think that this year’s even tougher.

“He (Tobler) is the best racer; he’s so much fun to race with. I love his old-school mentality. He gave me the biggest compliment I’ve ever had working for him when he turned around to me after one of the rounds today in the pit area and I said, ‘Great job, man, great run, we didn’t have lane choice, just a great job,’ and he said, ‘No, you’re driving like a champion.’

Matt Hagan, Mopar®/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 8 Qualifier – 3.894 seconds at 330.96 mph

“Obviously, we were just pressing really hard on race day. We went .83 first round and were low of the round. We just kind of (decided to) gas and go. We just made a few adjustments for the heat, but all in all, we just were kind of like, ‘Let’s leave it alone.’ It’s race day, man. You have to press. You’re running Robert Hight and those boys and they’re pressing. I mean they blew their stuff up trying to run hard. We’ve got three more races, we’ve got to make all three of them count.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster 
No. 2 Qualifier – 3.670 seconds at 329.10 mph

“A couple steps forward in qualifying with our overall program gave us a good amount of confidence coming into race day. That early E2 exit, you can’t sugarcoat in any sense of a way, we’re halfway through the Countdown and that was probably the most important round by far. I’m giving everything that I’ve got; our team’s giving everything that we’ve got at the moment. Give credit where credit’s due, Steve (Torrence) had basically one of the most legit, unbeatable packages of that round and we are going to do exactly what we’ve done all year: analyze, pick it up, move on to the next race. It isn’t over yet, but the hill just got a lot steeper.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
No. 6 Qualifier – 3.873 seconds at 331.77 mph

“This has nothing to do with our team’s attitude or our philosophy moving forward. We certainly think we’ve got a car that can win the next three races. But that round was our championship round. If we won that round, we stay in the race, keep earning points, and move closer to the top cars. We lost against the No. 1 car and it increased the spread. That was the biggest round of the year for us. We did everything very well; they did it a little better. There’s nothing to do but go over and shake their hands.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

No. 9 Qualifier – 3.897 seconds at 325.30 mph

“Realistically, this probably killed our chances for a championship, but we can still finish higher in the standings. We’ve been fighting issues with our car and it’s the wrong time of the year to have that. So the team will just continue to work through it, do the best we can, finish as high as we can, and more than anything try to prepare ourselves for next year. It’s unfortunate we’re out of it so soon, but not every year is going to be a successful year. So we’ll learn from it, make ourselves better and come back stronger.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
No. 3 Qualifier – 3.680 seconds at 327.66 mph

“Everybody has seasons where they’re unstoppable. We’re getting there. Understand that the battles are big and the competition is excellent. That’s just the way it goes. We’ll fight on. We don’t give up, we just battle. Say what you will about the points. All we can do is show up and try to win. I don’t look at points because they don’t mean anything until you reach a certain point. We’ve got a long way to go, still.”

Up Next: NHRA FallNationals
In two weeks, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is back in action with a trip to the Lone Star State for the 32nd annual NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex outside of Dallas. In 2016, Matt Hagan bested teammate Ron Capps to win the Funny Car final. Mopar driver Jack Beckman also set the Funny Car speed record during the weekend with a pass reaching 333.66 mph.

Hagan has won the NHRA FallNationals twice, while Capps has one victory in the event. Mopar driver Tony Schumacher has taken the Top Fuel trophy at Texas Motorplex six times.

The FallNationals will take place October 12-15 and be broadcast throughout the weekend on FOX Sports 1. The elimination rounds will air LIVE on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 15.

For more information on Mopar and Dodge in NHRA, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog, http://blog.mopar.com.

2017 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 21 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car
1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (8) – 2,395
2. Robert Hight (3) – 2,349
3. Courtney Force – 2,287
4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 2,238
5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 2,228
6. John Force (1) – 2,197
7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 2,191
8. J.R. Todd (2) – 2,168
9. Tim Wilkerson – 2,130
10. Cruz Pedregon – 2,096

NHRA Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence (8) – 2,376
2. Doug Kalitta (1) – 2,334
3. Brittany Force (2) – 2,293
4. Antron Brown (4) – 2,282
5. Clay Millican (1) – 2,235
6. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI® (1) – 2,234
7. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (4) – 2,224
8. Terry McMillen – 2,115
9. Scott Palmer – 2,105
10. Shawn Langdon – 2,100

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