Capps Makes It Two Straight with Eighth Win of 2017 Season
Reigning world champ Ron Capps and the NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team won Sunday for their second NHRA Mello Yello title in seven days with crew chief Rahn Tobler at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis to post their eighth win of the year and extend their Countdown to the Championship playoff points lead.
The first time Capps won an NHRA event title near St. Louis was in 1997, and also was his first in a Funny Car.
As meaningful as that milestone is to the driver of the NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger R/T, he ranks the 58th title he won Sunday at Gateway Motorsports Park with nearly equal importance.
Capps’ win Sunday with crew chief Rahn Tobler, assistant Eric Lane and the NAPA AutoCare Centers crew also will be unforgettable.
It is his career-best eighth NHRA Mello Yello Series title of the year in 21 events, his second in seven days and extended the reigning champion’s points lead to 46 at the midpoint of the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff that resumes in two weeks near Dallas.
“Tobler’s the best racer, and 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.’ ”
Capps’ time of 3.879 seconds at 329.91 mph kept finalist Jonnie Lindberg with Jim Head Racing from winning his first NHRA nitro title. For Capps, it was the 58th of his career including his first in Top Fuel and the 316th for Don Schumacher Racing.
The NAPA Brakes Dodge recorded times Sunday between the winning 3.879 and 3.908 in the opening round after qualifying third with a best time of 3.849.
Start / Finish: Qualified No. 3 / Won in championship round over Jonnie Lindberg
Points Earned: 122
Countdown to the Championship Points Standing / Total: 1st / 2,395
Next Race: Oct. 13-15, Dallas
How to Watch or Listen: Fox Sports 1; NHRA All Access