Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS 2017 Dodge Charger R/T team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler advanced to the championship round Sunday of the NHRA Arizona Nationals near Phoenix where he narrowly lost to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Capps’ crew chief Rahn Tobler devoted their first two qualifying sessions near Phoenix working to improve the NAPA Dodge, and that decision paid off Sunday when Capps advanced to the championship round.
Capps was only qualified 13th after the event’s first two sessions but jumped 10 spots to third with a run of 3.847 seconds to start Saturday’s qualifying and then went even quicker (3.839) on his last run at a speed of 333.58, which is his career best.
That performance continued Sunday when Capps and the NAPA Dodge produced four times in the 3.8-second range but came up a little short in the final round when the title went to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan, whose 3.878-second run at 330.88 mph just edged Capps’ 3.883 at a matching 330.88.
“Any time you get to a final round you don’t want that to slip away,” Capps said. “We had a great drag race with Matt and the fans loved it.
“We got to the semis at Pomona two weeks ago and went to the final round today. I can’t wait to get to Gainesville (Fla.) in three weeks for our next race.”
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Start / Finish: Qualified No. 3 / lost in championship round to Matt Hagan
Points Earned: 101
Points Standing/Total Points: 2nd/178 after two of 24 NHRA Mello Yello events
Next Race: March 17-19, NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, FL
*49 FC/1 TF; Best time, speed: 3.843 sec. (2016, Seattle); 333.58 mph (2017, Phoenix)
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), the winningest team in drag racing history, has raced to claimed more than 340 NHRA national event victories and 17 Mello Yello World Championship titles. Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields professional teams competing in both the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series and Factory Stock Showdown, including the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driven by 2016 World Champion Ron Capps.