Ron Capps’ Funny Car blows up but still wins NHRA SpringNationals
Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) picked up wins on Sunday at the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas.
For Leah Pritchett, this is her third win of the season in just five races. The Don Schumacher Racing driver defeated Scott Palmer, Doug Kalitta and Antron Brown en route to the final where she met Steve Torrence. Pritchett defeated Torrence by just 0.003 seconds. This is the second year in a row that Torrence has lost the NHRA SpringNationals final by less than a tenth of a second.
Meanwhile, Pritchett’s Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps won the NHRA Funny Car final despite suffering a massive explosion at the end of the strip. Capps still crossed the line ahead of John Force Racing’s Robert Hight, who crossed the center line during the run anyways. Capps defeated Todd Simpson, Jonnie Lindberg and Jack Beckman en route to the final.
“I didn’t know we won because it was on fire and I couldn’t see the win light,” admitted Capps. “After I got out of the car on the track, I had my arms up asking fans who won. One of the racers loading up his car gave me a thumbs up.”
KB Racing’s Bo Butner took his first career win in Pro Stock, resulting in five different winners in the first five races of the season. Butner defeated a resurgent Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final, and had defeated Allen Johnson and Greg Anderson en route to get there. Since he qualified second and there were only 13 Pro Stock cars this weekend, Butner was gifted a “bye” in Round 2.
But one of the biggest stories of the day in Pro Stock was a fight between the crews of Alex Laughlin and Tanner Gray following their round 1 matchup. Gray won but was eliminated by Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the semi-finals when he red-lighted.
Meanwhile in the Top Fuel Harley class, Jay Turner took home his third win of the year after defeating Bob Malloy in the final.
The stars of NHRA will be back in action next weekend for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.