Brown, Capps, Anderson put end to NHRA winning streaks in New England
Monday was a fun day for Don Schumacher Racing [DSR] as the NHRA completed the rain-delayed New England Nationals in Epping, NH.
DSR drivers Antron Brown [Top Fuel] and Ron Capps [Funny Car] won their respective divisions from the No. 1 seed. In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson maintained the KB Racing chokehold as he captured the three-car team's ninth 2016 Pro Stock victory.
Brown made three of his four winning passes on Sunday in the 3.7-second zone by continuing his mastery of Steve Torrence in the final round.
“The car ran great all weekend,” said Brown, who is now 18-1 in head-to-head meetings versus Torrence. “We were fortunate to get the win. That Capco team over there is no joke. Steve is a real tough competitor, and we like racing against those guys because you know they are going to give you a great race every time. We’re going home to Englishtown this weekend, and we are ready for it. We’ve got to keep pushing.”
Brown extended his record to 18-1 in head-to-head matches with Torrence with a 3.769, 314.61 to 3.778, 325.30 decision. The defending NHRA Top Fuel champion, because of his top qualifying status, earned a first round bye run and then beat teammates Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher to reach the finals.
For his part, Torrence needed only one run to reach the finals as he ended the three-event winning streak of Doug Kalitta in the semi-finals. Torrence had a single in round one when Smax Smith couldn't make the call and a competition bye run in the quarter-finals.
Capps added his second Funny Car win of the season as he stopped DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round. Johnson was quicker off of the line, but Capps quickly erased the deficit to win 3.923 to 3.947.
Capps earned his way to the final round with wins over Dave Richards, Courtney Force and John Force.
“I am proud of crew chief Rahn Tobler this weekend, he let it all hang out,” Capps said. “To be low E.T. and win the race and to win here twice is cool. How about the fans that showed up today – who cut work and cut school to see some of the racing they saw today, you won’t see that every weekend. There were some nail-biters out there, including that final round. It was a fun day. We knocked off some big cars today and made a big jump in the points. I am proud of Tobler and the whole team.”
The only unpredictable part of Pro Stock was in someone stopping Jason Line's eight consecutive round winning streak. The predictable part was the loss came at the hands of his teammate Anderson.
Anderson maintained the KB Racing dominance as the team has now won every race, qualified No. 1 ever time in 2016 and led every qualifying session since February.
Anderson stopped Allen Johnson, 6.598 to 6.673 for his fourth win this season.
“It’s been a great start to the year,” said Anderson, who defeated V. Gaines, Alex Laughlin and Line in early rounds. “This team is on fire. It’s a dream to drive that race car. I love racing here. It feels like racing back home in Minnesota. I had the best car on the grounds this weekend, and only I could’ve screwed it up, and fortunately I got the job done today.”
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues June 9-12 with the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.
Bobby Bennett is the Publisher/Editor of CompetitionPlus.com, a leading independent online drag racing magazine, since 1999. For the latest in dragster news worldwide, visit www.competitionplus.com or follow on Twitter @competitionplus