Capps races to 5th victory of season
Ron Capps raced to his fifth Funny Car victory of the season Sunday, winning the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals to cut Jack Beckman's series lead to four points with one event remaining.
Seeking his first season title after finishing second three times, Capps beat Beckman with a run of 4.070 seconds at 315.12 mph in his Dodger Charger for his 38th career victory.
''There was a lot of pressure. It was one of the biggest rounds of the year,'' Capps said. ''We were taking a pistol to a gun fight. To go up there and beat (Beckman) was huge. We're fighting for that championship ring.''
Bob Vandergriff Jr. won in Top Fuel, Allen Johnson in Pro Stock, and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
The season-ending Auto Club Finals is Nov. 8 to 11 in Pomona, Calif.
Vandergriff Jr. earned his second career Top Fuel victory with a run of 3.832 at 324.75, edging seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher in the final.
The 47-year-old Vandergriff jogged back to the starting line to join his team after the win.
''We had a great race. They (wins) don't come easy. We had four good runs today. I wanted to do something special (so I ran down the track). The fans seemed to like it,'' Vandergriff said. ''Anytime you race (Schumacher), you know you'll have your hands full.''
Schumacher moved to second in the standings, 65 points behind Antron Brown.
Brown lost in the first round.
''It's drag racing, but we're ready for Pomona,'' Brown said. ''We'll hit Pomona and give it our best shot. It's a long way from over.''
In Pro Stock, Johnson raced his sixth victory of the season and 15th of his career with a 6.637 pass at 208.17 in a Dodge Avenger. He has a 126-point lead over second-place Jason Line.
''Today we made our best run,'' Johnson said. ''We feel a little easier going into Pomona. It says great things about our engine program and it says great things about our car. It's a tremendous feeling. We want to go to Pomona and win that last race. We can't let up one bit.''
Krawiec won for the ninth time this season and 20th overall, finishing at 6.959 at 194.10 on a Harley-Davidson. On Saturday at the track, the series leader won the rain-delayed Mohnton, Pa., final.