DSR Charlotte II Friday Qualifying Report
NHRA Carolina Nationals
Event 22 of 24 (Charlotte II)
NHRA Countdown, Event 4 of 6
zMAX Dragway – Concord, N.C.
October 12-14, 2018
DSR Charlotte II Friday Highlights:
- Ron Capps leads the Funny Car class as the provisional No. 1 qualifier after day one at the NHRA Carolina Nationals
- Capps earned bonus points during both sessions for making ‘top three’ runs
- Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher sit in the top half of the Top Fuel field
- Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. join Capps in the Funny Car ‘top eight’
- In the opening session, Johnson was quickest and Schumacher was second quickest in their respective categories, earning bonus points
Ron Capps No. 1 Friday at NHRA Carolina Nationals
CONCORD, North Carolina (October 12, 2018) – Ron Capps raced to the provisional Funny Car qualifying lead under the zMAX Dragway lights on Friday night during the second round of qualifying. Capps powered the NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps Dodge Charger R/T to a run of 3.875-seconds at 329.42-mph to take the No. 1 spot.
“We knew coming in that conditions were going to be better than great, and they quite possibly could be as good tomorrow during Q4, so by all means we’re not sitting on this No. 1,” said Capps, who is aiming for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and second at zMAX Dragway.
“In Q1, (crew chief Rahn) Tobler tuned our car just as he had during St. Louis Q3 and it went out and ran exactly the same,” said Capps of his opening pass of 3.925-seconds, which held up to be third quickest of the session. “And then in Q2 he said it would run an 87 or 88, and it ran 87. When he gets that kind of confidence flowing through his veins, it really trickles down to everyone else around me. The best part is looking up and seeing Don Schumacher smiling because he gives us everything. These moments, to see the boss smile, it’s big.”
Capps and the NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps Funny Car team entered the race weekend ranked sixth in the Countdown to the Championship standings, 172 points out of first. Capps knows that he and his Rahn Tobler-led team have their work cut out for them if they want to win the 2018 championship but feels confident in his team’s abilities to remain in the hunt through the end of the year.
“In St. Louis we saw the cool conditions for the first time since NHRA backed the track prep up and made the tracks a little less sticky. St. Louis we went 87, and that was big. Rahn Tobler has always been known for his adverse, hot race day tune-up. He’s a great racer. When we ran that good in St. Louis when the conditions cooled off, that was huge. To see his smile knowing that he finally found what he was looking for in those cooler conditions was great. Every year that we haven’t won the championship but we’ve been close, we felt like we lost it in the cool Countdown races. Vegas when it cools off, this race now being swapped around with Maple Grove, and of course Pomona, it cools off fast there. You know that you need a cold weather tune-up. When I left the NAPA race trailer just now, it was a high-five and a hug from Rahn because he’s comfortable in these cool, fast conditions. I’m super pumped about the rest of the year.”
If Capps is able to retain his spot at the top of the Funny Car ladder by the time the fields are set, he’ll have clinched his 22nd No. 1 qualifier of his career, and first in more than two years, with his last No. 1 start occurring at Bristol Dragway in 2016.
“I always focused on race day, I didn’t get too hung up on those No. 1’s. Let other people have those little points, we want the big 20 points per round, but this was big today. We said when we left Dallas, we’ve got to run the table because if we win it, that means the people in front of us won’t. And we need to make a move. There’s 150 points available in Pomona. We’re pretty far back, but anything can happen. This No. 1 is a great start.”
Q1: 3.925 E.T. at 327.66 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.875 E.T. at 329.42 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Bonus Points: Four
Driver of the Matco Tools ‘Tools for the Cause’/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 4.022 E.T. at 239.14 MPH
Q2: 4.882 E.T. at 148.46 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 15
Driver of the Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.829 E.T. at 322.96 MPH
Q2: 3.763 E.T. at 320.58 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 7
Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.747 E.T. at 330.39 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.748 E.T. at 328.54 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 5
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Q1: No Time, Broke
Q2: 3.953 E.T. at 324.98 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 10
Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Q1: 3.970 E.T. at 320.66 MPH
Q2: 3.903 E.T. at 325.14 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 5
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Q1: 3.917 E.T. at 327.98 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.901 E.T. at 329.26 MPH
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 4
Bonus Points: Three
ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John’s Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers’ Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.
DSR also campaigns two Sportsman teams. The two-car Factory Stock Showdown duo is piloted by Pritchett and veteran Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk. Both drivers compete in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks.
DSR has won 332 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery via Don Schumacher Racing, Driver photos: NHRA