BRAINERD, MINN. – Ron Capps earned his third Funny Car win of the season Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Capps defeated Don Schumacher Racing teammate and points leader Matt Hagan in the final.
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), who overcame an engine fire in the first round, and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also were winners in their respective categories.
Capps, driving his Dodge Charger, won with a run of 4.063 seconds at 312.28 miles per hour, to Hagan’s losing pass of 4.095 at 312.78 in the tightly contested championship round. Capps rebounded to win for the 41st time in his career after failing to qualify for the previous event in Seattle.
His team also overcame an engine explosion during qualifying on Saturday that forced the team to use a backup Funny Car body for eliminations.
Capps knocked off Del Worsham, Jack Beckman and Tim Wilkerson to reach the final round.
“That is the nature of our sport and for sure the Funny Car division,” said Capps, who earned the 11th Funny Car win for Don Schumacher Racing in 2013. “It is a fun class, but that final round just epitomizes how tight our category is right now. You have to be on your absolute best and I wasn’t today as a driver, but Rahn [Tobler, crew chief] made up for it and man, wow, what a weekend.”
With the win, Capps was able to secure his entry into the Funny Car field for the Countdown to the Championship, while moving to second place in points.
Capps joined Hagan, who earlier qualified for the six-race playoffs, as well as Johnny Gray, Cruz Pedregon and John and Courtney Force as drivers who earned berths during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Defending world champion Beckman also earned a berth in the Countdown.