Ron Capps earned his third Funny Car win of the season by racing to the victory Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway over teammate and points leader Matt Hagan.
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Brainerd.
Capps, driving his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, defeated his Don Schumacher Racing partner with a run of 4.063 seconds at 312.28 mph 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, Aug. 17, in Brainerd that forced the team to use a backup Funny Car body for eliminations.
With the win, Capps was able to secure his entry into the Funny Car field for the Countdown to the Championship, also moving to second in the points standings. Capps joined Hagan, who was previously qualified for the six-race playoffs, as well as Johnny Gray, Cruz Pedregon, John and Courtney Force as drivers who all earned berths during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Defending world champion Beckman also earned the seventh slot in the Traxxas Shootout.
Massey piloted his Battery Extender/Schumacher Electric dragster to a fourth win this season in Top Fuel when he powered to the victory over Clay Millican. The win for Massey, who moved to second in points with his 14th career win, was well deserved after an engine fire in the first round of eliminations forced the team to replace many components on the car. Massey overcame the difficulties and in the finals posted a winning pass of 3.811 at 322.11 to Millican’s 3.856 at 320.66, giving Massey his first career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series win at Brainerd International Raceway.
In Pro Stock, points leader Edwards recorded his first win at Brainerd International Raceway and his fifth of the season with the victory over V. Gaines in the finals in his Interstate Batteries/I am Second Chevy Camaro.