October 1, 2017, Madison, Ill. – Mopar®/Dodge Funny Car driver Ron Capps marched to his second win in a row on Sunday in his HEMI®-powered Dodge Charger R/T at a packed Gateway Motorsports Park, giving him his eighth victory of the year and the 14th overall for Mopar in the category in 2017.
The win at the sixth annual NHRA Midwest Nationals, held in the shadow of St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, also extended Capps’ points lead as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs reach the halfway mark.
Capps’ victory was the 19th overall for Mopar HEMI power in the Nitro categories (Funny Car and Top Fuel) in 2017. It was also the 18th time in 21 events to date this year that at least one Mopar Dodge Funny Car from DSR appeared in the final round.
Capps bested Swedish driver Jonnie Lindberg in the final, turning in a 3.879-second pass at 331.53 mph from the right lane to better Lindberg’s 3.904 at 326.87. The two left the starting line at nearly the same time, with Capps posting a .072-second reaction time and Lindberg leaving just .001 later.
Capps, the defending Funny Car champion, began the Sunday elimination rounds by powering past fellow Dodge competitor Jim Campbell when Campbell turned on the red light. Capps then defeated teammate Jack Beckman by .010 to set up a showdown with 16-time champion John Force. Force got a slight advantage off the line, but neared the wall down track, while Capps maintained a clean pass in the center of the groove to reach his 11th final round of the year.
The win was the 57th Funny Car win for Capps, which is second all-time in the category.
The rest of the DSR Mopar Funny Cars suffered early-round exits. Matt Hagan opened his day in the Mopar/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T by besting DSR Mopar teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish team on a clean pass. Hagan next took on Robert Hight, but got sideways near half-track after losing a cylinder and could never recover.
Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T team from DSR, meanwhile, bested Del Worsham in the first round on a solid run while Worsham was forced to give up on the pass. Beckman was then defeated by Capps.
In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett qualified No. 2 in the Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster from DSR and opened her day by defeating Ashley Sanford in round one. However, Pritchett went up in smoke just past the starting line in the second round and her day came to an end at the hands of eventual event winner Steve Torrence.
Pritchett’s teammate Tony Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster featuring Mopar HEMI power from DSR past a tire-smoking Troy Buff in the first round, but lost to Antron Brown in round two.