Ron Capps won the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout award on Sunday at this weekend’s prestigious 68th Annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA US Nationals, beating Matt Hagan in the final round to take home the $80,000 top prize. in the bonus event at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 in 16 of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season. Series and the Final Event of the regular season.
Capps, the defending world champion, ran from 3.936 s to 330.47 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Supra GR, knocking Hagan into a hole. Hagan ran 3,900s faster at 328.66mph, but Capps was quicker off the start line to take victory in the special race. He defeated Tim Wilkerson and John Force to reach the final round, while Hagan took out Alexis DeJoria and Robert Hight. Capps’ 0.026s reaction time ultimately proved to be the difference in the final.
“This turned out to be a lot of fun,” Capps said. “The car was hauling the mail in the final round and it’s great to win a hole and do it for so much money, I love it for my guys. We’ve had so many special moments this year and this is up there with the best, until tomorrow. But this one is very, very big for us.”
Seeking his first victory at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA US Nationals, Capps also secured his fifth No. 1 ranking of the season with his run of 3.864s at 333.58mph against Wilkerson. Sunday’s win gave him momentum, but Capps knows he could get one of the biggest wins of his career from him on Monday. He will open eliminations against Dale Creasy Jr.
“We have a great race car right now,” Capps said. “Last year it stung and that was the Funny Car race of the year. We will take some time to enjoy this No. 1 and this [Callout] win, and we will prepare for tomorrow.”
Force delivered a magical moment on Sunday, breaking both ends of the track record at Indy with an incredible run of 3.640s at 337.75mph in his Monster Energy dragster. It gives Force, the current points leader, her seventh No. 1 this season and her 39th in her career, but this one is certainly special for the former world champion. She is behind the first US Nationals of her career, opening eliminations against Dan Mercier in what also ended up being the fastest qualifying field in NHRA history. Mercier qualified 16th with 3.758 at 318.99 mph, while Force will be attempting her fifth victory this season.
“This is definitely a big one for this Monster Energy team,” said Force. “This is the most important race of the season; It is the race that everyone wants to win. There is an additional motivation that comes into play. It’s Indy and everyone wants to accomplish something here. That was an amazing race, especially as we battled every lap and then finally figured it out. It was exceptional. So to be a part of the fastest field in NHRA history and to be a part of that with 25 cars is pretty incredible. That’s history and we want to make our mark, so to come here to Indy and take No. 1, we’re excited.”
Justin Ashley secured second place with a run of 3.671 s at 335.32 mph, which momentarily set the speed record on Sunday, while Steve Torrence is third with his 3.692 s at 329.02 mph.
Pro Stock’s Anderson concluded his third consecutive No. 1 qualifier this season on the strength of his 6.567s at 208.10mph on Saturday in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. He is part of a great run for the defending world champion, who is seeking his first win of the season. He will start race day against Fernando Cuadra Sr. and has one goal for Monday: get his 100th career victory from him. Doing so in the world’s biggest endurance race would be that much sweeter for Anderson, who is also trying to earn his seventh win at Indy and first at the track since 2011.
“It’s nice to have a race car that can win again,” Anderson said. “We were not up to the first [handful of] racing but we are back. We are climbing the ladder and we know we can win again. Now, we just have to put it all together on Monday. The driver has to act together and do a good job. Everyone in this class is killer. Indy is a marathon, so you have to learn to save a little for Monday. Now, it’s just a question of who can bring the biggest gun tomorrow.”
Anderson’s KB Racing teammate Dallas Glenn took second place after going 6.578s at 207.72 mph, while points leader Erica Enders finished third in 6.582s at 208.97 mph. Enders has won the last two races at Indy.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Sampey maintained his No. 1 spot since Saturday, posting his fourth-best qualifier of the season thanks to his run of 6.796s at 199.88mph on his Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. It’s also No. 57 in his career No. 1 rankings for Sampey, who will try to win the US Nationals for the first time in 20 years. That would cap off a stellar weekend for Sampey, who is seeking his third Big Go victory. She will face Ron Tornow to open eliminations.
“The last two races today were good, and we feel confident going into tomorrow,” said Sampey, who has seven career No. 1 finishes at the US Nationals. we are capable of winning this race if I can keep my composure. I’m going to give it my all and I just want to win the race. But I need to do my job in the first round and that’s where I need to keep my focus. I am so comfortable on this bike.”
Defending world champion Matt Smith rode the best two races on Sunday and finished second at 6.800 at 201.16 mph, while Krawiec’s 6.826 at 198.79 mph from earlier in the weekend put him third. Points leader Joey Gladstone qualified seventh.
Eliminations for the prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA US Nationals begin at 10 am ET Monday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.