Ron Capps powered to the early No. 1 spot in NHRA Midwest Nationals qualifying. (NHRA Photo)
Ron Capps powered to the early No. 1 spot in NHRA Midwest Nationals qualifying. (NHRA Photo)

Capps Powers To Early No. 1 At Midwest Nationals

MADISON, Ill. – Funny Car points leader Ron Capps powered to an impressive run on Friday, racing to the provisional No. 1 spot at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Mike Salinas (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 16th of 20 races during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the third race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Looking for his second world championship, Capps put together a pass of 3.888 seconds at 332.59 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, running side-by-side with Don Schumacher Racing teammate and defending world champ Matt Hagan during Friday’s lone qualifying session. It was a thrilling side-by-side run, as Hagan, who is second in points, went 3.889 seconds at 332.75 mph. If it holds, it would give Capps the top spot for the fifth time this year and 30th time in his career.

“That felt great,” said Capps, who has four wins at St. Louis. “You’re always going to have to go through Hagan and that run was a sign of things to come. I saw his flames beside me and my car was just hauling the mail. Man, 332 mph is great. We haven’t done that in a while. We’ll take it. It’s going to be a lot of fun these next few races.”

After Hagan, young driver Bobby Bode is third after a career-best pass of 3.891 seconds at 322.04 mph. Robert Hight and Tim Wilkerson round out the top five with runs of 3.902 seconds and 3.905 seconds, respectively.

In Top Fuel, Salinas made a tremendous run, far outdistancing the rest of the field after going 3.652 seconds at 327.74 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Scrappers Racing dragster. Should it hold, it would give Salinas his first No. 1 qualifier of the year and seventh in his career as he also seeks his first victory of the season. Currently eighth in points, Salinas has advanced to one final round in 2021. He was the only driver to run in the 3.60s, with three-time defending world champ Steve Torrence currently in second after an impressive run of 3.702 seconds at 328.30 mph. After winning eight times in the regular season, Torrence is after his first victory in the playoffs.

His father, Billy, is third following his run of 3.717 seconds at 330.96 mph. Points leader Brittany Force is in the 16th spot after the first session, going 5.620 seconds at 116.81 mph.

Looking to make Pro Stock history this weekend in St. Louis, Anderson got off to a great start on Friday, jumping to the top position with a run of 6.536 seconds at 209.65 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro. If it holds, it would give the Pro Stock points leader his ninth No. 1 qualifier this season and 115th in his career. Of course, Anderson is also after his fourth win in 2021, which would give him 98 career wins and the all-time record in Pro Stock.
While he jumped to No. 1, there were plenty of standouts right behind, as Kyle Koretsky, who won last weekend in Charlotte by beating Anderson in the final round, went 6.538 seconds at 210.28 mph to follow up his first career Pro Stock win. Defending world champ Erica Enders is currently third after her run of 6.545 seconds at 209.49 mph.

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