Capps
Ron Capps in action at Pomona. (Steve Himelstein Photo)

Capps & Smith Clinch Titles In Pomona

POMONA, Calif. — Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) both clinched world championships at the 22nd and final event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

Capps earned his second straight world title – becoming the first back-to-back Funny Car world champ in 20 years – by finishing as the runner-up on Sunday in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra. It is his third world championship, which was helped by a shocking second-round loss from Robert Hight on Sunday, who finished second overall on the strength of eight wins.

It was a thrilling conclusion to Capps’ first year as a team owner, which also included five victories and a clutch run on Saturday in qualifying to keep his championship hopes alive. Sunday also marked the only time Capps led the points all season – but it proved to be perfect timing.

“The Countdown was crazy. You think about the Funny Cars that had a chance, it just tells you the amount of competition in the field,” Capps said. “We’ve had so many amazing people around us and it’s like we don’t deserve it. I’ve leaned on some great people. Don Schumacher has been unbelievable. People like (Tim) Wilkerson, (John) Force, all these people I race against for a livelihood have checked on me and asked if there’s any way they could help me, which has been very cool. I just didn’t think this was going to happen.

“To win a championship then become a team owner and have that No. 1 on the car and then having to beat Robert Hight and his team, which has had phenomenal success here at this track, it just blows my mind that we’re here. It’s going to sink in soon.”

Smith
Matt Smith after scoring the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship. (NHRA Photo)

Smith earned his third straight world title in Pro Stock Motorcycle and sixth overall with a victory in the first round on his Denso Auto Parts Buell. It’s also the fourth in five years for Smith, who has forged an incredible dynasty in the loaded category in recent years.

The sixth championship also meant a great deal for Smith, who picked up four wins in 2022, as it ties him with Andrew Hines and Dave Schultz for the most in class history. It was the goal all season and Smith was proud to make it a reality on Sunday.

“This Denso bike has been awesome this year,” Smith said. “Angie’s had a great bike. We took my motor out from the last two races and put it in her bike because we had a shout of being one and two in points and I think we just missed it but hats off to her. She’s had a heck of a season going to three finals this year and winning the last race and then I won four races and won the championship. To be the one Pro Stock Motorcycle rider who has won every Camping World Drag Racing Series championship so far is pretty amazing.”

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