Kalitta, Capps and Enders-Stevens triumph in Houston

Doug Kalitta passes Don Garlits on Top Fuel wins.

Ron Capps raced to his second Funny Car victory of the season Sunday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals.

Capps powered past teammate Jack Beckman in the final round to earn his 44th career Funny Car victory and move into second behind John Force on NHRA’s all-time wins list in that category. In a battle between Dodge Chargers, Capps finished in 4.244 seconds at 258.32 mph, while event top qualifier Beckman trailed with a 4.480 at 205.16.

Capps defeated John Hale, Matt Hagan and Robert Hight in earlier rounds, posting a string of low 4.0-second runs on a hot and humid day at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.

“This is one of those races that when you can win it, you feel like you really earned it,” said an exhausted Capps of his third Houston win. “With the conditions that we had to drive in and tune in this weekend it feels great to get a win here. It's crazy to think that I am number two on that list. I am not that good, so it just shows you from my time with Don Prudhomme on down to my team at Don Schumacher Racing, all of the great people I have worked with over the years, it's a credit to them.”

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel, in photo above) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) also were winners at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Schumacher second

In Top Fuel, Kalitta outran longtime rival Tony Schumacher in the final round to earn his 36th career victory and his first win since last August in Seattle. Kalitta, who passed “Big Daddy” Don Garlits on the all-time Top Fuel wins list with the effort, drove his dragster to a winning time of 3.820 at 324.98 while Schumacher’s machine slowed near the finish line with a 4.014 at 225.60.

Defending Pro Stock world champ Enders-Stevens earned her second-straight victory at this event and the 14th of her career by outrunning fellow Texan Chris McGaha in the final round. She powered her Chevy Camaro to a winning performance of 6.571 at 211.73, while McGaha’s Camaro trailed with a 6.598 at 211.66. With the win, her second of the season, Enders-Stevens moved into the series points lead for the first time this season.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues May 15-17 with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga.

NHRA

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Doug Kalitta , Erica Enders
Article type Race report
Tags chevrolet, ford, houston, mello yellow