CAPPS, BROWN AND COUGHLIN WIN LUCAS OIL SLICK MIST NHRA NATIONALS CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Ron Capps raced to his second consecutive Funny Car victory of the season Sunday at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals at Firebird International ...
CAPPS, BROWN AND COUGHLIN WIN LUCAS OIL SLICK MIST NHRA NATIONALS
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Ron Capps raced to his second consecutive Funny Car victory of the season Sunday at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway.
Capps took a single pass to claim his 27th career victory after final round opponent Mike Neff's John Force Racing Ford Mustang broke on the burnout. Capps powered his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger to an an impressive performance of 4.048 at 306.81 anyway to win for the second time at the Phoenix track.
"Neff was having one of those weekends going where they looked like they couldn't be beat," said Capps, the event's top qualifier who raced beat Jeff Arend, rookie Matt Hagan and Del Worsham to advance to the final. "They had [crew chief] John Medlen in the hospital, and we're all glad to hear that he's OK. It was one of those stories that you almost hate to upset. The start we're having to the season is what NAPA signed up for. We were disappointed with what we gave NAPA last year. This is more like it. I'm living a dream right now."
With the win, Capps increased his Full Throttle Series lead to 97 over Robert Hight and Worsham.
Antron Brown and Jeg Coughlin also were winners in their categories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Brown earned his first Top Fuel victory of the season in his second straight final round, posting a 3.846 at 310.63 in his Matco Tools dragster to hold off Brandon Bernstein, whose Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster lost traction and trailed at the finish in 5.173 at 143.54. With the victory, Brown, who raced Pro Stock Motorcycle from 1998 until 2007, moved into the Top Fuel points lead for the first time in his racing career, 42 in front of Bernstein.
Brown defeated Del Cox Jr., Morgan Lucas and Tony Schumacher before racing past Bernstein in the final.
"This just shows you how strong this team is," Brown said. "During the offseason, I looked at the guy upstairs and said, 'What is all this adversity for?' It was crazy. Then I found out that we were going to get Brian or Mark, and I had no doubt that we were going to be a good team. They took our car to another level. We were bummed in Pomona, because we had the car to beat going into the final before we had a mishap that slowed us down. The crew is getting more confident with every run. I think we're going to keep getting stronger as the year goes on."
Coughlin claimed his 42nd career victory in Pro Stock, defeating rival Kurt Johnson in the final round. Coughlin drove his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to a 6.643 at 208.01, while Johnson's ACDelco Cobalt trailed with a 6.647 at 208.46.
Coughlin moved to second in the point standings with the win, and now trails series leader Line by two points.
"I didn't realize Kurt had such a good record against us in the final, but I didn't take him lightly because he's always tough in the money round," said Coughlin, who beat Steve Spiess, Jason Line and Ron Krisher in earlier rounds. "We didn't have the best car today by any stretch, but we just kept crawling our way through them and keeping our head up. To see that win light come on in the final round with the crowd we had today and the points and the whole bit, it feels fantastic. The chips kind of fell the way they did for us to come home with the greatest achievement, and that's a race win here. You always go into race day wanting a win, but we kind of struggled with it. It seems like in my career in Pro Stock that I've very rarely had the feeling of being up front and not wanting to screw up. We just went up each time and raced hard for it."
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues with the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15 at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.