Phoenix: Saturday qualifying report

CAPPS, DIXON AND EDWARDS TAKE NO. 1 QUALIFYING POSITIONS AT PHOENIX CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Ron Capps raced to his first No. 1 qualifying performance in Funny Car in more than four years Saturday at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals. Larry ...

CAPPS, DIXON AND EDWARDS TAKE NO. 1 QUALIFYING POSITIONS AT PHOENIX

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Ron Capps raced to his first No. 1 qualifying performance in Funny Car in more than four years Saturday at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals.

Larry Dixon and Mike Edwards also will lead their categories into Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

Capps, who won the season-opening race two weeks ago in Pomona, Calif., powered his Napa Dodge Charger to a 4.023 second run at 305.63 mph to claim his eighth career No. 1 qualifying position and second at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix.

With Capps and Dixon taking top qualifying honors their crew chiefs -- Ed and Jason McCulloch -- also became the first father-son tandem to earn No. 1 qualifying honors in Top Fuel and Funny Car at the same race. Tomorrow they will try to become the first father-son crew chiefs to win the same race.

"It's cool that Ed and Jason both got No. 1s," Capps said. "It's strange to be around the two of them. They have a neat relationship, because they both have an old school, tough image. We made three pretty good runs. It would have been nice to lay down another 4.0, but you've got to look at the big picture of getting down the track consistently. I hope to keep going rounds. After that win in Pomona, I think everyone on this team remembers how fun it is and wants to do it again."

Mike Neff was second in his John Force Racing Ford Mustang with a 4.050 at 309.06, while John Force powered his Castrol Mustang to the third spot with a 4.069 at 306.53.

Defending event winner Dixon claimed his 32nd career No. 1 in Top Fuel, posting a performance of 3.807 at 313.95 in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster.

"I'm happy to see Jason get his first pole, and I think it's really neat that his dad got one, too," said Dixon. "It's great to be up here with a brand-new team. When you look at what [team owner] Alan Johnson has done over the past 15 years, not qualifying in Pomona with only one shot was just a small hiccup.

"I've watched this team dominate qualifying in the past when they were with [Tony] Schumacher. Being their driver, all I have to say is that they're really good. We ran a .82 in the third session when the next best run was a .87, and that's just amazing to me."

Six-time NHRA champ Tony Schumacher was second in his U.S. Army dragster with a 3.826 at 314.46. Pomona runner-up Antron Brown was third in his Matco Tools dragster, clocking a 3.830 at 313.80.

In Pro Stock, Edwards earned his seventh career No. 1 qualifying position with a track record time of 6.605 at 208.71 in his Penhall/Young Life Pontiac GXP.

"We worked long hours over the winter to make strides in our engine program," Edwards said. "We were behind all last year before we gradually got better. Our guys really stepped up. Greg [Anderson] has a top-notch team, and he set the bar so high that it's been our ultimate goal to get as close as we can to him.

"When you can run good, you feel like you have a chance," said Edwards, who will face Johnny Gray in the first round. "We have a chance tomorrow."

Greg Anderson was second in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP with a 6.610 at 208.94, while past Phoenix winner Allen Johnson was third overall, posting a 6.621 at 208.68 in his J&J Racing/Team Mopar Dodge Stratus.

-credit: nhra

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Greg Anderson , Allen Johnson , Johnny Gray , Mike Edwards , Mike Neff