Capps, Force, But­ner, Kraw­iec vic­to­ri­ous at Maple Grove

The Boyertown Area Times - - SPORTS - NHRA Com­mu­ni­ca­tions

MOHNTON » Ron Capps powered to the Funny Car vic­tory Sun­day at the 33rd an­nual Dodge NHRA Na­tion­als at Maple Grove Race­way.

Brit­tany Force (Top Fuel), Bo But­ner (Pro Stock) and Ed­die Kraw­iec (Pro Stock Mo­tor­cy­cle) were also vic­to­ri­ous in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories at the sec­ond of six play­off events dur­ing the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Rac­ing Se­ries Count­down to the Cham­pi­onship.

Capps se­cured his cat­e­gory-best seventh vic­tory of the sea­son and 57th of his ca­reer with a 3.968-sec­ond pass at 326.48 mph in his Napa Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to take down Court­ney Force’s 3.993 at 311.70 in her Ad­vance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro in the fi­nal round. Capps re­took the points lead in the Count­down to the Cham­pi­onship with the vic­tory.

“We got lucky a lit­tle bit in the first round, but we feel like our hard work makes our own luck for us and we were for­tu­nate to win it with con­sis­tency,” Capps said. “We know this Funny Car class is as tough as it’s ever been, so we know this won’t be easy through the last four races of the year.”

Capps earned the third qual­i­fy­ing po­si­tion and took down Jim Camp­bell, 2016 win­ner of the events Tommy John­son Jr. and team­mate Matt Hagan on the way to his tenth fi­nal round this sea­son. C. Force qual­i­fied eighth and de­feated Bob Tasca III, team­mate Robert Hight and Jack Beck­man as she reached her fourth fi­nal round of the sea­son. She still with­out a win in 2017.

Brit­tany Force took down Steve Tor­rence in the fi­nal round of Top Fuel ac­tion with a 3.756 pass at 326.24 in her Mon­ster Energy drag­ster to se­cure her sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son and first since the event in Ep­ping, N.H. in June. Force has now reached the fi­nal round at Maple Grove Race­way three times in her ca­reer, in­clud­ing in 2016.

“I’m so glad to have this en­tire Mon­ster Energy team and this car ran pretty con­sis­tent through qual­i­fy­ing and on race day, so it’s be­cause of my team that we got this win,” Force said. “I’ve been to the fi­nal round here three times and got taken down in the first two, so this one was a big one for us.”

Force en­tered Sun­day as the No. 4 qual­i­fier be­fore de­feat­ing Wayne Newby, Tony Schu­macher and reign­ing world cham­pion An­tron Brown on her way to the third fi­nal round of the year. Tor­rence qual­i­fied third and was vic­to­ri­ous against Terry Had­dock, Leah Pritch­ett and Dom La­gana as he reached his tenth fi­nal round this sea­son. Tor­rence re­took the points lead with the run­ner-up fin­ish.

In Pro Stock, But­ner drove to vic­tory with a 6.613 at 209.95 in his Jim But­ner’s Auto Chevy Camaro to de­feat Greg An­der­son’s 6.660 at 206.95 in his Sum­mit Rac­ing Equip­ment Chevy Camaro in the fi­nal round. He locked down his fourth ca­reer vic­tory in Pro Stock, all four of which have come this sea­son, as he re­claimed the lead in the Count­down to the Cham­pi­onship stand­ings.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about where

we’re at, but we know there are still four more races left so we just have to keep do­ing our jobs,” But­ner said. “We had eight good runs this week­end so things kind of worked in our fa­vor this time around, and it shows how strong our team is.”

But­ner was the No. 1 qual­i­fier and con­tin­ued his strong week­end with vic­to­ries over Val Sme­land, Erica En­ders and Allen John­son be­fore reach­ing his ninth fi­nal round of 2017. An­der­son earned the sixth slot in qual­i­fy­ing and de­feated Brian Self, rookie Tan­ner Gray and team­mate Ja­son Line on the way to his ninth fi­nal round of the sea­son.

Kraw­iec rode to the Pro Stock Mo­tor­cy­cle vic­tory with a 6.852 at 196.70 on his Screamin’ Ea­gle Vance & Hines Har­ley-David­son to bet­ter LE Ton­glet on his Nitro Fish Rac­ing Suzuki in the fi­nals. He earned his fifth vic­tory of the sea­son and third con­sec­u­tive to improve his lead in the points stand­ings.

“Things are def­i­nitely on the upswing since we switched back to last year’s chas­sis, it’s been huge for me and my team at the ex­act right time,” Kraw­iec said. “We didn’t start out as strong as we had hoped in qual­i­fy­ing, but we put it all to­gether today and we’re pretty pleased with these re­sults.”

Kraw­iec qual­i­fied fourth be­fore tak­ing down Kelly Clontz, team­mate Andrew Hines and No. 1 qual­i­fier Scott Pol­lacheck en route to the fi­nals. Ton­glet was the No. 7 qual­i­fier and bested Angie Smith, team­mate Jerry Savoie and Hec­tor Arana Jr. as he fin­ished as the run­ner-up for only the sec­ond time in his seven fi­nal rounds this year.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Rac­ing Se­ries sea­son con­tin­ues with the AAA In­sur­ance NHRA Mid­west Na­tion­als at Gate­way Mo­tor­sports Park in St. Louis on Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

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