Capps and Torrence Claim NHRA Wins Atop the Points Standings
At the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters, it was another good day for the point leaders. With Mother Nature providing a hot, humid day outside the Windy City, Funny Car points leader Ron Capps was on form for Sunday's final round. Having only qualified ninth on Saturday, the driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T got on a win streak by defeating Jonnie Lindberg, Jim Campbell and Matt Hagan before lining up against Tommy Johnson Jr. in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T in the penultimate race of the 2017 event.
Tommy Johnson Jr. went into Sunday's event with a 2-1 edge over Capps in prior final round appearances. Capps won the race off the line with a .059 reaction time and a 4.026 ET at 319.67 mph compared to Tommy Johnson Jr. who ran a 4.047 ET at 319.90 mph. Johnson Jr. made up ground early before Capps pulled away for his sixth win of the season. Capps added the 56th Wally to his trophy case and set a career best having only won five times in any previous year. Capps now holds a 186-point lead over Matt Hagan with Jack Beckman 294 points behind in third.
Although Antron Brown held a 5-1 edge over Steve Torrence in previous Top Fuel finals, Steve Torrence continued his hot streak for 2017 Mello Yello title by defeating Brown by .0055 seconds, or 3 feet, at the finish. Brown had eliminated Doug Kalitta, Leah Pritchett and Clay Millican enroute to his sixth final of the year. Torrence quickly made up the .002 second advantage that Brown had leaving the start to post a 3.779 ET at 326.08 mph to Brown's 3.046 ET at 326.71 mph. It was Torrence's 13th win of his Top Fuel career and fifth of the season. The win gives the driver of the CAPCO Contractors dragster a 101-point lead over Pritchett with Brown trailing by 2 points in third.
On this weekend of close racing in the finals, Drew Skillman picked up his first Wally of the season by defeating Erica Enders by .0267 seconds at the finish with a 209.23 mph to Enders's 207.37 mph run in Pro Stock. Bo Butner has a 139 point lead in Pro Stock over Greg Anderson. The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads west as the 2017 season continues with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, on July 21-23.