Capps Puts Dodge Hellcat on Podium at 39th Annual Southern Nationals
At the 39th annual Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, Ron Capps put his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat a top the podium in Sunday's final. Capps extended his impressive series of season wins in Funny Car with at least one win in the last eleven NHRA seasons. On his way to a matchup against Tim Wilkerson, Capps defeated Shawn Langdon, number one qualifier John Force, and his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. This was Capps third win at Atlanta and 62nd career victory.
In Saturday Qualifying, Funny Car points leader Robert Hight topped the charts in his Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS at 3.920-seconds at 328.54 mph to claim his fifth Number One qualifier in 2019. Tim Wilkerson earned his trip to the Funny Car Final Round by defeating Cruz Pedregon, Bob Tasca III, and 2019 Funny Car points leader Hight. Capps managed a solid 4.068-second ET at 315.34 mph in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to beat Wilkerson's 4.052 ET at 310.05 mph in his Ford Mustang.
Top Fuel's Steve Torrence garnered back-to-back wins at Atlanta Dragway to become the first repeat winner in the class for 2019, as there had been seven winners in seven races so far. Brittany Force beat Bob Vandergriff Racing rookie driver Jordan Vandergriff when the BVR pilot hazed his tires at the midway point, while Torrence barely eliminated BVR's Shawn Reed by .002-second after grabbing the holeshot. Torrence, whose first career Top Fuel win came in Atlanta, used his 3.863-second pass at 320.20 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to defeat Brittany Force’s 3.989 at 274.00 in a final round matchup that featured the top two qualifiers of the weekend and the two most recent Top Fuel world champions.
Five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle World Champion Andrew Hines earned his second consecutive win and his third overall for 2019 by defeating Jerry Savoie in the final round. It marked the 100th career win for Harley Davidson in the class and 51st win for Hines aboard his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines bike. With three victories at the Atlanta track, Hines knocked off Melissa Surber, Ryan Oehler and Hector Arana Jr. on his way to the final. Savoie had eliminate Cory Reed, Steve Johnson and Number One qualifier Eddie Krawiec en route to the showdown with Hines.
The NHRA defending champion in Top Fuel Dragster, Steve Torrence, extended his series lead to 96 points over Brittany Force at the 39th annual Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals. Both Robert Hight (663 points in Funny Car) and Andrew Hines (444 points in Pro Stock Motorcycle) continue to lead their respective classes after seven of 24 events. Racing action continues for the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on May 17-19 with the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.