Justin Ashley and Ron Capps Win Nitro Classes at FallNationals
With flames blasting from the header pipes, the NHRA Nitro classes are the world’s fastest and quickest form of motorsports. Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters can go 0 to 100 mph in less than half a second and hit top speeds in excess of 330 mph on the 1,000-foot track at Texas Motorplex in Ennis. The all concrete quarter-mile drag racing facility was the first stadium-style venue and the track has hosted NHRA National events since 1986. Many of the legendary drivers in the National Hot Rod Association, such as Big Daddy Don Garlits as well as the Godfather of Funny Car John Force, have competed for Wallys at the Texas FallNationals.
The 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event is the fourth race in the six-race Countdown to the Championship. In conjunction with this year’s qualifying sessions, the venue scheduled special events for racing fans with the Night Lights Sky Lantern Festival, the Stampede of Speed Side Shows, Music Fest, Movie Night, and the Pro Invitational designed to give curious fans a taste of the ground-pounding excitement of an NHRA Pro event.
Capps Back on Top at NHRA Fall Nationals
Former Funny Car Champion Ron Capps had his eye on the prize at Texas Motorplex. The Don Schumacher Racing driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye made a final round pass at 3.990 seconds at 326.87 mph. Capps’ .042-second reaction time delivered a holeshot win in the fourth Countdown race over DSR teammate Matt Hagan .
The victory was the second of the 2021 season and moved Capps to within 33 points of Hagan for the Championship. In addition, it was Capps first win at the FallNationals since 1998. Hagan advanced to the final round for the sixth time during his COVID-19 shortened season and 71st time in his career. Round wins included beating Dale Creasy Jr., Bob Tasca III and J.R. Todd to the line.
Ashley Knocked Off Steve Torrence at Texas Motorplex
After Brittany Force set fast time in qualifying again, points leader Steve Torrence had to settle for Number Two qualifier and both drivers began working their way up opposite sides of the ladder. Force eliminated Joe Morrison and Clay Millican in the opening rounds of the eliminations before Justin Ashley relied on a .061 reaction time to outlast and eliminate the quicker Force.
Steve Torrence defeated Buddy Hull, Doug Kalitta, and Josh Hart enroute to a final round showdown with Ashley. Off the tree, Ashley and Torrence posted dead-even .035 RT’s but it would be Ashley with the quicker ET at 3.759-seconds for a 326.40 mph pass. At day’s end, Torrence moved one step closer to claiming his fourth consecutive world championship in Top Fuel. He leads Force by 52 points.
NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action Oct. 15-17 with the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.