Ron Capps Is NHRA Newly Crowned Funny Car Champion
Sunday was a long day for Ron Capps at the Auto Club NHRA Finals from Pomona, and it got a little bit longer when the Capps lost his quarterfinal matchup against Matt Hagan. The driver of the 11,000 horsepower NAPA Dodge Charger//SRT funny car won his opening round against Terry Haddock, which coupled with a loss by Cruz Pedregon helped his cause, but Capps had to pull for Alexis DeJoria to eliminate Hagan. Having found something special in her setup during the latter portion of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, DeJoria had to recover from Hagan’s .054 RT to post a 3.940 ET to Hagan’s 3.975 for a 321.04 mph pass. It was Capps second NHRA Funny Car World Championship having won his first title in 2016. Ironically, Capps would end his Don Schumacher Racing teammate’s bid for consecutive championships just as he leaves DSR to join the new Tony Stewart Racing NHRA team for 2022.
Torrence Seventh Driver to Claim Four Consecutive Championships
Steve Torrence became the first top fuel driver in 13 years, since Tony Schumacher did it 2008, to win at least half of the scheduled events and the seventh driver in the sport’s seventy year history to claim four consecutive championships. Moreover, Torrence has an 81.7% winning percentage with a win/loss ratio of 263 to 59 over the past five years.
The only challenger to Torrence’s bid for the championship and his eleventh Wally of 2021 was Brittany Force, who failed to claim her usual spot as Top Fuel’s Number One qualifier and was lost in the opening round of eliminations to Billy Torrence after losing traction leaving the line. In the final, Antron Brown had the holeshot with a .054-second reaction time, but Torrence had a quicker 3.759 ET for the win.
Bob Tasca III Claims Third Wally of Season at Auto Club NHRA Finals
Although he wasn’t in contention for the title at the end of the Countdown to the Championship, Bob Tasca III held the points lead in Funny Car for eight consecutive races earlier in the season. Tasca eliminated JR Todd, Jim Campbell, and John Force enroute to a final showdown against Alexis DeJoria. Auto Club was a special win for Tasca, who watched his grandfather race at Pomona when he was growing up.
DeJoria had advanced to the third final round in NHRA Camping World Drag Series this season with wins against Bobby Bode, Tim Wilkerson and defending world champion Matt Hagan. But on this day, Tasca’s 11,000 horsepower Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang funny car would lead wire-to-wire finishing with a .068 RT for 3.955 ET at 321.65 mph.
2022 NHRA Drag Racing Series
Sunday's finals from the 56th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona was the crowning event of the 2021 NHRA World Championship. The race was the final of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.