The highlight of this year’s Woodward Cruise took place in Pontiac, Michigan, where the famed avenue was converted to a legal drag strip by Dodge on Friday night. Part of the second “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge” event, it built on last year’s Pontiac Silverdome event.
Woodward Avenue, or Highway 1, was closed to normal traffic for nine hours of drag racing, with a total cash purse of $19,000. Over 30,000 people showed up, three times last year’s showing. Over 350 street-legal cars ran down the 1/8-mile strip between Rapid Street and South Boulevard, and over a thousand took part in the car show.
People also lined up for thrill rides in Dodge Charger SRT Hellcats, Challenger SRT Hellcats, and Dodge Vipers on a drifting course with professional drivers.
Mike Moran won the top cash prize, $10,000, when his 1969 Dodge Charger won a grudge-style drag race; his Charger is powered by a 5.6-liter (around 340 cid) twin turbo second-generation Hemi V8.*
More will be added when our full writeup/video feature is posted.
* Information from FCA.
Despite a semifinal-round loss to Matt Hagan, Ron Capps clinched the No. 1 spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship. Capps finished the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals 215 points ahead of No. 2 Courtney Force, making it mathematically impossible for anyone to top his total, which now stands at 1,413 points.
Hagan made it to the final round but tire shake cost him the win in his race with Del Worsham, the 2015 Funny Car champion, who picked up his first Wally of the 2016 season.
Worsham’s win jumped him to the No. 3 spot in the standings, dropping Jack Beckman and Hagan to fourth and fifth, respectively.
Tommy Johnson Jr. clinched a berth in the Countdown. He’s currently No. 8 in the points race. All four Don Schumacher Racing drivers are now in the hunt for the Funny Car World Championship.
Dodge has now collected nine of the 17 Funny Car Wallys that have been awarded this season.
In Pro Stock, Erica Enders made it to a semifinal-round matchup with Jason Line. Enders got the best start and had the lead for most of the race, but Line caught up at the end, tripping the lights 0.0017 seconds, or about six inches, ahead of Enders.
Enders eliminated Allen Johnson in the first race of the quarterfinals.
Enders’ Sunday performance jumped her up to ninth in the point standings, 13 points ahead of Jeg Coughlin Jr. who lost to Bo Butner in the first round of eliminations.
There are two Countdown spots open in Top Fuel Dragster and Leah Pritchett has one more chance to lock up one of them. She went up in smoke in the first Top Fuel matchup of the day and is now tied with Terry Millican for the No. 10 position.
It all comes down to the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis at the end of the month. The top ten drivers in each class will then have their points adjusted based on their standings and they will enter the Countdown to the Championship which kicks off with the Carolina Nationals in mid-September.
With three races left in the 2016 NASCAR Pinty’s Series (formerly the Canadian Tire Series), rookie Cayden Lapcevich and his No. 76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge have taken the points lead. The 16-year-old driver from Grimsby, Ontario, is 12 points ahead of Andrew Ranger, driver of the No. 27 Mopar Dodge.
Lapcevich leapfrogged over Ranger by collecting the checkered flag at Saturday’s Bumper To Bumper 300 at Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Allen Johnson is the fourth Pro Stock driver, and the first Dodge Dart driver, to clinch a berth in the 2013 NHRA Countdown to the Championship, a six-event series that will determine the World Championship. His third-place qualifying run put him in his (and Dodge’s) best position in the 2016 Pro Stock season.
Mopar-sponsored Erica Enders finally passed Alex Laughlin in the point standings to enter the top ten, and will join Johnson and Jeg Coughlin in this year’s Pro Stock Countdown if she maintains her place.
Ron Capps collected his 50th Funny Car Wally by outrunning Del Worsham. The race, which took place in the third round of qualifying on Saturday, was the rain-delayed final round of the Northwest Nationals. This was also Capps’ fifth win of the season and the tenth victory for Dodge. Capps is second only to John Force in total Funny Car wins.
Matt Hagan set a new national ET record and a new track speed record in his matchup with Courtney Force. Hagan’s pass of 3.822 seconds at 333.82 mph put him at the top of the order.
Tommy Johnson Jr. and Jack Beckman qualified in the third and fourth positions with identical ETs. Johnson’s pass was faster by 1.74 mph and he took the better spot. Capps was 0.007 seconds behind Johnson and Beckman, taking the No 5 spot.
Johnson is now the only Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car driver who has not clinched a spot in the Countdown. Given a decent showing in today’s eliminations, Johnson should secure his spot this weekend.
John Hale (Dodge Charger) made the field in all four rounds of qualifying from Friday and Saturday. Leah Pritchett qualified in the top half of the field, taking the No. 8 spot.
Saturday’s Mid-Ohio NASCAR race had two Dodges, but neither was a factory effort; they were privateers running older Dodge racing cars. The race winner and holders of nine of the top 13 places was Chevrolet, with Ford coming in #3 and #11, and Toyota at #6 (there were 40 cars racing, most of which were Chevrolets, with seven Fords, seven Toyotas, and two Dodges).
The 13th-place car was driven by an Israeli, Alon Day, who gained 28 points; the 33rd place Dodge was run by Roger Reuse, who gained eight points. Both ended the race still running. Four cars were eliminated due to accidents and two (a Chevrolet and Toyota) due to breakdowns.
24-year-old Alon Day was the first Israeli to start in a NASCAR national series race. He drove the #40 MBM Motorsports Dodge Charger, whose previous best effort this year was 30th place at Talladega. He said that the rain gave him an advantage. Day came in second place, overall, in the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series; he said that their further race participation depended on finding sponsorship.
Roger Reuse started racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2014, at the age of 47. This was his first start for the year. He is vice president of Alabama Controls, which sponsored his run, and has run a Dodge Challenger and a Chevy Camaro in his four NASCAR races. Thanks, John Cressy.
Ron Capps made it to the Funny Car finals at today’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals, but came up 12 feet short in his matchup with John Force, who has now won two of the three Western Swing events.
Capps is still looking for his 50th Wally. He has made it to the finals seven times this season, coming away with the win four times. Both figures are best-in-class.
Capps, who remains the points leader, became the first Funny Car driver to clinch a spot in the six-event Countdown to the Championship. Courtney Force, who made it to the semifinals, became the second. Jack Beckman, the only other Funny Car driver to accumulate more than 1,000 points, should be next. He remains in third place following his loss to Del Worsham in the quarterfinals.
Matt Hagan fell to Capps in the quarterfinals and dropped from fourth in the point standings to a tie with Robert Hight for sixth place. He is one point behind John Force for fifth. Hagan did set a new track speed record of 330.15 mph during the second round of qualifying on Friday.
John Force’s win and the shifts that followed dropped Tommy Johnson Jr. from seventh to eighth.
With three events left in the regular season, all four Don Schumacher drivers look to be in good shape for the Countdown. Dodge still has the lead in the trophy count with eight.
Allen Johnson remains the top Dodge driver in the Pro Stock standings. Johnson shut down Aaron Strong in the third race of the day and was the only Dart driver to advance beyond the first round. In the quarterfinals, Johnson had a strong start in his race against Shane Gray but developed severe tire shake and had to push in the clutch.
Johnson remains fourth in the Pro Stock points competition where he trails Bo Butner. Butner widened the gap a bit by making it to the finals where he lost to Greg Anderson. Anderson took the lead in the driver standings: he leads Jason Line by four points.
Jeg Coughlin is the only other Dodge driver in the top ten he is still in ninth place following a first-round loss to former Dodge driver Chris McGaha.
Erica Enders is still just outside the top ten. She has three events to overtake Alex Laughlin for the No. 10 spot and a chance for a third championship.
Leah Pritchett, who has one Top Fuel Wally to her credit this season, lost to Tony Schumacher in the first race of the opening round. Pritchett got the better start but Schumacher had made up the difference by the time they passed the Christmas tree.
Pritchett is still in the chase for a Countdown berth; she is in tenth place.
The world’s most famous drag racing exhibition car, the Hemi Under Glass, has a new driver, Mike Mantel, who will take over the driving honors from Mopar Hall of Fame inductee Bob Riggle.
Bob Riggle started working for George Hurst in 1964, working on the Hairy Olds and the Hemi Under Glass; he got behind the wheel in 1966 after the original test driver, Wild Bill Shrewsberry, left to pursue his own project – the LA Dart.
The Hemi Under Glass was one of the first race cars to be fitted with the powerful 426 Hemi, nestled under the huge rear glass of a 1968 Barracuda. The tremendous power and traction led to full quarter mile wheel-stands, and a legend was born.
When Riggle appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno called the car the king of the wheelstanders and one of his all time favorite cars. He got a ride with Riggle, but a poor track surface and short shutdown area led to a roll-over crash – fortunately, both Jay Leno and Bob Riggle were uninjured.
Riggle selected Mantel to take over the Hemi Under Glass because “he is a talented driver who will take the brand into the future and entertain generations to come.” The run that helped seal the deal for Mantel was in a Dodge Ram – below.
Mantel becomes only the third driver in the 51 year history of this American icon. He will soon pilot the ’68 Cuda that Riggle made his final run in, and there is talk of an updated version of the Hemi Under Glass using a Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
Allen Johnson picked up the first Pro Stock win for the Dodge Dart in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello drag racing season.
Johnson’s Marathon Oil Dodge Dart was first to trip the lights, beating former teammate Vincent Nobile’s Camaro.
Click here to watch the winning run.
Not only is this the first Dart victory, it is also the first time this season that neither Greg Anderson nor Jason Line has made it to the finals. Johnson took out Anderson in the semifinals while Line jumped the gun and gave Nobile a free pass.
Johnson also won the last Pro Stock Wally for Dodge at the NHRA Finals in Pomona last year. It was also the last Wally for a car with a carbureted engine.
This is the tenth consecutive Pro Stock final round appearance for Johnson at the Mopar Mile High Nationals. That’s a national record. Johnson now has collected his seventh Denver Wally.
Erica Enders and the Mopar/Elite Dart had their best showing of the season. Enders was the top qualifier in the first three rounds, giving up the top spot by 0.007 seconds to Alex Laughlin in the final round of qualifying. Enders made it past the opening round of eliminations before losing to Johnson in the quarterfinals.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. fell to Nobile in the first race of the day. Other first round Dart casualties were Alan Prusiensky, who lost to Enders, Enders’ husband, Richie Stevens, who was driving one of two American Ethanol/Novozyme Darts, and Deric Kramer, who was driving a second American Ethanol Dart. Stevens lost to Bo Butner and Kramer was eliminated by Jason Line after Kramer led the race for the first 1,000 feet.
Johnson remains in fourth place in the standings but trimmed Bo Butner’s lead to just 70 points. Coughlin is still holding on to ninth. Erica Enders now need to make up just eight points on Alex Laughlin to get into the Countdown to the Championship and she still has four events to make it happen.
It was a good thing that Johnson won in Pro Stock; breaking a string of seven consecutive Funny Car victories, not a single Charger made it to even the semifinal round. That’s just the third time in 2016 that a Dodge was in the semifinals.
Jack Beckman was the first out, losing to Ron Capps in the first round. John Hale and the Huberto’s Lemonade Charger beat Alexis DeJoria in a glide-fest after the engines in both cars went silent at the halfway mark.
The quarterfinals were where the Dodges met their Waterloo. It was four up, four down as John Force ended Matt Hagan’s race day in the opening matchup. Next, Courtney Force eliminated Tommy Johnson Jr. on her way to the final round. Robert Hight crossed the finish line 85 feet ahead of Hale and Capps hazed the tires in a losing effort against Del Worsham.
In the end, it was Force vs. Force with the 67-year-old patriarch of the clan claiming his 144th Wally. Force hadn’t won a national event since June of 2015.
Ron Capps still has the lead in the points but Forces’ runner-up jumped her into second place with Beckman dropping to third, trailing by 22 points. Matt Hagan’s lead in fourth place is now just four points ahead of Robert Hight and Del Worsham who are tied for fifth. Tommy Johnson Jr. fell to seventh in the standings.
In Top Fuel Dragster, Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher finally broke a losing streak that went back to the Route 66 Nationals in July last year. Schumacher’s HEMI-powered U.S. Army dragster outran Antron Brown’s Matco car, bringing home his 82nd Wally. Schumacher remained fifth in the points.
Leah Pritchett’s first outing under the Mopar banner didn’t go quite as well. She hazed the tires in her opening-round race with Shawn Langdon and remains tenth in the driver rankings.
In yesterday’s Northeast Gran Prix at Lime Rock, Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and the No. 33 Dodge Viper GT-R finished third behind two Audi R8 LMS cars. They remain fourth in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship driver standings.
The Petty’s Garage Car Show, a special cruise-in event, is scheduled for Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1 at the Petty Level Cross compound, 311 Branson Mill Road in Randleman, North Carolina.
The event is presented by the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI), the lift manufacturers’ trade association.
The evening of September 30 there will be a VIP cookout on the grounds of Reverie Place, Richard Petty’s ranch. Tickets for the cookout are $25 per person for ages 11 and up and just 200 tickets are available.
On Saturday, Petty’s Garage gates will open at 8:00 AM on Saturday and remain open until 1:00 PM. The Richard Petty Museum will open at 9:00 AM. The Museum features trophies, cars and memorabilia from the King’s legendary NASCAR career. Younger visitors will enjoy a special exhibit with Mr. and Mrs. The King and the Hudson Hornet from the movie, Cars. There is no admission charge for the Saturday events.
According to ALI president Bob O’Gorman all makes, models and ages of cars are welcome. There is no pre-registration required and no charge to participate. The first 200 show cars to arrive will be eligible for the People’s Choice Award. Judging runs until 11:00 AM.
For tickets to the VIP dinner, visit tiny.cc/pettycruisein or call (336) 495-6602.
Art Chrisman, one of the fathers of NHRA drag racing, passed away following a long illness at the age of 86.
Chrisman was the first to hit 140 and, later, 180 miles per hour. He made the first pass at the 1955 Nationals in Great Bend, Kansas, the first-ever NHRA national event, and came in as the runner-up.
In 1958, after spending a number of years racing a Ford-powered car, Chrisman, his uncle Jack, and Frank Cannon built their famed Hustler I dragster. They used a Chrysler 392 Hemi, stroked out to 454 cubic inches and a supercharger. The car, named for the Air Force’s then-new B-58 bomber, won the Best Engineered Car award at the 1958 Nationals and appeared on the cover of the January 1959 issue of Hot Rod magazine.
In February 1959, Chrisman drove the Hustler to drag racing’s first recorded 180-mph run, hitting 181.81 mph. He Chrisman continued racing until the end of the 1962 season, when he went to work as a representative for Autolite; he later founded Chrisman Auto Rod Specialties (CARS) with his son, Mike. Chrisman was inducted into the Motorsports Hall or Fame, the NHRA Hall of Fame, and the SEMA Hall of Fame.
Jack Beckman’s winless streak ended Sunday as he made a clean pass to defeat points leader Ron Capps in the Funny Car final round at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Illinois.
Capps had a slightly quicker start and the lead until the 60-foot marker. Then the rear end of the NAPA Dodge Charger broke loose and by 400 feet down the track, the tires were smoking. Beckman crossed the finish line .5618 seconds (about 100 feet) ahead of Capps to collect the Wally and move into second place in the point standings.
Until Sunday, Beckman was the only Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car driver without a win. So, far DSR Dodge drivers have collected eight of the thirteen trophies awarded this season. Capps has accounted for four of those wins; Matt Hagan has a pair of victories and Tommy Johnson Jr. and Beckman each have one.
Hagan moved into fourth place in the points race with a strong qualifying performance and getting to the semi-finals. He went up in smoke almost immediately in his matchup with Capps. Hagan eliminated Johnson in the quarterfinals. Johnson is now in fifth place.
Alan Prusiensky did manage to qualify in his new Dodge Dart but had troubles in his opening Pro Stock race against Shane Gray. He got to the starting line but then jumped the gun and turned on the red light. The Arc Race Engine Dart definitely will get some tweaks before its next outing.
Allen Johnson, the top Dodge driver in the Pro Stock standings, qualified fifth in the order and beat Kenny Delco’s Camaro in the opening round, but fell to Greg Anderson in the quarterfinals. Anderson went on to win the event and his sixth Wally. Allen Johnson remained fourth in the points, thirty points ahead of former Dodge driver Chris McGaha.
Jeg Coughlin also made it to the quarterfinals after beating Drew Skillman in the opener. He was up against points leader Jason Line in the second round. Line got a quicker start and never trailed. Coughlin dropped from eighth to ninth in the standings.
Two-time champion Erica Enders had a new major sponsor for the Route 66 Nationals but It didn’t help. She got a quicker start than Vincent Nobile in the first Pro Stock race of the day but Nobile was ahead by 100 feet out and turned on the win light. Enders is now eight points out of the top ten with five events left to make it into the Countdown to the Championship.
The NHRA takes a one-week break. On July 22, it begins the Western Swing with the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, Colorado.
New Jersey engine builder Alan Prusiensky was behind the wheel of a new Pro Stock Dodge Dart when qualifying started Friday evening at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Illinois.
The debut was unauspicious: in his first pass, he had troubles at the start and had to push in the clutch. In his second attempt, the car had troubles before the start and Prusiensky failed to make the field, coming in dead last in the order. Since there are 17 entries and just 16 spots for Sunday’s eliminations, Prusiensky hopes for better luck on Saturday.
This is Prusiensky’s second year in Pro Stock. During the 2015 season, he ran the Dodge Avenger previously driven by Matt Hartford. He made to the quarterfinals at the Summernationals in Englishtown, and to the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk.
Jerry Haas built the 2016 Dart, but Prusiensky built his own engine. Not surprisingly, Prusiensky’s Dodge is sponsored by Arc Race Engines.
As Pro Stock welcomed a new Dart, it had to say goodbye to another. Vieri Gaines and the Kendall Dodge Dart weren’t in the running this weekend. After struggling the past two seasons, Gaines, who turned 69 last month, announced his immediate retirement from the sport. In a Facebook post, Gaines said the sole reason for his retirement was that “the fun has left this chapter in life.”
Gaines qualified for his first Pro Stock event in 1997 and picked up four Wallys over his 20-year career, the last coming in 2012. He qualified for the Countdown to the Championship in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Allen Johnson was the top Dodge qualifier in Pro Stock: he’s sixth in the order. Erica Enders qualified seventh, while Jeg Coughlin qualified ninth in the order.
In Funny Car, Ron Capps set a track ET record and claimed the top spot for the first two rounds of qualifying. Matt Hagan finished Friday at fourth in the order while Tommy Johnson Jr. and Jack Beckman took the seventh and ninth spots, respectively. John Hale and Justin Schriefer failed to qualify and will have to try again on Saturday.
The No. 77 Dodge Challenger wore its new Speedlogix livery during practice for the Trans Am TA2 race at Brainerd International Raceway, dressing up in white with green and purple stripes made its racing debut.
Louis-Philippe Montour, ranked fourth in the driver standings and the leader in the rookie of the year competition, was at the wheel, and has driven the #77 Challenger every race this season.
After qualifying 12th, the No. 77 Dodge had to retire after just 16 laps and was dead last at the end of the race. The best Dodge finish was ninth with the No. 12 Challenger driven by Cole Carlson. Until today, Montour had finished in the top ten or top five in every event.
Both cars, along with the No. 11 Dodge Challenger, are campaigned by Stevens-Miller Racing. Speedlogix has been a secondary sponsor on the three cars since the beginning of the season. They will now be the primary sponsor of the #77 car for the rest of the season while keeping their current sponsorships of the #11 and #12 cars.
Ron Capps and the NAPA Dodge Charger tripped the lights 23 inches ahead of Courtney Force, widening his lead in the driver standings and claiming the sixth consecutive win for Dodge and bringing the Charger total to seven in 12 events.
Capps was the lone Dodge driver in the Funny Car final round at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. This snapped a five-event streak of all-Mopar final rounds. Tommy Johnson Jr. could have kept the streak alive, but lost to Force in the semifinals. Making it to the semifinals was good enough to bump Johnson up two spots. Johnson is now fifth, 12 points behind Del Worsham.
Force’s final round appearance bumped her up to second, passing Jack Beckman, who went up in smoke in the opening round, losing to Alexis DeJoria. Matt Hagan also had traction troubles and lost to John Force in the race immediately following Beckman’s loss.
n Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and V. Gaines were out in the first round, losing to Alex Laughlin and Drew Skillman, respectively.
Erica Enders and Allen Johnson made it to the quarterfinals. Shane Gray ended Johnson’s race day in the opening matchup of the second round; in the last race of the semifinals, Enders had the early lead but couldn’t stop Jason Line, who went on to claim the Pro Stock Wally.
Jason Line and Dave Alexander both have such commanding leads in the Pro Stock points that they have already clinched berth in the 2016 Mello Yello Countdown ot the Championship.
Allen Johnson held onto his fourth-place position but Jeg Coughlin fell one spot, dropping from eighth to ninth.
Erica Enders and V. Gaines remain outside the top ten with six events left in the regular season.
Despite recent Chevrolet and Ford wins, Rookie Cayden Lapcevich and the No. 76 OhswekenSpeedway.com Dodge Challenger hold the lead in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. Andrew Ranger, who won the first race of the season in the No. 27 Mopar/Pennzoil/Mopar Express Lane Dodge, is the current runner-up.
Tommy Johnson Jr. scored his first Wally of the 2016 NHRA drag racing season with a hole-shot win over Matt Hagan in the fifth consecutive all-Dodge Funny Car final round at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.
Johnson was in the lead until the 330-foot mark, when Hagan began to catch up. Hagan ran out of track, hitting the lights 0.0145 seconds (about seven feet) after Johnson. That moved Johnson up two spots in points to #7, garnering him the last spot in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Dodge has now won six of eleven events.
Ron Capps was the top qualifier for the third event in a row, setting a new track ET record as well. He lost a semifinal round pedalfest with Hagan, but remains the points leader, 55 points ahead of Jack Beckman, the only DSR driver that hasn’t posted a win this year.
Hagan jumped up two positions in the standings, moving from sixth to fourth, 31 points behind Courtney Force, the points leader until Hagan began the Dodge streak at the Summernationals.
Despite track temperatures running as high as 133°, traction wasn’t as much of a factor as might have been expected. In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. made it to the semifinals until mechanical problems forced him to shut down, losing to Greg Anderson. Coughlin beat former teammate Allen Johnson in the quarterfinals and went from tenth to eighth in the standings while Johnson remained in fourth.
Erica Enders dropped out of the top ten in the points race after a first-round loss to Vincent Nobile. V. Gaines was another first-round casualty after pushing in the clutch early in his matchup with Drew Skillman.
It was another Jason Line-Greg Anderson, all-Summit-Racing final round with Line taking the Wally this time. Anderson and Line have faced each other in seven of eleven final rounds this year. Allen Johnson, Bo Butner and Chris McGaha are the only other drivers that have made the final round in Pro Stock.
For the fourth consecutive event, this time at Englishtown, New Jersey, it was an all-Dodge, all-Don-Schumacher-Racing final round at the 47th annual NHRA Summernationals.
It was the second consecutive win for Ron Capps in a Dodge Charger; Capps was also the top qualifier for the second event in a row and set a new track ET record. This is Capps’ 48th career win and the first time that he has been the top qualifier in back-to-back races.
Capps now has more final-round appearances than any other Funny Car driver this season. He leapfrogged him over teammate Jack Beckman into first place in points; remains #2.
The Funny Car final round was really a race to see which driver would be first and who would be second.
John Hale was the first Dodge driver to be eliminated, falling to Capps in the second race of the day. Tommy Johnson Jr. ended his race day with a loss to Del Worsham in the quarterfinals. In the very next race, Beckman shut down Matt Hagan, who started smoking the tires right out of the gate. Hagan remains sixth in the points tally; Johnson is ninth and Hale is number 13.
Dodges have now collected five of the ten Wallys in the 2016 season. That compares to two for Chevrolet, two for Ford, and one for Toyota.
In Pro Stock, the day started with Jeg Coughlin Jr. tripping the timing lights ahead of Erica Enders. Vincent Nobile scored an easy first-round victory over V. Gaines, who had severe tire shake at the start and had to shut down.
In the Quarterfinals, Johnson’s Dodge Dart developed its own problems, costing him his matchup with Nobile. Coughlin was the last Dart driver standing but he also had problems, losing to Jason Line.
Line went on to the finals where he got a bit too eager and turned on the red light, giving Greg Anderson a free Wally. Line and Anderson have split all ten Pro Stock trophies this season. This latest matchup left Anderson just 68 points behind Line. Bo Butner, third in the standings, is 414 points behind Line.
Allen Johnson remains fourth. Coughlin advanced a spot to the #8 position while Enders remans tenth. V. Gaines is #12.
There are no races this weekend in the IMSA/WeatherTech Sports Car Championship or Trans Am TA2. The CRS Express race at Autodrome Chaudiere was rained out and rescheduled for June 24.
Allen Johnson’s Dodge Dart made it all the way to the Pro Stock finals in the NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire.
While Jeg Coughlin, Erica Enders and V. Gaines were eliminated in the first round, Johnson shut down Chris McGaha to advance to the quarterfinals. Johnson then defeated former teammate Vincent Nobile and went on to beat Shane Gray in the semifinals.
In the final round, Johnson was quicker out of the gate but Greg Anderson was able to pass him by the 200-foot mark.
The final round appearance put Johnson firmly in fourth place in the driver standings, 467 points back of Jason Line, the current Pro Stock leader. Erica Enders is ninth in the points race, one point ahead of Coughlin. V. Gaines is in the No. 12 spot.
In Funny Car, Ron Capps hung on to win his second Wally of the 2016 Mello Yello NHRA season. His Charger tripped the timing lights seven feet ahead of Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in an all-Dodge final round. Johnson got the quicker start but Capps had the quicker, and faster, pass.
The win jumped Capps from sixth to third in the point standings.
John Hale was the only Dodge driver that didn’t advance to the quarterfinals. He lost to Matt Hagan in the opening round.
In the second round, Johnson’s Charger scored a hole-shot win over Jack Beckman, crossing the finish line 14 inches ahead of another Dodge. In the same round, the engine went dead in Hagan’s Charger, after a better start; 2015 season champ Del Worsham was able to win.
John Force fell to Capps in the semifinals while Johnson ended Worsham’s race day. Both Force and Worsham had better starts but the Dodges had caught up to the Camaro and the Camry by the time they passed the Christmas tree.
Both runner-up Jack Beckman and Ron Capps are within striking distance of current points leader Courtney Force in a tight race for the top spot. Matt Hagan is sixth in the standings while Tommy Johnson Jr. is ninth.
While the Dart has yet to win an event this season, Chargers have now racked up four victories in Fuel Funny Car, putting them at the top at the halfway point in the regular season. Chevrolet and Ford each have two Wallys while Toyota has one.
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