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Fourth consecutive all-Dodge NHRA finals

by Bill Cawthon on

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.

Racing-Wrap-Graphic-2016-Web

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 had a streak of 12 three-second passes going into today’s elimination rounds, but, in the opening round, ran to four seconds, still winning. He went on to post three-second times in his three remaining matchups.

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.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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