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Capps locks up top spot; Lapcevich takes lead

by Bill Cawthon on

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.

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, 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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