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Johnson clinches series spot, Capps wins #50

by Bill Cawthon on

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.

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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