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Capps wins Funny Car Pritchett wins Top Fuel in Brainerd

by Patrick Rall on

This past weekend was a good one for Don Schumacher Racing and Team Mopar, as Ron Capps drove his Dodge Charger Hellcat to victory in the Funny Car class while Leah Pritchett got her first win of the season in Top Fuel. More importantly, with the win at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Minnesota, Leah Pritchett has now secured her spot in the Countdown the Championship in Top Fuel, joining her four DSR teammates who are locked into the championship shootout in the Funny Car class.

Leah’s Run to Win #1

We haven’t talked much about Leah Pritchett much this season here on Allpar, as she has not had a great year. This past weekend’s Lucas Oil Nationals was her first win, but she has done well enough during the season to remain in the top 10 in the championship standings, so it hasn’t been an awful season – it just hasn’t been as great as past years.

Pritchett and her Mopar-powered Top Fuel rail car qualified in the 4th spot, less than four hundredths of a second behind top qualifier Brittany Force. Pritchett beat Kyle Wurtzel in the 1st round, Billy Torrence in the 2nd round and Austin Prock in the 3rd round to square off with #3 qualifier Mike Salinas in the finals. Salinas was quicker than Pritchett in the 1st and 2nd rounds, but Leah was quicker in the semifinals, setting up a great matchup in the finals.

Leah Pritchett grabbed the early lead with a solid starting line advantage (.058 to .074) and she never looked back, running a 3.732 at 321 miles per hour while Salinas turned in a slow run after running into problems around half-track.

Again, this was Leah Pritchett’s first win of the 2019 season, but she appears to be heating up at the perfect time, with just one race left before the six-event shootout for the championship. She currently sits 7th, but she still has a real shot thanks to the points being reset for the Countdown portion of the season.

DSR Dominates Funny Car

Over in the Funny Car class at the Lucas Oil Nationals, it was a day of domination by the Don Schumacher Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat race cars. The quarter of drivers got off to a quick start, with Matt Hagan claiming his 35th career top qualifier honors with Jack Beckman in 2nd, Tommy Johnson Jr sitting 5th and Ron Capps grabbing the 7th spot in the qualifying order, placing all four of the DSR Chargers in the upper half of the ladder.

In the first round, Hagan beat Dale Creasy, Tommy Johnson Jr beat Tim Wilkerson, Jack Beckman beat Terry Haddock and Ron Capps beat J.R. Todd. In the second round, Hagan beat Bob Tasca, Johnson beat Robert Hight and in the first of three Mopar-on-Mopar battles, Capps beat Beckman.

In the semifinals, the next Mopar-on-Mopar race saw top qualifier Matt Hagan fall to Tommy Johnson Jr in a thrilling drag race while Ron Capps made short work of a struggling Shawn Langdon to advance to the finals.

In the final round, Ron Capps jumped out to a huge starting line advantage when Johnson slept on the tree (.055 to .171) and that was just too much to overcome. Johnson turned in a solid run with a 3.947 at 319 miles per hour, but with the lead on the start on a quicker 3.946 at 324 miles per hour, Ron Capps took his third win of 2019.

Funny Car Standings

With just one race to go before the Countdown to the Champion points reset, Robert Hight is in the top spot, followed by Tommy Johnson Jr in 2nd, John Force in 3rd, Ron Capps in 4th, Jack Beckman in 5th and Matt Hagan in 6th, so all four of the Don Schumacher funny cars are in the top 6 spots in the standings as we enter the shootout for the title, but with the other two spots being held by John Force Racing Camaro drivers, we should have a great battle for the title in 2019.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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