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Ron Capps defeats teammate Matt Hagan to score NHRA Funny Car win at Texas Motorplex

by Mike Haag | Posted on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

By Mike Haag, Raceday San Antonio

ENNIS, Texas – Ron Capps won the shootout over his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan in the NHRA Funny Car finals Sunday at the Stampede of Speed Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

Ron Capps. NHRA photo

Capps recorded a holeshot victory over Hagan in the final round with a pass clocked at 3.930 seconds at 326.87 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. Hagan, the defending world champ, powered his DSR Western Technical College Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the finish line in 3.919 at 328.78.

“It’s rare to beat (Hagan) on a holeshot but I just am so focused for my team,” Capps said. “There was a lot of emotion going into that round. It’s good to get a little bit of ground from third place and gain a little bit on Hagan and those guys, and it’s nice to go right to Bristol.”

The’ victory was Capps’ second this season, 68th of his career and his first win in Dallas since Spring 1998.

Ron Capps. NHRA photo

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made the mistake over the years of counting out, first of all, John Force, at anything,” Capps said. “Everyone’s been bit by that. He always seems to find a way to climb his way back in. We have Force, J.R. (Todd) and Cruz (Pedregon) breathing down our necks. Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight and I were talking, and we’ve been through this championship fight many times, but it’s never been this tight top-to-bottom. Anybody can win on any given Sunday, so it was good to gain a little bit on Hagan this weekend.”

Capps marched his way to the finals Sunday by defeating Jack Wyatt, Paul Lee and he scored a holeshot victory over Cruz Pedregon in the semifinals. With the win, Capps is now within 33 points of Hagan in the championship battle.

“(Matt) Hagan, and (crew chief) Dickie (Venables), those are my teammates and you don’t wish ill on anyone out here but I’m certain when I was leading the points a few times this year, they were hoping I would smoke the tires or we would lose early because you want to gain ground,” Capps said. So, I was hoping (Bob) Tasca would do the dirty work second round when they had Hagan, and then I thought J.R. had a good chance because they had a good running car, but Hagan and Dickie, they just kept surviving.”

Hagan, who entered the race leading Capps by 59 points in the standings, advanced to the finals for the sixth time this season and 71st time in his career by notching round wins over Dale Creasy Jr., Bob Tasca III and J.R. Todd.

“There’s a backside of a good drag race, and obviously it fell on my shoulders,” Hagan said. “Capps won on two holeshots today and obviously he was on it. We’ve got a great team and that would have been a big swing in the points direction for us (with a win) but it’s always coming down to the last deals. We’ve just got to keep digging and working hard. We’ve got a great Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, it’s responding well and it’s going to be a dog fight. It always is.”

Capps and Hagan will continue their battle Oct. 15-17 at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Capps, who finished as runner-up in the championship four times, last won the Funny Car championship in 2016. Hagan is the defending NHRA Funny Car world champion.

“I’m very fortunate to now be able to work with (Crew Chiefs) Guido (Dean Antonelli) and (John) Medlen,” Capps said. “I’ve known them for many, many years, and it’s been really fun. We have a really great race car, so I’m just trying not to be the weak link. It raises my intensity every time to not be second leaving the starting line, and to not do anything wrong, and just make sure that I do the best I can every time.”

Interview:

 

ENNIS, Texas — Final finish order (1-16) at the 36th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 17th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

  1. Justin Ashley; 2. Steve Torrence; 3. Brittany Force; 4. Josh Hart; 5. Clay Millican; 6. Billy Torrence; 7. Mike Salinas; 8. Doug Kalitta; 9. Keith Murt; 10. Krista Baldwin; 11. Alex Laughlin; 12. Buddy Hull; 13. Leah Pruett; 14. Antron Brown; 15. Shawn Langdon; 16. Joe Morrison.

FUNNY CAR:

  1. Ron Capps; 2. Matt Hagan; 3. Cruz Pedregon; 4. J.R. Todd; 5. Paul Lee; 6. Bob Tasca III; 7. John Force; 8. Robert Hight; 9. Tim Wilkerson; 10. Alexis DeJoria; 11. Jim Campbell; 12. Terry Haddock; 13. Dale Creasy Jr.; 14. Blake Alexander; 15. Jack Wyatt; 16. Jeff Arend.

PRO STOCK:

  1. Greg Anderson; 2. Chris McGaha; 3. Aaron Stanfield; 4. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 5. Erica Enders; 6. Dallas Glenn; 7. Rodger Brogdon; 8. Matt Hartford; 9. Marty Robertson; 10. Kyle Koretsky; 11. Deric Kramer; 12. Mason McGaha; 13. Kenny Delco; 14. Alan Prusiensky; 15. Fernando Cuadra; 16. Vincent Nobile.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

  1. Matt Smith; 2. Hector Arana Jr; 3. Angie Smith; 4. Steve Johnson; 5. Jerry Savoie; 6. Chris Bostick; 7. Scotty Pollacheck; 8. Angelle Sampey; 9. Andrew Hines; 10. Jim Underdahl; 11. Karen Stoffer; 12. Joey Gladstone; 13. Jianna Salinas; 14. Kelly Clontz; 15. Eddie Krawiec; 16. Michael Ray.

ENNIS, Texas — Sunday’s final results from the 36th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 17th of 20 in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Justin Ashley, 3.759 seconds, 326.40 mph def. Steve Torrence, 3.764 seconds, 321.81 mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.930, 326.87 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.919, 328.78.

Pro Stock — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.624, 206.32 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Matt Smith, EBR, 6.839, 199.08 def. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, Foul – Red Light.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Jackie Fricke, 5.204, 275.73 def. Matthew Cummings, 5.240, 271.79.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Doug Gordon, Chevy Camaro, 5.517, 267.22 def. Brian Hough, Camaro, 5.562, 262.69.

Competition Eliminator — Don Thomas, Dragster, 7.074, 178.19 def. Keith Mawhee, Chevy Cavalier, 7.777, 175.48.

Super Stock — Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Pontiac Firebird, 9.787, 135.69 def. Harvey Emmons III, Chevy Cavalier, 9.724, 129.87.

Stock Eliminator — Brenda Grubbs, Chevy Camaro, 10.018, 131.52 def. Jerry Emmons, Camaro, 10.242, 128.59.

Super Comp — Steve Evans, Dragster, 9.777, 146.65 def. Jeromy Hefler, Dragster, Broke – No Show.

Super Gas — Austin Williams, Chevy Camaro, 9.937, 166.91 def. Jerry DeBusk, Ford Probe, 9.948, 164.83.

Super Street — Scooter Wilkins, Chevy Nova, 10.945, 141.22 def. John Leibham, Chevy Camaro, 10.903, 150.90.

Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers — Jimmy Lewis, Pontiac GXP, 6.529, 192.47 def. Darian Boesch, Chevy Camaro, 7.296, 183.52.

Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers — Ross Laris, Dragster, 6.285, 183.64 def. Wayne Landry, Dragster, 6.397, 218.72.

Pro Modified — Lyle Barnett, Chevy Camaro, 5.894, 251.20 def. Justin Bond, Camaro, 5.829, 244.65.

Top Fuel Harley — Chris Smith, Weekend, 6.338, 221.63 def. David Larson, Harley, 12.460, 73.53.

ENNIS, Texas — Final round-by-round results from the 36th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, the 17th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Josh Hart, 3.755, 305.56 def. Leah Pruett, 4.230, 192.63; Billy Torrence, 3.761, 327.66 def. Alex Laughlin, 3.927, 290.63; Brittany Force, 3.703, 334.15 def. Joe Morrison, 7.811, 90.75; Mike Salinas, 3.723, 329.02 def. Krista Baldwin, 3.913, 308.28; Justin Ashley, 3.748, 319.29 def. Keith Murt, 3.862, 311.85; Steve Torrence, 3.720, 328.06 def. Buddy Hull, 4.000, 300.26; Doug Kalitta, 4.504, 187.83 def. Antron Brown, 4.556, 210.44; Clay Millican, 3.766, 327.27 def. Shawn Langdon, 4.626, 171.66;

QUARTERFINALS — Ashley, 3.755, 324.75 def. B. Torrence, 3.749, 328.86; Force, 3.710, 332.10 def. Millican, 3.734, 323.19; Hart, 3.788, 318.39 def. Salinas, 3.774, 296.05; S. Torrence, 3.752, 324.51 def. Kalitta, 5.093, 144.07;

SEMIFINALS — Ashley, 3.740, 325.30 def. Force, 3.727, 332.84; S. Torrence, 3.764, 326.40 def. Hart, 3.792, 321.19;

FINAL — Ashley, 3.759, 326.40 def. S. Torrence, 3.764, 321.81.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.916, 324.44 def. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.893, 329.91; Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.884, 331.61 def. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.019, 309.98; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.953, 304.46 def. Jeff Arend, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.951, 131.13; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.898, 324.75 def. Jack Wyatt, Charger, 4.795, 168.72; Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.898, 329.18 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.026, 307.93; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.910, 330.15 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.032, 297.29; Paul Lee, Charger, 3.954, 326.79 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.425, 272.01; J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.867, 331.36 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.886, 330.31;

QUARTERFINALS — Pedregon, 3.925, 329.10 def. Force, 4.299, 225.07; Todd, 4.796, 205.19 def. Hight, 5.955, 220.98; Hagan, 3.918, 325.53 def. Tasca III, 3.955, 331.61; Capps, 3.928, 323.58 def. Lee, 3.943, 326.95;

SEMIFINALS — Capps, 3.924, 326.56 def. Pedregon, 3.906, 327.59; Hagan, 3.904, 331.04 def. Todd, 7.983, 71.40;

FINAL — Capps, 3.930, 326.87 def. Hagan, 3.919, 328.78.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Matt Hartford, Chevy Camaro, 7.765, 187.99 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 8.147, 199.02; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.658, 206.45 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.667, 206.48; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.644, 205.82 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.671, 205.72; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.636, 205.38 def. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.664, 205.82; Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.647, 206.42 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, Foul – Red Light; Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.621, 206.01 def. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.687, 204.66; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.621, 205.94 def. Marty Robertson, Mustang, Foul- Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.640, 207.78 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.666, 205.13;

QUARTERFINALS — Stanfield, 6.674, 205.72 def. Enders, 6.655, 207.50; Coughlin Jr., 6.652, 205.38 def. Brogdon, 17.226, 39.35; Anderson, 6.680, 205.72 def. Hartford, 18.623, 29.97; C. McGaha, 6.668, 206.04 def. Glenn, 6.673, 206.20;

SEMIFINALS — C. McGaha, 6.695, 206.13 def. Stanfield, 6.690, 205.26; Anderson, 6.666, 205.51 def. Coughlin Jr., 11.055, 81.38;

FINAL — Anderson, 6.624, 206.32 def. C. McGaha, Foul – Red Light.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Scotty Pollacheck, 6.966, 194.21 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.999, 190.59; Chris Bostick, 6.909, 194.30 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.982, 190.35; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.901, 194.86 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.016, 67.58; Hector Arana Jr, 6.911, 197.19 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.066, 189.34; Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.845, 196.19 def. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.940, 195.65; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.840, 195.62 def. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.026, 191.29; Matt Smith, 6.798, 201.37 def. Michael Ray, Broke – No Show; Angie Smith, 6.935, 196.33 def. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 7.142, 198.64;

QUARTERFINALS — Arana Jr, 6.938, 193.29 def. Savoie, 6.902, 193.74; A. Smith, 6.952, 195.99 def. Sampey, 8.074, 116.13; Johnson, 6.872, 194.13 def. Pollacheck, 7.012, 192.49; M. Smith, 6.828, 199.40 def. Bostick, 6.957, 189.90;

SEMIFINALS — Arana Jr, 7.061, 192.28 def. Johnson, Broke; M. Smith, 6.882, 198.12 def. A. Smith, 7.066, 192.74;

FINAL — M. Smith, 6.839, 199.08 def. Arana Jr, Foul – Red Light.

ENNIS, Texas — Point standings (top 10) following the 36th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, the 17th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

  1. Steve Torrence, 2,473; 2. Brittany Force, 2,421; 3. Justin Ashley, 2,352; 4. Mike Salinas, 2,305; 5. Billy Torrence, 2,301; 6. Leah Pruett, 2,255; 7. Antron Brown, 2,221; 8. Clay Millican, 2,212; 9. Shawn Langdon, 2,196; 10. Doug Kalitta, 2,148.

Funny Car

  1. Matt Hagan, 2,449; 2. Ron Capps, 2,416; 3. Cruz Pedregon, 2,336; 4. John Force, 2,334; 5. J.R. Todd, 2,315; 6. Bob Tasca III, 2,291; 7. Robert Hight, 2,261; 8. Tim Wilkerson, 2,211; 9. Alexis DeJoria, 2,197; 10. Blake Alexander, 2,153.

Pro Stock

  1. Greg Anderson, 2,520; 2. Erica Enders, 2,439; 3. Dallas Glenn, 2,337; 4. Kyle Koretsky, 2,334; 5. Aaron Stanfield, 2,304; 6. Chris McGaha, 2,278; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., 2,274; 8. Mason McGaha, 2,224; 9. Matt Hartford, 2,214; 10. Deric Kramer, 2,178.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

  1. Matt Smith, 2,368; 2. Steve Johnson, 2,360; 3. Angelle Sampey, 2,315; 4. Eddie Krawiec, 2,267; 5. Scotty Pollacheck, 2,229; 6. Joey Gladstone, 2,203; 7. Angie Smith, 2,194; 8. Karen Stoffer, 2,150; 9. Andrew Hines, 2,141; 10. Cory Reed, 2,125.

 

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 33 years. In addition to covering motorsports for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 16 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike taught high school English and Journalism for 30 years before retiring in May, 2020.