Ron Capps raced his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to his fourth consecutive Funny Car victory this season Sunday at the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Park Topeka.

Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective categories at the eighth event of 24 on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series schedule.

Defending world champion Capps raced to a 3.924-second pass at 321.42 mph to defeat teammate and No. 1 qualifier, Matt Hagan, in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car. Capps is the first driver since Robert Hight in 2012 to have four consecutive wins in a single season.

“I’m just the luckiest dude in the world,” Capps stated. “I had nothing to do with it I just stepped on the gas at the right time and held the car together in the right lane. We’ve won a championship for a reason and we’ve won four in a row together for a reason. Everyone just gels together.”

Capps battled past Cruz Pedregon, Courtney Force and Robert Hight en route to the finals. Hagan, who set both ends of the national record on Saturday with a pass of 3.802 at 338.85, squared up against Jack Wyatt, J.R. Todd and teammate Jack Beckman before falling to Capps in the final round.  

In Top Fuel, three-time and defending world champion Brown raced to his first career victory at Heartland Park Topeka, second of this season and 63rd of his career in his Matco Tools dragster. His pass of 3.709 at 332.75 defeated the losing pass of 3.836 at 256.70 of Steve Torrence in his Capco Contractors dragster.

“The competition has been so tight that you have to run these cars on edge every lap,” Brown said. “We kept our head down and stayed poised. We went out there and raced our hearts out. It feels real good to win here at Topeka. I’ve been wanting to win here for so long.”

Before entering the final round, Brown defeated Kebin Kinsley, Shawn Langdon and teammate Leah Pritchett. Torrence piloted his dragster past Mike Salinas, Brittany Force, who set the national speed record of 333.96, and Clay Millican to make it to his fourth final round appearance this season.

In Pro Stock, Gray clenched the second Wally of his rookie season when Jeg Coughlin Jr. red lit during the final round. Gray powered his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.580 pass at 210.87.

“I felt like I was pretty consistent all day,” Gray stated. “My guys gave me a great racecar. I definitely wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for them. They put a lot of hard work into this new car. There’s no doubt we have a championship caliber team.”

Gray raced past Drew Skillman, Greg Anderson and Vincent Nobile before entering the final round. Coughlin Jr. defeated Deric Kramer, Alan Johnson and the No. 1 qualifier Bo Butner on his way to the finals.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals June 2-4 at New England Dragway.

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Matt Hagan raced his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T to the No. 1 Funny Car qualifying position at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Park Topeka.

Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the eighth event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Hagan set both ends of the national record during the Saturday’s first round of qualifying with a pass of 3.802-seconds at 338.85 mph. This is his 28th career No. 1 qualifying position and second of the season.

“We had an amazing hot rod,” Hagan stated. “It’s pretty amazing. This is about as extreme as it gets. 338 miles per hour with a steering wheel in your lap is craziness. We’ve got the conditions, the parts and pieces and the power and the crew that is doing a great job out there. It’s just cool to go out there and get it done.”

Hagan will go against Jack Wyatt in the first round of eliminations.

Courtney Force qualified second in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro with a pass of 3.815 at 335.23 and teammate Robert Hight took third in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS.

In Top Fuel, Schumacher set the track E.T. record with a pass of 3.660 at 327.90 in his U.S. Army dragster. This is his 83rd No. 1 qualifier of his career, third of the season and second consecutive.

“I think we have a great team,” Schumacher said. “The confidence levels are high. I think we struggled in the last couple of races, to be honest, even though we pulled a few No. 1’s off. We’re just getting it figured out."

Schumacher’s teammates Leah Pritchett took second in her Papa Johns dragster and three time world champion, Antron Brown, is third in his Matco Tools / U.S. Army dragster. Brown set the national speed record of 333.16 early Saturday afternoon.

Schumacher will face Pat Dakin in the first round of eliminations. Pritchett will square up against Rob Passey at the line.

In Pro Stock, Butner has back-to-back No. 1 qualifying positions this season with a run of 6.540 at 210.70 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro. Teammates Jason Line and Greg Anderson followed behind placing second and third, respectively. KB Racing last saw a one, two, three line up at Pomona 2 last season.

“I definitely think my crew hit it that time,” Butner said. “As long as the KB team supports us and as long as those cars are one, two and three; that’s all we care about. We are a very good team and we’re all very supportive of each other.”

Butner will line up against Mark Hogan in the first round of eliminations.  Line will see David River at the starting line.  

Eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Park Topeka.

Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented Minties at Heartland Park Topeka, the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel -- 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.660 seconds, 327.90 mph  vs. 16. Pat Dakin, 9.380, 68.09; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.667, 330.23  vs. 15. Rob Passey, 8.930, 74.26; 3. Antron Brown, 3.671, 333.16  vs. 14.Kebin Kinsley, 4.205, 204.23; 4. Brittany Force, 3.674, 332.43  vs. 13. Luigi Novelli, 3.998, 283.61; 5. Steve Torrence, 3.677, 331.20  vs. 12. Mike Salinas, 3.828, 307.51; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.700, 328.38  vs. 11. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.809, 321.73; 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.711, 329.75  vs. 10.Scott Palmer, 3.780, 325.85; 8. Clay Millican, 3.727, 327.03  vs. 9. Terry McMillen, 3.754, 326.63.

Funny Car -- 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.802, 338.85  vs. 16. Jack Wyatt, Dodge Stratus, 4.530, 227.46; 2. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.815, 335.23  vs. 15. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.522, 200.59; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.826, 337.66  vs. 14. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala, 4.065, 309.98; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.844, 331.77  vs. 13. Chad Head, Toyota Camry, 3.963, 328.14; 5.Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.847, 331.61  vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.946, 327.19; 6. John Force, Camaro, 3.850, 332.59  vs. 11. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.915, 320.81; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.861, 325.22  vs. 10. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.886, 326.24; 8. Brian Stewart, Mustang, 3.872, 328.38  vs. 9. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.875, 332.34.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Jim Campbell, 6.181, 113.28.

Pro Stock -- 1. Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.540, 210.70  vs. 14. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.791, 202.52; 2. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.547, 210.44  vs. 13. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 6.781, 203.77; 3.Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.558, 210.24  vs. 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.677, 207.46; 4. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.561, 210.54  vs. 11. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.622, 207.98; 5. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.569, 209.62  vs. 10. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.583, 210.11; 6. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.569,209.62  vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.582, 210.11; 7. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.573, 210.08  vs. 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.581, 210.24.


Robert Hight is the current No. 1 qualifier for Funny Car after only one qualifying session due to inclement weather at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Park Topeka.

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) are also current No. 1 qualifiers at the eighth event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Hight powered his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car to a 3.826-second pass at 337.66 mph to set the national speed record for the category during the lone qualifying session of the day.

“We just had killer conditions today,” Hight said. “You always run big records, big speeds and big E.T.’s here in Topeka. The racing surface is unbelievable.  We’ve been creeping up on this for a while; it was just the perfect storm today.”

Current world champion Ron Capps is in second after his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T ran a pass of 3.870 at 325.22. Matt Hagan is third with a 3.885 at 332.51 run in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T.

Torrence leads qualifying with his run of 3.682 at 328.54 in his Capco Contractors dragster. He is coming off back-to-back wins at Charlotte and Atlanta.

“With the weather conditions that we have here it was very imperative to go out and make a good lap,” Torrence stated. “We saw quite a few cars go out and smoke the tires and knew the conditions were going to be conducive to go out and run well.”

Brittany Force and the Monster Energy dragster are second with her pass of 3.730 at 392.02 and three-time world champion Antron Brown is third with a 3.748 at 326.87 run in his Matco Tools dragster.

Butner holds the Pro Stock top spot after running a 6.613 at 207.78 in his Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro. He most recently won at Atlanta and is currently second in points.

“We’ve had a good run,” Butner said. “I’ve had a good car and a lot of great support, but our Camaro is fast.”

Jeg Coughlin Jr. in his JEGS.com / Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro is in second with a 6.616 at 207.62 and veteran Greg Anderson ran a 6.632 at 207.21 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro for third.

Qualifying for the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties continues at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Saturday at Heartland Park Topeka.


 1 5150  GT/EA Jason DeForrest, Andover MN, '05 Cavalier  9.143 10.10  -0.957
  2 5600  SS/AS Michael Mans, Rogers MN, '00 Firebird      8.667  9.60  -0.933
  3  540  FSS/L Curtis Hieb, Chamberlain SD, '10 Mustang   9.922 10.80  -0.878
  4   57  GT/EA Robert Cruzen, Cleveland OK, '06 Cobalt    9.225 10.10  -0.875
  5    7  GT/LA Brett Speer, Pierz MN, '89 Camaro         10.202 11.05  -0.848
  6 5942  FSS/B Ryan Montford, Wichita KS, '16 Camaro      8.360  9.20  -0.840
  7 4701  SS/KA Jason Stoll, Frederick OK, '88 Firebird   10.412 11.25  -0.838
  8 5270   GT/M Tim Nicholson, Concordia KS, '66 Chevy II 10.130 10.95  -0.820
  9 598X  SS/JA Tyler Wudarczyk, Wakarusa KS, '88 Camaro  10.201 11.00  -0.799
 10 5517  GT/GA Justin Jenkins, Beatrice NE, '09 Cobalt    9.604 10.40  -0.796



1  543   FS/D Craig Maddox, Sidney NE, '10 Challenger    9.359 10.60  -1.241
  2 J529   P/SA Jackie Olson, Ipswich SD, '86 GMC         12.396 13.45  -1.054
  3  520   FS/D Tyler Cassil, Belton MO, '14 Camaro        9.553 10.60  -1.047
  4 4311   FS/C Jeff Lopez, Irving TX, '16 Camaro          9.274 10.30  -1.026
  5 4446   B/SA J. Allen Sherman, Donaldsonville LA, '00  10.288 11.25  -0.962
  6 5942   FS/C Ryan Montford, Wichita KS, '13 Camaro      9.347 10.30  -0.953
  7 5016   H/SA Steve Scherschligt, Tea SD, '73 Satellite 11.207 12.15  -0.943
  8 2221   H/SA Richard Mace, Jacksonville FL, '90 Corvet 11.271 12.15  -0.879
  9  308   FS/C Robin Lawrence, Rockfield KY, '17 Camaro   9.423 10.30  -0.877
 10   59   K/SA Rachelle Thibert, Louisburg KS, '81 Malibu11.785 12.65  -0.865





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