Ron Capps raced his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to his third consecutive Funny Car victory this season Sunday at the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners in their respective categories at the seventh event of 24 on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series schedule.

Defending world champion Capps raced a 3.991-second pass at 317.79 mph to defeat Tim Wilkerson in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. This is Capps’ second victory at Atlanta Dragway and 52nd of his Top Fuel career.

“It’s a pinch me moment,” Capps stated. “The car speaks for itself lately. This was probably one of the more difficult race tracks to navigate. You really had to be ready for two or three different sets of bumps. It makes for an exciting run but you’re just hoping, at the same time, that your car stays in the groove. Funny Car is just getting tougher and tougher.”

Capps sailed passed J.R. Todd, 16-time world champion John Force and Robert Hight, who set the track elapsed time record with his 3.880 pass in the semifinals, en route to the victory. Wilkerson faced rookie Jonnie Lindberg, Jack Beckman and Matt Hagan before seeing Capps in his first final round appearance of the season.

Top Fuel driver Steve Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors dragster to the winners circle back-to-back races after a 3.745 pass at 320.81 to defeat U.S. Army driver Tony Schumacher. This is Torrence’s third consecutive final round appearance.   

“The racecar I have right now is the best racecar that I’ve ever had in my life,” Torrence said. “My driving is showing that I’m confident in it. The continuity of my team has what it takes to win championships. We’ve got a chip on our shoulder and a point to prove.”

Torrence pushed past Smax Smith, Shawn Langdon and Top Fuel points leader Leah Pritchett before facing Schumacher in the finals. Schumacher defeated Brittany Force, Bob Vandergriff and Doug Kalitta before falling to Torrence.

During eliminations, Pritchett set the elapsed time track record with a pass of 3.699, while teammate Brown set the track speed record of 329.91 mph.

Butner, who made his Pro Stock debut at Atlanta in 2015, powered his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro to the second victory of his career after a 6.569 pass at 211.26 that bettered two-time world champion Erica Enders.

Enders raced her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro to a 6.593 pass at 210.97 in her first final round appearance since Las Vegas 2 in 2015.

“You have to have a lot of trust in your car,” Butner stated. “I’m happy in this car and happy with this team. We’ve had the car to win with for the last year and a half. Now, it’s all just coming together and I’m doing my job.”

Butner defeated Wally Stroupe, Vincent Nobile and Jeg Coughlin Jr. before facing Enders in the finals. Enders lined up against Alan Prusiensky, defending world champion Jason Line and Tanner Gray en route to her final round appearance.   

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Tonglet raced to back-to-back wins this season after he rode his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki to a 6.843 pass at 194.35 defeating teammate and defending world champion, Jerry Savoie. This is Tonglet’s 12th career win and second at Atlanta Dragway.

“I’ve got a great group of guys behind me who get the bike back to running in no time,” Tonglet said. “To be able to go to the third race of the season and get both of ‘em (bikes) in the final round; it is just unbelievable. This won’t be the last time both bikes are in the finals and we’re going to put on a good show.”

Tonglet raced past Cory Reed, Andrew Hines and Scott Pollacheck before entering the final round. Savoie defeated Matt Smith, Hector Arana Jr. and No.1 qualifier Eddie Krawiec on his way to the finals.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties May 19-21 at Heartland Park Topeka.



Tony Schumacher raced his U.S. Army dragster to the Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying position at the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Courtney Force (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the seventh event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Schumacher earned his 82nd career No. 1 qualifier and second of the season when he piloted his dragster to a 3.736-second pass at 325.45 mph. This is the only race on the schedule that he has not secured a Wally trophy at.

“Couldn’t be happier going into racing as No. 1,” Schumacher stated. “This is the only race the trophy doesn’t sit on my shelf. I want to win this one. You go in No. 1 and we’ve got every chance in the world to win.”

Schumacher will open up the first round of eliminations against Monster Energy driver, Brittany Force. Steve Torrence took the second qualifying position after racing his Capco Contractors dragster to a 3.738 pass at 322.04. Three-time and defending world champion Antron Brown qualified third in his Matco Tools dragster.

C. Force locked in her fourth consecutive No. 1 qualifying effort and track elapsed time record of the season with a pass of 3.893 at 322.65 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro. It was the 14th No. 1 of her career.

“To have four No. 1 qualifiers in a row is pretty insane,” Force said. “Obviously our ultimate goal is to turn this green hat into a yellow one tomorrow. I think my team deserves a win after all of the No. 1 qualifiers they’ve been putting out there. Really hope we can get it done.”

Force will face Jeff Diehl in his Jeff Diehl Racing Toyota Solara in the first round of eliminations. Two-time Funny Car world champion, Matt Hagan, made a run of 3.930 at 325.45 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T to take the second spot while teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. is third.

In Pro Stock, Butner clenched his first No.1 qualifying position of the season with a run of 6.572 at 210.70 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro.  He made his Pro Stock debut here in 2015.

“It’s great qualifying No. 1,” Butner said. “I’ve been fortunate to have a good career since I started because I joined the right team which helps a lot. All I have to do is do my job and win rounds.”

Butner will line up against Wally Stroupe in the first round of eliminations. Drew Skillman drove his Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.583 pass at 209.82 for the second qualifying position. Defending world champion Jason Line qualified third in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro after a 6.585 pass at 210.24.

Krawiec raced his Screamin’ Eagle / Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.849 pass at 194.21 to secure his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 34th of his career.

“This is a big race for us, the motorcycles and all of the NHRA,” Kraweic stated. “It’s definitely a tough field out there. I think for Pro Stock Motorcycle it’s going to be a nice tight battle.  I’m confident in myself and my abilities. We just need to string it all together.”

Kraweic will face Steve Johnson in the first round of eliminations. LE Tonglet qualified second in his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki with a 6.858 run at 194.24 and will go to the starting line against 2016 Road to the Future Award winner Cory Reed.

Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Catch the action on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) beginning at 6 p.m. EST.

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh 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, 3.736 seconds, 325.45 mph  vs. 16. Brittany Force, 9.391, 70.88; 2.Steve Torrence, 3.738, 322.04  vs. 15. Smax Smith, 8.526, 62.13; 3. Antron Brown, 3.741, 326.08 vs. 14. Troy Coughlin Jr., 4.083, 199.58; 4. Clay Millican, 3.763, 318.77  vs. 13. Terry Haddock, 4.075, 251.53; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.764, 324.67  vs. 12. Chris Karamesines, 4.048, 286.50; 6. Terry McMillen, 3.781, 323.43  vs. 11. Leah Pritchett, 3.862, 304.05; 7. Shawn Langdon, 3.784, 321.19 vs. 10. Pat Dakin, 3.839, 318.24; 8. Bob Vandergriff, 3.822, 313.66  vs. 9. Scott Palmer, 3.829, 315.49.

Funny Car – 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.893, 322.65  vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 11.290, 67.99; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.930, 325.45  vs. 15. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 5.709, 120.22; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.937, 319.29  vs. 14. Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.584, 124.27; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.955, 323.97  vs. 13. J.R. Todd, Camry, 5.052, 149.22; 5. John Force, Camaro, 3.969, 307.65  vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.599, 225.52; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.974, 314.39  vs. 11. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.332, 207.27; 7. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.024, 318.77  vs. 10. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.082, 307.02; 8. Chad Head, Camry, 4.024, 312.57 vs. 9. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.026, 274.89.

Pro Stock – 1. Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.572, 210.70  vs. 16. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 7.204, 193.07; 2. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.583, 210.37  vs. 15. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.868, 201.43; 3.Jason Line, Camaro, 6.585, 210.24  vs. 14. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.773, 205.72; 4. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.590, 210.41  vs. 13. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.752, 204.26; 5. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.592, 210.31  vs. 12. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.671, 210.11; 6. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.603, 210.21  vs. 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.647, 207.98; 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.605, 210.11  vs. 10. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.628, 209.62; 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.613, 209.95  vs. 9.Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.623, 208.78.

Pro Stock Motorcycle – 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.849, 194.21  vs. 16. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.005, 190.59; 2. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.858, 194.24  vs. 15. Cory Reed, Victory, 7.004, 190.06; 3. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.864, 192.69  vs. 14. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.968, 191.57; 4.

Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.866, 194.88  vs. 13. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.951, 191.16; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.867, 194.58  vs. 12. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.928, 192.93; 6. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.867,195.34  vs. 11. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.927, 187.57; 7. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.871,193.02  vs. 10. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.906, 193.43; 8. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.893, 193.90  vs. 9. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.904, 193.16.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Melissa Surber, 7.017, 188.49; 18. John Hall, 7.079, 189.07; 19. Joe DeSantis, 7.119, 189.10; 20. Gunner Courtney, 7.176, 184.83; 21. James Surber, 7.377, 181.57; 22. Andie Rawlings, 7.870, 160.79; 23. David Hope, 9.509, 87.62.


Angelle Sampey is the current No 1. Qualifier for Pro Stock Motorcycle after a partial qualifying session due to inclement weather. NHRA officials ended racing for the day at the Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Sampey powered her Team Liberty Racing Victory Magnum bike to a 6.904-second pass at 193.16 mph during the lone qualifying session of the day.

“To leave the starting line and go straight, shift on time and stay under power all the way to the finish line was the best feeling I’ve had in a long time,” Sampey stated. “I didn’t even care where it was on the ladder, just the fact that I made a full pull on the first round. I was so excited.”

Hector Arana is second in his Lucas Oil Buell motorcycle after a 6.911 pass at 194.13. Matt Smith sits third with his Victory Gunner motorcycle.

Officials consistently worked throughout the day to dry the track but as the temperature dropped and misting continued, racing for the day was called at 6:25 p.m.

NHRA Mello Yello Series qualifying is set to resume on Saturday at 1:15 p.m.

Coverage of the Lucas Oil Southern Nationals on NHRA All Access will begin at 8 a.m. Qualifying coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) will be at 1 a.m. EST on Saturday.


1  373  FSS/C Bill Skillman, Greenwood IN, '10 Mustang   8.719  9.65  -0.931
  2    3  GT/LA David Rampy, Piedmont AL, '87 Camaro      10.226 11.05  -0.824
  3 2207  GT/HA Jeff Taylor, Sellersburg IN, '06 Cobalt    9.687 10.50  -0.813
  4   23  SS/DM Mike Crutchfield, Montgomery AL, '08 Pont  8.948  9.75  -0.802
  5  338  GT/JA Nichole Stephenson, Hillsboro IN, '90 Che 10.006 10.80  -0.794
  6  455  GT/MA Burlin Taylor, Hammond LA, '84 Camaro     10.418 11.20  -0.782
  7 3499   SS/N Gary Summers, Franklin KY, '85 Mustang    11.172 11.95  -0.778
  8    2  SS/GA Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Donaldsonville LA, '02  9.772 10.55  -0.778
  9 1972  GT/KA Greg Porter, Suffolk VA, '87 Cutlass      10.123 10.90  -0.777
 10 2093  GT/QA Bobby Dennis, Shorter AL, '90 Calais      10.977 11.75  -0.773



1 3909   FS/B Drew Skillman, Bargersville IN, '12 Musta  8.998 10.00  -1.002
  2 2040    C/S Ken Vaughn, Columbia TN, '96 Corvette     10.403 11.35  -0.947
  3  428   A/SA Kevin Helms, Schriever LA, '10 Challenger 10.147 11.00  -0.853
  4   16   A/SA Jim Boudreau, Tewksbury MA, '69 Camaro    10.172 11.00  -0.828
  5  373   FS/A Bill Skillman, Greenwood IN, '14 Mustang   8.898  9.70  -0.802
  6    9   FS/E Jeff Hairrington, Kathleen GA, '14 Mustang10.172 10.95  -0.778
  7 R210  FS/AA Richard Bierie, Acworth GA, '17 Camaro     8.626  9.40  -0.774
  8 P270   FS/H Ricky Pennington, Gardendale AL, '12 Must 10.728 11.50  -0.772
  9 1578    G/S Jim Roberts, Portsmouth RI, '69 Camaro    11.146 11.90  -0.754
 10    1   FS/C Jeff Strickland, Red Bay AL, '17 Camaro    9.550 10.30  -0.750




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