Just four races into the 2022 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series season, Ron Capps has won his first Wally as an owner/driver in Funny Car competition at the Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It marks the 69th win of Capps’ career and puts him third in the points standings.
The Funny Car was simply amazing, as all four cars run a 3-second finish between them. Capps and his NAPA Auto Parts/GEARWRENCH Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat went 3.914 @ 331.20 mph, followed by Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Matt Hagan with a run of 3.924 @ 324.44 mph, with Robert Hight and Alexis Dejora closely behind. The win marked Capps’ second-ever four-wide win.
“I would sound cocky to say I expected us to win this soon as tough as Funny Car is,” said Capps. “I knew we’d have to earn it. I didn’t think it would come at a four-wide especially going in that final round to look over and see Robert and Matt and Alexis. I was speechless. It was like my first win, makes you believe that dreams are out there. In a million years I never thought I’d ever own one Wally. I still can’t believe it. Here I am, in my 50s, and living a lifelong dream.”
Matt Hagan’s runner-up finish put his TSR team into the Funny Car championship points lead. After earning the team’s first nitro win and his first career Gatornationals victory last month, Hagan followed up that performance this weekend by advancing to TSR’s third consecutive final round appearance in its first season of competition. Hagan leads the point standings by just 9 points over John Force Racing’s Robert Hight.
TSR Top Fuel pilot Leah Pruett swapped her dragster’s usual Dodge Power Brokers paint scheme for a Code 3 Associates wrap for Las Vegas to bring attention to the non-profit organization that goes into disaster areas to rescue animals and help reunite them with their owners. She kicked off the weekend with two solid pulls on Friday to earn the provisional No. 1 qualifier position with a best run of 3.741 @ 326.79 mph.
She consistently posted qualifying lap times that kept her and her Dodge//SRT performance machine among the top five in each of the four sessions, collected a total of five bonus points for her efforts, and earned the No. 3 spot on the eliminations ladder for Sunday’s four-wide battles.
Pruett powered her dragster straight down the lane to turn on her first win light of the season with a quick 0.042-second reaction time and solid 3.740-second elapsed time run @ 327.27 mph ahead of No. 11 Shawn Langdon (3.853 @ 316.01), No. 10 Doug Kalitta (4.100 @ 227.80 mph) and No. 14 Rob Passey (13.101 @ 63.28 mph).
Pruett and Langdon both advanced to the second quad to face No. 2 qualifier Brittany Force and No. 7 Steve Torrence. Pruett launched and battled hard against her competition to cross the finish with a 3.745 @ 325.69 mph run, just a hair behind Torrence’s 3.744 @ 328.46 mph lap and Force’s round-winning effort of 3.725 @ 329.58 mph, and ahead of Langdon’s 3.884 @ 294.32 mph.
Funny Car driver and team owner Cruz Pedregon took his Snap-On Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat for a 3.926-second elapsed time run @ 321.9 mph to record the quickest run of the third qualifying session, earn three bonus points and put himself in the No. 7 position on the eliminations ladder for Sunday’s main event. Pedregon staged his HEMI-powered ride alongside No. 2 qualifier John Force, No. 10 Alexis DeJoria, and No. 15 Jim Campbell for the opening stanza and powered off the start to battle Force to the halfway mark until a loss of traction dropped him out of contention for advancement to the next round.
The next race will take place from April 22nd to the 24th at Houston Raceway Park in Texas for the 35th Annual NHRA SpringNationals.