Pritchett, Capps, Line win Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Leah Pritchett, Ron Capps and Jason Line were the winners at Brainerd, MN, with Line winning a race for the 16th straight season – a new NHRA record.
For Pritchett it was the picked up her first win of the season and eighth in her career thanks to a 3.732 at 321.04 in her MOPAR Dodge dragster, sending her past Mike Salinas in the final round. Pritchett, who earned her second career Brainerd win, beat Kyle Wurtzel, defending event winner Billy Torrence and Seattle winner Austin Prock to reach the final round.
Salinas got past Luigi Novelli, Clay Millican and Doug Kalitta to reach the final round for the fifth time in his career. Pritchett’s victory is the first Top Fuel win of the season for DSR, and the nitro double-up for the team comes a race after rival squad John Force Racing did the same in Seattle.
“I was proud to be the one to put on the final win light for DSR, and this is the perfect time to be able to get the momentum for our season,” Pritchett said. “Looking at the time sheets, we made four incredible runs and that’s something that the crew chiefs have been able to do consistently, and it’s coming together at the perfect time.
“Between the racecar that we have, the team and what we’re asking it to do, (the car) is performing beautifully, and I couldn’t be more happy.”
Capps won for the sixth time in Brainerd, going 3.946 at 324.28 in the final round in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to beat DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr.’s 3.947 at 319.98. It is Capps’ third win in 2019 and 64th of his career.
Capps beat defending world champ J.R. Todd, Jack Beckman and Shawn Langdon en route to the finals, while Johnson drove past Tim Wilkerson, points leader Robert Hight and No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan to reach his 52nd career final.
Capps fell to longtime rival John Force in an emotional final round in Seattle, a race that gave Force his 150th career win, but Capps rebounded in impressive fashion today at one of his favorite races on the NHRA circuit.
“I had my hands full today,” Capps said. “This is a race that we circle on the calendar because it’s fun, but you want to race this race and get the finishing touches on your tune-up.
“This is a crucial and they’ve done such a great job here. Both lanes are equal and you really want to have your act together leaving this race. I’m so happy we've had great success here and we had a great running car today.”
Minnesota native Jason Line won a race for an NHRA-record 16th straight season with a run of 6.597-seconds at 209.10 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro, beating Erica Enders in the final round. It is Line’s 49th career victory but his first in 2019.
It is his second career Brainerd win, but this triumph marked the first time he could celebrate at his home track, as his 2014 event win was completed in Indy after a rain delay.
No. 1 qualifier Line knocked off Wally Stroupe, Alex Laughlin and Deric Kramer to reach the final round, while Enders, beat Shane Tucker, Chris McGaha and Seattle winner Matt Hartford to reach the final.
“This is very cool,” Line said. “As we get older, you realize these moments are going to be few and far between and less chance of them happening, so it’s very special. Right now it feels special, but it’s going be feel more special later on, for sure.
“It was just a great weekend and a fun day. We had a great car and you want to win here in front of your friends and family. To see them and see how happy they are is super special. This place has been a big part of our lives.”
Final finish order at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
TOP FUEL:1. Leah Pritchett; 2. Mike Salinas; 3. Austin Prock; 4. Doug Kalitta; 5. Brittany Force; 6. Steve Torrence; 7. Clay Millican; 8. Billy Torrence; 9. Luigi Novelli; 10. Chris Karamesines; 11. Antron Brown; 12. Terry McMillen; 13. Richie Crampton; 14. Kyle Wurtzel; 15. Scott Palmer; 16. Cameron Ferre.
Final: Leah Pritchett, 3.732 seconds, 321.04 mph def. Mike Salinas, 4.066 seconds, 235.72 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 3. Matt Hagan; 4. Shawn Langdon; 5. Jack Beckman; 6. Bob Tasca III; 7. Bob Bode; 8. Robert Hight; 9. Cruz Pedregon; 10. Dale Creasy Jr.; 11. Paul Lee; 12. Tim Wilkerson; 13. J.R. Todd; 14. Jonnie Lindberg; 15. Terry Haddock; 16. John Force.
Final: Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.946, 324.28 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.947, 319.98.
PRO STOCK: 1. Jason Line; 2. Erica Enders; 3. Matt Hartford; 4. Deric Kramer; 5. Jeg Coughlin; 6. Alex Laughlin; 7. Chris McGaha; 8. Bo Butner; 9. Richard Freeman; 10. Kenny Delco; 11. Fernando Cuadra; 12. Val Smeland; 13. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 14. Wally Stroupe; 15. Greg Anderson; 16. Shane Tucker.
Final: Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.597, 209.10 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.604, 207.59.
Point standings after 17 of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
TOP FUEL:1. Steve Torrence, 1,650*; 2. Brittany Force, 1,015*; 3. Doug Kalitta, 1,013*; 4. ClayMillican, 1,009*; 5. Antron Brown, 998*; 6. Mike Salinas, 986*; 7. Leah Pritchett, 903*; 8. Austin Prock, 826; 9. Richie Crampton, 785; 10. Terry McMillen, 708.
FUNNY CAR:1. Robert Hight, 1,397*; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 1,218*; 3. John Force, 1,199*; 4. Ron Capps, 1,171*; 5. Jack Beckman, 1,098*; 6. Matt Hagan, 1,047*; 7. Bob Tasca III, 1,038*; 8. J.R. Todd, 981*; 9. Shawn Langdon, 914*; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 824.
PRO STOCK:1. Bo Butner, 874*; 2. Greg Anderson, 802*; 3. Alex Laughlin, 794*; 4. Jason Line, 774*; 5. Matt Hartford, 753*; 6. Deric Kramer, 709*; 7. Erica Enders, 697*; 8. Jeg Coughlin, 663*; 9. Chris McGaha, 581*; 10. Kenny Delco, 363.
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