Ron Capps rocketed to the top of the Funny Car field at the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grover Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania on Friday evening with a track record 3.837 at a stunning 339.28 mph. Both marks were career bests for Capps, and the speed was the second-fastest ever clocked by a wheel-driven vehicle, behind only Robert Hight’s 339.87 mph shot at Sonoma in 2017.
“I was just hoping to get the Countdown started on the right foot,” said Capps. “I didn’t expect the right foot to be a 3.83. I felt like I almost had to pedal it that first lap, but it made it through there and put a cylinder out at about 800 feet. After seeing a couple high 3.80s and 3.90s early in that second session, (crew chief) Rahn Tobler knew there was a lot out there, and it paid off being at the back of the pack,” added Capps, who banked six bonus points for his solid Friday qualifying performance.
Capps clocked an impressive .854 short time and a 3.11 at a monster 285 mph speed to the 1/8-mile en route to the quickest Funny Car lap of the 2019 season.
“We have our new Dodge Hellcat body really trimmed out and Tobler went outside of his comfort zone since we had such a good first run. He really wanted to see what he could do if we get these conditions at another Countdown race. I knew it was going to be a handful. I knew we were on a good run and was hoping we could repeat our first session run. When they told me after the run we went 339, that was pretty neat. Any record you set now in this new track prep era is special. It means more now to run a 3.83 and to go 339 because we just don’t have the track prep and grip we used to have.”