NHRA U.S. Nationals Pre-Race Report

2023 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals

Driver of the Hot Wheels/NAPA Toyota GR Supra Funny Car

NHRA U.S. Nationals Event Highlights:

  • 2022 event champion and No. 1 qualifier
  • Two-time runner-up (2017, 2021)

2022 NHRA U.S. Nationals Event Recap:
Qualified No. 1; Event champion (defeated Dale Creasy Jr. in E1, J.R. Todd in E2, John Force in E3, Robert Hight in E4)

Last Event (Brainerd):
Qualified No. 1; Event champion (defeated Jim Campbell in E1, Tim Wilkerson in E2, Bob Tasca in E3, Robert Hight in E4)

2023 Statistics:
14 races; two wins, three runner-up finishes, two No. 1 qualifiers

Career Statistics:
622 races; 75 wins, 38 No. 1 qualifiers


  • Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car will sport a throwback livery paying tribute to his former team owner, Don ‘The Snake’ Prudhomme, and his legendary Hot Wheels Funny Car this weekend
    • This year marks the 50th anniversary of Prudhomme’s victory at the 1973 Indianapolis event, as well as the 10th anniversary of the ‘Snake & Mongoose’ film, which featured a cameo by Capps
    • Prudhomme will warm-up Capps’ car at 4:00 p.m. on Friday in preparation for the event’s first qualifying session
  • Returns as the defending event champion after he went wire-to-wire last year, sweeping the 2022 Indianapolis event by winning the race, the All-Star Callout, and clinching the No. 1 qualifier position
    • Capps is one of eight drivers to have qualified for the 2023 All-Star Callout field and will be looking to go back-to-back at the specialty race
  • Capps’ 2022 triumph – his first at the ‘Big Go’ – came after more than two-and-a-half decades of attempting to achieve  a U.S. Nationals win
  • The defending event champion advanced to the finals in 2021 and 2022, and is seeking his third consecutive U.S. Nationals final round appearance in 2023
  • Capps enters the event as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour after racing to victory from the pole at the NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn.
  • By advancing beyond the quarterfinals in Brainerd, Capps secured a spot to compete in the last Mission #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge of the year
  • Capps begins the weekend as the Funny Car points leader and will be looking to finish the event as the ‘regular season’ champion before kicking off his ‘Capps Trick’ playoff campaign

Fan Events:

  • Friday, Sept. 1, 12:00 – 12:30 p.m., DSR Performance Block Party benefiting Riley Children’s Foundation driver autograph session (1681 E. Northfield Dr., Brownsburg)
  • Friday, Sept. 1, 5:30 – 6:00 p.m., signing with Don Prudhomme at Toyota midway display
  • Saturday, Sept. 2, 12:30 – 1:00 p.m., #2Fast2Tasty autograph session at Mission Foods midway display
  • Saturday, Sept. 2, 1:00 – 1:30 p.m., Team Toyota autograph session at Toyota midway display
  • Saturday, Sept. 2, 2:15 – 2:45 p.m., signing with Don Prudhomme at Toyota midway display
  • Sunday, Sept. 3, 10:45 – 11:15 a.m., All-Star Callout driver autograph session at Nitro Alley Stage
  • Sunday, Sept. 3, 12:15 – 12:45 p.m., signing with Don Prudhomme at Toyota midway display

“In every sport, there’s that one iconic event, and of course for NHRA drag racing, ours would be the ‘Big Go,’ or as the locals call it, and have called it for years, ‘The Nationals.’ This will be the first time in my career that I’m going to Indy as the defending U.S. Nationals winner. To finally make it into the winner’s circle last year during my first year as a team owner was something that I never would have expected but to also sweep the weekend by winning the Callout race and the No. 1 qualifier before sharing the winner’s circle with my longtime friend and Toyota teammate Antron Brown was really special. It was just a culmination of a lot of things last year and I had my family out there too, which made it even better. I thought it would be hard to top that, but being that we’ve put together this great tribute car for Don Prudhomme and Hot Wheels this weekend, if we can finish in the winner’s circle again, I couldn’t think of anything better, especially given all of Snake’s history at this event.

“Indy has really snowballed back to being a big weekend with so many events throughout all four days, which was how this race used to be. We’ll be participating in the Mission Foods event on Saturday and the Callout on Sunday, which is a whole event in and of itself, along with the press conference of calling out who you want to race, and then of course, the Hot Wheels specialty car. It’s going to be a lot, but I’m looking forward to it. Next thing you know, it’ll be Sunday night, and it’ll be time to get some sleep and get ready for one of the biggest NHRA race days you’ll ever have in your career, and that is Monday at the U.S. Nationals. The kids are flying out again and I’m just trying to prepare myself for an epic weekend.”