NORWALK, Ohio (June 24, 2023) – For the second time this season, Ron Capps won the Mission #2Fasty2Tasty Funny Car Challenge when he defeated Robert Hight in the final round of the NHRA Norwalk Nationals edition of the specialty event.
In what was the final round of both the challenge and qualifying for Sunday’s elimination rounds, Capps raced his NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car to a winning pass of 3.887 seconds at 327.74 MPH to the losing run of Hight’s 3.933 at 290.44.
“I’d love to give the trophy to Mr. (Bill) Bader and all these Norwalk fans. These fans are unbelievable,” said Capps following the win. “The championships, races – everything has to go through that car with (crew chief) Jimmy Prock and Robert Hight. I would like to think most of the teams say the same thing about our NAPA car. I don’t even know what the money is for winning it, but we get three championship points that go in our bank, and that is huge.”
Capps, who has qualified for the specialty race four times, is the only Funny Car competitor to win the challenge twice. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a $10,000 purse in addition to the championship points.
“I can’t thank Mission Foods enough for spicing up our lives with this event all year,” added Capps, the twice-defending Funny Car world champion and current point leader. “It is the best and has really changed the whole outlook of the season. You have to get up there and get up on the wheel on a Saturday, which is awesome. And anytime a Toyota can outrun a Chevy is a feather in the cap. Great job to Slugger (Labbe) and the boys.”
Along with the championship points for winning the challenge, Capps took home three bonus points for running low E.T. of the session, adding to the three extra points he earned on Friday night when he raced to the provisional pole.
Eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals begin on Sunday at 10 a.m. Starting from the No. 2 seed, Capps will face Alex Laughlin in the opening round. In addition to making a run for their second win of the season, and Capps’ milestone 75th triumph overall, the NAPA GR Supra team will have extra motivation on Sunday as they are in pursuit of giving Toyota their 200th NHRA victory.
“Our association with Toyota has not been long, but if we can help hit that milestone it would be really special,” said Dean Antonelli, crew chief for the team. “They’ve developed a great body with the Supra. We are just happy to have it on our car and have them as partners.”
Q1: 3.898 E.T. at 331.28 MPH
Q2: 3.934 E.T. at 327.19 MPH defeated Chad Green 4.022 E.T. at 312.86 MPH
Q3: 3.887 E.T. at 327.74 MPH defeated Robert Hight 3.933 E.T. at 290.44 MPH
Qualified No. 2, lane choice vs. No. 15 Alex Laughlin