KENT, Wash. (July 22, 2023) – Ron Capps clinched his third #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge win on Saturday at the NHRA Northwest Nationals near Seattle when he defeated his fellow Toyota Racing teammate J.R. Todd in the final round of the Mission Foods-backed race-within-a-race.
The three-time and twice-defending Funny Car world champion secured his spot in the Seattle edition of the specialty race by advancing to the semifinal round last weekend during the NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Denver where he faced eventual race winner Matt Hagan. While he was outpaced by Hagan at the Denver event, halting his chances for a final Bandimere Speedway trophy, Capps had the opportunity for redemption on Saturday afternoon at Pacific Raceways when he lined up opposite his Denver semifinal foe.
During the second round of qualifying for the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Capps got the slight starting line jump over Hagan and never trailed for the win, clocking a session-best 3.961 E.T. aboard the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra versus Hagan’s early tire-smoker to earn three bonus points and set up a #2Fast2Tasty final round match-up with Todd. Once again, Capps was first on the throttle and used his early advantage coupled with a 3.951-second pass to defeat Todd’s 3.967 E.T. By racing to victory in his sixth Mission Foods Challenge, Capps brought his running #2Fast2Tasty total to 11 championship bonus points and a $37,000 purse.
“Once again, I want to just say it over and over, thank you to Mission Foods for putting this up,” said Capps, who also has wins from the Joliet, Ill. and Norwalk, Ohio #2Fast2Tasty events. “They really created something cool. When they first announced this, we all zeroed in on the championship points; that’s the thing that stood out for most. It’s great money, we appreciate that, too, of course, but as you know, we won the world championship last year by less than a handful of points. And, I’ve lost championships in years past by less than a handful of points several times, so I understand how crucial these points can be. Not to mention, what Mission Foods has created by allowing us to be able to get retribution for the last race, especially on the West Coast Swing where we’re back in the seat in just a few days, and to be able to get your confidence back – is just a great thing. They created a whole new Saturday.
“It was cool to have two Toyotas up there,” added Capps, referring to his final round match with Todd. “Obviously, Alexis (DeJoria) or J.R., they were both so key in inviting me to the Toyota family last year and I’ve bragged and bragged about that. So, anytime I race them in a final or something like that it’s fun to go and throw down because we knew a Toyota was going to win. We’ll take the points; we’re very excited about that. I’m happy for ‘Guido’ (Dean Antonelli, crew chief), he’s got some good data for tomorrow.”
Capps, a winner in both Top Fuel and Funny Car at Pacific Raceways, will attempt to double-up at the Northwest Nationals on Sunday as he makes a run for his fifth Seattle trophy and second of the season. Capps and the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car team will start race day from the No. 3 seed and will take on Jeff Diehl in round one of eliminations.
Q1: 4.045 E.T. at 279.96 MPH
Q2/#2Fast2Tasty E1: 3.961 E.T. at 322.81 MPH defeated Matt Hagan 6.205 E.T. at 110.76 MPH (three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3/#2Fast2Tasty E2: 3.951 E.T. at 322.65 MPH defeated J.R. Todd 3.967 E.T. at 323.81 MPH (one bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)
No. 3 (lane choice) vs. No. 12 Jeff Diehl