DSR Sonoma Saturday Qualifying Report

NHRA Sonoma Nationals
Event No. 9 of 20
Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma, Calif.
July 23-25, 2021

DSR Qualifying Highlights:

  • Ron Capps earned his third pole in nine races, and maintained his 2021 class-best qualifying average
  • After powering to low E.T. of the round on Friday night, Capps unloaded with another session-best run on Saturday afternoon, earning six bonus points overall
  • Last week’s event champ, Matt Hagan, will begin his quest to ‘sweep the Swing’ from the No. 3 seed
  • In Top Fuel, Antron Brown and Leah Pruett will start from the quick-half of the field and with the advantage of lane choice over their competitors. Both drivers clocked a ‘top three’ run on Friday night

Ron Capps No. 1 at Sonoma; Earns Third Pole in Nine Races

SONOMA, Calif. (July 24, 2021) – Ron Capps will begin his campaign for a fifth Sonoma Raceway Wally trophy by starting from the No. 1 seed on Sunday morning at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. He earned his third pole of the season on the strength of his impressive 3.897-second at 328.78-mph Q1 pass, which allowed him to bank three bonus points for clocking the quickest run of the session. He went on to collect another three bonus points during Q2 on Saturday afternoon when he took his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat on a stout 3.981-second ride.
“These yellow Camping World Series hats are awesome and we’re racking them up this year with great qualifying positions,” said Capps of his 2021 class-best qualifying average which has seen him earn a starting position of fifth or better through the first nine races of the season. “That’s all race car. That’s Guido (Dean Antonelli), and (John) Medlen and our whole NAPA AutoCare team.”
While they haven’t hoisted a trophy yet this year, Capps and the NAPA team have advanced to the semifinals or better at three out of the last four races, and feel confident that they can go the distance on Sunday in Sonoma and finish their weekend in the winner’s circle.
“Race day is when you have to put it all together and we’ve come close a few times, it’s just a matter of winning those close races we’ve come out on the wrong side of,” added Capps, a California native who would love nothing more than to pick up a win in front of family and friends at a venue he considers to be a home track. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know when I’ve got something great, and I know I’ve got a great team. We’re all doing our jobs and it hasn’t fallen our way yet, but listen, I’d rather have a better second half of the year heading into the Countdown, and there’s no better time to start that than right now. I have all the confidence that we’ll be showing up at Pomona (Calif.) in November with a great chance to run for the championship if we haven’t already clinched it by then. That’s how strongly I feel about this team.”
Capps, a 28-time No. 1 qualifier, will have the advantage of lane choice when he takes on Tony Jurado in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday morning.

Qualified: No. 1 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Tony Jurado

Bonus Points: Six

The Results:
Q1: 3.897 E.T. at 328.78 MPH (Three bonus points for third-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.981 E.T. at 321.04 MPH (Three bonus points for third-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.097 E.T. at 252.38 MPH


Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 10 Buddy Hull

Bonus Points: Two

The Results: 
Q1: 3.724 E.T. at 326.71 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 4.781 E.T. at 155.81 MPH
Q3: 4.400 E.T. at 180.98 MPH

“We qualified well with that good .72 run right out of the box on Friday night. We definitely wanted to take it A to B on the Saturday runs, but we were pushing hard to better our qualifying position. We’ll go into race day as the No. 3 qualifier and take it one round at a time. We’ve got Buddy Hull first round and we need to make a good, clean lap. We’ll get set up for race day now. Qualifying is over. We’re in a good spot and we’re pumped up to get going on race day. We’ve done well here. Sonoma has always been a really good, kind track to us and we want to do well here again.”


Driver of the Okuma Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 7 Justin Ashley

Bonus Points: One

The Results: 
Q1: 3.749 E.T. at 323.97 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.793 E.T. at 320.43 MPH
Q3: 3.759 E.T. at 324.28 MPH

“You can definitely say that we’ve found our groove here this weekend in qualifying. To have three runs with no issues and a proper tune-up was our goal. We wanted to perform at our highest level of potential and coming away from qualifying we are happy. Looking at the ladder, that potential for a Bye run into the final is another shot at getting this Okuma dragster back into the winner’s circle. It will be a tough first round with (Justin) Ashley, but we’ve got around him before and we’re looking forward to hitting our stride here, and at Pomona next weekend to finish this Western Swing strong.”


Funny Car:
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Jeff Diehl

Bonus Points: One

The Results:
Q1: 3.909 E.T. at 328.94 MPH (One bonus point for third-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 4.070 E.T. at 251.63 MPH
Q3: 4.036 E.T. at 310.27 MPH

“I’m super happy here at Sonoma coming off the big win at Denver last weekend on Thunder Mountain with this beautiful red Dodge SRT Hellcat. We’ve carried that momentum to sea level. We have a great Hellcat Funny Car and team here at DSR and they’re killing it. We’re so happy to be here in front of packed grandstands at Sonoma and we’re going to put on a great show of NHRA racing tomorrow. I’m gonna have some fun and we want to turn on four win lights again.”

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