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Tobler, NAPA AUTO PARTS crew investment in qualifying pays off for Capps as reigning world champ advances to final near Phoenix

Tobler, NAPA AUTO PARTS crew investment in qualifying pays off for Capps as reigning world champ advances to final near Phoenix

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2017) – – Don Schumacher Racing is starting the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at Pomona, Calif., just like it ended the past season.

– Reigning Funny Car world champion Ron Capps’ crew chief Rahn Tobler devoted Friday’s qualifying sessions near Phoenix to work toward improving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

Capps was only qualified 13th after the event’s first two qualifying sessions but jumped 10 spots to third with a run of 3.847 (325.06) to start Saturday’s qualifying in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park and then went even quicker on his last run at a speed of 333.58, which is his career best.

That performance continued Sunday when Capps and the NAPA Dodge produced four times in the 3.8-second range but came up a little short in the final round when the title went to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan.

“Any time you get to a final round you don’t want that to slip away,” Capps said. “We had a great drag race with Matt and the fans loved it.”

Hagan’s 3.878-second run at 330.88 mph just edged Capps’ 3.883 at a matching 330.88.

“I’m so proud of (crew chief Rahn) Tobler and our NAPA AutoCare crew for putting those four good runs together,” he said. “In Pomona at our first race and here Tobler decided to try some new things during Friday’s sessions when we were running under NHRA national event conditions. They didn’t work out how he wanted and they put a new set-up in for Saturday and Sunday.

“We got to the semis at Pomona and went to the final round today. I can’t wait to get to Gainesville (Fla.) in three weeks for our next race.”

“Some people might get tired of me saying how great it is to have Rahn Tobler as a crew chief, but he proved it again today.”

FUNNY CAR
EVENT WINNER: Matt Hagan (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 QUALIFIER: Tommy Johnson Jr. (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.837 sec.-career best, 329.10 mph

RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: Rahn Tobler; assistant: Eric Lane

Qualified: No. 3
First round: CAPPS (3.883 sec., 326.56 mph) def. Jeff Arend (11.548, 83.99)
Second round: CAPPS (3.856, 327.03) def. Gary Densham (3.944, 320.20)
Semifinals: CAPPS (3.883, 324.59) def. Jim Campbell (4.890, 164.07)
Final: Matt Hagan (3.878, 330.88) def. CAPPS (3.883, 330.88)
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.226 sec., 215.82 mph, (Session 1); 7.900, 84.09, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.847, 325.06, (Session 3); 3.839, 333.58-career best, (Session 4)

2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Unofficial after Phoenix; 2 of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)

Funny Car
1. MATT HAGAN (2) 240 —–
2. RON CAPPS 178 -62

4. Courtney Force 140 -100
3. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. 134 -106
5. John Force 112 -128
6. J.R. Todd 105 -135
7. Jim Campbell 102 -138
8. JACK BECKMAN 100 -150
9. Tim Wilkerson 100 -150
10. Robert Hight 98 -152

About NAPA AUTO PARTS
NAPA (www.NAPAonline.com) was founded in 1925 to meet America’s growing need for an auto parts distribution system. Today NAPA has grown to more than 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 58 distribution centers with more than 500,000 part numbers in inventory and more than 15,000 NAPA AutoCare and AutoCare Collision Centers nationwide.

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett and 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon; and in Funny Car, 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge driven by 2016 Funny Car world champion Ron Capps and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 297 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing

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