By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Don Schumacher Racing and Ron Capps have been a winning combination. In fact, on Sunday, Capps won his 50th career event with the company.
Capps defeated his DSR teammate, Tommy Johnson Jr., in the final round of the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota. The Carlsbad, California native went 3.946 at 324.28 mph to receive the Wally.
The Avon, Indiana native went 3.947 at 319.98 mph in the losing effort.
“We came in to today a little under gunned because we didn’t qualify as well as we wanted,” said Capps. “I ran 3.93 and was only good for seventh, which was odd. We didn’t have lane choice a handful of times, but both lanes were great. In [the] final, TJ and I have duked it out many times. Before we ran, Tobler joked that it was the ‘Five-disc Final’ because we’ve got the two five-disc clutch cars out here. Tommy doesn’t play games. He lets his car do the talking. And he must have gotten distracted. That [late light] was very unlike Tommy, but I appreciate him doing that at the right time to allow me to win the final.”
Before this final round, Capps held a 20-17 advantage over his teammate. However, both Capps and Johnson Jr. had two previous final round wins against each other.
Capps had the starting line advantage with his 0.055 reaction time. Johnson Jr. was late with his 0.171.
This allowed Capps to lead throughout the race. With the win, this is Capps this win in 2019.
It is also his 64th career win. He now has one win in Top Fuel and 63 wins in Funny Car. Plus, this is his sixth win at Brainerd.
“This is the time of year where you have to be at your best,” Capps said. “Teamwork and great leadership from the top down are the reasons why we are here today. Every time I race Tommy Johnson’s car, I feel like I’m racing a mirror of myself. (Johnson’s crew chief) John Collins is a chip off the old block, he spent so many years working under Rahn Tobler; his approach is the same, and their car is set up almost identical to ours. The list of teams we beat today are teams you’re going to have to beat to win a world championship. I’m so happy we had so much success today, and we have a great running car. I feel really good leaving here.”