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Ron Capps wins NHRA Funny Car season title

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POMONA, Calif. (AP) Ron Capps won his first NHRA Mello Yello Series Funny Car season title Saturday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals.

Capps earned enough points in qualifying in the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to build an insurmountable lead over Matt Hagan.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Capps said. “I almost gave up, not winning a championship, but trying so hard and wishing so hard, and just focused on winning races and all the accolades I’ve gotten this year especially the 50th win, passing some people I really looked up to in the sport. That’s mind boggling to me every time I’m mentioned with those names.

“We got to the Countdown with a big lead and I thought, `OK, now we really got a shot at this.’ We said at the beginning of the year this is the toughest Funny Car class ever. Then it was the 50th anniversary of the Funny Car, which was awesome. It just kept snowballing. We kept digging and digging and digging and Rahn Tobler just had that eye.”

Jack Beckman led Funny Car qualifying with the second-quickest Funny Car pass in NHRA history, a 3.825 at 332.10 in a Dodge Charger R/T. J.R. Todd was the fastest in Top Fuel with a 3.680 at 327.82. Points leader Jason Line topped the Pro Stock field at 6.545 at 211.33 in a Chevrolet Camaro, and Jerry Savoie led in Pro Stock Motorcycle at 6.825 at 194.97 on a Suzuki.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.