Ron Capps tops Funny Car qualifying at U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis

NHRA U.S. Nationals qualifying
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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INDIANAPOLIS — Ron Capps topped NHRA Funny Car qualifying Friday night at the prestigious DENSO Spark Plugs Indianapolis Nationals.

Coming off his first career win at Lucas Oil Raceway, Capps had a 3.895-second run at 330.63 mph in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to move into position for his 25th career No. 1 qualifier.

A 65-time event winner, Capps is aiming for his first U.S. Nationals victory after breaking through for his first victory at the Indianapolis track last month.

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“The guys went out there to run a certain number, and the weather changes, and that’s what makes (crew chief) Rahn Tobler so great to have on the team,” Capps said. “He can make changes on the fly like that. It was a handful, and it was moving around, but great job by my guys.”

Shawn Langdon led in Top Fuel, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock, and Angie Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Langdon had a 3.728 at 313.22, Anderson ran a 6.549 at 209.52 in a Chevrolet Camaro, and Smith rode her EBR to the top with a 6.807 at 197.31.

The event will conclude Sunday after another round of qualifying Saturday.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.