NORWALK, OH — Are we having fun yet, Team Summit?
Through 12 races—the halfway point of the 2016 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series—Summit Racing Pro Stock drivers Jason Line and Greg Anderson remain undefeated after Line held off Anderson in the final round Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.
Despite qualifying #1 in his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, Anderson couldn’t catch Line’s winning pass of 6.678 seconds at 208.42 miles per hour to Anderson’s trailing run of 6.717 at 208.36 mph.
Top Fuel’s Shawn Langdon, Funny Car’s Ron Capps, and Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Eddie Krawiec were also winners.
Sunday’s win was Line’s seventh of the season, and Anderson won the other five events, further emphasizing Ken Black Racing’s dominance of this inaugural season of electron fuel injection setups in NHRA Pro Stock racing. Both drivers secured spots in the Countdown to the Championship with the weekend’s performances.
Line does the engine tuning for Anderson’s racecar (and Anderson does the same for Line’s), so they are invested heavily in one another’s success.
Line defeated Curt Steinbach, Erica Enders-Stevens, and Vincent Nobile en route to his final round match up with Anderson.
“It was a hard today, it was very hot out there,” Line said. “We didn’t run as well as we would have liked today and there were cars that were very close to us. They are getting closer and to win at the Summit race, in a Summit Car, at a Summit track is a huge deal. Greg and I have been very fortunate to make that happen a bunch of times, it’s fun.”
In Funny Car, Capps continued his mid-season dominance with his fourth Funny Car win of 2016.
Capps raced his Dodge Charger R/T to a winning pass of 3.956 seconds at 317.49 mph to the losing run of Courtney Force at 4.010 at 314.17. This is his third win in four races, he has a commanding 130-point lead over Force who is second and credits his Don Schumacher Racing team for the success.
“What Rahn Tobler (crew chief) is doing right now is hard work,” Capps said. “This guy has been working his tail off. It is big picture to him, he is not just a good crew chief, he is a good racer and I love that. When he is pointing at me in the windshield before a run, it gives me all the confidence in the world.”
With the win, the 49th of his career, he ties legendary racer Don Prudhomme for 11th on the all-time NHRA win list. Capps is a former driver of ‘The Snake’ and continues to admire the drag racing pioneer.
“He was my hero growing up,” Capps said. “These wins happen and you are told you have tied someone you are completely enamored with growing up, so when you are mentioned like that it blows me away. It doesn’t seem possible. To be mentioned with someone like Snake is crazy.”
Langdon, a DSR teammate to Capps, piloted his dragster to his second-consecutive win when he bested J.R. Todd in the final. His winning run of 3.846 at 319.75 to the losing effort of Todd at 3.937 at 285.05 earned Langdon his 13th career Top Fuel victory. Langdon defeated Troy Buff, Antron Brown, Brittany Force, as well as Todd for the win. Langdon had fortune on his side in the first round when Buff red-lighted giving Langdon the automatic win while his dragster lost traction early in the run.
“I think we are starting to see a little luck go our way, we really should have been out first round,” Langdon said. “We were just fortunate Troy Buff red-lit and we went back and looked at everything and couldn’t find out why it did what it did. We went back to what we did in qualifying on Saturday with a hot weather tune up. We were able to put together three good straight runs and felt like we had a very strong car today.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Krawiec won his third race of 2016 when he defeated his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Andrew Hines in the final. Krawiec, who was also the #1 qualifier, had the winning run of 6.926 at 194.72 to defeat Hines who covered the distance at 6.937 at 193.29. His path to the win was eventful as he went off the end of the track into the sand trap following both his semifinal and final runs.
“We went back to the pit and had to take out 30 pounds of pea gravel,” Krawiec said. “We put new brake pads on it, checked the fluid, drained everything and made sure it was 100 percent. We stopped fine in the lanes and everything. I see my fourth-round win light against my teammate and went ‘not again’. I pulled the clutch in and went in for a ride.”
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing will resume July 7-10 with the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, in Joliet, IL.
Sunday’s race was the 12th of 24 slated for the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
NHRA Pro Stock Point Standings
1. Jason Line 1,389 2. Greg Anderson 1,274 3. Bo Butner 796 4. Allen Johnson 719 5. Drew Skillman 683
NHRA Funny Car Point Standings
1. Ron Capps 966 2. Courtney Force 836 3. Jack Beckman 823 4. Del Worsham 762 5. Tommy Johnson Jr. 750
NHRA Top Fuel Point Standings
1. Doug Kalitta 1,009 2. Antron Brown 940 3. Steve Torrence 846 4. Brittany Force 832 5. Tony Schumacher 729
NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Point Standings
1. Eddie Krawiec 557 2. Andrew Hines 391 Jerry Savoie 391 4. Angelle Sampey 372 5. Chip Ellis 300