Story By: NHRA – NORWALK, OH – Back-to-back Funny Car world champion Ron Capps raced past Robert Hight in the final round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, winning the specialty race for the second time this season on Saturday as part of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.
In the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Deric Kramer (Pro Stock) and Angie Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the bonus event in Norwalk.
Capps powered to a run of 3.887-seconds at 327.74 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra, defeating Hight to claim the victory. The points leader continues to enjoy a strong June, winning in Bristol two weeks ago and now the specialty race on Saturday in Norwalk, beating Chad Green in the earlier round. He also qualified No. 2 for Sunday’s race.
“You’re racing for what’s very important – those (bonus) points,” Capps said. “Winning a championship by two (points) last year tells you how important these points are. It’s not cliché. Your life is upside or awesome depending on one or two points in the landscape of Funny Car in NHRA, so we’ll take this.
“Mission Foods has changed the way we approach the weekend. You’re bummed if you don’t make it to the semifinals of a race because you know you’re not in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. If you go to the semis on Sunday and don’t win the race, you’re bummed, but you know you get to be in the challenge at the very next race. It’s a really big deal, and it’s fun. It really brought Saturdays to life.”
Ashley notched another standout moment during his incredible 2023 season in Top Fuel, collecting his fourth win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday. He went 4.063 at 228.61 in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect/Toyota dragster to beat Doug Kalitta in the final round, staying undefeated in the specialty race in the process. Ashley has collected 12 bonus points in a memorable year that also includes four races wins. Ashley went 3.743 to beat Austin Prock in the opening round and now has a chance to sweep the weekend for the third time this year.
“This is very exciting, and I think for myself and all the other drivers, it really does a great job of setting us up for Sunday and for raceday so we can get in the right mindset,” Ashley said. “It’s so important to be able to collect those championship points now, early on in the year. It’s a blast to race. I’m really happy to collect those points and get another win.
“These are the moments you dream about. I remember being at many, many tracks as a kid. I have so much gratitude just to be here but then to be able to turn on as many win lights as we can, really is a dream come true for myself and a lot of the guys on the team. Mike Green, Tommy DeLago, they do a really good job of bringing the championship experience, and it resonates through the team.”
Continuing his recent run of success, Pro Stock’s Kramer won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge for the first time in his Get Biofuel Camaro, defeating Greg Anderson in the final round with a 6.622 at 207.02. Kramer is on a stretch of four straight final round appearances and continued to impress on Saturday in Norwalk, defeating Cristian Cuadra in the opening round on a holeshot before getting past Anderson in the final round of the specialty race. Currently second in points, Kramer also picked up three bonus points in the Countdown to the Championship with the win.
“This is super exciting,” Kramer said. “We come out here every weekend with the expectation to win, and when you go for a long stretch and don’t get the success that you’re looking for, it’s easy to get bogged down. But after doing really well in Vegas and staying and testing, you just keep that momentum rolling. We’re extremely happy. I have to give a big shout-out to Mission Foods for putting this on. I’ve had a lot of fun.
“Every round win is hard to get in this class. You are crossing that finish line and hoping and praying that that light comes on in your lane, and it’s extremely satisfying when it happens.”
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Angie Smith enjoyed the biggest moment of her season thus far, defeating Hector Arana Jr. in the final round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge with a pass of 6.967 at 196.96 on her Denso Auto Parts Buell. After the victory, Smith talked about the importance of momentum, knowing she gained plenty with her successful day on Saturday in Norwalk. She knocked off Herrera, who went red, in the opening round before holding off Arana Jr. in the final round of the specialty race.
“It was really exciting to get the win,” Smith said. “I just want to say thank you to Mission Foods for doing this. It puts a little extra emphasis on Saturday, and it’s like two races in one. When you can put your name on that trophy, it means a lot.
“It does give us more confidence. Anytime you can turn on win lights, it makes you more confident. I think the people that win these things – it gives you confidence, it gives you momentum.”
NORWALK, Ohio — Saturday’s final results from the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Funny Car Challenge — Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.887, 327.74 def. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.933, 290.44.
Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge Top Fuel Challenge — Justin Ashley, 4.063 seconds, 228.61 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 5.288 seconds, 135.40 mph.
Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge Pro Stock Motorcycle Challenge — Angie Smith, EBR, 6.967, 196.96 def. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 7.006, 197.68.
Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge Pro Stock Challenge — Deric Kramer, Chevy Camaro, 6.622, 207.02 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.623, 206.99.
NORWALK, Ohio — Final round-by-round results from the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA TOP FUEL CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE — Doug Kalitta, 3.707, 330.07 def. Antron Brown, 3.778, 324.83; Justin Ashley, 3.743, 329.34 def. Austin Prock, 3.751, 328.70;
FINAL — J. Ashley, 4.063, 228.61 def. D. Kalitta, 5.288, 135.40.
MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA FUNNY CAR CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.915, 324.36 def. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Supra, Foul – Red Light; Ron Capps, Supra, 3.934, 327.19 def. Chad Green, Ford Mustang, 4.022, 312.86;
FINAL — R. Capps, 3.887, 327.74 def. R. Hight, 3.933, 290.44.
MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA PRO STOCK CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.615, 207.37 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.595, 208.36; Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.627, 206.67 def. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.618, 207.30;
FINAL — D. Kramer, 6.622, 207.02 def. G. Anderson, 6.623, 206.99.
MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE — Hector Arana Jr, 6.814, 199.14 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.878, 195.36; Angie Smith, 6.868, 197.39 def. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light;
FINAL — A. Smith, 6.967, 196.96 def. H. Arana Jr, 7.006, 197.68.