Capps Drives To Semis, Hagan Sets Speed Record With Mopar Power At Gatornats

By Auto News Log • March 15th, 2010

Mopar-powered NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Ron Capps advanced to the semifinals and his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate Matt Hagan set a new national speed record in his own HEMI-powered Dodge at the NHRA Gatornationals.

Capps defeated Del Worsham in the opening stanza, then took out 14-time champion John Force in the quarterfinals with a pass of 4.066/312.35. He faced Bob Tasca III in the semifinal. Capps quickly moved into the lead, which he held until just past the 330-foot mark of the 1000-foot race track, then struck the tires. Tasca passed him for the win, posting a 4.125/308.85 to Capps’ losing 4.562/216.76. Capps moved into second in the Funny Car standings.

Polesitter Matt Hagan set the national top-speed record racing to 1000 feet when he ran 316.15 mph to win the opening round of eliminations driving the Mopar-powered DieHard Dodge Charger. Hagan then fell victim to eventual event winner Tim Wilkerson in the quarterfinal. The pair launched with identical reaction times, but Hagan struck the tires early, then pedaled it in an attempt to regroup. But his efforts fell short, as Wilkerson crossed the finish stripe first with a 4.094/307.86 to Hagan’s losing 4.465/284.62.

“Setting the national speed record is awesome,” said Hagan, now fifth in the standings. “There’s no doubt in my mind on any given day we have one of the fastest race cars out here. We just have to put a couple of laps together and make that all come together. When that happens, watch out, because we’re going to be somebody to really reckon with out here.”

Fellow DSR teammate and Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger driver Jack Beckman exited in the opening round and is now third in the points. Mopar HEMI-powered driver Melanie Troxel pulled out a wild ride in the first round, saving her Dodge from nearly hitting the wall, to defeat Ashley Force Hood. Troxel’s day ended in the quarterfinals with a loss to Tony Pedregon.

Next up is the Inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, March 25–28 in Charlotte, N.C. For more information on the NHRA, visit

Source: Mopar Speed


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