Capps and Ashley Win Nitro Classes on Fathers Day

The Legends of Thunder Valley is a Bristol-based Hall of Fame that honors those who have had a long and storied history at Bristol Dragway over the decades. Prior to Sunday’s elimination rounds at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, officials inducted Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, who was on-hand to receive the honor. Prudhomme acknowledged that winning at Bristol was a big deal back in the 1967 when he won Top Fuel at the NHRA Spring Nationals. On Sunday, the winner of four NHRA Funny Car World Titles joined NHRA founder Wally Parks, Top Fuel legend Don Garlits, Funny Car legend John Force, and NHRA team owner Don Schumacher as members of the Bristol Hall of Fame.

Day One of qualifying for the NHRA Summit Nationals, which begins with “Thunder Under the Lights” at Bristol Raceway, saw race fans on their feet watching the world’s top teams scramble to adapt to the new track surface that was washed cleaned by a late shower. With Friday night’s single runs in the book, Steve Torrence in Top Fuel, Robert Hight in Funny Car, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock and Angelle Sampey in Pro Stock Motorcycle led the pack for the Number One qualifying position. Sampey and Hight would hold the top positions at the end of Saturday’s round but Mike Salinas claimed honors in Top Fuel while Aaron Stanfield better Anderson’s time in Pro Stock.

Ron Capps Tops Funny Car at Thunder Valley

After taking a couple of weekends off, the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series began the second half of the 2022 season at the Thunder Valley Nationals over the weekend. Robert Hight and John Force unloaded fast cars at Bristol Dragway. Except for qualifying runner-up Tim Wilkerson, Hight and Force appeared to be the drivers to beat in NHRA Funny Car. After switching his ride to Toyota Racing a couple months back, Ron Capps was ready to prove otherwise.

In round one, Capps had beaten Paul Lee but the engine exploded in the NAPA-sponsored Toyota GR Supra. For the Final, Capps needed a holeshot to defeat Tim Wilkerson and claim his 70th career Wally and second as a team owner. The run was also Capps’s quickest of the entire weekend with a 3.984 ET at 324.36 mph. The victory at the Thunder Valley Nationals marked the first win with Toyota Racing for the two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion.

Justin Ashley Claims Second Victory of NHRA Season

At the end of the pandemic-riddled 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, Justin Ashely became the fifteenth Top Fuel driver to be named the NHRA “Rookie of the Year”. Having only qualified in fourteenth place, Ashley unassumingly went about the business of earning his way to the Final round by eliminating Josh Hart and Doug Foley, before posting a 3.816-second elapsed time to defeat four-time Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence.

Shawn Langdon defeated Spencer Massey in round one before claiming a holeshot victory over Number One qualifier Mike Salinas and Antron Brown to set the stage for his first final round in Top Fuel in 2022. Langdon was looking for his first win since Indianapolis in 2020. Although Ashley had a slight advantage off the line, both drivers stayed side by side with Ashley posting a 3.813 ET at 325.30 mph to Langdon’s 3.841 ET at 320.51 mph. It was Ashley’s second victory of the season.


Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action June 23-26 with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.


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