Veteran driver Ron Capps raced to the Funny Car qualifying lead at the 25th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Pacific Raceways.
Point leaders Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Spencer Massey (Top Fuel) were also qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Capps' 4.119-second pass at 298.47 mph during the second qualifying session Friday was quickest of the day for the 7,000 horsepower NHRA Funny Car class. Capps has a lot of history at Pacific Raceways; it is the home of his first career victory in 1995, when he beat NHRA legend Connie Kalitta in the Top Fuel final. The NAPA Auto Parts pilot has three victories at the track and four runner-up finishes, making it a favorite of the popular driver.
"We talked about mojo earlier, and I must say that we have something here in Seattle," Capps said. "I didn't expect to go to the top, but I'm glad we did. We'll just have to wait and see what happens Sunday. I'm not sure what it is, but I just love coming here and always have, ever since my rookie season."
Massey ran the quickest pass of the day during the second qualifying session, edging out his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher for the qualifying lead with a 3.837-second pass at 319.60 mph. Schumacher equaled Massey's e.t. but was relegated to the No. 2 spot based on speed.
"Being No. 1 is always what we want to do, but to actually come out and do it here makes it even that much better," Massey said. "We've been running really well lately. We went to the final round last weekend and got beat by our teammate, Antron Brown, and here we come out and go No. 1 just by a little bit over Tony, it just shows that our DSR program is really great."
The driver of the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster has never been to a final round at Pacific Raceways in his Top Fuel career, but the first time he reached a final round in his NHRA Drag Racing career was at Pacific Raceways in 2006 in Top Alcohol Dragster, which makes this track special for Massey as well.
"I've got a little bit of history here, and I'd like to make some more of my own history here in Top Fuel as well and try get to a Wally here this weekend," Massey said. "We have an agenda, and that agenda is to stay in the point lead heading into the Countdown, and we're doing our best to make that happen."
Johnson powered his Mopar Dodge Avenger to the provisional No. 1 position in Pro Stock with his 6.554-second pass at 211.66 mph under the sunny Northwest conditions Friday afternoon during qualifying for the final leg of the Western Swing. Johnson has been the No. 1 qualifier at the past five events and eight times this season. He has made the quickest run of every qualifying session since the start of the Western Swing.
"We're just taking it round by round," Johnson said. "The Mopar Dodge Avenger is bad to the bone right now. We're just having fun and enjoying the highs right now because there are a lot of lows in the sport of NHRA Drag Racing. So we're really taking it round by round and enjoying it as it comes."
Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday’s eliminations start at 11 a.m.