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NHRA Power Rankings: Ron Capps is starting to make it feel a lot like 2016

NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver looks poised for run to second world championship
19 Aug 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Power Rankings
Ron Capps

Ron Capps appeared in his second-straight final and, this time, there was no kiss of death from John Force. The NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat ended up in the winner’s circle for the third time in 2019 thanks in no small part to a little Rahn Tobler magic, moving Capps up to fourth in the standings. 

The NAPA driver is third in NHRA Power Ranking when including only the last six races and he trails Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan for the lead by a mere 2.82 points. That’s a massive climb for Capps, who was stuck in the doldrums during the first third of the season. There was never any doubt this team would recover from rational segments of the hot rodding community, but timing is everything. 

Reaching back-to-back finals is one thing: Doing so in authoritative fashion with the second-quickest Funny Car over the past six races as we head to the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals is Rolex worthy. Brainerd International Raceway is no stranger to celebrations, but with all respect to The Zoo, nothing will top Capps’ party if he turns on four win lights at Lucas Oil Raceway over Labor Day weekend. 

The NAPA team has also climbed up to fourth in NHRA Power Rankings when looking at a full sample of data, though Robert Hight holds a stranglehold thanks to his terrific body of work. The big sample matters, and it’s worth noting teams like the one wheeling out the Auto Club Chevy Camaro may be testing as we head to Indy. We can only see [and quantify] what happens on the race track – let the chips fall where they may. 

The hallmark consistency of a Tobler-tuned Funny Car has returned, and Capps remains one of the best drivers in the category. He averages a .076-second reaction time to go with the second-best 60-foot time [just a thousandth off Hight’s mark] and has not turned on a red light since 2017. The steady combination of Tobler [the NAPA Hellcat boasts a Success Rate of 75.2 percent] and Capps makes the duo a threat to win every Sunday. 

Capps left the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, the sixth race of the season, in ninth place. He has picked up five places in 11 races while winning three times. No one at the NHRA National Dragster Analytics Department’s feelings are hurt that his seven-spot climb up the NHRA Power Rankings ladder that coincided it is substantially less important – racers are out here to win; and it seems very likely that the NAPA team is on its way to doing a lot more of that over the final seven races of the season. 

Full NHRA Power Rankings Below: