PRO STOCK GETS A NOSE JOB...
FEATHER IN THE CAP
It’s a new world for the Pro Stock class of
the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
this year, but the old names seem to be
adapting just fine.
Last July, NHRA officials announced
a series of changes to the category for
2016, designed to increase spectator
appeal, make the class more relevant
from a technology standpoint, and to
reduce and more effectively control costs
for race teams. Significant changes for
this season include electronically-controlled throttle body fuel injection
systems, an NHRA-controlled 10,500rpm
rev limiter, shortened wheelie bars, and
the removal of the massive hood scoops
that visually defined the class.
Ron Capps has done just about
everything in his NHRA Funny Car career
but claim a championship, although he’s
finished second four times. While he’s
surely tired of answering questions about
when he’s finally going to take home a
title, Capps might get a lot of them during
the 50th anniversary season for the
NHRA’s Funny Car class – that’s if he
keeps going the way he began it.
At the Pomona opener, Capps’
324.28mph run in his NAPA Auto Parts
Dodge Charger earned him the 46th win
Although significant rule changes
always brings a few headaches for race
teams, the Pro Stock contingent seems
to have taken them in stride.
“The fact is you can’t even buy a
lawnmower today with a carburetor on
it,” noted Richard Freeman, owner of Elite
Motorsports’ two-car Pro Stock team. “It
was long overdue, in my opinion, for fuel
injection. Let’s go get after it, and we’ll
What happened first was a familiar
name atop the order after eliminations
at Pomona’s season-opener, as four-time
class champ Greg Anderson bested
teammate Jason Line by a nose with his
Summit Racing Equipment Camaro.
and his Comet got
the Funny Car party
started at the 1966
The scoop-less Pro
Stocks are a new
technical nut to
crack for NHRA
started out fastest.
A new look for the fans, some key new technical challenges for the teams, and a familiar winner at the outset.
Will the golden anniversary for Funny Car take on a similar hue for Ron Capps?
of his career at the expense of reigning
Funny Car champ Del Worsham.
The NHRA is celebrating the category’s
golden anniversary with special
appearances through the season by
nostalgic Funny Cars at Mello Yello race
events, as well as a series of exhibitions,
car displays, Cacklefests, and special
burnout and dry-hop performances. An
ongoing series of TV features and
interviews with Funny Car legends are
also planned in association with new
series partner FOX Sports.
“I feel honored to be the first winner
of the fuel injection era and to get the
first trophy,” said Anderson, who was
the event’s No. 1 qualifier and
advanced to the final with round wins
over Matt Hartford, five-time champ
Jeg Coughlin Jr. and last season’s top
rookie Drew Skillman. “Everybody out
there is on a steep learning curve right
now. The other competitors in our class
are going to go home and work hard
and they will do better. ”
Even if they don’t, Anderson will still
have his hands full. At the second round
in Phoenix, Line avenged his Pomona loss
by beating Anderson in the semis, and
went on to take victory in the final.