NHRA’s 2nd round playoff game was hosted at super scenic Maple Grove Raceway in the heart of Pennsylvania….

Chamber of commerce weather conditions greeting a sold out crowd who witnessed a big win by Ron Capps in the fan favorite fuel Funny Car division for the 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also victorious in their respective categories at the second of six playoff events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

Capps secured his category-best seventh victory of the season and 57th of his career with a 3.968-second pass at 326.48 mph in his Napa Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to take down Courtney Force’s 3.993 at 311.70 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro in the final round. Capps retook the points lead in the Countdown to the Championship with the victory.

“We got lucky a little bit in the first round, but we feel like our hard work makes our own luck for us and we were fortunate to win it with consistency,” Capps said. “We know this Funny Car class is as tough as it’s ever been, so we know this won’t be easy through the last four races of the year.”

Defending 2016 World Champion Ron Capps racked up his 7th event win of 2017 in the fuel Funny Car division.

Capps earned the third qualifying position and took down Jim Campbell, 2016 winner of the events Tommy Johnson Jr. and teammate Matt Hagan on the way to his tenth final round this season. C. Force qualified eighth and defeated Bob Tasca III, teammate Robert Hight and Jack Beckman as she reached her fourth final round of the season. She still without a win in 2017.

B. Force took down Steve Torrence in the final round of Top Fuel action with a 3.756 pass at 326.24 in her Monster Energy dragster to secure her second victory of the season and first since the event in Epping, N.H. in June. Force has now reached the final round at Maple Grove Raceway three times in her career, including in 2016.

“I’m so glad to have this entire Monster Energy team and this car ran pretty consistent through qualifying and on race day, so it’s because of my team that we got this win,” Force said. “I’ve been to the final round here three times and got taken down in the first two, so this one was a big one for us.”

After going 0-2 in career final rounds at Maple Grove Raceway – Brittany Force emerged a winner in her 3rd try!

Force entered Sunday as the No. 4 qualifier before defeating Wayne Newby, Tony Schumacher and reigning world champion Antron Brown on her way to the third final round of the year. Torrence qualified third and was victorious against Terry Haddock, Leah Pritchett and Dom Lagana as he reached his tenth final round this season. Torrence retook the points lead with the runner-up finish.

In Pro Stock, Butner drove to victory with a 6.613 at 209.95 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro to defeat Greg Anderson’s 6.660 at 206.95 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro in the final round. He locked down his fourth career victory in Pro Stock, all four of which have come this season, as he reclaimed the lead in the Countdown to the Championship standings.

Bo Butner has reclaimed the Pro Stock points lead after a convincing win in his Chevy Camaro.

“I’m really excited about where we’re at, but we know there are still four more races left so we just have to keep doing our jobs,” Butner said. “We had eight good runs this weekend so things kind of worked in our favor this time around, and it shows how strong our team is.”

Butner was the No. 1 qualifier and continued his strong weekend with victories over Val Smeland, Erica Enders and Allen Johnson before reaching his ninth final round of 2017. Anderson earned the sixth slot in qualifying and defeated Brian Self, rookie Tanner Gray and teammate Jason Line on the way to his ninth final round of the season.

Krawiec rode to the Pro Stock Motorcycle victory with a 6.852 at 196.70 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to better LE Tonglet on his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki in the finals. He earned his fifth victory of the season and third consecutive to improve his lead in the points standings.

Eddie Krawiec (near lane) defeated LE Tonglet in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round.

“Things are definitely on the upswing since we switched back to last year’s chassis, it’s been huge for me and my team at the exact right time,” Krawiec said. “We didn’t start out as strong as we had hoped in qualifying, but we put it all together today and we’re pretty pleased with these results.”

Krawiec qualified fourth before taking down Kelly Clontz, teammate Andrew Hines and No. 1 qualifier Scott Pollacheck en route to the finals. Tonglet was the No. 7 qualifier and bested Angie Smith, teammate Jerry Savoie and Hector Arana Jr. as he finished as the runner-up for only the second time in his seven final rounds this year.

The Dodge brand were great hosts during the Maple Grove event with some great displays and great race cars.

Lucas Oil Lowdown

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series racing at the Dodge Nationals was highlighted by a breakthrough victory for Canadian TAD class racer Jeff Veale. The Stoney Creek Ontario based driver used a superior start in the final round and with that held off Jackie Fricke, from New Jersey the event’s defending 2016 class champion. Veale raced to victory clocking in at 5.402 seconds, 274.27 mph., Fricke followed up at 5.384 seconds, 269.89 mph.

Canadian driver Jeff Veale earned his first NHRA national event victory.

Sean Bellemeur, and Tom Martino also raced to major wins on Sunday.

In the Top Alcohol Funny Car final round, Phil Burkart, Yorkville, N.Y., took a strong lead over Bellemeur of Placentia, Calif. However, Bellemeur did not quit and passed Burkart in the last 300 feet of the drag strip to pull off the victory at 5.542 seconds, 265.69 mph. Burkart runner upped at 5.586 seconds, 264.34 mph.

Former NHRA Pro Stock racer Tom Martino did a stint in Comp eliminator and came away a winner in this Chevy Cobalt

The Comp Eliminator final round featured a New Jersey showdown. Martino of Farmington obtained the starting line advantage and held off Scott Benham of Jackson for the double breakout victory. Martino, who formally raced extensively in Pro Stock, made a victory pass of 8.684 seconds, 144.66 mph.

Karl Martel, Dover, Del., squared off against Lenny Williams, Poughkeepsie N.Y., in the Stock Eliminator final round. Martel captured his first national event Wally trophy as he got off to the better start driving his high flying Chevy Camaro and prevented Williams from catching up, running 10.262 seconds, 121.96 mph. Williams came in second at 11.139 seconds, 113.98 mph.

Karl Martel was a very popular winner in Stock with his very high-flying ’69 Camaro A/SA!

The other drivers visiting the winner’s circle were Byron Worner in Super Stock, Lauren Freer in Super Comp, and Kevin Robb in Super Gas.

Byron Worner came away with the event’s Super Stock championship.

Lady racer Lauren Freer was a big winner in Super Comp index racing

Racing in Super Gas 9.90 Kevin Robb won in his ’63 Corvette.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis on Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications, Keith Yazdanseta and Bruce Biegler

Photos by Bruce Biegler – Steve Embling – Dave DeAngelis

To visit DragRaceCanada’s very extensive Dodge Nationals event photo gallery – visit our co-production on-line product: HERE