There’s a hometown sponsor, so to speak, watching over things as the National Hot Rod Association’s season winds down to the final two events, as a pair of Mopar-backed teammates scramble for NHRA points going into this weekend’s Dodge/SRT Nationals, being held at The Drag Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Just a single point separates Funny Car point leader Ron Capps from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan as the series rolls into Lost Wages. Capps is taking a serious look at his second world Funny Car crown after taking the point lead by winning the most recent NHRA go, the Texas FallNationals in Dallas. Hagan, the defending and three-time Funny Car champion, had a setback when a positive COVID test forced him to miss the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis over Labor Day.
There’s more to the story, because two-time Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon, one of the nation’s most accomplished Latino athletes and another Dodge-mounted competitor, lies fourth in the season standings. Always known as a consistent driver who’s uncommonly good at the light, Pedregon has reached at least the Funny Car semifinals in five of the last seven NHRA national events, collecting a Wally along the way with a win at the Bader family’s historic strip in Norwalk, Ohio.