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2014 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals qualifying: Capps tops after two rounds

Ron Capps (top) leads Funny Car after two rounds of qualifying
Ron Capps (top) leads Funny Car after two rounds of qualifyingNHRA Media

NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps leads qualifying for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina through two rounds on Friday. Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) lead their respective categories through two rounds as well.

Capps is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season, as well as his first win. Capps’ pass of 4.059 seconds (320.58 mph) put him ahead of Robert Hight after the first day. Tommy Johnson Jr., Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson completed the top five.

“I didn't know it until I got back to the pit area that that's the lane (Rahn Tobler) likes to run normally on a Sunday when we get here for Four-Wide," said Capps after his pass in the right lane bettered his first run in the far left lane. "Traditionally, those lanes are a little less rubber because you don't normally run those lanes, so most of the crew chiefs know it's going to be a little thinner as far as the rubber, and it's not going to be as much traction.”

Langdon put down a fast pass of 3.753 seconds at 321.81 mph in qualifying Friday, ahead of J.R. Todd in the new Kalitta Motorsports entry (3.781 seconds/325.06 mph). Khalid alBalooshi, Brittany Force and Tony Schumacher round out the top five in Top Fuel after day one.

"The first run we started out in lane number two and made a good run,” said Langdon. “We changed a couple things from the last race in Las Vegas. We’re just trying to work on a few areas of the car we’ve been struggling with and missing on Sunday.”

In Pro Stock, McGaha made a fast pass of 6.523 seconds at 213.10 mph in his first day of NHRA Four-Wide Nationals qualifying ever. Erica Enders-Stevens sits second after two rounds, followed by Dave Connolly, Shane Gray and Jeg Coughlin Jr.

“That was an experience,” McGaha said of competing in his first NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. “I guess I got fortunate as I got to go out on lanes one and four so the end lanes helped a lot. I noticed when I got up there it takes some guys longer to stage. We will see how I do when I run lanes two and three.”

Ray put down a fast pass of 6.816 seconds at 197.02 mph, while defending PSM champ Matt Smith set the zMAX Dragway track record at 198.32 mph during his second session qualifying run. Hector Arana Jr., Scotty Pollacheck, John Hall and Smith round out the top five.

The second day of qualifying for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals takes place Saturday with runs at 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. ET. Eliminations begin Sunday at noon ET. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.

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