Ron Capps continued his Funny Car dominance at Bristol Dragway, winning the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals for a record sixth time on Sunday.

The new team owner powered his NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Supra to the quickest run of each round and then ultimately took the victory over veteran racer Tim Wilkerson’s LRS Ford Mustang in the final round. In the final, Capps covered the distance with a winning performance of 3.984 seconds at 324.36 mph to cross the finish line in front of Wilkerson, who trailed with a 4.075 at 315.86.

“To run 3.98 was unbelievable,” Capps said. “This is a very demanding race track. I have a lot of NASCAR friends and this track for us is a lot like their Darlington, just so demanding. As a team you have to do everything right. We pulled it together; it was pretty cool.”

Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) joined Capps as winners of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event in Northeast Tennessee.

Capps powered his way through the bracket with a really fast hot rod and took out some big hitters in early rounds. His team overcame an engine explosion in his first-round win against Paul Lee, then took out No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight in a big second-round matchup, and narrowly edged out defending Bristol winner Alexis DeJoria in the semifinals.

“Today shows how tough Funny Car is,” Capps said. “I’m the biggest Tim Wilkerson fan and to see him come alive like he did today was cool. (Matt) Hagan and (Robert) Hight have been dominating so far and I’ve heard talk of a two-car race for the championship, but we’re still here. It’s a fun time of the year.”

It was Capps’ 70th career victory, but only his second as a new team owner, which has brought new responsibilities for the San Diego native.

“This year has been an emotional year being a team owner and having people to worry about,” Capps said. “The (four-wide) win in Vegas (in April) I was still in shock. It was great. It’s an amazing thing. I’m living the dream and to be able to do it in the sport I grew up with is unbelievable. Today felt different, we worked really hard at this one. Everybody wanted to get that first Supra win, it was out there. I wanted that one bad and I’m so proud that we got it.”   

New York native Ashley earned his first Bristol Dragway Top Fuel victory by holding off Shawn Langdon, in a close side-by-side race to the finish. Ashley’s dragster posted a 3.813 at 325.30 to finish in front of Langdon, who finished with a 3.841 at 320.51.

The second-generation racer was thrilled to win at the historic Volunteer State dragstrip and to be able to give his former Bristol-winning father Mike Ashley the trophy today as a Father’s Day gift.

“Bristol has so much history, you look up there (on the grandstands) and you see all of those names of the greats that have raced here and won here, and it’s just a special place and prestigious with it being on Father’s Day weekend,” Ashley said. “To be able to give my dad this trophy today as a gift is so cool.”

Ashley’s march to the win over Langdon started from the bottom of the bracket as he upset No. 3 qualifier Josh Hart in the opening round, then beat Doug Foley in the quarterfinals before taking out defending series champ Torrence in a titan semifinal match-up.

“Beating Steve in the semifinals is great, but I have a lot of respect for his team and we were just racing our lane and were fortunate to get the win,” Ashley said. “We’ve had a couple of first and second round exits this season, but to come back with back-to-back finals now in a class as tough as this and we feel good about the position we are in. Our team is stepping up and I am really proud of them.”

The Pro Stock final was one of the wildest in NHRA history. In a battle between Chevy Camaros, Stanfield’s car encountered tire shake at the hit of the throttle but his opponent Erica Enders’ car immediately started billowing white smoke due to an expired engine.

Enders kept her foot in the gas and was rolling toward the finish line in a huge cloud of white smoke before Stanfield streaked by and took the win-light at the last instant.

“That didn’t go according to plan,” Stanfield said. “Sometimes it goes like that. I was running fast all weekend long and it’s been a little tricky. I had tire shake and then saw a bunch of white smoke in the other lane and my crew chief got on the radio and told me to go, go, go! I got back in it and got the job done. That was just a wacky final round.”

Stanfield was proud to be able to give his Wally to his former Pro Stock racing father, Greg Stanfield, as a Father's Day gift.

“As a team we did a really good job today,” Stanfield said. “Just want to say happy Father’s Day to my dad and this trophy is for him. This is the best gift I could give him. This is a great race track with some great fans. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran racer Jerry Savoie wore his lucky gator socks and ended a two-year winless drought by beating his Louisiana neighbor Angelle Sampey when she turned on the red-light at the start of the race.

The Alligator Farmer claimed his first Bristol win and the 15th win of his career on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki. To advance to the final Savoie defeated Eddie Krawiec, Joey Gladstone and Angie Smith.

“It’s been a while, two years, we’ve been struggling and doing a lot of testing on our program, it was a lot of emotion,” Savoie said. “In the third round we lost an engine and made a swap. The most important thing is Father’s Day, my dad (Blue Savoie) passed away four years ago, he had a need for speed, and I’m so thankful that on this day I can dedicate this trophy to him.”

Savoie, who wasn’t able to race at Bristol last October due to a hurricane hitting his hometown, says he was really glad he finally got to experience Thunder Valley in all its glory.

“It’s a beautiful place and it has a magic about it,” Savoie said. “I’m having fun. It’s kinda like Sonoma here, the fans here really love motorcycles.”


BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Final finish order (1-16) at the 21st annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.  The race is the ninth of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.


  1. Justin Ashley; 2. Shawn Langdon; 3.  Steve Torrence; 4.  Antron Brown; 5.  Mike Salinas; 6. Doug Foley; 7.  Leah Pruett; 8.  Brittany Force; 9.  Josh Hart; 10.  Lex Joon; 11.  Doug Kalitta; 12. Austin Prock; 13. Tony Schumacher; 14.  Spencer Massey; 15.  Clay Millican; 16.  Cameron Ferre.


  1. Ron Capps; 2. Tim Wilkerson; 3.  Alexis DeJoria; 4.  John Force; 5.  Cruz Pedregon; 6.  Robert Hight; 7. Matt Hagan; 8.  Chad Green; 9.  J.R. Todd; 10.  Jim Campbell; 11.  Bob Tasca III; 12.  Paul Lee; 13. Terry Haddock; 14.  Phil Burkart; 15.  Jack Wyatt.


  1. Aaron Stanfield; 2. Erica Enders; 3.  Dallas Glenn; 4.  Kyle Koretsky; 5.  Greg Anderson; 6. Matt Hartford; 7.  Camrie Caruso; 8.  Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 9.  Deric Kramer; 10.  Mason McGaha; 11. Cristian Cuadra; 12.  Bo Butner; 13.  Kenny Delco; 14.  Chris McGaha; 15.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 16. Wally Stroupe.


  1. Jerry Savoie; 2. Angelle Sampey; 3.  Angie Smith; 4.  Marc Ingwersen; 5.  Steve Johnson; 6. Joey Gladstone; 7.  Matt Smith; 8.  Ryan Oehler; 9.  Eddie Krawiec; 10.  LE Tonglet; 11.  Jim Underdahl; 12.  Karen Stoffer; 13.  Malcolm Phillips Jr.; 14.  Ron Tornow; 15.  Jianna Evaristo; 16. Chris Bostick.


BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Sunday's final results from the 21st annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. The race is the ninth of 22 in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Justin Ashley, 3.813 seconds, 325.30 mph  def. Shawn Langdon, 3.841 seconds, 320.51 mph.

Funny Car -- Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.984, 324.36  def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.075, 315.86.

Pro Stock -- Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 8.033, 184.98  def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 8.801, 103.98.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.929, 194.30  def. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, Foul - Red Light.

Super Stock -- Mike Crutchfield, Pontiac G5, 9.061, 148.54  def. Scott Libersher, Chevy Camaro, Foul - Red Light.

Stock Eliminator -- Daren Poole-Adams, Chevy Camaro, 9.667, 136.66  def. Todd Ewing, Camaro, Foul - Red Light.

Super Comp -- Shawn Langdon, Dragster, 8.893, 161.38  def. John Labbous Jr., Dragster, 8.862, 165.68.

Super Gas -- Chris Lewis, Dadbod, 9.902, 166.27  def. Ausby Brewington, Mercury Zephyr, 9.897, 146.99.

Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers -- Tyler Caheely, Chevy Cavalier, 6.811, 198.64 def. Cole Prejean, Pontiac GTO, 7.222, 190.54.

Factory Stock Showdown -- David Barton, Chevy Camaro, 7.889, 174.28  def. Stephen Bell, Camaro, 7.930, 173.92.


BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Final round-by-round results from the 21st annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the ninth of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE -- Leah Pruett, 3.835, 324.36 def. Austin Prock, 4.107, 298.27; Justin Ashley, 3.824, 322.50 def. Josh Hart, 3.827, 318.69; Antron Brown, 3.863, 313.88 def. Tony Schumacher, 4.401, 199.94; Mike Salinas, 3.754, 329.99 def. Cameron Ferre, 9.524, 78.28; Steve Torrence, 3.943, 261.07 def. Lex Joon, 3.943, 286.01; Brittany Force, 3.844, 312.42 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.065, 282.60; Doug Foley, 4.704, 245.14 def. Clay Millican, 6.293, 122.64; Shawn Langdon, 3.809, 322.50 def. Spencer Massey, 4.484, 181.40;

QUARTERFINALS -- Brown, 3.930, 305.36 def. Force, 6.338, 96.38; Ashley, 3.917, 293.98 def. Foley, 3.942, 311.85; Langdon, 3.853, 318.92 def. Salinas, 3.816, 321.04; Torrence, 3.891, 315.86 def. Pruett, 3.960, 306.74;

SEMIFINALS -- Ashley, 3.816, 323.35 def. Torrence, 3.873, 319.98; Langdon, 3.847, 317.87 def. Brown, 3.896, 307.93;

FINAL -- Ashley, 3.813, 325.30 def. Langdon, 3.841, 320.51.



ROUND ONE -- Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.134, 259.41 def. Jack Wyatt, Dodge Charger, Broke; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Supra, 4.114, 273.00 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.686, 178.83; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 4.085, 268.65 was unopposed; John Force, Camaro, 4.138, 265.38 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 6.760, 102.48; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.169, 279.79 def. Phil Burkart, Chevy Monte Carlo, 7.915, 76.96; Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.148, 302.89 def. J.R. Todd, Supra, 4.168, 283.25; Chad Green, Mustang, 4.259, 229.74 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.442, 205.69; Ron Capps, Supra, 4.052, 311.63 def. Paul Lee, Charger, 6.023, 112.08;

QUARTERFINALS -- Wilkerson, 4.823, 194.58 def. Green, Broke; DeJoria, 4.068, 317.12 def. Hagan, 4.914, 201.70; Force, 4.096, 300.60 def. Pedregon, 4.177, 289.88; Capps, 4.031, 319.45 def.Hight, 4.526, 194.74;

SEMIFINALS -- Wilkerson, 4.135, 306.67 def. Force, 4.395, 263.41; Capps, 4.016, 318.99 def. DeJoria, 4.050, 321.50;

FINAL -- Capps, 3.984, 324.36 def. Wilkerson, 4.075, 315.86.


ROUND ONE -- Fernando Cuadra Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.679, 206.35 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., Chevy Camaro, 7.411, 141.22; Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.656, 205.51 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.672, 207.05; Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.651, 206.42 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.655, 207.66; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.613, 206.51 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.682, 206.29; Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.643, 206.45 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.664, 207.08; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.637, 206.76 def. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.671, 206.16; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.614, 206.99 def. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 7.609, 129.22; Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.636, 205.07 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.736, 204.17;

QUARTERFINALS -- Enders, 6.668, 205.91 def. Hartford, 6.689, 205.54; Glenn, 6.688, 205.54 def. Caruso, 13.570, 61.48; Stanfield, 6.641, 207.24 def. Cuadra Jr., Foul - Red Light; Koretsky, 6.678, 206.16 def. Anderson, 6.653, 205.91;

SEMIFINALS -- Enders, 6.657, 205.98 def. Glenn, 6.678, 206.29; Stanfield, 6.637, 206.80 def. Koretsky, 6.691, 205.85;

FINAL -- Stanfield, 8.033, 184.98 def. Enders, 8.801, 103.98.



ROUND ONE -- Ryan Oehler, 6.967, 192.99 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, Foul - Red Light; Angie Smith, 6.820, 197.59 def. Malcolm Phillips Jr., Suzuki, 7.033, 193.40; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.891, 195.05 def. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.880, 195.05; Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.971, 194.55 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, Broke - No Show; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.884, 195.62 def. Ron Tornow, 7.072, 184.30; Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.882, 192.82 def. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 7.229, 178.05; Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.866, 195.53 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.931, 193.46; Marc Ingwersen, 6.935, 193.65 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.998, 191.97;

QUARTERFINALS -- A. Smith, 6.803, 198.47 def. Johnson, 6.888, 194.58; Ingwersen, 6.894, 194.02 def. M. Smith, 6.985, 195.05; Savoie, 6.916, 196.19 def. Gladstone, 6.965, 193.52; Sampey, 6.900, 194.80 def. Oehler, 10.003, 86.49;

SEMIFINALS -- Sampey, 6.907, 197.54 def. Ingwersen, 7.558, 135.80; Savoie, 6.979, 193.74 def. A. Smith, 6.984, 196.56;

FINAL -- Savoie, 6.929, 194.30 def. Sampey, Foul - Red Light.


BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Point standings (top 10) following the 21st annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the ninth of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

  1. Brittany Force, 724; 2. Mike Salinas, 699; 3.  Justin Ashley, 672; 4.  Steve Torrence, 653; 5. Austin Prock, 459; 6.  Shawn Langdon, 435; 7.  Clay Millican, 430; 8.  Josh Hart, 414; 9.  Doug Kalitta, 405; 10. Antron Brown, 370.

Funny Car

  1. Matt Hagan, 854; 2. Robert Hight, 812; 3.  Ron Capps, 748; 4.  John Force, 588; 5. Cruz Pedregon, 507; 6.  J.R. Todd, 435; 7.  Alexis DeJoria, 434; 8.  Bob Tasca III, 420; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 411; 10.  Chad Green, 373.

Pro Stock

  1. Erica Enders, 690; 2. Aaron Stanfield, 607; 3.  Kyle Koretsky, 482; 4.  Dallas Glenn, 439; 5. Greg Anderson, 401; 6.  Mason McGaha, 383; 7.  Camrie Caruso, 369; 8.  Bo Butner, 306; 9.  Deric Kramer, 302; 10. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 300.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

  1. Steve Johnson, 453; 2. Karen Stoffer, 374; 3.  Matt Smith, 326; 4.  Angie Smith, 320; 5. Angelle Sampey, 314; 6.  Eddie Krawiec, 313; 7.  Joey Gladstone, 290; 8.  Jerry Savoie, 271; 9.  Marc Ingwersen, 261; 10.  Jim Underdahl, 227.