INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 3, 2017) After Steve Torrence took the Traxxas title in Top Fuel yesterday, the Traxxas Nitro Shootout has made its way to the Funny Car class today at Lucas Oil Raceway. The race within a race features the eight drivers who will duke it out on the drag strip for the title of Traxxas Nitro Shootout champion and the grand prize of $100,000. The first seven drivers to win a race this season were automatically entered into the speciality event while they eight driver was chosen based off of a fan vote and lottery pick.
No 1. Ron Capps vs. No. 8 Courtney Force
No 2. Robert Hight vs. No. 7 J.R. Todd
No 3. Matt Hagan vs. No. 6 John Force
No 4. Tommy Johnson Jr. vs. No. 5 Jack Beckman
Don Schumacher Racing teammates, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Jack Beckman were the first pair down the track for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Johnson had a little bit of tire smoke early on in the run and surrendered the round win to Beckman. Beckman made a clean pass of 3.872 seconds at 331.77 mph while Johnson slowed to a 4.000 second pass at 423.98 mph.
In an incredibly close race, John Force took the victory over Matt Hagan. Force’s reaction time got him to the strip first over Hagan’s quicker elapsed time. Force’s 0.34 reaction paired with his 3.949 second time was better than Hagan’s 0.66 reaction time and 3.918 second pass. The margin of victory at the finish line was a thousandth of a second.
Defending Funny Car world champion and current points leader, Ron Capps took the victory over Courtney Force. Capps had nearly half a car length over Force at the finish line. Capps ran a 3.871 second pass at 330.55 mph. Force put ups 3.911 second effort at 329.91 mph.
Funny Car rookie, J.R. Todd’s 3.956 second effort wasn’t enough to get around Robert Hight’s 3.889 second lap at 332.35. Todd had cylinder out towards the stripe which played a role in his round one demise.
Robert Hight vs. John Force
Ron Capps vs. Jack Beckman
Robert Hight and his boss, John Force had a close battle for the second round win. Hight got the better of his team owner with a 3.893 second run at 332.51 mph and was low of the round. Force left the starting line at the exact same time as Hight but ran a slower lap of 3.954 seconds at 314.24 mph.
The DSR teammates had a very eventful race with Jack Beckman smoking the tires at the start, only for Ron Capps to blowup at halftrack. Beckman peddled the car for the win-light with a 4.942 second ET at 204.23 mph. Capps coasted to the line with a 5.568 second pass at 129.33 mph.
Robert Hight vs. Jack Beckman
Practically even off the tree, Jack Beckman and Robert Hight put it all on the line for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout win. After getting into tire shake early in the run, Hight’s 4.360 second pass at 207.11 mph wasn’t enough to get around Jack Beckman and his clean 3.952 second run at 324.67 mph. While in the media center, Beckman dedicated this win to the woman who made it all possible. “Terry Chandler has two Funny Cars, and always will have two Funny Cars as long as these teams are running. It’s the Infinite Hero team and it’s the Make-A-Wish team. That was the last race where her car took a trophy when she was still alive. Friday we did her memorial and it was just a way for us to come to terms with the fact that we’re not going to see her here anymore. She’ll live on in our thoughts but we’re not going to see her at the racetrack anymore. I still struggle, even with that memorial. That Make-A-Wish car has been on a tear making final rounds but hasn’t closed the deal since she passed away. This is the first trophy since Terry passed away so I think it’s a fitting way to bookend her physical time out here on the NHRA tour but she’s gonna keep going on with us and doing some great things,” said Beckman. This is Beckman’s fourth specialty race win and third of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Beckman will take home the shootout trophy and pocket the $100,000 grand prize.