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Capps, Schumacher tops in New England Nationals in Epping
Driver Tony Schumacher is greeted by fans after winning the Top Fuel race final at the 2nd Annual Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping Sunday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
“It’s been Chamber of Commerce weather all weekend,” said New England Dragway general manager Joe Lombardo. “You can’t beat it. And the fans have been phenomenal.”
Schumacher, who qualified eighth, got up to 323.27 miles per hour down the quarter-mile drag strip.
“I haven’t seen one of these in a while,” said Capps with his Wally.
“It will be with me on Delta Airlines tomorrow. It will be a fun trip home.”
Capps and Schumacher both drive for Don Schumacher Racing, the team owned by Tony’s drag racing legend of a dad.
They liked the feeling.
Tony was delighted to add his Wally to the hardware his family collected this week: His 10-year-old son Michael got a trophy for a youth baseball championship.
“It’s scary stout,” Capps said. “I can’t wait to watch (the day’s races) on TV. Talk about side-by-side racing.”
They looked to be on a fast-track to a rematch. Then came the semifinals.
John Force had struggled coming into the New England Nationals. He lost in the first round of eliminations each of the past five events.
Angie Smith topped Matt Smith, her husband, to win her first Wally in the Pro Stock Motorcycle division in the first NHRA Pro final matching spouses.
She topped out at 191.89 mph and won when Matt’s motor broke.
Lombardo was more than happy with the crowds and the weekend.
He didn’t have final numbers, but thought Sunday’s crowd was probably close to 22,000, which would be the best single day attendance in the two years of the event.
Brian Khoury of Derry was the runnerup on Sunday in the Super Gas division of bracket racing where races must come as close as possible to a finish time they predict ... Kyle Cultrera of Eliot, Maine, was runnerup in Super Comp.