POMONA, Calif. (AP) Ron Capps earned valuable qualifying points and Jack Beckman sprinted to the qualifying lead in Funny Car on Friday in the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Capps had the lowest time in the first session of qualifying with a 3.883-second pass at 323.66 mph in his Dodge Charger R/T. He was awarded three points for being the quickest of the session, giving him an 89-point lead over teammate and second-place Matt Hagan.
If Capps, the winningest Funny Car driver in NHRA history without a world championship, has at least an 81-point lead over Hagan when qualifying concludes Saturday evening, he will wrap up the season title.
Beckman raced to the top qualifying position with a 3.865 at 332.84 in his Dodge Charger R/T. He set both ends of the track record.
''It was an amazing run,'' Beckman said. ''We had hot conditions all day but us running the new track records is a testament to how fast the Funny Car category has gotten as a whole this entire season.''
Antron Brown was the fastest in Top Fuel a week after taking the season title, Jason Line topped the Pro Stock field, and Jerry Savoie led in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Brown had a 3.713 at 326.56. Line ran a 6.565 at 211.16 in a Chevrolet Camaro. He leads the standings, 20 points ahead of Greg Anderson. Savoie had a 6.844 at 195.93 on a Suzuki.