2022 NHRA Camping World Champions Crowned With One Surprise

NHRA Auto Club Nationals 14 photos
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It all came down to the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, California, to determine the champions of the 2022 NHRA Camping World season. While the Pro Stock Class champion had already been decided, the focus was on Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories.
In the end, it was a glorious early evening for Brittany Force, Ron Capps, and Matt Smith as they emerged as the NHRA Camping World champions in what has been the largest and most competitive field in NHRA history.

Force was able to win her second Top Fuel title through her remarkable qualifying on Friday and Saturday as she again turned in record runs to be the low qualifier heading into Sunday. It happened without the usual drama and tension as Justin Ashley, the only driver with a legitimate chance to knock her off the lead, was eliminated in the first round by eventual event winner Antron Brown.

Force and her Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac dragster team racked up five wins this season, 10 top qualifying spots, and set six of her record-setting top 10 speed records.

Funny Car's Ron Capps completed an improbable season in comeback fashion, becoming the first driver in the last twenty years to win back-to-back titles. Capps collected his third title by saving his best for the last. Robert Hight had a stranglehold on the class virtually all season, with Capps never having led the standings until Sunday's finals.

Entering the Auto Club Finals, he trailed Hight by 60 points, but he and his NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car managed to earn a top qualifying spot heading to eliminations where he expected a match-up with Hight to determine the champ. It never materialized as Hight was upset by Bob Tasca III in the second round putting Capps atop the standings.

Needing a clean race in the final to stay ahead of Hight by a mere 3 points, Capps would do just that but lost the finals title to Cruz Pedregon.

The championship put a bow on a season full of highlights for Capps, who overtook full ownership of the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car team this year and posted five wins, five runner-ups, and six No.1 qualifying spots.

Matt Smith had a lock on the Pro Stock Motorcycle class all season, but unlike Hight, he managed to power through and lock up a record-tying sixth championship in the opening round with a victory over Michael Phillips.

The championship was made even sweeter when his wife Angie won the season-ending Auto Club Finals for her third career victory.
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