ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. – Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is one of the oldest tracks hosting events on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
But Friday, Ron Capps and Spencer Massey proved old was new. Capps made the quickest pass in Funny Car history, and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Massey followed with the quickest run in Top Fuel history in qualifying for the Toyota NHRA Supernationals.
Capps made just the second run under four seconds in Funny Car, going 3.964 seconds at 320.89 mph. That is quicker than Matt Hagan's historic 3.995-second pass at Charlotte last September.
Massey's pass was 3.728 seconds at 329.91 mph, edging Del Worsham's record run of 3.735 seconds in Reading, Pa. last year.
Neither are national records, as both drivers need backups for their numbers. But neither driver was picky.
"It still hasn't sunk in," Capps said. "My teammate Hagan came over and high-fived me and about hurt my arm. I just can't believe it. We rolled up there, and guys kept throwing down quicker and quicker numbers. It was like a video game. We were the next pair, and we saw the .02 and .01 pop up. (Crew chief) Rahn (Tobler) said, 'Strap in as tight as you've ever been because we're going for it.' I couldn't believe it."
Assistant crew chief John Collins yelled Capps' elapsed time on the team's radio, but Capps didn't quite hear it.
"I screamed back, 'Now before I get out of the car and make an idiot of myself, you're saying 3.96?'" Capps said. "He was screaming, and that's when I knew. What a feeling."
It was a feeling Capps didn't want to go away.
"I didn't want to lift," Capps said. "I drove it farther than I ever did. I almost went to the old quarter-mile because it was so much fun. They tied my chutes together with a ziptie, so when I pulled two chutes, man, it wants to throw you out the front windshield. At 320 mph and two chutes coming out the same time is going to cause some neck pain in the morning, but it doesn't matter."
Capps needs to go 4.004 seconds or quicker to back up Friday's pass and set the national record, but he wasn't too concerned.
"I don't know," Capps said. "If we have the clouds and stuff tomorrow that could happen – this track is legendary when it cools off. It's legendary anyway, and it's neat to give this historic track a record like that because it deserves it.
"But if it's cool out, I don't doubt anyone else could go that quick or quicker, to be honest with you. Well see tomorrow."
Robert Hight (4.013 at 318.02 mph) was second, with Johnny Gray (4.022 at 318.84 mph) third.
Massey wasn't too worried about the national record, either, despite now holding the quickest and fastest passes in Top Fuel. Massey went 332.18 mph in Charlotte earlier this year and now has lowered the top ET.
"It's unbelievable, watching all the cars going down the race track running excellent numbers," Massey said. "Morgan (Lucas) runs a .73. Tony (Schumacher) went .74 and didn't even get bonus points for getting in the top three. That just shows you how awesome the entire Top Fuel field is.
"(Crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) both told me, 'If it sticks, hang on, because it's going to run.' I've heard that from them before, and they're usually right."
Massey said his crew was wiping raindrops off his windscreen as he was about to stage, so he hurried to the start line. Then, of course, he hurried down the race track.
"It started quivering the tires when it started sitting the front end down," Massey said. "I'm going, 'Don't smoke, don't smoke, don't smoke,' and it made it. Once it made it past that point, I knew it was going to be something killer."
Lucas was second with a pass of 3.739 seconds at 324.51 mph, with Shawn Langdon third at 3.742 at 324.36 mph.
Greg Anderson debuted the new Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Camaro, but teammate Jason Line's older Pontiac GXP was fastest after two rounds of qualifying. Line went 6.518 seconds at 212.09 mph to edge Allen Johnson's Mopar Dodge, which went 6.528 at 211.13 mph.
"I am liking the old car," Line said. "I'm excited to get out of it and into the new one. (Anderson's) didn't have quite the debut we were hoping for, but he slid the clutch during the last run, but we'll get it straightened out. I don't know if (mine) will be good enough to hold, but either way, it's a good run. Our guys did a great job. We're off to a good start. Felt like we should've been a little faster than that, but either way, a great run."
Mike Edwards was third at 6.529 at 211.33 mph. Anderson's new Camaro – the lone 2012 Camaro in the field this weekend – was No. 9 with a best pass of 6.554 at 21.103 mph.
Hometown boy Eddie Krawiec was fastest in both Pro Stock Motorcycle sessions, with the former Old Bridge Township Raceway Park general manager going 6.782 seconds at 197.28 mph in Q2 to hold the provisional No. 1 on his Vance & Hines/Screamin' Eagle Harley Davidson.
"It's a pretty great feeling, just to be back and making runs down the track," said Krawiec, who set track records for ET and mph. "To come off the trailer and run as good as we did, it sets the tone for the weekend. To run low ET in the first round and then second round, our bike obviously is running really well lately. It's an awesome motorcycle. And when you have a bike that is consistent and smooth, it's really fun to ride. That's what I'm most excited about. I've got a great motorcycle under me, and it leaves me to do my job."
The Lucas Oil Buells of Hector Arana Sr. (6.836 seconds at 195.42 mph) and Hector Arana Jr. (6.856 at 194.21 mph) were second and third, respectively.