Baytown: Ron Capps final summary

CAPPS WINS BACK-TO-BACK SEASON RACES IN HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2007) - Ron Capps pulled out his second straight win of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season today at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals and defended his 2006...

CAPPS WINS BACK-TO-BACK SEASON RACES IN HOUSTON

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2007) - Ron Capps pulled out his second straight win of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season today at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals and defended his 2006 title at Houston Raceway Park. He also took over the Funny Car points lead.

Today's victory marked his 24th event win in 47 final rounds, and his 23rd Funny Car victory. Capps also won in Gainesville, Fla., two weeks ago.

It was an emotional win for Capps, as his and every competitors' thoughts here this weekend were with Funny Car racer Eric Medlen, who passed away last week from injuries sustained in a testing accident.

Following a three-hour rain delay, Capps and the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team demonstrated their consistency once again by first defeating teammate Jack Beckman with a 4.872-second pass at 313.95 mph. He then took on his other teammate Gary Scelzi, whom he beat with a 4.866/312.42.

In the semis he eliminated Del Worsham with a 4.869/306.19, then disposed of Cruz Pedregon in the final round with another consistent 4.868/307.93 to Pedregon's losing 5.025/270.97.

"I don't think I've ever had a race I wanted to win more...There were no POWERade points, no Full Throttle points (on our minds)," he said at the end of the track. "There was nothing more that we wanted to do than stand where I'm standing. The trophy is going to John Medlen. My guys are taking it back to Brownsburg (Indiana) and giving it to John. I'm going to find another one and send it to Eric's mom (Mimi.)

"What a day, Man. He was definitely riding with me. I've had some weird stuff going on all week, as a lot of guys will tell you who knew him real well, and you can just feel him. I never really believed that, but that little squirt was right there with me.

"We were late towing up there and Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) was on the radio cussing at us to get to the starting line because Pro Stock had run already. When he gets angry the car runs good, and that's no joke. And he was angry. He said, 'Get that car up here.' I wasn't even all the way buckled in. In fact, my chin strap was pulled too tight and at half track I couldn't see and I actually had to take a hand off the wheel and take my left hand to push my helmet up. Thank God we got the win.

"John Force had called me a couple of times this weekend. Just a weird race not having him here. No disrespect to any of the cars that were here. When qualifying ended, yeah, everybody ended up where they were, but it wasn't right without John, Robert and Ashley here. And of course without Eric.

"What a day. We didn't know if we were going to be here Monday, next week, Mother's Day weekend, we just didn't know. We really didn't think we were going to get [this race] out of the way, but hats off to the people that got this track ready. I thought they were loony saying 35 minutes to Top Fuel, because there was no way they could dry it that fast, but they did, and guys were running great.

"It's a great, great ending, and the sun was setting over there just as we finished the final and it couldn't have been better."

Said Ed McCulloch: "I think that we had a pretty good day. It was pretty treacherous out there, a pretty tough race track. But it was tough for everybody. We didn't run that good, but we ran good enough to win our rounds and that's what happens. You have to go down the race track. I'm not bragging, but most of the time we're pretty good about going down the race track. It's won us a lot of races. We're not always the fastest guys out there, but I think we've also learned that when the conditions get good that we can be faster.

"Everything is going good," McCulloch added. "We're doing better in qualifying and we've now got things going. Won a couple of races. Again, it's not the same without the Force guys here. We all realize that and understand, but our lives go on and we have to do what we have to do.

"At Eric's funeral when I saw John Force I gave him a hug and he said, 'Go to Houston and win.' So, I guess we'll have to say this is for John and Eric and the guys, all of them."

Next up is the Summitracing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Eric Medlen , John Medlen