CAPPS STILL NO. 1 AFTER FIRST-ROUND BRAINERD LOSS BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 12, 2007) - Although his lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car class point standings has dwindled in the last few races, Ron Capps is not discouraged after...
CAPPS STILL NO. 1 AFTER FIRST-ROUND BRAINERD LOSS
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 12, 2007) - Although his lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car class point standings has dwindled in the last few races, Ron Capps is not discouraged after losing to his teammate Jack Beckman in the opening round of eliminations at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals today.
He has clinched a spot in the top eight for the Countdown to the Championship, has a 75-point edge over Robert Hight in the standings, and, despite previous reports, he, crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch and the Brut "Test Drive" Dodge Charger R/T team continue to test parts and pieces on race weekend in anticipation of having to perform their best when the next phase to the Countdown kicks in on Labor Day weekend.
Capps and Beckman took off at the starting lights with near-identical reaction times (.080 for Capps, .085 for Beckman), but it was Beckman first at the finish stripe, grabbing the victory with a 4.819-second elapsed time at 322.11 mph to Capps' losing 5.187/220.22.
"The Brut Dodge was running great," said Capps. "Jack was right out my window. In fact, he was just a tiny bit ahead of us, and it tried to lock a clutch up out there and the right lane just wouldn't hold it.
"We were trying to run 4.80 flat to a mid to high 4.70. Ace wasn't being shy. It's not too often the Brut Dodge doesn't get to the finish line with the 'chutes out, and that run was surprising. But we knew that's what Ace wanted to try. We were really getting after it.
"Yes, we are still testing. We kind of went back to what Ace has always done on race day in his approach, but we still have some parts in the car that we're trying to learn from and we think if we can corral them and find out what makes these parts work well it will benefit us down the road.
"It may not be until next year these parts may benefit us, but we need to find out in case we have to run them in the Countdown. It's a work in progress, for sure.
"The Brut guys are 100 percent behind everything we do and every call that Ace makes. I've got to focus on my driving more than ever right now because it's more important now when we're trying things. I just can't let Ace down. As a team, it's very tough, because we feel sorry for our fans that we're testing some things and we're giving up a few rounds here and there. I guarantee, it's going to pay off in the long run."
Next up is the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Aug. 17-19, the last race left for the top eight in each class to be solidified.