Brainerd: Ron Capps final report

CAPPS CEDES TO TEAMMATE BECKMAN IN BRAINERD QUARTERS BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2008) - Ron Capps was defeated by his Don Schumacher Racing teammate in the second round of Funny Car eliminations at the 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd ...

CAPPS CEDES TO TEAMMATE BECKMAN IN BRAINERD QUARTERS

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2008) - Ron Capps was defeated by his Don Schumacher Racing teammate in the second round of Funny Car eliminations at the 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway today.

Driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T, No. 16 qualifier Capps dismissed the No. 1 qualifier Ashley Force in the opening round with a 4.247-second pass at 289.21 mph, then faced his teammate Jack Beckman in the quarterfinals.

With lane choice for that round and a familiar opponent in the other lane, Capps was ready for a good, close race. Unfortunately, Beckman beat him to the finish stripe with a 4.216/292.42 pass to Capps' 4.264/288.39. Margin of victory: .0542 of a second.

Capps dropped to No. 8 in the point standings, with two national events remaining before the Countdown to 1 playoffs kick in following the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.

"You would think racing teammates might be a little easier," said Capps, "but, actually, it turns out to be more mentally tough. We know that that team works well and very close with Ace (Capps' crew chief Ed McCulloch), so we know that their setup is very close to ours.

"More than that, we're fighting to help our teammates (Gary Scelzi, Jack Beckman and Jerry Toliver) get into the top 10. Not that we're super solid in the top 10, but we're solidly in the top 10. We want nothing more than to get those guys in there.

"Approaching that round we had lane choice and we just got outran. Going into a run run like that you're kind of thinking about different things than you're going to race an opponent. Being teammates I know he's not going to play games at the starting line, so we just go up there and let the cars do the talking. Basically the car in the other lane has a tune-up close to Ace's and (Beckman's crew chiefs) Tommy DeLago and Johnny West have done a great job. They've been real consistent as of late. And when they do good it helps us as well because we learn from that car.

"All in all, a great day. I talked with Michael Waltrip this morning, told him congratulations on another year with NAPA; we're real excited about that. And I wished him good luck in Watkins Glen today and he wished me good luck and told me not to lose to a girl," added Capps, with a laugh. "So, we had to beat Ashley Force the first round or I would have to had to answer to Michael Waltrip. I didn't want to have to call him back and say we lost to 'a girl.' This was all said in fun, of course. Ashley Force is an outstanding and tough competitor.

"We struggled to qualify here and we went from being No. 16 to knock off the top qualifier first round. Then we ran really well the second round and just got beat, so it wasn't all bad.

"It's time to get ready now for the DRAW charity softball game Thursday night in Reading because we had another practice (with Gary Scelzi's Superchargers) here in Brainerd and I am very sore. I can tell you, my teammates are as well, but it's going to be a lot of fun and we're looking forward to the next two races before the Countdown starts."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Jack Beckman , Ashley Force , Jerry Toliver