CAPPS PADS POINTS LEAD, REACHES QUARTERFINALS IN BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 8, 2007) - Points leader Ron Capps actually padded his points lead to 120 markers in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series championship, despite a second-round...
CAPPS PADS POINTS LEAD, REACHES QUARTERFINALS IN BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 8, 2007) - Points leader Ron Capps actually padded his points lead to 120 markers in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series championship, despite a second-round loss at the re-scheduled O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. His closest competitor for the No. 1 spot, Robert Hight, was eliminated in the opening round.
Driving the Brut Dodge Charger R/T resplendent in the special-edition Valvoline paint scheme for this event, under a hot Tennessee sun and track temperatures nearing 133 degrees in the opening stanza, No. 6 qualifier Capps eliminated Tommy Johnson Jr. with a strong 4.937-second elapsed time at 305.63 mph to Johnson's 4.987/305.42.
Capps then faced Cruz Pedregon in the quarterfinal under even hotter conditions. Capps lost traction early and struggled to cross the line in 8.122 seconds at 102.94 mph while Pedregon hazed the tires later in the run, taking the win with a 5.154/304.80.
"It was a very tricky weekend for everybody, really," said Capps of the re-surfaced Bristol Dragway. "Once they grind it is going to be fantastic. It's got great grip. It's just got a few little dips here and there, but, boy, the concrete (launching pad) is just unbelievable. I guarantee, when we come back, we're going to have records set here.
"I let the car get ahead of me on Friday night and Ace came back and got us in the show Saturday in the heat, which was huge. And we had a big match-up with Tommy Johnson first round. I could see him out the window. I was in the right lane and there's a bump out there and it kind of pitched me over, much like Jeff Arend did in qualifying, when he hit the wall. You just have to have your hands ready for anything down there. It bumped me over pretty good, but, luckily enough, we made it through the lights and got the win.
"We lost lane choice to Cruz and got put in the left lane and smoked the tires. It's unfortunate. Running the Valvoline car here, we definitely wanted to make a big splash and obviously win the race. The car looks great.
"It could always have been worse, and we gained another round on Robert. It's weekends like this that you have to look at the positive part of it because, yeah, we did gain an extra 20 points on Robert - that's the big picture. The small picture is we learned a lot about the car and what the car doesn't like it. We're going to be able to use that down the road. I'm excited about that.
"We'll get back to our normal thing, run the Brut "Test Drive" Dodge in Denver next weekend, and get ready for the Western swing."