ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 22, 2012) - It isn't easy to accept missing a chance at winning $100,000, especially when you come up short by two-hundredths of a second.
So it was understandable when NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car driver Ron Capps was disappointed after barely losing in the finals of the inaugural Traxxas Nitro Shootout to John Force at the Texas Motorplex south of Dallas as part of the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.
"It is slightly disappointing," Capps said of the Shootout loss. "It would have been a chapter to add when we look back on the season and be able to say we won the Traxxas Shootout.
Force, who has won 11 NHRA all-star titles, completed his run in 4.218 seconds at 296.57 to edge Capps' 4.223 (296.50).
"I remember when I was a rookie in a Funny Car going against Force in big races like that. It was fun," he said. "We were trying to be a little conservative and they stepped up. It's good; big picture is we have a good Dodge for Sunday. But it would have been a nice bonus for the guys to win the Shootout.
"All in all, a good day."
The team earned $15,000, but getting a third run on Saturday could prove to be priceless.
"Another run down the track under power gives (crew chief Rahn) Tobler and our NAPA guys more data. That's so important out here in this heat, and Sunday will be just as hot," Capps said.
"It was a confidence booster for me. I was disappointed with myself (Friday) night when I got out of the grove (on the track). We could have run better in the night session.
"I was real focused today doing the best I could. The (4.13) we ran in the first round (Saturday) was a great run in the type of heat we'll also have to deal with on Sunday."
Capps has bigger chips to cash on Sunday during championship eliminations of the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Capps along with Tobler and assistant crew chief John Collins have the NAPA team first in points among the 10 drivers contending in the six-race Countdown to the Championship.
Dallas marks the second stop of the Countdown and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T won last week's final near Charlotte.
Capps will start eliminations in the No. 6 position where he will open against Blake Alexander in a car owned by Paul Smith. Last year at Dallas, the driver of the car was Capps' brother, Jon Capps, and they met in the semifinals where they faced each other in a drag race for the first time. Ron Capps prevailed.
"You never take a Paul Smith car lightly," Ron said. "That's a tough car and that kid is hungry.
"We'll just do what we've been doing and try to get some round wins."
The following are Capps' qualifying results and notes from the NHRA Fall Nationals near Dallas:
Source: Don Schumacher Racing