CAPPS EXITS EARLY IN CONCORD CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 19, 2010) - No. 10 qualifier Ron Capps, piloting the NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger Funny Car at the third annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals, exited in the opening round today, following a rare ...
CAPPS EXITS EARLY IN CONCORD
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 19, 2010) - No. 10 qualifier Ron Capps, piloting the NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger Funny Car at the third annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals, exited in the opening round today, following a rare red-light in his match-up against his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman.
It marked only the second red light of his 13-year Funny Car racing career; the first coming at the 2007 Phoenix event. Beckman claimed the win with a 4.232-second elapsed time at 302.01 mph, while Capps, not realizing he had fouled out, continued, then struck the tires and slowed to a 4.924/198.15.
"Obviously, it was frustrating to have to race our teammate first round," said Capps, who is now seventh in the point standings, with four races remaining in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. "It's inevitable, but it's not something you like doing.
"The run was very strange. The NAPA Brakes Dodge left, it went out and it rattled the tires loose early and I saw Jack going down the track. I coasted down and took the turnoff and came around the corner and I'm sure I was visibly upset that we lost. I felt that with (points leader) John Force and Robert Hight (in sixth) going out first round, we really could have made up some ground and got ourselves back in the hunt.
"Gary Gerould of ESPN came over to interview me and asked how I felt about the red light. I said, What red light? I didn't red light. I left on amber and I didn't red light and apparently the red light was on.
"After coming back and talking with the ESPN guys and they looked at the slo-mo footage and we looked at our camera and Beckman's guys looked at their camera, it appeared to affirm what I already knew. I left on amber, I didn't leave early, and the car didn't move.
"There were some things that happened in the left lane not just in Funny Car but in other classes where there were some really phantom 60-foot and reaction times. So, there was something going on in there.
"We would have lost the round anyway, but it's a little frustrating. I've been driving Funny Cars for 13 years. I've only red-lit once. If I make a mistake I'm the first one to come back and tell everybody that I made a mistake driving. I told (crew chief) John (Medlen), Ace (Ed McCulloch) and Don (Schumacher) I was 100 percent sure I left on amber and I didn't red light.
"As I said, It wouldn't have made a difference."
Next up is the 25th annual NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, Sept. 24-26.