Columbus Broken Part Sidelines Ron Capps

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 18, 2000 - Parts failure ended Ron Capps' day prematurely during the Pontiac Excitement Nationals Sunday at National Trail Raceway in nearby Kirkersville. A quicker starting line reaction (.472 to .556) sent Capps into a big...

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 18, 2000 - Parts failure ended Ron Capps' day prematurely during the Pontiac Excitement Nationals Sunday at National Trail Raceway in nearby Kirkersville.

A quicker starting line reaction (.472 to .556) sent Capps into a big lead over Scotty Cannon in the quarterfinals on a day when rain postponed the event's start by two hours. Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro Funny Car continued to pull away from Cannon until the engine's blower drive shaft broke. With it's power gone, the car coasted through with a 7.057 seconds at 119.98 mph. Cannon, meanwhile, had a 4.975 at 304.74.

"We probably could've run a high (4).80 but there was nothing we could do about something like that breaking," said Capps. "Obviously we have a car that can run with anyone out here. Maybe we just need a little more luck to come our way."

The team had an opportunity to move closer to John Force, who went into the race leading in points. He lost in the first round to Jerry Toliver, who was runner-up and took over first place. Toliver now has 841 points, Force 826, followed by Capps in third with 731.

"We had hoped to be able to take advantage of Force losing," Capps added. "We are going to stay focused and do what we've done all season - try not to lose early in eliminations."

While rain shortened qualifying to three sessions, crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch tuned the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro to a 4.911-second time to take the No. 3 starting spot. Capps then ran 4.916 seconds in beating first-round foe John Lawson.

The team returns to action Thursday through Saturday in the season's only night race, the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Madison, Ill., near St. Louis.

Qualified: No. 3, 4.911 seconds at 303.57 mph.

First round: Capps, 4.916 at 304.12 def. John Lawson; Quarterfinals: Scotty Cannon def. Capps.

Pro Winners: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel; Tony Pedregon, Funny Car; Mark Pawuk, Pro Stock.

Next Event: Sears Craftsman Nationals, Madison, Ill., June 22-24.

TV Schedule: ESPN2, June 25, two-hour elimination highlights, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (EDT)

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Scotty Cannon , Jerry Toliver