Columbus: Ron Capps final summary

CAPPS' CONSISTENT PASSES IN BRUT CAR TAKE HIM TO SEMIFINALS IN OHIO HEBRON, Ohio (May 22, 2005) - Even without lane choice the entire day of final eliminations for the NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway, Ron Capps and the Brut Dodge Funny...

CAPPS' CONSISTENT PASSES IN BRUT CAR TAKE HIM TO SEMIFINALS IN OHIO

HEBRON, Ohio (May 22, 2005) - Even without lane choice the entire day of final eliminations for the NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway, Ron Capps and the Brut Dodge Funny Car team demonstrated that consistency can take you a long way in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' Funny Car class.

No. 12 qualifier Capps first disposed of Phil Burkart Jr. in a very tight match by .0263 of a second, with a 4.862/318.92 pass to Burkart's losing 4.887/318.69. Eric Medlen was his next victim in the second round, when Capps out-performed the John Force teammate both at the starting light (.080 to .127) and on the track with a 4.814/322.04 to Medlen's wobbly 4.862/321.04.

The semifinal round against John Force, however, was Capps' denouement. Another consistent 4.826/320.20 lap was no match for the 13-time champion's stellar 4.773/323.50 pass. Capps had him at the starting line (.075 to .103), but didn't have enough to beat him at the finish line and lost by just 12 feet.

"Considering how the weekend went for us Friday and Saturday in qualifying today was a typical (crew chief) Ed McCulloch day for us. We struggled a little bit in qualifying, but when it comes to race day, I don't care where I'm at in the show. When I've got (co-crew chief Dan) Olson and McCulloch standing in front of me first round I feel like we can win at any time.

"We knew going in it was going to be a huge day for points. And we were on the opposite sides of the ladder to (teammate Gary) Scelzi as things were going.

"Up until the semis we just felt like this was going to be our time to get Force and hopefully get in a final round for Don Schumacher Racing, and get Scelzi in the final. That would have been a great thing. We just came up a little short."

"It was such a close race. I never saw Force until I pulled the 'chutes and he went flying by me with no 'chutes. I looked for my win light on the guardrail and it wasn't there. I knew it had to be a close race."

Force's parachute tangled and sent him into the sand at the end of the track. His car was not damaged.

"I try to keep these Brut guys motivated," added Capps, "and pat Ace on the butt and just say, Hey, we had a great weekend. And we did. And the best part is we have three races in four weeks coming up, and we have a great tune-up. Ace is really comfortable with the new clutch setup and the backup car. I'm very excited going to Topeka.

"We didn't have lane choice all day and we liked the right lane. The top-half qualifiers were choosing the left and Force wanted the left and we wanted the right.

"Early in the weekend there was a lot of complaining about the track and a lot of crew chiefs were very, very upset about how the track was. And you've got to give a lot of credit to the Safety Safari and the guys who stuck with it here and made this track what it was today, because it didn't matter which lane we had. To do that and have side-by-side Funny Cars running 4.80s and 4.70s is just a credit to those guys getting the track ready."

The Carlsbad, Calif., resident moves into sixth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points, and is 60 points behind his teammate Whit Bazemore in fifth (443-503).

Capps' teammate Gary Scelzi reached the final round, but lost to John Force.

Next up is this weekend's O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka (Kans.), May 27-29.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Phil Burkart , Eric Medlen , Don Schumacher