Denver: Ron Capps final summary

CAPPS HANGS ON TO POINTS LEAD, OUT IN DENVER OPENING ROUND MORRISON, Colo. (July 16, 2006) - Ron Capps held on to his points lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car category today, despite losing the first round of eliminations to...

CAPPS HANGS ON TO POINTS LEAD, OUT IN DENVER OPENING ROUND

MORRISON, Colo. (July 16, 2006) - Ron Capps held on to his points lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car category today, despite losing the first round of eliminations to Bob Gilbertson.

Capps and the Brut Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car simply overpowered the track on the hottest weekend of racing this year, as temperatures rose to over the century mark. Capps launched first with a .099 reaction time to Gilbertson's .114 (.000 is perfect), but a loss of traction slowed Capps to a 6.085-second elapsed time at 230.65 mph. Gilbertson took the win with a 5.878/234.09.

When second-in-points John Force was eliminated by Capps' teammate Gary Scelzi in the second round, Capps was able to maintain his lead and now leads Force by 26 points.

"Obviously, Denver is a very difficult track to race on," said Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "Most of the drivers and crew chiefs are challenged by this mile-high track, and we figured we were safe enough to go down the track today in the high temperature. We had a cylinder go out yesterday and we tried to keep that from happening again and basically we had too much power for the track."

As for the points chase, "To be honest with you, it's great to be in the points lead and there's been a lot of talk lately of the competition between John Force and us. But, there is just way too much racing left to worry about the championship right now.

"At the end of the year we are all going to look back at the races we went out early in and try to do better the next year. That's the reason we did so well at the beginning of this year. It was important to have those points to put in your pocket to make up for the races that you might struggle in, and that's what we've done.

"There is not one team out here that will do well at every race all year long. We're not going to dwell on our loss today. We'll just put it behind us and go to the next race. But I would like to thank my teammate Gary Scelzi for helping us today."

"Probably so," responded crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch when asked if this was the toughest race to tune for. "Denver is in beautiful country. It's OK to come here and look at the scenery. The race track is a nice facility. The one thing we can't control is Mother Nature. I'm not making any excuses. It's the same race track for everybody and some guys got it and some guys didn't, and we didn't get it.

"Had it been a cooler race track, everybody would've been better, and there would've been better races. It's Sunday, and at the end of the day somebody is going to be a winner, and it's not going to be us."

Next up is next weekend's Schuck's NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways, outside of Seattle, Wash., July 21-23.

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Gilbertson , Ron Capps , John Force