Houston Ron Capps Reaches Semis

BAYTOWN, Texas - Ron Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro Funny Car team had a much better race day at Houston Raceway Park than they did in two days of qualifying. And the result finds Capps back in third place in NHRA Winston Series ...

BAYTOWN, Texas - Ron Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro Funny Car team had a much better race day at Houston Raceway Park than they did in two days of qualifying. And the result finds Capps back in third place in NHRA Winston Series standings after five of 23 events.

Capps advanced to the semifinals before losing a tire-smoking, throttle-pedaling match against Bob Gilbertson by crossing the centerline. Gilbertson, the 16th qualifier, was the surprise race winner.

Crew chief Ed McCulloch, unable to keep the car from shaking the tires during qualifying, found the right combination for eliminations. Capps began the day from the No. 13 spot. He defeated Del Worsham in the first round with a 4.970-second, 305.70-mph effort, then came back with a 4.954 to beat Dean Skuza.

Capps pedaled it when the tires shook against Gilbertson, but the tires began smoking. He got on and off the throttle again, but the car moved toward the centerline and the left front wheel crossed it.

"It's tough in a situation like that because you don't know where the other guy is," Capps said. "Apparently he had problems I didn't know about. I pedaled it three times but every time I did, the car turned left (toward the center of the track). I could see from the side window that I would be very close to the centerline.

"Considering what we did during qualifying, we had a good day today. The guys worked awfully hard to go the rounds we did."

The only time the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro didn't shake in qualifying came in the first session. The car was on a good run when the blower belt broke and Capps coasted through with a 5.069 at 225.45 mph.

The team plans to test Monday. The next back-to-back events are the Moto1.net Nationals at Richmond, Va., April 28-30, and the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Atlanta, May 5-7.

First Round: Capps, 4.970 at 305.07 def. Del Worsham; Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.954 at 304.39 def. Dean Skuza; Semifinals: Bob Gilbertson, 7.486 at 142.73 def. Capps.

Pro Winners: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; Bob Gilbertson, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock.

Next Event: Moto1.net Nationals at Richmond, Va., April 28-30. TV: The Nashville Network, 4:30-6 p.m. EDT

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Bob Gilbertson , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Ron Capps