CAPPS' ROUTE TO FUNNY CAR LEAD TAKE A SLIGHT DETOUR AT U.S. NATIONALS INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2005) - Ron Capps' route to his first NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship took a slight detour today, as the driver of the Brut...
CAPPS' ROUTE TO FUNNY CAR LEAD TAKE A SLIGHT DETOUR AT U.S. NATIONALS
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2005) - Ron Capps' route to his first NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship took a slight detour today, as the driver of the Brut Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car was defeated by his teammate Whit Bazemore in the opening round of eliminations for the prestigious U.S. Nationals today.
Capps and Bazemore were the final pair to take to the quarter-mile in that stanza and both had witnessed the loss of points leader Robert Hight and fourth-place John Force before them. Capps saw an opportunity to get closer to taking over the lead from his second-place slot; for Bazemore it was a case of getting his team back on track. Both had deserving reasons to win.
Capps took off at the line just a blink of an eye behind Bazemore, with a .083 reaction time to Bazemore's .048. The fans were treated to a great race, as Bazemore edged out Capps by .0167 of a second, winning the race on a holeshot advantage. Bazemore's slower 4.924/315.64 won over Capps' quicker 4.905/310.48.
Capps fell to third in the point standings, and is now 35 points behind Robert Hight in second, and 36 points out of first place, which was taken over by Capps' teammate Gary Scelzi following his second-round win against Tony Pedregon. Scelzi advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to Frank Pedregon.
"You find out it takes you longer and longer to get over a loss than to find the bright side," said Capps. "The bright side is that Hight and Force did go out.
"I knew it was going to be a close race. That's what happens. Whit took the top light off (of the starting lights) and made it a drag race. I had a great light (reaction time), the Brut Dodge guys did a great job, there are no excuses.
"We win as a team, we lose as a team in the Brut camp and they're behind me as much as I am behind them. I had a little problem. Like some of the other drivers, I was really fighting to keep the car in the groove all weekend long and I did a good job at that in that round. So, we were happy that we did that.
"Nobody wants to win the championship right now, it seems," said Capps of the re-shuffling of points today. "We have to take advantage. But it's going to make this chase even tighter with just five races left."
Next up is the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., Sept. 16-18, 2005.