CAPPS REGAINS FUNNY CAR POINTS LEAD, GOES TO SEMIS AT U.S. NATIONALS CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2006) - Ron Capps drove the new Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to a semifinal finish at the U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at ...
CAPPS REGAINS FUNNY CAR POINTS LEAD, GOES TO SEMIS AT U.S. NATIONALS
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2006) - Ron Capps drove the new Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to a semifinal finish at the U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis today and regained the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship points lead he had lost at the last event in Memphis.
Capps now leads John Force by 19 points after Force fouled out in the opening round of eliminations today and Capps reached the semifinal round. En route to the semifinal, Capps disposed of Gary Densham with a 4.769-second pass at 323.66 mph, then eliminated Scott Kalitta in a nail-biting quarterfinal with a 4.865/314.53, despite a scare at the starting line when a minor oil leak was discovered.
The semifinal round pitted him against Force teammate Robert Hight. Capps launched first with a .062 (of a second) reaction time, to Hight's .081, but it was Hight first at the finish with a 4.768/324.67 lap to Capps' losing 4.841/319.67.
"We had drama second round with the fuel leak at at the starting line," said Capps. "I tell you, sometimes if we don't have a little adversity or a little drama or not having lane choice or something it's almost too boring around here.
"To have Force go out was huge and we've done that ourselves and left the door open several times this year and they didn't capitalize on it. We needed to make a statement here this weekend, and our goal was to come in here and prove that we have the right and we have the capability to win a championship, and we need to do it now. There's only five races left.
"We just needed to show ourselves that we could get the points lead back and that we were just as good or better, and it worked out, for whatever reason.
"We'll take the points lead. It was not so fun not having it for two weeks, and it's nice to have it back. Force is going to be gunning for it more than ever, and we're down to crunch time now. It's going to be exciting for the fans. It's going to be exciting for Force and me. And if our two teams aren't careful, we're going to have some other teams right on our butts, and we just need to focus on what we're doing.
"Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and the team learned a lot between the testing session here that Raybestos put on and this weekend's race. Like Ace said, we were able to try a lot of different things in different conditions at one track and we learned what we think is going to help us.
"These tracks that we are going to go to now will be in cool conditions, they're going to be fast, and it's not going to be the hot and tricky conditions that we were so good at in the beginning of the year. But we feel like we have now adapted to the cool conditions that we're going to see. That's what it's going to take.
"Losing the semis is disappointing. Jimmy Prock (Hight's crew chief) is not bashful, he never is. He doesn't know the term 'back off,' so we needed to get down the track. We didn't have lane choice and we knew they were going to run a mid-.70. We had to be careful, we didn't want to throw it away. So, it's unfortunate, but it's another notch in the belt.
"I'm going to head to Eldora Speedway on Wednesday and go have fun on the dirt track with the NASCAR guys (Prelude to the World), get a weekend off, and go to Reading, Pa.
Next up is the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., Sept. 15-17.