Indy ORP: Dodge Motorsports final report

Capps Falls to Bernstein in Opening Round; Scelzi Ousted by Worsham; Beckman Shines Ron Capps got a taste of how quickly things can change. After leading the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car category by as much as 154 points this ...

Capps Falls to Bernstein in Opening Round; Scelzi Ousted by Worsham; Beckman Shines

Ron Capps got a taste of how quickly things can change. After leading the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car category by as much as 154 points this season, he finds himself fourth in the Countdown to Four playoffs (which kicked off today) standings following his first-round loss at the U.S. Nationals.

Capps fell victim to Kenny Bernstein's excellent reaction time (.045) to his own more-than-respectable .097 (.000 is perfect) and posted the fourth quickest elapsed time of the round, but lost on a holeshot advantage to Bernstein. Bernstein's 4.9221/307.16 beat Capps' 4.877/316.82 by a mere four feet.

With that, and Robert Hight's and Mike Ashley's march into the final round, Capps fell to fourth in the re-calculated rankings and is just nine points out of third, and 51 short of regaining the lead.

"For a long time we've been the points leader and right now we're not. And now it's down to the next three races. We're going to have to go to Memphis with a full head of steam."

Gary Scelzi got booted out of the U.S. Nationals Funny Car eliminations in the first round, but he's still buoyed by the performance of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T.

Scelzi is seventh of eight in the new Countdown to Four playoffs points, 62 short of the coveted fourth spot. The next three events will determine the top four, who will then vie for the championship in the final two events of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Jack Beckman's first visit to the prestigious U.S. Nationals as a Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car driver in his first full season of Funny Car competition was a dream weekend, despite his failure to double-up and earn a $50,000 bonus by winning the Skoal Showdown and the national event.

He collected $100,000 for his Showdown triumph on Sunday, qualified No. 3 in the field, earned for his crew another Full Throttle Pit Challenge Award for consistency in qualifying, and finished in the quarterfinals. As for the Countdown to Four point standings, the driver of the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T is fifth, 18 points out of fourth (Ron Capps).

In eliminations, Beckman initially defeated Scott Kalitta with another consistent pass, a 4.902-second lap at 318.24 mph, then knocked off a solid .039 reaction time (.000 is perfect) against Mike Ashley's .091 in the second round. Unfortunately, in 90-degree heat, Beckman's uncharacteristic tire-smoking 5.305/299.66 didn't hold up to Ashley's winning 4.882/324.12.

Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 14-16.

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Scott Kalitta , Jack Beckman , Mike Ashley , Robert Hight