CAPPS RE-SETS CAREER-BESTS IN CHICAGO TO QUALIFY NO. 8 JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Ron Capps pulled out a career-best 4.732-second elapsed time at a career-best 329.02 mph pass in the final round of qualifying today for the Ameriquest Mortgage...
CAPPS RE-SETS CAREER-BESTS IN CHICAGO TO QUALIFY NO. 8
JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Ron Capps pulled out a career-best 4.732-second elapsed time at a career-best 329.02 mph pass in the final round of qualifying today for the Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals to vault himself up from 10th position to eighth and earn lane choice over rookie and fellow championship contender Robert Hight in first round of eliminations.
Capps and the Brut Dodge Stratus R/T team came out a-blazing in the first round of qualifying, recording a 4.759-second pass at 326.87 mph (the first career-best of three he set this weekend), good for No. 6.
This strong performance showed promise for the following night session where records have been known to be demolished here at the smooth and fast Route 66 Raceway. Each Funny Car driver in the championship chase was looking for those 20 extra bonus points for a national ET record. But it was not to be for Capps (or actually anyone else, for that matter) as his car smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle and coasted to a 12.331/75.34 pass. He fell to 10th in the quickest Funny Car field in NHRA history.
In the third session, Capps once again re-set his career-best speed, posting a 4.759-second pass at 327.74 mph, which he then destroyed in the last run.
"I wish every race weekend was like this," said Capps, who came into this event fifth in the Funny Car points race, just 82 markers out of first place. "It's fun because the track doesn't pose any extra worries for the crew chiefs beyond just the weather conditions and the track temperatures.
"It's a lot of fun for everybody, just throwing big numbers out. We've been trying to find that edge where we smoke the tires. The Brut Dodge hasn't smoked the tires early in so long that we found the edge on Friday night. It was kind of nice to find out where that spot is and then back up a little bit. It's back to being a consistent car, which it's been most of the year."
Capps will face second-in-points Hight in first round for the second straight weekend. "We ended qualifying on a great note, moved up a couple of spots, have lane choice," he said. "We have destiny in our own hands this time, racing Robert, unlike in Reading (Pa.) where we didn't have lane choice and it made it a little bit tougher (Capps lost to Hight and fell to fifth place in points).
"It just makes it that much more interesting."