Joliet: Tough weekend for Skoal Racing Team

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Report Mechanical Woes Hit Skoal Racing Team JOLIET, Ill., June 3, 2001 - Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Skoal Racing Funny Car team battled mechanical miseries at the Lucas Oil Products Nationals at Route 66...

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Report
Mechanical Woes Hit Skoal Racing Team

JOLIET, Ill., June 3, 2001 - Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Skoal Racing Funny Car team battled mechanical miseries at the Lucas Oil Products Nationals at Route 66 Raceway during the weekend, and the problems won.

A clutch malfunction in his first-round match against Whit Bazemore was responsible for Capps' early exit while Johnson experienced both clutch and engine trouble in Saturday's qualifying and did not start Sunday's eliminations.

For the eighth time in 10 races, the 16-car Funny Car field set a qualifying record, from John Force's record-setting quickest ever 4.763 seconds to No. 16 Jerry Toliver's 4.900.

Capps did register his career-best run (4.808 seconds) while qualifying fourth. And he was ahead of Bazemore until the clutch began going away and his car slowed to a 5.050 at 245.40 mph. Bazemore had a 4.928 at 309.20.

"It was a tough weekend and unusual for us to be out so soon," said Capps. "Our Skoal Racing Green Camaro had a great qualifying effort, but that kind of falls by the wayside when you don't perform on Sunday.

"The good news is we still are in second place, but we really can't let (current point leader) John Force get too far ahead of us."

Capps has 645 points to Force's 843.

Johnson, meanwhile, dropped to 10th (453 points) when he failed to get to the finish line at full throttle Saturday. A bad clutch disc in the Skoal Racing Blue Camaro brought Johnson's first Saturday qualifying session to a slow conclusion and a bad piston caused the engine's blower belt to come off in the second. Overall, his 4.910-second run was good enough for only 18th place.

"On three of our four runs, we had he quickest times at 60 and 330 feet (of all the Funny Cars that ran) - until the parts started coming apart," Johnson commented.

After racing for three straight weeks, the Skoal Racing team gets a break next weekend. Then it's off to Columbus, Ohio for the Pontiac Excitement Nationals, June 15-17, followed by the Craftsman Nationals, June 22-25, at St. Louis. <pre> Qualified: Capps, No. 4, 4.808 at 306.95 mph; Johnson, did not qualify.

First round: Bazemore def. Capps

Pro winners: Kenny Bernstein, Top Fuel; Del Worsham, Funny Car; Mike Edwards, Pro Stock.

Next event: Pontiac Excitement Nationals, June 15-7, Columbus, Ohio.

-DPSR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Don Prudhomme , Jerry Toliver , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.