Las Vegas: Ron Capps final report

CAPPS LANDS IN SEMIS IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2008) - Ron Capps won two rounds of competition at the NHRA Nationals today at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, happily breaking his four-event streak of first-round losses. Driving the...

CAPPS LANDS IN SEMIS IN VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2008) - Ron Capps won two rounds of competition at the NHRA Nationals today at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, happily breaking his four-event streak of first-round losses.

Driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the No. 6 spot in qualifying provided that extra boost of confidence going into today's elimination rounds. A questionable right lane surfaced following the first pair of Top Fuel cars and it became evident that lane choice was critical.

Having the coveted lane choice for the opening round, Capps handily dismissed Del Worsham, winner of the last event, with a solid 4.973-second elapsed time at 316.82 mph to Worsham's 5.046/305.15.

That earned Capps the same privilege for the second round against Bob Tasca III, for which he produced a 4.989/309.98 run to win.

Unfortunately, that last pass was not good enough to earn him lane choice and he was relegated to the less-desirable right lane in his match-up against Tim Wilkerson in the semifinals. Capps had the edge at the starting lights, recording a .119 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Wilkerson's .131, but it was Wilkerson first at the finish stripe with a winning 5.179/286.25 to Capps' tire-smoking 6.993/129.60.

It was a successful weekend for the NAPA AUTO PARTS team nonetheless.

"It was a feel-good weekend, for sure, for our team," said Capps, who propelled himself into No. 10 in the Funny Car point standings. "Mike Rearden from NAPA came over from Phoenix where he was with Michael Waltrip, and that was a big boost for the team to have him over here. A lot of NAPA people were here. It's been a great success for NAPA this year as far as the number of customers at the races go. They just enjoy it. But we need to give them results on the track and this weekend we finally got our hot rod back.

"Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) worked really hard. That 4.887 in qualifying was what we needed. It was on Sunday in Houston (the last event where he ran a strong race, despite losing the first round) where it started. We needed to get back to where we used to be with these tracks coming up. We're going to Atlanta and St. Louis and so on, and those tracks are going to get tricky. And we have the car that I feel is consistent like it was last year. I couldn't be happier.

"I'm getting more confidence now. I'm still working on my driving. I may have cost us lane choice second round when we beat Tasca III. We barely lost lane choice to Tim Wilkerson. That may have been the difference right there. It's just a matter of getting more confidence.

"Wilkerson didn't run that well that run, but right now, in my opinion, that's the car to beat this year. He's run consistent and he's run very well and he's put pressure on a lot of people. We just didn't have lane choice and there had been a little mist of oil in front of us and we thought they cleaned it up, but it just pulled the tires loose. It was unfortunate."

Wilkerson went on to win the event over Ashley Force.

"We're going to stay here and test on Monday and run the wheels off the NAPA AUTO PARTS Charger and get ready for Atlanta," added Capps.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Ron Capps , Tim Wilkerson , Ashley Force