Madison: Ron Capps finals summary

Capps reaches semifinals at St. Louis; Johnson doesn'T qualify. MADISON, Ill., June 30, 2002 - Ron Capps stretched his NHRA national event round win streak to six Sunday during the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, but...

Capps reaches semifinals at St. Louis; Johnson doesn'T qualify.

MADISON, Ill., June 30, 2002 - Ron Capps stretched his NHRA national event round win streak to six Sunday during the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, but it ended in the semifinals against John Force.

Capps, a season-best No. 2 qualifier with a time of 4.969 seconds at 303.37 mph during the hot, humid weekend, turned in the quickest runs in each of the first two rounds of eliminations. With crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch tuning his Green Skoal Racing Camaro, Capps stopped the clocks with a 5.036 at 294.75 mph to beat Todd Paton and a 5.050 at 296.18 to oust Johnny Gray.

A clutch malfunction against Force ended Capps' day. The car smoked the tires not long after Capps hit the throttle and he coasted to the finish line in 10.595 seconds at 76.46 mph. Force, meanwhile, had the quickest time of the round, 5.046 seconds at 290.13.

"We felt like this was our race," said a dejected Capps, "but his team is good. They stepped up and ran that .04 in the heat of the day. We aren't about to give up. Our Green crew is focused. We managed to pick up points on some of the drivers ahead of us today and we have the western swing coming up soon (back-to-back races at Denver, 7/21; Seattle, 7/28; and Sonoma, Calif. 8/4) where we've done well in the past.

Capps began his round-win streak at Columbus, Ohio, June 16, with his first race victory of the NHRA Powerade season.

Capps' teammate, Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Blue Skoal Racing crew, fell victim to the tricky track conditions caused by the steamy weather and did not qualify.

Capps is seventh with 620 points but is only 100 behind third-place Tony Pedregon. Johnson is ninth with 536.

Qualifying: Capps, No. 2, 4.969 seconds at 303.37 mph; Johnson, did not qualify First round: Capps, 5.036 at 294.75 def. Todd Paton, 7.768 at 111.08; Quarterfinals: Capps, 5.050 at 296.18 def. Johnny Gray, 5.132 at 293.03; Semifinals: John Force, 5.046 at 290.13 def. Capps

Pro Winners: Kenny Bernstein, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , John Force , Todd Paton , Johnny Gray , Tommy Johnson Jr.