Memphis: Capps no longer a bridesmaid

Seven times in the final round this year, and finally RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, can trade in that ugly bridesmaid's dress for a wedding gown. In an all-Camaro Funny Car final round, No. 4 qualifier Capps defeated No. 3 qualifier...

Seven times in the final round this year, and finally RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, can trade in that ugly bridesmaid's dress for a wedding gown. In an all-Camaro Funny Car final round, No. 4 qualifier Capps defeated No. 3 qualifier WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, to win his first title of the season and the first since Topeka on Oct. 17, 1998 -- 46 races ago. Ron took off first with a .486 reaction time to Bazemore's .501, then defeated his Chevrolet teammate with a 4.925-second pass at 297.22 mph to Whit's 11.125-second pass at 22.82 mph pass as Whit coasted to the finish line with a broken race car. This was the pair's first-ever meeting in a final round.

Capps eliminated Tommy Johnson Jr., Bruce Sarver, and finally John Force -- the more momentous round win of the day -- to assure him a berth in the final round. Bazemore defeated Dean Skuza, and fellow Camaro drivers JIM EPLER, WWF RACING 'STONE COLD' CAMARO Z28, and SCOTTY CANNON, MAD SCIENTIST CAMARO Z28, to reach the final round.

Camaros have won six of the 20 events this season: Two each for the WWF Racing Team drivers Jim Epler and Jerry Toliver (Toliver switched to Pontiac earlier this year after) and one each for Capps and Bazemore.

CAPPS: "Bazemore mouthed off about me in a bridesmaid's dress. I thought to myself -- because my crew guys looked at me funny when Whit said that -- I'll give you a lesson at the Christmas Tree. It was all in good fun. The best part of it was to have two Chevrolet Camaros in the final. It proved the Camaro was the best car out there. To beat Force in the semis, I figured I could have gone home after that. It's been too long, two years. You get your hopes up, you say you can beat him, you can beat him, and you don't. Losing close races to him is tough and to get motivated up there and then beat him and beat him all around, at the tree, in performance, it shows what Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) has done for the whole camp." ON WINNING: "It got down there and it started nosing over a little bit. I said, hey, it's running pretty good. I got my hand up on the chute and I thought he was coming around me. I felt the cylinder going out and I said he's coming around me. And then you see that little tiny light on the guardrail come on. I didn't get as excited as I used to or as I normally would. I just said, wow, I don't believe it. We really won. We pulled it off."

BAZEMORE: "Something broke in the valve train. I haven't looked at the car, but that's what Chuck (Etchells, team owner) said. It exploded the supercharger before half-track and that was it. I think we were even with Capps. I didn't see him for part of the run so it probably would have been a very good race to the finish line. It's unfortunate that that happened. We've been struggling mechanically a little bit. It beat us in the end. It's one of those unfortunate things." ON GETTING TO FINAL ROUND: "It's good to go to the final. It's good for our position in the points. It was exciting for Camaro to have two cars in the final. I was happy when I saw Capps beat Force. That's always cool when you drive a Camaro and it whips up on that Mustang, even if it's not yours." ON TEAM EFFORT: "The team is a lot different now than it was earlier this year. We had some good guys decide that they wanted to go to the Schumacher Funny Car next year and they decided to go now. And that hurt us, there's no question it hurt us a lot. I am kind of honored they wanted to go there (Whit will be driving the Schumacher Funny Car in 2001), but I'm not so happy they went now. Chuck's team is going to be really stout next year. I want to get another win for them this year, so we can go out on top and give Tommy Johnson Jr. something he's got to shoot for."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Jim Epler , Dean Skuza , John Force , Jerry Toliver , Tommy Johnson Jr.