RON CAPPS WILL NOT RACE IN THE NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS CONSECUTIVE-QUALIFYING STREAK ENDS AT 105
CHANDLER, Ariz., October 15, 2011 – Ron Capps’ category-leading consecutive-qualifying streak ended today at 105 when he failed to drive the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the field for Sunday’s 27th-annual NHRA Arizona Nationals here at Firebird International Raceway.
The veteran drag racer battled extreme conditions – track temperatures well into triple digits and air temperatures nearing 100 degrees – while wrestling with a new car making its first on-track appearance during the four qualifying sessions.
“Our guys worked their tails off getting this new car, which was put together after our last race (less than two weeks ago in Pennsylvania), down the track under these extreme conditions,” said the Don Schumacher Racing driver. “I’m devastated for Tim Richards (crew chief); I hate to see him this frustrated as he tried to get it to work.
“It was a difficult two days. We knew we had to get down the track, that’s why I pedaled it in today’s first round.”
His drastic actions, not the norm for a qualifying session since pedaling can result in engine failure and oil-down penalties, resulted in a 4.618-second lap at 266.58 miles per hour and landed Capps in 16th place – a spot within the field – after three rounds. Unfortunately, a 6.217-second pass in the final session was not quick enough to get back around the two cars which had passed him earlier in the round.
Friday’s first qualifying sessions ended with runs of 7.575 and 6.372 seconds, respectively.
“Frustrating, but we’ll figure it out,” said Capps. “These guys are the best and Tim’s great. Realistically, this probably ends our chances at this year’s championship, but we’ll continue to fight. This will help make our team stronger, for the final two races of the season and for next year – and we will be a force next year.
“Now, we’ll go out and do our best in the next two races for our great supporters at NAPA.”