Norwalk: Ron Capps final report

CAPPS FALLS TO KENNY BERNSTEIN IN NORWALK OPENING ROUND NORWALK, Ohio (July 1, 2007) - Ron Capps retained his points lead in the Funny Car category of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series today, despite a first-round loss to Kenny Bernstein...

CAPPS FALLS TO KENNY BERNSTEIN IN NORWALK OPENING ROUND

NORWALK, Ohio (July 1, 2007) - Ron Capps retained his points lead in the Funny Car category of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series today, despite a first-round loss to Kenny Bernstein at the Inaugural Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

With six races left before the new Countdown to the Championship kicks in at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day, Capps holds on to a 98-point-lead over Robert Hight, who went out in the second round today.

Piloting the Brut "Test Drive" Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, three-time season national-event winner Capps lost that round because of an uncharacteristic slow reaction time. Bernstein tripped a .068 light, Capps answered with a .122 (.000 is perfect). Capps posted the quicker pass of the pair, a 4.869-second lap at 317.49 mph, but it was Bernstein's victory, with a slower 4.888/303.16. Margin: .0353 of a second.

"Heartbroken," said the California native. "I let the guys down. That had to have been one of the quickest laps of the round (sixth). We watched the MTS guys run that .85 right in front of us and we were comfortable, but a .122 light was unacceptable. I don't have lights ike that. I'm not sure what happened.

"It's lucky we're going to Bristol next week so I won't have a whole lot of time to think about it.

"Racing a guy like Kenny Bernstein, who is one of the best out here, makes for a long Saturday night thinking about what you've got to do first round. I'm always confident that I'll have a great car on Sunday, and once again the guys put a flawless run together, and I wasn't on my game. Kenny said we're even, because we got him on a holeshot in Vegas. I knew he was going to be tough. He's one of the toughest.

"As for the high quality of this Summit Motorsports Park, it's evident by how even the runs were today. It's great to give the fans a chance to see this kind of side-by-side racing. It's not something we see a whole lot. You tend to forget how important it is. The track guys did a great job, the NHRA has done a great job this weekend. Everybody really pulled together.

"The smallest things, like the rest rooms, things you don't think about, have been thought out so well. This is a place you want to bring your family to. (Journalist) Jon Asher designed the very professional press room. That's something that you just take for granted until you see one like that.

"Just a great job by the (track owners) Baders (Bill and Bill Jr.) all around. I can't even say enough. I feel sad for anybody who didn't make it to this race in person. It's highly advisable that they make it next time.

"Four more races to go in this swing. The bad news is I wasn't on my game and I let the guys down. The good news is I get to go to Bristol in three days and get my head fastened back on and get right back to racing, and that's the best medicine right now."

Next up is the O'Reilly NHA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, July 6-8, 2007.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , Robert Hight