Capps takes Funny Car points lead after semifinal finish in Phoenix CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2006) - Ron Capps and the Brut Dodge Funny Car team are seemingly on rails as another series of excellent runs and a spectacular (but not necessarily...
Capps takes Funny Car points lead after semifinal finish in Phoenix
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2006) - Ron Capps and the Brut Dodge Funny Car team are seemingly on rails as another series of excellent runs and a spectacular (but not necessarily because of speed and ET) semifinal finish elevated him into the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points lead.
Despite the California native's close runner-up class finish in 2005, Capps never led the points last year. The last time Capps led the Funny Car point standings was after leaving this event in 2003.
Capps defeated his teammate Whit Bazemore in the first round with a steady pass of 4.743 seconds at 321.58 mph, while Bazemore fouled out. The second round saw a near-photo finish against Del Worsham, which Capps won by 21 inches on a holeshot advantage. Capps' 4.827/311.92 was just a tad slower than Worsham's 4.826/318.62, but his .071 reaction time to Worsham's .075 earned him the round win.
That victory vaulted him into the points lead.
The semifinal round against 13-time Funny Car champion John Force was a crowd-pleaser, as Capps launched first with a .022 of a second advantage, but lost traction early. A moment later Force also smoked his tires, and it was a pedalfest to the end of the track for both drivers, each of whom came close to meeting each other on the centerline.
Force recovered before Capps and reached the finish line .2012 of a second ahead with a 6.638-second ET at 181.06 mph, while Capps trailed behind to a 6.861/216.62 pass.
Force then lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round, allowing Capps to hold onto the points lead by 15 points.
"It was a good weekend," said Capps. "But it hurts right now. I got back from the run (against Force) and told Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) right off the bat, look at the computer. You always learn something from everything that happens on these runs. Never two runs are the same and there's no time to think during the run. I got back and I told Ace I think that if I would have waited to pedal it a couple of times, let the car settle down, it may have hooked up better and we may have gotten him.
"I can only put that in my back pocket and think about it next time, and use it to my advantage. What a crazy run. It was like a video game. I could see him out the window. I was worried for a minute that he might come into my lane and hit me but I would've been happier because he would've crossed the centerline and we would have gone to the final.
"Just a range of emotions. You talk about being in trouble, smoking the tires, and you think, Man, oh no, and then you see him in trouble and you start thinking, OK here we go, let's get him, then you're chasing him down and losing it.
"But, leaving here leading the points, I'm ecstatic."
As for the thrash just to get up to the starting line for the second round against Worsham: "We went to start it up and it ended up shredding the belt. We had a bearing in the idler pulley that froze. So it was a mad thrash to get it ready. I actually got suited up and dressed in the pit area before they even put the body on it. We weren't sure we were going to make it up there, but we did and won the round.
"It was DSR teamwork at its best. We got a big help from the Matco Tools guys and the Mopar/Oakley guys. We couldn't have done it without them."
Next up is the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 16-19.