CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) -- As it did to many race teams this weekend, the hot temperatures in Arizona caused the Firebird International Raceway drag strip to be blistering and sticky, delivering complicated race conditions for drivers and...
CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) -- As it did to many race teams this weekend, the hot temperatures in Arizona caused the Firebird International Raceway drag strip to be blistering and sticky, delivering complicated race conditions for drivers and crew chiefs at the 20th annual CSK Nationals.
Ron Capps, who aimed to become just the second Funny Car driver to win the CSK Nationals more than once (John Force), started from the No. 11 position and faced No. 6 qualifier Gary Scelzi in the opening round of Funny Car action Sunday at F.I.R. Capps used a significant starting-line advantage to take the early lead before his green Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo lost traction and spun the tires, allowing Scelzi to drive around the 14-time NHRA event winner for the victory. Capps slowed to a run of 6.156 seconds at 164.63 mph, while Scelzi recorded a performance of 4.938 at 307.79.
"We were confident we could run with anybody in the first round," Capps said. "The car got out on (Gary) Scelzi, then went into pretty violent tire shake. I peddled the car, but he was out in front of us. As a driver you try to peddle the car, but you have to be careful about hurting the engine with the oildown penalities.
"We're going to stick around in Phoenix all day on Monday and test our Skoal Racing Monte Carlo and get ready for Gainesville (Fla.) in a few weeks. The weather in Gainesville will be warm and it's also known to be humid. We could have some more tricky weather conditions like we faced this weekend. The track is brand new and when I was in Gainesville recently at Frank Hawley's school, the tracked looked awesome. With what they've done with the track it will be a great two-lane race track."
Del Worsham defeated Tony Pedregon in Funny Car at Phoenix.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 35th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals, March 18-21, in Gainesville, Fla.