Pomona II: Ron Capps final report

CAPPS FINISHES NHRA SEASON IN THIRD PLACE POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2009) - Ron Capps reached the semifinal round today at the 45th annual NHRA Finals before he was defeated by Ashley Force Hood. He ended up third in the final 2009 NHRA Full ...

CAPPS FINISHES NHRA SEASON IN THIRD PLACE

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2009) - Ron Capps reached the semifinal round today at the 45th annual NHRA Finals before he was defeated by Ashley Force Hood. He ended up third in the final 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series point standings, having earned the most class victories this season, five.

En route to the semifinal, Capps dismissed Bob Tasca III in the opening round with a 4.312-second elapsed time at 236.67 mph, then disposed of his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan in the second round, with a 4.144/310.48.

Force Hood was there for the taking after she launched with a .143 reaction time to Capps' .086 (.000 is perfect), but the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car lost traction, allowing Force Hood to take the win with a 4.133/307.09 pass, while Capps followed with a losing 4.775/248.25.

"We were still on a mission to try to stand on the podium at the awards banquet in second place," said Capps, who missed out on his fourth runner-up season finish by 48 points,"and not just to earn the Full Throttle money, although all of the NAPA team guys make a commission on the prize money.

"It would have been nice after winning five races this year to finish second. It was a legitimate goal for us today. Nobody really talked about it but I knew we were all thinking about it, and so when we got down to the semifinals and we looked around, it was Tim Wilkerson, myself and Ashley all battling for second. Basically, whoever went the farthest was going to finish second.

"We ended up third and that's OK. It almost felt like today we had our own little Countdown going on to see who was going to be in second. I didn't know it went back that far, but Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) said we had a chance of either finishing second or as bad as seventh, it was that tight points-wise.

"The lane just didn't take it. We put a little more primary clutch on it and it didn't want to hear about it. Now, looking back, Wilkerson did the same thing, and so did Larry Dixon (in Top Fuel) up in front of us. That's part of the deal. We didn't have lane choice and we chose the left lane and got outrun."

Capps wrapped up his and the NAPA team's tough season: "It's like playing golf. When you're in a foursome with a bunch of buddies every shot makes somebody happy. If you chunk it and it doesn't go anywhere it makes the guy you bet money on happy, and if you have a great shot it makes you happy. So, I think it applies here that we had a great season, even though it was frustrating. We led the standings by as much as 140 points at one time, and I want to stress that, had there been no Countdown we would have kept on charging and we probably would have won three or four more races, at least, and we probably would have stretched that lead out. That's just the way it is with the Countdown. Like it or not, that's the way it's going to be.

"Congratulations to our Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher on capturing his seventh Top Fuel championship today."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Ron Capps , Tony Schumacher , Tim Wilkerson , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan , Bob Tasca III