Ron Capps Sees Postives At NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
The combination of a four-hour delay in the start of today’s final eliminations of the 11th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals caused by a massive rainstorm and the ensuing changeable weather conditions contributed to Ron Capps’s early departure here at Bristol Dragway.
A track warming more quickly than expected following the storm led to Capps, in the NAPA AUTO PARTS DODGE CHARGER R/T Funny Car, losing traction during his run against eventual-winner Robert Hight, resulting in his first-round defeat. Capps ran a 4.122-second, 305.98-mile-per-hour lap versus Hight’s pass of 4.090 at 311.20.
“Robert and Jimmy Prock are the kinds of driver and crew chief that I don’t want to race – and do want to race because they are so good,” he said. “But it’s always great because when you face them you have to get up in all aspects of your game. We had a good setup until the sun came out, and even though we scrambled to make the last-second adjustments we didn’t quite get it – but that’s drag racing at this level.
“Considering how good our car was during qualifying when we handled all of the changing weather conditions, you expect to always win. It just doesn’t happen that way, but I am still pumped by how well the overall weekend went.”
The NAPA car made four solid runs in the two days of qualifying (4.182 seconds at 292.39 miles per hour; 4.179 at 300.86; 4.194 at 296.11, and 4.122 at 305.98), which Capps attributes to the leadership and experience of Tim Richards, who took over as crew chief four races ago, as well as the Don Schumacher Racing built Funny Car.
“It is much easier to shrug off this loss because of how good I feel driving for Tim and how good the car felt all weekend,” explained the Southern Californian. “I know we are going in the right direction, making considerable, solid progress with every run. Going right down the track with no drama during qualifying was a great step.
“Not only has the addition of Tim – and Kim Richards to the crew – meant the world to the NAPA team, but the car, which was built in-house by DSR’s fabricating magicians, now makes the racing experience so comfortable for me I can’t wait to get back into the car and race again.”