CAPPS GOES TO HIS FIRST FINAL ROUND OF SEASON IN SEATTLE KENT, Wash. (July 20, 2008) - Ron Capps raced the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into his first final round of the season, the 53rd of his career, the fifth at Pacific...
CAPPS GOES TO HIS FIRST FINAL ROUND OF SEASON IN SEATTLE
KENT, Wash. (July 20, 2008) - Ron Capps raced the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into his first final round of the season, the 53rd of his career, the fifth at Pacific Raceways (the most at any track in his career), and the first in 16 national events (Richmond 2007 was his last final-round appearance) in the 14th national event of 24 this season in Kent, Wash., just outside of Seattle.
His runner-up finish to first-time Funny Car winner Tony Bartone moved him into sixth place in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point standings.
After qualifying 15th, Capps disposed of his friend Del Worsham in the opening round of eliminations, despite Worsham's perfect reaction time of .000, using a 4.173-second pass at 298.21 to do so. The California native then eliminated Cruz Pedregon with a 4.230/285.65 in the Northwest heat, and dismissed Gary Densham in the semifinals with a 4.264/284.56.
The final round paired two drivers who had reached their first final round of the season. Capps launched with a strong edge over Bartone (.078 reaction time to Bartone's .131) but struck the tires while leading. Bartone also lost traction, but recovered first at the 1000-foot finish line, grabbing his first career Funny Car victory with a 4.454/238.17 to Capps' losing 4.708/22.46. Margin of victory: 67 feet.
"Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) was surprised it [struck the tires], I was surprised and Tony Bartone was surprised his pulled them loose. Our crew chiefs and our track guy Lanny (Miglizzi) kept saying the sun will take it's turn at this track at 5 o'clock. That's the hottest part of the day here. So, the track temperature was at its warmest [and] it was a little bit of poker, more than anything. Ace was probably thinking [he] could maybe get away with running an .18 or a .20 and Jim Dunn was probably thinking the same thing.
"One bad thing about the 1000-foot (finish line) is I started pedaling and I was catching him and then I thought, man, I don't have a full track anymore and that was the one downside. Had I had a full track, maybe, but it doesn't matter. It was fun.
"We got past first round and every round was tight," added Capps. "I have to really thank NHRA, and especially the track here at Pacific Raceways and the Safety Safari. Guys were running great ETs in both lanes and it's hard to come by. And [racing to] the 1000-foot, look how quick our day went by [without] oildowns. If we keep this up we may go to live TV sometime soon. So I'm real excited abut the future.
"Much of the story this weekend was about all the guys on the edge in the point standings, like Scelzi and Beckman, and they're my teammates and we wanted them in, but we needed to focus on getting in deeper (in the standings). This gained us a little bit more room. Unfortunately, Force didn't qualify and we went around him in points, which is huge. We know he'll be one of the contenders at the end."