St. Louis Al Hofmann Upsets Ron Capps

MADISON, Ill., June 24, 2000 - It was just one of those things, one of those racing things, that happened to Ron Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Racing Camaro Funny Car during the first round of the Sears Craftsman Nationals Saturday at Gateway...

MADISON, Ill., June 24, 2000 - It was just one of those things, one of those racing things, that happened to Ron Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Racing Camaro Funny Car during the first round of the Sears Craftsman Nationals Saturday at Gateway International Raceway.

Al Hofmann left the starting line first and stopped the clocks the same way with a 4.998-second, 301.54-mph run to Capps' 4.995 at 301.54. The difference was Hofmann's .483 reaction time to Capps' .509.

It was only the second time in 11 races that Capps has been eliminated in the first round this year. He remained third in points with 765.

"He had a good light and so did I," said Capps.  "I staged very shallow and 
he went in deeper, but that wasn't really what beat us.  Our car didn't run 
as hard in the middle of the track as it usually does.  That wasn't a bad run 
considering the other times in that round.  We aren't getting the little 
breaks that we need.  Hopefully that will change soon."

Capps' time was the fourth best and one of just five four-second runs in that round.

"(Crew chief Ed) 'Ace' (McCulloch) decided to back down the car a little in the middle of the track because the sun came out," Capps commented. "You just don't know. In hindsight, we probably made the wrong move. We'll be OK. This is still Ace's first year as a Funny Car crew chief. He's still getting used to how the Funny Car works."

"If the car keeps running like it is, we'll have it in the winner's circle," said team owner Don Prudhomme. "These cars are so closely matched, you have to get a break now and then."

The next event is the non-points Winston Showdown, which pits Funny Cars against Top Fuel dragsters, July 7-9, at Bristol, Tenn.

Qualified: No. 6, 4.960 seconds at 302.55 mph.

First round: Al Hofmann def. Capps

Pro Winners: Gary Scelzi, Top Fuel; Jerry Toliver, Funny Car; Ron Krisher, Pro Stock.

Next Event: Winston Showdown, Bristol, Tenn., July 7-9, non-points event

TV Schedule: ESPN2, Qualifying, July 8, 10 p.m.-midnight (ET); Eliminations, July 9, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET)

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Al Hofmann , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Don Prudhomme , Jerry Toliver