Johnson to Quarterfinals; Capps Loses in First Round. BAYTOWN, Texas, April 13, 2003 - It was a beautiful, warm Sunday afternoon at Houston Raceway Park, just the kind of weather Don Prudhomme's Funny Car team - Tommy Johnson Jr. in the Blue...
Johnson to Quarterfinals; Capps Loses in First Round.
BAYTOWN, Texas, April 13, 2003 - It was a beautiful, warm Sunday afternoon at Houston Raceway Park, just the kind of weather Don Prudhomme's Funny Car team - Tommy Johnson Jr. in the Blue Skoal Racing Chevrolet and Ron Capps in the Green Skoal Racing Chevrolet - doesn't really like here.
A hot, slippery track makes racing even more unpredictable than normal. And the O'Reilly Spring Nationals was just that.
For example, Capps qualified seventh, ran quicker than Cruz Pedregon in the opening round and still was knocked out of competition. Johnson, meanwhile, won a throttle-pedaling first round over Johnny Gray only to foul always his chances in the quarterfinal against Gary Densham.
"I don't recall how long it's been since I had a red light," said Johnson, who shut off and coasted down track as Densham won with a 4.928 at 311.27 mph. "Overall, things are going real good. We missed a couple of key runs in qualifying and the track kind of bit us a little bit. I was trying too hard against Densham, lost my concentration and red-lighted."
Johnson qualified ninth, using a 4.856-second time run during a cooler conditions Friday. He also added a final-session best of 4.861 seconds.
Capps' 4.821 from Friday night put him against No. 10 Pedregon. Capps was clocked in 4.958 seconds at 306.95 mph to Pedregon's 4.991 at 303.98, but Pedregon got to the finish line first by virtue of a .051 reaction time to Capps .086. The winning margin was two-thousandths of a second.
"It was a tough weekend for us," Capps commented. "I didn't have a bad light against; Cruz had a great light. Those are the kind of rounds you have to win as a driver."
Capps is fifth in POWERade Series points with 320, followed by Johnson in sixth at 262. Tony Pedregon is first with 464.
The next event, the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, unfolds April 25-27 at Bristol, Tenn.