Brainerd: Capps finals report

      BRAINERD, Minn., Aug. 19, 2001 - Ron Capps won for the second time this season, whipping Whit Bazemore in the Funny Car final at the Colonel's Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday.       It was a resounding...

      BRAINERD, Minn., Aug. 19, 2001 - Ron Capps won for the second time this season, whipping Whit Bazemore in the Funny Car final at the Colonel's Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday.

      It was a resounding victory for Capps, who lost a narrow decision to Bazemore three races ago at Seattle.  And it was a momentous win for team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, who became a two-time winner on the same day when Larry Dixon, his Top Fuel driver, won.  It was the second time the two have won at the same race. The first was at the 1998 Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.

      The victory was Capps' second of the season (the other coming at Bristol, Tenn.) and 11th of his career, 10 in Funny Car, one in Top Fuel.  

      "We felt we owned him one because we felt the Seattle race was ours (to win)," said a smiling Capps.  "To get him in the finals and be in the right lane (Bazemore had lane choice and preferred the left lane), then run almost what we did in qualifying (4.939 seconds at 306.53 mph) was gratifying.  

        "Ace (crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch), Todd Okuhara, Mike Green and our Skoal Green team did a great job all day."

    Capps beat Johnny Gray, Tony Pedregon and Bruce Sarver en route to his 23rd career final round.  And the team had luck on its side against Sarver.  "An air line in the clutch came off," Capps reported.  "That's why we ran the 5.015."  Sarver, meanwhile, smoked the tires and slowed to a 5.360 at 296l.76.

    While Capps' Camaro won handily, Bazemore's car lost traction and he stopped the timers at 5.991 seconds at 201.70.

    TOMMY JOHNSON JR. qualified the Skoal Racing Blue Camaro fourth (4.925 seconds) but was a victim of a blower explosion in the first round.

    "We can't seem to buy any luck," he said.  "This wasn't anybody's fault. There was a parts failure.  It just happens, I guess."

    Capps did move up to fourth in the standings with 1053 points, 18 behind Del Worsham and 73 behind second-place Bazemore.  Johnson remained seventh at 810.

    The next event is the U.S. Nationals, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, at Indianapolis.

    Qualified: Johnson, No. 4, 4.925 seconds at 309.13 mph; Capps, No. 7, 4.936 seconds at 304.19 mph     First round: Capps, 4.939 at 304.25 def. Johnny Gray; Del Worsham def. Johnson; Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.962 at 304.74 def. Tony Pedregon; Semifinals: Capps, 5.015 at 304.67 def. Bruce Sarver; Final: Capps, 4.939 at 306.53 def. Whit Bazemore, 5.991 at 201.70

    Pro winners: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; Ron Capps, Funny Car; Bruce Allen, Pro Stock

-Snake Racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Larry Dixon , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Johnny Gray