Brainerd: Johnson Jr/Capps eliminations summary

Johnson loses in opening round; Capps doesn't qualify at Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn., Aug. 17, 2003 - Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Funny Car team battled mechanical gremlins in the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway over the ...

Johnson loses in opening round; Capps doesn't qualify at Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn., Aug. 17, 2003 - Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Funny Car team battled mechanical gremlins in the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway over the weekend.

For example, Tommy Johnson Jr.'s Blue Camaro was locked in a close race with Gary Densham in Sunday's first round of eliminations when the blower popped, thereby ending his competitive day. Densham was timed in 5.030 seconds at 303.50 mph to Johnson's coasting 6.558 at 140.52.

"I don't know what happened," Johnson said. "It was trucking along and then all of the sudden it went boom. That's not how we wanted to end the day. I thought we might've been able to make up some ground in the points, too."

Densham, meanwhile, went on to win the event.

Ron Capps didn't even make it to Sunday's competition. His Green Camaro, with Todd Okuhara in his first event as crew chief, couldn't make Friday night's second qualifying session because a bracket holding the fire extinguisher broke - something that is very rare. And then a magneto broke on Capps' final qualifying attempt, slowing him enough that he couldn't run quicker than the 5.144-second bump spot.

"It was an unfortunate circumstance," said a disappointed Capps. "And this certainly doesn't show Todd's potential. Qualifying on just two runs is hard enough for veteran crew chiefs to do. I am excited about testing at Indianapolis Tuesday and Wednesday and getting ready for the U.S. Nationals (Aug. 29-Sept. 1 at Indianapolis Raceway Park)."

Johnson did get closer to Capps in the standings. Capps stayed sixth with 840 points and Johnson remained seventh, now with 812.

And both drivers will be competing in the special Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis. Drivers earn qualifying points during the season and the top eight meet in the Shootout, which pays $100,000 to the winner. Johnson, making his first appearance, was sixth and Capps, the defending champion, was seventh. Capps has won in three of his five Shootout appearances

Qualified: Johnson, No. 10, 5.079 at 287.11 mph; Capps, did not qualify

First round: Gary Densham, 5.030 at 303.50 def. Johnson, 6.558 at 140.52

Pro winners: Doug Kalitta, Top Fuel; Gary Densham, Funny car; Greg Anderson, Pro Stock.

Funny Car Standings: 1, Tony Pedregon, 1283; 2, Whit Bazemore, 1222; 3, John Force, 1048; 4, Del Worsham, 976; 5, Gary Densham, 949; 6, Ron Capps, 840; 7, Tommy Johnson Jr., 812; 8, Gary Scelzi, 776; 9, Cruz Pedregon, 737; 10, Frank Pedregon, 735

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Gary Densham , Don Prudhomme , Tommy Johnson Jr.