CAPPS IS OUT IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND, STAYS ATOP FUNNY CAR POINTS BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 13, 2006) - Ron Capps stayed atop the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings today at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd ...
CAPPS IS OUT IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND, STAYS ATOP FUNNY CAR POINTS
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 13, 2006) - Ron Capps stayed atop the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings today at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, despite his second straight first-round loss in eliminations.
The driver of the Brut Dodge Charger R/T, who has led the rankings since the second event of the 2006 season, seems to have a lucky charm in his pocket, as also for the second straight event the main obstacle to his potentially claiming his first Funny Car championship, John Force, made his fourth early-round exit in a row, losing in the quarterfinal. Capps now leads Force by 48 points, with seven national events left.
Capps fell victim to Bob Gilbertson for the second time this season in the opening stanza (Denver was the other), when he slowed past half-track to a 4.890-second pass at 299.60 mph, while Gilbertson took the victory with a 4.813/311.05.
"When we got back and looked at the computer with Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and (team consultant Dan) Olson," said Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels, "it looked like it kind of ran out of fuel out there. It burned the No. 1 piston out of it pretty good. Ace is hard at work trying to figure out why it did it.
"It's unfortunate, but we're still in it, with Force being eliminated in the second round.
"It's been one of those days. It was some kind of parts failure or it ran out of fuel because all of a sudden it got very ugly and very lean. And when it does that it really burns parts up.
"We sat at the starting line for a long time waiting on Bob over in the other lane to get to the starting line and it may have just burned too much fuel.
"It's part of building a memory bank on some of the guys you race against. You've got to make sure you just do the right thing up there. All we can do is pack up and go to Memphis."
Capps and the Brut Dodge team had high hopes for good results today after posting four solid qualifying runs and a round-quickest 4.778-second pass on Saturday to nab the No. 3 spot. "Weather conditions were cool here and Ace really showed me and the Brut team something Saturday when we ran a 4.77," he said, "because the conditions came in really fast and cooled off very fast. And for him to run that .77, which was quickest of the session, gets me very excited, because I know, when we get to these tracks later in the year, we're going to be able to step on it. And he's got a feeling for this car now with the cool weather. And we know we can go down the track in the hot weather.
"We'll figure out why it did what it did and go to the next race. It's part of the whole deal. It's still fun because everybody's got the same goal and we're all working together. If everything were perfect all the time it really wouldn't be that much fun, because it keeps you busy trying to figure out why things happen. We have a big group of people here at Don Schumacher Racing who can help."
Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 18-20.