CAPPS SQUEAKS INTO BRAINERD FUNNY CAR FIELD IN NO. 16 BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2008) - Ron Capps finally exhaled after qualifying the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in No. 16 in his final attempt to make the 16-car field at the 27th...
CAPPS SQUEAKS INTO BRAINERD FUNNY CAR FIELD IN NO. 16
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2008) - Ron Capps finally exhaled after qualifying the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in No. 16 in his final attempt to make the 16-car field at the 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Capps pulled out his quickest pass of the weekend, 4.305 seconds at 285.83 mph, in the heat of the day in the fourth session, jumping from No. 19 into No. 14. By the end of qualifying, he had fallen safely into the field, in No. 16.
He and crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch struggled in the first three rounds, posting 5.086/149.40 (No. 14), 4.448/207.91 (No. 14) and 4.833/205.76 (No. 19) passes.
"I don't think I've exhaled since that last run," said Capps, who is seventh in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point standings and maintains a tie with Tony Pedregon for the longest active qualifying streak (31) among Funny Car drivers. "Just a great job by Ace and the NAPA guys. You don't want to throw these cliches out about how nervous we all were.
"I was reminded again that we were tied for the longest qualifying streak in Funny Car with Tony Pedregon, and that's something to be proud of. You can go back and look at our press release from a couple of races ago and then from Denver, and we've been saying that, with the testing ban, we have been trying to implement these parts that we're making at DSR, which we know will make our whole Don Schumacher Racing team better later in the year.
"So, we need to throw them in and we have to do it under race conditions. That's what we'd planned on doing on Friday, and that put us behind the 8-ball, as the conditions got warmer and warmer. I would have been OK not even qualifying because I know that we're working towards the future. It's the old cliché, I guess: you take one step forward and two steps back sometimes and that's what we had to do.
"I'm glad we got in. As we've seen from this year, you can win from any position. This category is so tough right now. But the NAPA guys, time and time again, have put a good car under Ace and he was able to make the right calls and then it's my job not to mess up as a driver. So, I'm glad I didn't."
Capps faces No. 1 qualifier Ashley Force in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday. He has a 1-3 round-win record over Force. His single round win over the daughter of the 14-time Funny Car champion John Force came in St. Louis in 2007.