CAPPS DELIVERS STELLAR PASS TO QUALIFY NO. 6 IN BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 7, 2007) - Funny Car points lead Ron Capps was 16th in the field of 16 after two rounds of qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway...
CAPPS DELIVERS STELLAR PASS TO QUALIFY NO. 6 IN BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 7, 2007) - Funny Car points lead Ron Capps was 16th in the field of 16 after two rounds of qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway before he pulled out an electric pass of 4.863 seconds at 310.70 mph in the third session today under a hot Tennessee sun. Not only was that the quickest lap of the round, it moved him solidly into the No. 6 slot, which he retained through his final attempt.
Driving the Brut Dodge Charger R/T decked out in a special-edition Valvoline design, Capps' other laps included a 4.949/304.05, a frightening disqualification in the second session when he crossed the centerline and came dangerously close to Jim Head in the other lane, and finally a 4.925/305.42.
"I'm still speechless after that run we made in Saturday's first pass," said Capps. "I told Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch), I think that that was THE run for us so far this year. The most important run for me, anyway. To run that .86 in the heat of the day like we did, first pair out, was incredible.
"Not only was it the quickest, but it moved us into the top half and that's going to give us lane choice tomorrow. Once again Ace showed how savvy he is on a tricky race track.
"As for last night's run," he continued, "you don't want to beat an old drum, but everybody knows how important Friday night's runs are, and there's a lot of bumps on this track. And, finally, today it got some more rubber down on it (since it was re-surfaced), so it helped a lot. But with the bumps, there wasn't enough rubber down last night and you had to stick that thing right in the groove. At 300 ft. it put the No. 8 cylinder out, so it was trying to drive me to the right anyway. I kind of had a hold of the car and I thought it was still going to make it. You just don't want to lift on Friday night because, even if you get down there with a marginal run, it still could be the run that gets you into the show. And then it hit the big bump at the transition and threw me into Head's lane and I'd never had a Funny Car in my 10 years' of driving move me that hard, that quick. Thank God Jim Head was smart enough to move over a little bit in his lane, because I had the steering wheel full cocked as far as it would go. My foot was off the throttle with the steering wheel turned, and it was still not coming back, and I was in his lane and I thought this was going to be ugly for both of us.
"I apologized to Jim right away down there. I usually don't let a car get that far ahead of me and I just flat over-drove it trying to save the run."
Capps meets Tommy Johnson Jr. in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.