Chicago Ron Capps Reaches Semis

JOLIET, Ill., June 4, 2000 - Ron Capps took a wild ride and John Force took the semifinal-round win Sunday in the Prestone Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro were impressive in the first two ...

JOLIET, Ill., June 4, 2000 - Ron Capps took a wild ride and John Force took the semifinal-round win Sunday in the Prestone Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro were impressive in the first two rounds, defeating Bruce Sarver and Dean Skuza. Crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch tuned Capps to a 4.889-second time against Skuza to claim lane choice against Force.

The pairing with Force marked the fifth time the two drivers have met this season.

"The ties shook real hard and I had to pedal it," Capps said. "As soon as I did that, the front end went up, so quick it got the car up on the wheelie bar. I couldn't see where I was going but I knew the car was being pushed toward the wall. It glanced off the wall - the headers took the most of the impact - and only a little bit of the back of the car hit the wall.

"Losing to John again is very frustrating. We're trying to gain ground (in the standings) on both Force and (Jerry) Toliver, but, unfortunately, they will be going one more round here than we did."

Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. team stayed third in points with 675. Force beat Toliver in the finals to win his 86th race and set the NHRA career-wins record. Force has 795 points to 740 for Toliver.

Qualified: No. 4, 4.888 seconds at 304.67 mph

First round: Capps, 4.929 at 298.47 def. Bruce Sarver; Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.889 at 304.67 def. Dean Skuza; Semifinals: John Force def. Capps.

Pro Winners: Gary Scelzi, Top Fuel; Force, Funny Car; Ron Krisher, Pro Stock.

Next Event: Pontiac Excitement Nationals, June 16-18, Columbus, Ohio

TV Schedule: Saturday, June 17, Qualifying highlights, 7:30-9:30 p.m., ESPN2; Sunday, June 18, Race recap, 5-7 p.m., ESPN2 (times EDT).

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Dean Skuza , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Ron Krisher