CAPPS AND FORCE OUT IN COLUMBUS OPENING ROUND HEBRON, Ohio (May 21, 2006) - The top two in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings were shown the door today in the first round of eliminations at the Pontiac Excitement ...
CAPPS AND FORCE OUT IN COLUMBUS OPENING ROUND
HEBRON, Ohio (May 21, 2006) - The top two in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings were shown the door today in the first round of eliminations at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway, keeping Ron Capps alive in the championship chase and leading second-place John Force by 91 points.
Capps drove the new Brut Dodge Charger R/T (with additional support from Torco Race Fuels) to a rock-solid 4.823-second pass at 311.70 mph in the opening round today, but lost on a holeshot advantage to John Force Racing's Eric Medlen's slower but winning 4.834/294.95. Reaction times: .086 for Capps, .051 for Medlen.
John Force was also eliminated in the first stanza, keeping the points spread relatively status quo. Capps lost just five points for qualifying No. 9 to Force's No. 2.
"It's a disappointment," said Capps, "but we've won a lot of those close races ourselves this year. For me, you live by the sword and you die by the sword, and that's just the way it's been. Those (Force) guys are tough, but it hurts worse because we had one of the quickest runs of the session.
"One good thing about my team," he continued, "no matter what happens, we've all won as a team, we've lost as a team. It's a blessing Force went out as far as the points go.
"It was a close race. Eric was actually out pretty good on me and his car quit and I thought we got him at the finish line. I love this Dodge Charger. It went right down the middle of the track, and, being the first pair out, Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) made a great call. It went right down the track.
"There was adversity again all weekend because we had some dropped cylinder situations and once again race day came around and we had a good car. Now we'll head down I-70 to Topeka.
"The good thing for a driver is when this happens you get to go race next weekend rather than have a few weeks off. So, we'll get right back in it."
McCulloch was realistic: "This is the thing that the people in the grandstands or the people viewing the TV don't see or don't know: Capps got beat on a holeshot. We ran a 4.82, Eric ran a 4.83. In reality, they were both in deep (how they staged at the starting lights), but Eric was way deep. I usually never look at or ever even notice the other car, but he went so far in I thought the top light was going out. It you took that into consideration, Ron really wasn't late (in reaction time), Eric really ran better than what his time slip said."
Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., May 25-28.