CAPPS OUT IN FIRST ROUND AFTER STARTING-LINE GLITCH IN TEXAS ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2008) - Tim Wilkerson and Ron Capps came up to the starting line for their first-round Funny Car match-up in eliminations at the 23rd annual NHRA Fall...
CAPPS OUT IN FIRST ROUND AFTER STARTING-LINE GLITCH IN TEXAS
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2008) - Tim Wilkerson and Ron Capps came up to the starting line for their first-round Funny Car match-up in eliminations at the 23rd annual NHRA Fall Nationals, performed their burnouts and began to stage for their race when a glitch in the starting-light system forced them to shut down and restart again several minutes later.
When the two finally squared off, Tim Wilkerson took the win with a 4.120-second elapsed time at 298.34 mph. Capps, in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T in the other lane, was credited with what would have been a remarkable .003 reaction time (.000 is perfect) and a losing finish of 4.289/295.14. It was clear that Wilkerson had crossed the finish line first, but Capps questioned the numbers in his lane.
"Usually a light like that is just a bad red light," he said, "and I'll be the first to admit it. But something was obviously wrong with the clocks. The NAPA Dodge didn't run that slow either. We are trying to figure out what was wrong because I left on the amber light and, by the way it looks on the computer, it looks like the car ran way better than that.
"Tim was still ahead of me and I saw him come about half track and just pull away from me. He was only out about a car length, so something was messed up. It makes sense because they shut us off at the starting line.
"Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) walked up to the beams to try to guide me in (on the first start) and the beams weren't working. And then they kind of worked and they didn't work. So, they shut us off, rolled us back, and then we had a choice to either go back and run at the end of the round or right then. Both of us decided to fire the cars right back up and roll up there. So, that's what we did.
"Having the right lane probably didn't help things," added Capps, who did not have lane choice after qualifying 11th. "We need to work on our qualifying to get a better choice of lanes first round. You can't go up there against Tim Wilkerson and expect to win unless you run your best run of the weekend. And we are very capable of it, but we have to work on it.
"We still have four races left to jump back into this championship hunt, so it's off to Memphis next weekend."
Capps leaves Ennis, Texas, No. 9 in the point standings.
Next up is the 21st annual NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park, Sept. 26-28.