First-round finishes for Capps, Johnson at Mile-Highs. MORRISON, Colo., July 21, 2002 - As far as the Skoal Racing team is concerned, the best thing they'll be seeing is Denver in the trucks' rearview mirrors beginning Tuesday morning when the...
First-round finishes for Capps, Johnson at Mile-Highs.
MORRISON, Colo., July 21, 2002 - As far as the Skoal Racing team is concerned, the best thing they'll be seeing is Denver in the trucks' rearview mirrors beginning Tuesday morning when the team moves to Seattle for the next stop in the NHRA POWERade Series.
Hot weather and a very tricky track combined with the usual problem of lack of oxygen during the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals Sunday and contributed to first-round losses by Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson at Bandimere Speedway.
Capps, the No. 14 qualifier, and his Green Skoal Racing Camaro were in a close race with Tony Pedregon when an intake manifold stud bolt failed, the engine lost power and Pedregon pulled away. Pedregon encountered some trouble, too, but it came just before the finish line instead of near half-track where Capps went powerless. Pedregon won with a 5.195-second, 249.53-mph run while Capps came in at 5.274 at 233.84.
The outcome was "very disappointing, but when something like that happens, first thing I do is evaluate the situation . . . what happened and why?" said team owner Don Prudhomme. "With Ron's car, a stud bolt broke in the manifold, and that can be fixed. With Tommy's car, for the most part they didn't have good tune-up up here this weekend. We'll just put this behind us and move on to Seattle (for the Northwest Nationals, July 26-28)."
"When the bolt failed, the boost went away real quick," said Capps. "We left pretty even and I could barely hear him. I just saw the nose of his car when the engine suddenly nosed over and quit. We felt the car could get down the track on race day, but it was just one of those things."
Despite the mechanical malfunction, that was Capps' quickest run of the weekend. He qualified with a 5.300 at 239.23 mph.
Johnson put the Special Edition Skoal Racing Camaro into the No. 8 starting position with a solid 5.202 at 290.69 mph. Worsham uncorked the quickest run of eliminations against Johnson, 5.086 at 298.60 to a 5.341 at 236.76. Worsham went on to win the event.
"It was a good weekend for us because we qualified in the top half of the field, but we didn't have enough to catch Worsham," Johnson said. "It will be great to get back to normal conditions in Seattle next week. At this altitude you can't tell whether you're running well or not."
Capps remains seventh in NHRA POWERade standings with 641 points and Johnson is ninth at 569.
The Northwest Nationals event is the second of three races in a row. The Western swing concludes with at Sonoma, Calif., Aug. 2-4.
Qualifying: Johnson, No. 8, 5.202 seconds at 290.69 mph; Capps, No. 14, 5.300 seconds at 239.23 mph
First round: Tony Pedregon def. Capps; Del Worsham def. Johnson
Pro Winners: Darrell Russell, Top Fuel; Del Worsham, Funny Car; Mike Edwards, Pro Stock