CAPPS OUT IN EMOTIONAL FIRST ROUND IN E-TOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 22, 2008) - Along with everyone else at the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Ron Capps had a heavy heart as he prepared for the first round of Funny Car...
CAPPS OUT IN EMOTIONAL FIRST ROUND IN E-TOWN
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 22, 2008) - Along with everyone else at the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Ron Capps had a heavy heart as he prepared for the first round of Funny Car eliminations today NHRA following the passing of fellow Funny Car racer Scott Kalitta in a violent crash on Saturday.
But Capps, who drives the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, knew it was also time to get back to work, as he faced Mike Neff in the opening stanza. Capps took off at the starting lights with a .018-of-a-second edge over Neff. It was close, but it was Neff first at the finish line, winning with a 4.874-second elapsed time at 317.05 mph to Capps' 4.922/316.45. Margin of victory: 14 feet.
"I just told Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch), Don't beat yourself up over losing," said Capps. "We were seventh pair, and the quickest car up until we ran was a 4.93. And he wanted to run .92 to .90 and that's what we did. If he was to make that decision again I'd be happy with it. We just got outrun. Those guys stepped up, and we would have won any other round but that round. So I really don't want the NAPA guys to beat themselves up over that decision.
"It was a great run; it didn't hurt anything. It was unfortunate we lost, but it was hard to get up for that race anyway. I don't think a lot of guys felt like being here today because of Scott.
"Even though it was tough to race today, I know Scott would have kicked me in the butt and said, 'suck it up, quit being a wimp.' He'd be mad if you didn't get up to race. Every driver was talking about the same thing: That's the way Scott would have wanted it, as much as it hurts.
"It was a strange feeling to be in the car and at half-track you were fighting to keep your right foot on the throttle. With everything that happened and after watching Scott's run yesterday, it was hard to stay in the throttle. But we did and we ran great. We got outrun. We just have to pick it up and go."