Gainesville: Capps reaches semi; Johnson Jr. upset

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Report GAINESVILLE, Fla., April 21, 2001 - Ron Capps was a semifinalist and Tommy Johnson Jr. was upset in the opening round of the rain-delayed Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway Saturday. Capps' first two runs...

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Report

GAINESVILLE, Fla., April 21, 2001 - Ron Capps was a semifinalist and Tommy Johnson Jr. was upset in the opening round of the rain-delayed Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway Saturday.

Capps' first two runs down the slippery and tricky quarter-mile were very consistent - 4.921 seconds at 305.98 mph in beating Johnny Gray and 4.932 at 303.03 in beating Del Worsham in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals against John Force, the tires on Capps' Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car had trouble with the slick track surface, smoked and slowed him to a 7.495 at 108.78. Force won with a 5.216 at 270.00.

"The car started rattling the tires in the part of the track where we thought we might have problems," Capps reported. "Ace (crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch) was trying to run a mid-4.90 (seconds). What makes it worse is that Force only ran 5.21."

JOHNSON DIDN'T have a bad run, it was just that Epler had the quickest run of the day against him. Johnson's Skoal Racing Blue Camaro stopped the clocks at 4.969 at 303.23 to Epler's 4.912 at 310.48.

"It seemed like the car didn't want to go anywhere," Johnson said. "It was very, very frustrating to lose in the first round, especially after we won the last race (at Las Vegas). The run was nice and smooth. We just didn't think he'd run low e.t."

Johnson remained third in Winston Series standings with 313 points and Capps moved into fifth place with 292. John Force leads with 421.

The Skoal Racing teammates return to competition in the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, Friday through Sunday at Bristol, Tenn. It is the middle race in three races in three weeks, and is followed by the Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals at Commerce, Ga., May 4-6. {TB{ Qualified: Capps, No. 5, 4.889 at 311.41 mph; Johnson, No. 6, 4.909 at 309.42

First round: Capps, 4.921 at 305.98 def. Johnny Gray Jim Epler, 4.912 at 303.23 def. Johnson, 4.969 at 303.23

Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.932 at 303.03 def. Del Worsham

Semifinals: Force def. Capps

Pro winners: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock.

Next event: Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, April 27-29 at Bristol, Tenn.

-PSR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Jim Epler , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Don Prudhomme , Johnny Gray