Gainesville: Ron Capps Saturday notes

CAPPS MAKES GATORNATIONALS FIELD IN NO. 13 GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2008) - Two-time defending Gatornationals champion Ron Capps had a tough day in qualifying today after Friday's two qualifying rounds were rained out. But the driver of the...

CAPPS MAKES GATORNATIONALS FIELD IN NO. 13

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2008) - Two-time defending Gatornationals champion Ron Capps had a tough day in qualifying today after Friday's two qualifying rounds were rained out. But the driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car pulled out a respectable 4.936-second lap at 312.86 mph in the final pass to make the field in No. 13.

His first of only two available attempts to qualify for the prestigious Gatornationals produced a tire-smoking, non-qualifying, pedaling lap of 6.069/237.46.

"It's bittersweet because our teammate Gary Scelzi didn't get in," said Capps. "It looked like his car was on a good run; it was the pair in front of us. And all of a sudden the scoreboard came up and said '5.01,' and we were all pretty shocked.

"That's what you don't want to happen. Those situations when you're not in the show and it's down to two runs, that's when that so-called two-dollar part may just break or something may happen that usually doesn't happen. And it seems like Murphy's Law that it would happen on a run like that.

"So, at half-track - and I've heard Michael Waltrip talk about hearing things with one lap to go - I was hearing things the whole way down. I was on the radio telling Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) the tires felt like they were vibrating, the car was making sounds, and just when it made it to the finish line there was a sigh of relief. I knew it ran pretty good, but I also knew it wasn't going to be in the top half.

"We were joking because I don't think I've ever been so happy to run a 4.93 as I was on that run."

Capps faces No. 4 qualifier Cruz Pedregon in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon