CAPPS PULLS OUT A NO. 6 IN FINAL GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps pulled out a No. 6 qualifying spot at the NHRA Gatornationals today, accomplishing...
CAPPS PULLS OUT A NO. 6 IN FINAL GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps pulled out a No. 6 qualifying spot at the NHRA Gatornationals today, accomplishing the Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car team's goal of qualifying in the top half.
Capps posted his quickest pass of the weekend in the final session, a 4.808-second elapsed time at 319.03 mph. His first three attempts produced a 4.999/259.29 (No. 7 at the time), a 15.257/76.79, due to a malfunction at the start, which placed him tenuously into the field in No. 16, and a 4.869/267.06 in the third session.
It was a close call, as Capps entered the final session in 11th place.
"I'm sure a lot of viewers of this sport probably sit back at times and wonder with four qualifying runs given to a team why sometimes you see a big-budget team or a team that does well often struggle and sometimes not even qualify," said Capps. "Until you go through a weekend where you suffer small glitches or parts breakages and have to chase a problem around and only have four qualifying runs do you realize how much everything has to be so perfect on one of these cars to make it go down the track.
"We knocked the blower (supercharger) off this thing twice. Once when I hit the throttle on Friday night and again in the first run on Saturday at about the 900-ft. mark. It still ran a 4.86. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and the Brut Dodge guys dug down deep, and to watch them work, figure out what was wrong and find the problem and go out and run an .80 flat made me really proud of them.
"And we have lane choice. I was a nervous wreck because we were barely qualified earlier and then we still weren't qualified well going in to that last session. But, knowing Ace, I knew he was going up to race the race track to learn about tomorrow and here I was worried about just being in the show. That just tells what kind of competitor he is. He was just calm and collected.
"I've said it time and time again that this is one of the greatest races there is, but it's one of the trickiest tracks and you almost have to be a field sergeant to have a battle plan to get through the Gatornationals on a Sunday. It'll be sunny, it'll have great weather conditions and it's a good track, but it'll throw everything at you."
Capps faces Mike Ashley in first round of eliminations on Sunday.