Indianapolis: Prudhomme's Skoal Racing eliminations report

Capps Reaches Semifinals At Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; Johnson Upset In First Round CLERMONT, Ind., Sept. 3, 2001 - Ron Capps reached the semifinals of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park Monday before running into Whit ...

Capps Reaches Semifinals At Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; Johnson Upset In First Round

CLERMONT, Ind., Sept. 3, 2001 - Ron Capps reached the semifinals of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park Monday before running into Whit Bazemore, his 2001 nemesis.

For the second time in two days, Bazemore won a tire-smoke race, capitalizing when the motor in Capps' Skoal Racing Green Camaro dropped a cylinder. Tire smoke was the result, enabling Bazemore to get to the finish line first at 5.099 seconds at 296.89 mph to Capps' 6.394 at 159.38.

Bazemore won the first round of Sunday's Bud Shootout special event in a throttle-pedaling duel, 5.308 at 246.39 to 5.642 at 186.98.

After an impressive qualifying effort, Tommy Johnson Jr. was upset in the opening round when his car also lost traction.

"We put a cylinder out (against Bazemore) and the car got out of the groove," Capps recalled. "I wasn't ready for it. If we hadn't dropped the cylinder the car definitely would've made it. I was a little concerned before the run because the cars in front of us hadn't gone down the lane in front of us.

But it still was a good, all-around weekend for us."

Tire smoking stunned Johnson and the Skoal Racing Blue Camaro team in the opening round.

"It was the last thing on my mind. I never considered it," Johnson said.

"We ran so well this weekend. I was confident. I had the best reaction time of the first round (.472) . . . and no cares in the world. I think this was our toughest loss of the year."

Johnson, who posted a career-best 4.818 seconds to take the No. 4 position, was the only Funny Car driver to run competitive times in each of his five qualifying runs - 4.850, 4.835, 4.871, 4.823 and 4.818.

Capps now has 1134 points and is fourth in NHRA Winston Series standings, seven behind Del Worsham. Johnson, meanwhile, dropped to eighth with 845. Next up for the Skoal Racing Funny Cars is the Keystone Nationals, Sept. 14-16, at Reading, Pa.

Qualified: Johnson, No. 4, 4.818 seconds at 314.46 mph; Capps, No. 5, 4.822 seconds at 312.35 mph

First round: Capps, 4.852 at 310.48 def. Tim Wilkerson; Bruce Sarver def. Johnson; Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.946 at 305.98 def. Sarver; Semifinals: Capps, 5.015 at 304.67 def. Bruce Sarver; Final: Capps, 4.939 at 306.53 def. Whit Bazemore, 5.991 at 201.70

Pro winners: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; Whit Bazemore, Funny Car; Greg Anderson, Pro Stock

-DPSR-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Tim Wilkerson , Tommy Johnson Jr.