CAPPS UPSET IN U.S. NATIONALS OPENING ROUND CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2010) - Ron Capps was the victim of a surprise upset in the opening round of the 56th annual U.S. Nationals today, when he was defeated by Melanie Troxel in a close ...
CAPPS UPSET IN U.S. NATIONALS OPENING ROUND
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2010) - Ron Capps was the victim of a surprise upset in the opening round of the 56th annual U.S. Nationals today, when he was defeated by Melanie Troxel in a close match-up.
Racing the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger Funny Car, Capps, who entered this first of six events of the Countdown to the Championship in fifth place in the standings, took off door-to-door with Troxel, led the first 330 feet, then was nipped by her at the finish line by a margin of 16 feet. Capps slowed to a 4.165-second pass at 302.75 mph to Troxel's winning 4.131/308.64.
Capps slipped only to sixth place in the standings and is 115 markers behind John Force.
"The fact is, we didn't get the job done," said Capps, who is seeking his first Funny Car championship. "Yes, it hurts a lot more because it's Indy. Approaching this race as just another race is what you have to do on race day. We don't really know why we slowed, but for some reason we had a couple of clutch discs that wore just a lot more than they normally would have.
"What a great consistent car. (Crew chief) John Medlen was doing a great job of keeping a handle on it in very cool conditions the last three days, as we saw Saturday night with a 4.049-second ET qualifying run for No. 2 and again we had two great runs yesterday (4.209 and 4.115), when it went right down the track. Clutch wear was great. It was right where we wanted it, and we had a great hot rod and it just felt good.
"It was uncharacteristic for it to slow down like it did. John got in the box right at the end and he figured it would run a 4.07 or a 4.09. And that's what we were shooting for. You plug it in there shallow like in qualifying to try to keep lane choice at a race like this and in all actuality it should have run a 4.07, 409. It just blew through the clutch for some reason.
"You have to be an optimist and look at the bright side. The bright side is we've had a great race car. We showed we can run in the heat, we can run in the cool conditions. We've got five races left now, we have to put this behind us.
"I have great people on this team. That's another part of the bright side. We have to look to find a way out of this hole. We can get our way right back into it at Concord and focus on the rest of the season."
Next up is the third annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals in Concord, N.C., Sept. 17-19.