CAPPS BOUNCED BY BERNSTEIN IN OPENING ROUND OF U.S. NATIONALS CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2007) - Ron Capps got a taste of how quickly things can change today. After leading the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car category by as much as 154...
CAPPS BOUNCED BY BERNSTEIN IN OPENING ROUND OF U.S. NATIONALS
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2007) - Ron Capps got a taste of how quickly things can change today. After leading the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car category by as much as 154 points this season, he finds himself fourth in the Countdown to Four playoffs (which kicked off today) standings following his first-round loss at the U.S. Nationals.
Capps fell victim to Kenny Bernstein's excellent reaction time (.045) to his own more-than-respectable .097 (.000 is perfect) and posted the fourth quickest elapsed time of the round, but lost on a holeshot advantage to Bernstein. Bernstein's 4.9221/307.16 beat Capps' 4.877/316.82 by a mere four feet.
With that, and Robert Hight's and Mike Ashley's march into the final round, Capps fell to fourth in the re-calculated rankings and is just nine points out of third, and 51 short of regaining the lead.
"Bernstein is one of if not the best at the Christmas Tree in the Funny Car class," said Capps, who drove the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T this weekend. "You talk to the other Funny Car drivers and they'll tell you he's the guy that you have to have your act together for at the starting line. And it just makes it that much worse when we know how good a run that was for us. It would have given us lane choice for the second round (against Robert Hight).
"I have to fix whatever I think is wrong. I really thought I had a good light. With the way I was staged, I felt like it wasn't a bad light.
"Kenny Bernstein paid me a compliment after Vegas. I beat him him on a holeshot there, and then he beat me on a holeshot at Norwalk. He told me that he doesn't sleep very good at night when he's going to race me the next day. That's a huge compliment. I told him it was the same for me.
"It's very had to put something like that behind you," he continued. "I wanted to throw up on the return road on the way back, just because of how good that run was, and after yesterday I felt so confident this morning that we were gong to have a great day. And we should have. The car ran great, that's why it's disappointing for the team. I obviously didn't pull my part of the rope. We'll just have to regroup and go to Memphis."
As for the Countdown to Four battle that will be waged in the next three races, "When it gets down to like it is, this is as big a pressure as you are ever going to have as a race car driver," said Capps. "This Countdown is as big as it gets. I love this pressure. I love the Countdown format and this is exactly why.
"For a long time we've been the points leader and right now we're not. And now it's down to the next three races. We're going to have to go to Memphis with a full head of steam.
"We're staying to test here at O'Reilly Raceway Park on Tuesday with a brand-new car and it's going to be exciting. We had a brand-new car built by Murf McKinney. It's a wider-cage car that we had built that the guys just put together. We're going to make two runs Tuesday morning and try some different things with the chassis, and then we may run it in Memphis depending on how Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) likes it.