Joliet II: Capps/Johnson preview

Capps, Johnson Look for Low Elapsed Times at Route 66 Raceway JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 25, 2003 - Cool weather and temperatures, no rain and a racing surface that has surrendered some of the quickest times in drag racing await Ron Capps and Tommy ...

Capps, Johnson Look for Low Elapsed Times at Route 66 Raceway

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 25, 2003 - Cool weather and temperatures, no rain and a racing surface that has surrendered some of the quickest times in drag racing await Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. this weekend at Route 66 Raceway.

The Don Prudhomme Skoal Racing teammates are anxious to see how low they can go when the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals unfolds Friday through Sunday.

Capps and Johnson established career bests in their first 2003 visit to the ChicagoLand facility. Capps' Green Camaro registered an elapsed time of 4.753 seconds at a speed of 322.96 mph in his quickest and fastest quarter-mile ride. He hasn't come close to those numbers in the eight races since.

Johnson experienced his first sub-4.8-second run, stopping the clocks at 4.790 seconds. He did drop his time to 4.788 seconds at Indianapolis last month.

"Our car is running pretty good, so it's a good time to be going to Route 66," said Capps, who went to the semifinals at Memphis Monday when the rain-delayed Mid-South Nationals were completed. "We know how good that track is and the low elapsed times it can produce. With the cold weather and the great condition of the racing surface, they could produce a lot of career-best times and probably the quickest Funny Car run in history. We are definitely looking forward to it."

Capps credited crew chief Todd Okuhara with making some key calls during Monday's eliminations and he expects Okuhara to do the same thing this weekend.

"I have a lot of confidence in Todd and his capabilities," Capps noted. "We ran 4.862 in the opening round Monday and that was a gutsy call by Todd. It was the third-quickest run of the round."

Johnson, who was runner-up here in the first race this year, likes the prospects of cold weather and the tuning of Mike Green, the Blue crew's crew chief.

"I think the cars will be flying this weekend," Johnson said, "and I hope we're one of them. We need to have a good weekend. We know the track will hold the horsepower so it will be great not to worry about getting down a marginal racetrack. This will not be a marginal track.

"I hope we can go out and run a mid-to-low 4.70. Ever since we ran that 4.78 at Indy I've been looking forward to going to Route 66."

Johnson, who was within seven points of sixth-place Capps going into Memphis, lost in the first round and now trails by 49, 947-898.

Friday's qualifying sessions are at 4 and 7 p.m., followed by Saturday's at 1 and 4 p.m. Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.

This marks the fifth of seven straight weeks of competition, thanks to rainouts in Indianapolis (Sept. 1 to Sept. 7) and Reading, Pa. (Sept. 14 to Oct. 5). The tour moves to Dallas Oct. 5).

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Don Prudhomme , Tommy Johnson Jr.