Joliet: Ron Capps final summary

DESPITE 'WEEKEND FROM HELL,' CAPPS OK WITH QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN CHICAGO JOLIET, Ill. (June 11, 2006) - For the Brut Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team and driver Ron Capps, this was the 'weekend from hell' at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA...

DESPITE 'WEEKEND FROM HELL,' CAPPS OK WITH QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN CHICAGO

JOLIET, Ill. (June 11, 2006) - For the Brut Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team and driver Ron Capps, this was the 'weekend from hell' at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Despite his quarterfinal finish today, Capps continues to lead the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points lead, by 48 over John Force, who won today's event.

Capps made it into the field in qualifying in his last attempt, in No. 12, after three rounds of mechanical glitches, fires and other gremlins. Today, in the opening round of eliminations, the parachutes sprung open 320 feet short of the finish, but Capps lucked out when Cruz Pedregon lost traction in the other lane. Capps gladly accepted the victory with a 4.935-second ET at 276.86 mph.

His luck ended in the quarterfinal, when another mechanical issue surfaced at the finish line in what was otherwise a close race against Robert Hight. Capps aced Hight at the starting light (.079 reaction time to Hight's .118) and was ahead at 330 feet. Hight took over briefly before Capps' mechanical problem, then went on to claim the win with a 4.725/331.36 to Capps' 4.944/256.80.

"To be honest with you," said Capps, whose team also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels, "it's 40 more POWERade points than I would have expected to have after waking up Saturday morning. It just didn't look like we were going to get into the show, or get a chance to even get on the track (because of rain).

"Getting into the show and what we went through Friday and Saturday was almost as big as the (four) wins we had this year. It was really a gut-check for our Brut Dodge guys and I'm proud of them.

"It was running great in the last run and it sheared a (supercharger) belt off, but we found out it dropped a cylinder right before that. Still, with a cylinder out, we were right there with Robert.

"So, we're packing up and getting out of here just as quick as we can. This is one of those weekends where sometimes, no matter what, nothing seems to go right. And I talked about it at the beginning of the year. Championships are won on those weekends you're fighting and nothing's going your way, and if you can squeak out a round or two and get out of Dodge - pardon the pun - then that's big. And to get two rounds and get 40 POWERade points, considering how tough this weekend's been, is humongous."

The series continues this coming weekend, at the first of two back-to-back events. "I can't wait (to get back racing)," said Capps. "Englishtown (N.J.) is going to be hot and humid. St. Louis will obviously be warm, and I'm excited to get there."

On the 'chutes opening in the first round: "We had some new packs on it that we were trying, and the parachutes just didn't stay in. They wanted to get out so bad and it was too easy for them to come out. That's never happened. I've always prided myself in making sure the parachutes are packed right. But that was my fault. I didn't check them obviously to make sure they wouldn't come out. That was another one I can notch on my belt that I've gone through so I can know what happens in the future. It's part of the deal. You live and learn."

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Robert Hight