CAPPS SQUEAKS INTO NO. 16 IN ROUTE 66 QUALIFYING JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2009) - What appeared to be a major struggle to qualify the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge team for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway turned out to be a test session, ...
CAPPS SQUEAKS INTO NO. 16 IN ROUTE 66 QUALIFYING
JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2009) - What appeared to be a major struggle to qualify the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge team for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway turned out to be a test session, according to driver and NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps.
With some threat of rain today, Capps found himself on the bump spot in No. 16 as he prepared to make his final qualifying attempt. By that time he knew he was safe in that position and posted his quickest lap of the weekend, a 4.228-second pass at 288.39 mph, which didn't move him up the ladder. His previous runs also found him languishing at the bottom of the roster: 4.870/161.32 (No. 13) and 4.321/227.65 (No. 14) on Friday, and a 4.232/287.66 (No. 14) earlier today in the third session.
He will face No. 1 qualifier Tony Pedregon in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.
"We're doing some testing," Capps stated flatly. "We have these four qualifying runs, but given where we are in the points (119 markers ahead of second place), we felt like it was a good chance to try to test some things under great track conditions. This is a track where you always can test, because of it's surface. With the NHRA limit of having only four testing days this year, this is what you have to do some times.
"With that being said, I have said time and time again we can win from anywhere. If you qualify in the Funny Car field, anybody is capable of winning. I guess tomorrow's our chance to prove that.
"For eliminations, the car will be set up back to normal, but It was just too hard to pass up a chance to test these products during this weekend's qualifying runs.
"There was always a chance of not qualifying, but we feel that what we were testing is going to benefit us so much down the road as well as all the Don Schumacher Racing teams that it was worth doing.
"In three of the four runs it dropped a cylinder, and that’s just a part of the testing process. Bur we always knew we could always put the car back where it was.
"And, at this track I don't think lane choice is a big deal, either. We've had races where we qualified well and ended up running Tony Pedregon. I always get up to race Tony and I know he has a great team, and the NAPA guys are always ready to race Tony.