Las Vegas II: Capps, Green Skoal Racing event summary

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Capps Puts Green Skoal Racing Camaro Into Las Vegas Winner'S Circle, Beating Bob Gilbertson In Finals Las Vegas, Oct. 28, 2001 - Ron Capps and his Green Skoal Racing Camaro won the ACDelco Nationals Sunday at The...

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing
Capps Puts Green Skoal Racing Camaro Into Las Vegas Winner'S Circle, Beating Bob Gilbertson In Finals

Las Vegas, Oct. 28, 2001 - Ron Capps and his Green Skoal Racing Camaro won the ACDelco Nationals Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The victory was Capps' 12th overall, 11th in Funny Car.

This victory was a mix of a good, competitive race day setup coming from crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch and Capps' driving ability. It included an upset win over Whit Bazemore, the race's No. 1 qualifier and the hottest driver on the NHRA Winston Series tour. It ended with Capps getting an automatic win light when Bob Gilbertson fouled away his chances in the title round.

The Skoal Racing team swept the two races here. Tommy Johnson Jr. was victorious in April.

The win was Don Prudhomme's 29th as an owner and 78th overall.

Capps used a superb reaction time, .447 seconds (.400 is perfect), to stop Bazemore. By leaving the line first, Capps got to the finish line first on a 4.884-second, 314.02-mph run, beating Bazemore's 4.875 at 317.57.

"I tell you what, that second round against Whit felt like a final round," said Capps. "I used up so much energy getting ready for that round. They have been tough in the latter part of the year. But I wanted it bad and when I got the win light I celebrated like it was a final round win.

"Bazemore drives one of the best cars out there now, if not the best, and I knew it was going to be a tough race," added Capps, who defeated Bazemore in the finals at Brainerd, Minn., earlier this year.

He didn't forget there were two more rounds as he completed the winning run by eliminating Al Hofmann in the semis and then adding Gilbertson to the list.

"Ace really had it going and had the car dialed in all day," added Capps, who had four runs in the 4.8s. "It was just a matter of me doing my job and keeping the car going straight. I'm really glad that we were able to move up to third in the point standings. Even though (John) Force has it locked up there is a pretty good battle going on behind him for third, fourth and fifth. All things considered, the day really turned out good for us."

The win enabled Capps to move past Del Worsham and into third place with 1417 points to Worsham's 1378.

Capps had back-to-back 4.884 runs in the first two rounds, a weekend best of 4.853 in the semifinals and a 4.890 in the finals, where Gilbertson red-lighted away his chances. "The engine dropped a cylinder and it was nosing over at the finish line," Capps said. "I'm so proud of this team. They really worked hard."

Johnson, meanwhile, lost to Bruce Sarver when his Blue Skoal Racing Camaro slowed to a 5.453 at 209.65 mph. It negated Johnson's .467 reaction time. Johnson did pull within one point of eighth place Gary Densham, 1073-1072.

Only one race, the Auto Club Finals, Nov. 8-11, at Pomona, Calif., remains on the 2001 schedule.

Qualified: Johnson, No. 7, 4.859 seconds at 313.66 mph; Capps, No. 8, 4.866 seconds at 310.91 mph. First round: Capps, 4.884 at 312.57 def. Frank Pedregon; Bruce Sarver def. Johnson; Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.884 at 314.02 def. Whit Bazemore; Semifinals: Capps, 4.853 at 310.84 def. Al Hofmann; Finals: Capps, 4.890 at 308.85 def. Bob Gilbertson.

Pro winners: Darrell Russell, Top Fuel; Ron Capps, Funny Car; Mark Pawuk, Pro Stock

-DPSR-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Mark Pawuk , Bob Gilbertson , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Don Prudhomme , Tommy Johnson Jr.