LAS VEGAS, Oct. 26, 2003 - Teammates Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. enjoyed consistent qualifying runs for Sunday's ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and each driver gave it their best shot in the opening round...
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 26, 2003 - Teammates Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. enjoyed consistent qualifying runs for Sunday's ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and each driver gave it their best shot in the opening round of eliminations, but they still didn't leave with a round win.
Capps, at the controls of Don Prudhomme's Green Skoal Racing Camaro, started the day from the No. 10 position while Johnson's Blue Camaro was next in 11th place.
Johnson, getting a shot at title contender Whit Bazemore, gained a huge starting line advantage but couldn't hold off Bazemore's closing charge. Johnson's car lost momentum when the tires began to spin and Bazemore won with a 4.904-second, 307.79-mph effort.
Capps lost a close one to Frank Pedregon, 4.929 at 307.15 to 4.945 at 305.70.
Johnson's .002 reaction time - two thousandths of a second from perfect - put him in the lead and he was ahead until traction problems set in.
"We couldn't get a much better reaction time," Johnson said. "We tried to go a little quicker than we did in qualifying (4.894 seconds), but it pulled the tires loose. I pedaled it and got back in it before I saw him come by. It was frustrating being that close to winning the round.
"It was a good weekend because we got down the track all four times without shaking the tires. In curing the shakes, the car slowed down a bit. Now we have to pick it back up."
Capps said the close loss to Pedregon was tough, "but the positive thing is we went down the track on all five runs. We are in a test mode, working on 2004 setups. Our main goal is to make ourselves better for next season."
Pedregon stopped the clocks first with a 4.929 to Capps' 4.945.
"We plan to test here Monday so we can keep getting better," added Capps.
Capps and Gary Scelzi are tied for sixth place in POWERade Series points with 1084. Johnson is 10th at 1018.
Tony Pedregon defeated Bazemore in the final round to clinch the season championship.
Only one race remains on the 2003 docket, the Auto Club Finals, Nov. 6-9, at Pomona, Calif.