CAPPS GETS ONE LUCKY BREAK IN VEGAS, BUT LOSES GROUND TO FORCE LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29, 2006) - Ron Capps, second in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings, got one lucky break today after losing the first round of...
CAPPS GETS ONE LUCKY BREAK IN VEGAS, BUT LOSES GROUND TO FORCE
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29, 2006) - Ron Capps, second in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings, got one lucky break today after losing the first round of eliminations at the ACDelco NHRA Nationals: third-in-points Robert Hight broke down in the opening round on the burnout.
Driving the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T, Capps holds onto second place and is now two points ahead of Hight, as he aims for his first Funny Car crown. On the other side of the coin, however, points leader John Force went two rounds before being eliminated by Tommy Johnson Jr. The 13-time champion now tops Capps by 71 points as the series heads to the season finale in Pomona, Calif., in two weeks.
Capps took off at the starting lights against Scott Kalitta with a .059 (of-a-second) reaction time to Kalitta's .088. He led through the 330-ft. mark, then fell back at half-track, losing to Kalitta's 4.810/316.30 with his 4.866-second pass at 317.87 mph.
"I never saw him out the window," explained Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "I never even heard him until, gosh, about 1000 ft. It looks like there's a slight bump out there in both lanes and it may have upset the car, and it put a cylinder out at that point. He came around me at the finish line. It was running pretty good up until then. We went down the track both runs yesterday in the heat and just felt very confident. Scott's car didn't go down in the heat yesterday, so we felt like we just needed to go down the track. The car just got upset over that bump and we got beat."
Today's result places Capps in another exciting battle for a Funny Car championship, mirroring last year's fight to the finish, as Force, Capps and Hight take their scrap to the final event of the year.
Losing ground to Force is definitely a setback to the popular Carlsbad, Calif., driver. "At this point, the disappointment is so severe you can't even put it into words," he said following his loss today. "I feel for everybody on our Brut Revolution team. My guys have never let up one beat, even through some of the first-round losses we've had. We've had ups and downs this year. Our wins this year and the good races we've had on the track on Sundays have been unforgettable.
"It's been a fun year. It's not over yet. We can still win this thing. Unless they tell us mathematically we're out of it, we're going to go to Pomona and we're going to try to win and see what Force does.
"It's so tough," he said of the level of competition this year. "As of late here, with Scott Kalitta's team running better, Jim Head's car running better, a lot of these teams are really stepping up and running some big numbers. We knew it was a matter of time. And every year we say next year is going to be a lot of fun.
"When you look at the competition going into next year - yes, we're already thinking about next year - it's gong to be just a tremendous year, with a new points system and so many cars running as good as they are.
"We're going to go to Pomona and we're going to stand on the gas and we're going to try to win the race.
"Pomona is going to be outstanding. The weather will be good, we know the track is awesome, so it's going to be another great weekend."
Next up is the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway, Nov. 9-12, 2006.
CAPPS MAKES LAPS IN WOO CAR IN VEGAS
Ron Capps, who'll drive just about anything if given the chance, took advantage of his friendship with a number of World of Outlaws drivers and team owners to make laps on the dirt oval at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night.
"The WOO guys were here in town," said Capps. "Danny Lasoski, a good friend of ours, was racing. It was the last race of the year for the WOO. They just announced that they'll be on ESPN2 next year and that's a big deal. I love that sport. Any time we get a chance, Gary Scelzi and I will go to a dirt race. So, the WOO guys invited me to make some laps in a WOO sprint car. Once the A feature was over last night they put me in one of their cars which just finished running and I got to go out and make about 10 laps.
"There's not a whole lot of cars in the world that you can drive that will get you as excited as driving a Funny Car, and a WOO car is definitely one of them. When you throw it down into that corner at over 100 mph, sideways in the dirt, with that much horsepower at your toe, it's an unbelievable feeling. I couldn't get the smile off my face."