Las Vegas: Ron Capps final summary

CAPPS IS RUNNER-UP IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) - Ron Capps extended his points lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings after reaching his third straight season final round today at the SummitRacing.com NHRA ...

CAPPS IS RUNNER-UP IN VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) - Ron Capps extended his points lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings after reaching his third straight season final round today at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

His final-round match-up with John Force Racing's Robert Hight - from whom Capps took the lead after winning in Houston when JFR skipped that event to mourn teammate Eric Medlen's death - was an emotional one. Despite his 5.592/178.57 loss to Hight's 5.126/282.90, the first words Capps uttered, with Medlen clearly on his mind, were, "The outcome wasn't so bad."

Every contest today was a close one for the driver of the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T. First he defeated Jeff Arend by a margin of .0119 of a second with a 4.820/317.42 pass. Then, without lane choice in both stanzas, he pulled out back-to-back holeshot wins against Kenny Bernstein with a 4.828/320.66 (margin of victory: .0032 of a second) and his teammate Jack Beckman with a 4.788/322.11 by a margin of 23 inches (.0041 of a second).

Capps now leads Robert Hight by 88 points (458-370). He matched his runner-up finish here last year and was unable to extend his career longest win streak to three straight after winning the last two events in Gainesville, Fla., and Houston - identical to his results in 2006.

"Once again we had a chance to go three in a row," said Capps, who's won at The Strip twice in his career. "It's kind of like 'deja vu all over again.' We got to the final round. And what a day. Talk about close races every round. I was telling the Brut guys, You kind of stand back and look at the ladder Sunday morning, and it's like, oh, boy, here we go again.

"Getting by the second and the semis was unbelievable. We knew that (Hight's crew chief) Jimmy Prock was going to go for it. It was 'mano o mano.' I had the greatest compliment paid to me when Jimmy Prock and I were at the (NHRA season-end) banquet last year. We were sharing a beer over in the corner and he says to me, 'You know, you guys always bring out the best in us every time we race you. It gets me excited.' And I was like, Wow, that's funny. We feel the same way.

"Going into that round I could see it in Ace's (crew chief Ed McCulloch) eyes. We knew they were going to probably run a 4.70 flat, more than likely. Conditions cooled off. And the Brut Revolution Dodge didn't do anything out of the ordinary. We got out there, and it pulled [the tires] loose way out there. So, it was very surprising. It was so windy today, there was sand blowing on the track. The track guys did a great job at cleaning the track every time we ran. Tough conditions.

"And once you get outside the grandstands with the side wind, it was blowing everybody all over the place in the Funny Car division.

"But, you know what, in a small way - after listening to Robert Hight's emotional interview - it was like, it's not so bad, not so bad after all."

Next up is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., April 27-29.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , John Force , Jeff Arend , Eric Medlen , Robert Hight