CAPPS FALLS TO TEAMMATE BAZEMORE IN GATEWAY FIRST ROUND MADISON, Ill. (June 25, 2006) - Ron Capps held on to his points lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car class, despite a first-round loss today to his teammate Whit Bazemore...
CAPPS FALLS TO TEAMMATE BAZEMORE IN GATEWAY FIRST ROUND
MADISON, Ill. (June 25, 2006) - Ron Capps held on to his points lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car class, despite a first-round loss today to his teammate Whit Bazemore in the opening round of eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.
Second-in-points John Force carved Capps' margin to 44 points after finishing runner-up to Tony Pedregon today.
It was an emotional contest between the two teammates, as Bazemore took off first with a .058 reaction time to Capps' .070. It looked like it would be a close race to the finish until the Brut Dodge Charger R/T, with additional support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels, lost traction midway down the quarter-mile and Bazemore took home the win with a 5.059-second elapsed time to Capps' 5.625/186.12.
"We've worked really hard as a team as a whole at Don Schumacher Racing," said Capps, "helping each other so that all three Funny Cars are running strong. So, it was exciting to see the Matco Tools Dodge guys start running well the last few races.
"Unfortunately, having to run them first round is not something you want to do, as a team owner, as a crew member, as anyone on the team. But you have to go up and race who you have to race. We knew they were going to run close to a 5.00 (-second elapsed time). Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) has really been fighting something all weekend long, and he made a complete change in the tune-up, the fuel curve, clutch settings, just everything, to try get the thing to react and not hurt itself like it had.
"The car actually left good. I watched it on TV after the run, and the Brut Dodge was out in front. It was really running good; it had great numbers. It just pulled them (tires) loose out there. Everything is so different in the tune-up. The car just felt different. I think it's going to make for a better car down the road, but I just didn't see Bazemore out the window. Once it smoked the tires I gave it a quick pedal and then he came by me.
"They had their act together; we kind of got behind the 8-ball a lot this weekend.
"I think we accomplished our goal and Ace feels a lot more comfortable, but, you know what? When we leave here we'll pretty much throw the information out because this weekend won't be close to where we're going next, and that's going to be Denver, Colorado, and we know what that's always like up there. You have to build up horsepower a mile high.
"It's another one of those tough weekends. Either way, we're leaving with the lead. We build those points every race where we do well so that, when we don't do well, we have them already in our pocket.
"There's going to be a lot of racing left. There's going to be a lot of these up-and-down weekends and we just have top try to keep an even keel."
Next up is the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colo., July 14-16, 2006.