Madison: Ron Capps Saturday summary

CAPPS NO. 2 IN GATEWAY QUALIFYING Madison, Ill. (June 25, 2005) - Ron Capps made it an all-Don Schumacher Racing "front row" tonight by qualifying second to his teammate Gary Scelzi in a dramatic showing of team spirit and unity, as the ...

CAPPS NO. 2 IN GATEWAY QUALIFYING

Madison, Ill. (June 25, 2005) - Ron Capps made it an all-Don Schumacher Racing "front row" tonight by qualifying second to his teammate Gary Scelzi in a dramatic showing of team spirit and unity, as the third member of the DSR Funny Car triumvirate, Whit Bazemore, also qualified in the top half, in sixth.

Capps drove the Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car to a stout pass of 4.799 seconds at 323.35 mph in the final qualifying session and joined the entire DSR team in jubilation.

The first three runs under hot and humid conditions here produced a 5.447/229.74, a 4.902/310.05 and a 4.844/317.87.

Capps has the power to help Scelzi in the championship hunt by eliminating his fierce rival for the crown, John Force, in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

While crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch recuperates from surgery in Indianapolis, ex-Matco Tools chief mechanic Ronnie Thompson is standing in for him. Thompson left Bazemore's team at the end of last year to take on crew chief duties with a new team. That plan did not work out and Don Schumacher recruited him to step in for Ace this weekend.

All the DSR crew chiefs were on hand to help. "With Zippy (Scelzi's crew chief Mike Neff) and Ronnie Thompson, and the Okuharas (Todd and Scott) helping out while Ace is at home it's been a great effort," said Capps. "I can't wait to have him back. We have a heck of a team building right now. It's a lot of fun.

"It's been awesome. I called it Alpha Sigma Shoe. It's like a fraternity. We have all these young crew chiefs. Ace is at home getting better and Don Schumacher has done a great job. Ronnie Thompson jumped in and has been methodical every time. He told me how the Brut Dodge was going to run and he's been just spot on. He said it was going to run a .78 or .79 in that last pass and that 's what it did.

"It's just been a great car. I won the inaugural race here, so it's a great place to come back to for me. I tell you, I couldn't be happier for everybody."

On facing Force, who qualified 15th, in the first round: "It doesn't matter where he qualifies, he's a 13-time champion, so he's always a threat. He may be struggling a little, but you can't overlook that team. Conversely, we have a great team and we've had good runs in qualifying all weekend, so we'll be strong and the Brut car will run great tomorrow."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Don Schumacher , Mike Neff