FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Judy Stropus RON CAPPS GOES TO MEMPHIS SEMI-FINALS WITH HIS CAMARO FUNNY CAR Memphis, Tenn.; Sunday, Oct. 5, 1997: Ron Capps took his Copenhagen Chevrolet Camaro Z28...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Judy Stropus
RON CAPPS GOES TO MEMPHIS SEMI-FINALS WITH HIS CAMARO FUNNY CAR
Memphis, Tenn.; Sunday, Oct. 5, 1997: Ron Capps took his Copenhagen Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Funny Car into the semi-finals today in the 19th round of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Winston Drag Racing Series -- the Pennzoil Nationals at Memphis Mo torsports Park. Capps, 32, of Carlsbad, Calif., driving for Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, ran a 4.999 elapsed time (306.95 mph) -- his second four-second run this season -- to defeat Dean Skuza in the first round, then disposed of Gary Densham with a 5.079 e.t. (300.30 mph ) in the quarterfinals. In the semi-finals Capps faced Cruz Pedregon. Enjoying the luxury of having lane choice, Capps selected the left lane, taking off at the starting lights just four one-hundredths of a second slower than Cruz (.491 to .487). With two equally powerful Funny Cars speeding to the finish line at the end of a quarter-mile, that was enough for Pedregon to take the victory on a holeshot (better reaction time). Capps lost the race by a mere one thousandth of a second, with an e.t. of 5.053 (306.22 mph) to Pedregon's 5.056 (302.11 mph). This marked the third race this year in which two-time season winner Capps was eliminated in the semi-finals. "We were kind of anxious this morning going into the first run after hurting the clutch in yesterday's session," said Capps. "I think the word anxious to Roland (Leong, crew chief) means to hang on, because the Camaro ran a 4.99. I wasn't expecting that. In the second run we put a new set of cylinder heads on it. The Camaro slowed down a little bit, so we decided to go back out and try to duplicate that run. It shook the tires a little bit. I didn't see Cruz until half run and then I saw a whole lot of red fender out there. Then the Camaro started to gain on him. We went to the finish and I didn't know who had won. We've been lucky. I've won on holeshots this year. I knew sooner or later I would lose on one." Capps holds on to seventh place in the driver's championship, with 987, 46 out of sixth (Randy Anderson, 1033), and 61 short of fifth (Cruz Pedregon, 1048). Next on the NHRA schedule is the 12th annual Chief Auto Parts Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas on Oct. 16-19.