CAPPS RACES TO QUARTERFINALS IN MEMPHIS; FALLS TO SECOND IN POINTS MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2006) - Ron Capps returned to Memphis Motorsports Park this morning following Sunday's rain-out after the near completion of only one round of...
CAPPS RACES TO QUARTERFINALS IN MEMPHIS; FALLS TO SECOND IN POINTS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2006) - Ron Capps returned to Memphis Motorsports Park this morning following Sunday's rain-out after the near completion of only one round of eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals. He easily defeated Cruz Pedregon in that Funny Car opening round on Sunday with a solid 5.058-second elapsed time at 292.08 mph under hot and humid conditions. Unfortunately, before the noon bell rang today, he was on the sidelines, and by 12:30 p.m. he was out of the points lead. He's now second in the rankings, 17 markers behind today's winner John Force.
The driver of the Brut Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car faced Tony Pedregon in the quarterfinal on another warm yet cloudy and damp morning in Memphis, but the result was not what he had hoped for, as Tony Pedregon outran him to the finish line with a 4.892-second elapsed time at 313.44 mph. Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels, lost the contest by .0781 of a second as he crossed the stripe in 4.941 seconds at 302.89 mph.
"The conditions were tough, and it was the same for everybody," said Capps, who had lane choice over Pedregon. "I don't feel like lane choice was any factor at all. The Brut Dodge ran great to half track and Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is pretty upset with himself because he did some things to make sure it made it to the finish line at the other end, as there are a few bumps here. He probably backed it down more than he wanted to, in hindsight. That's when Tony came around me. We had great numbers early.
"It didn't put cylinders out and it didn't do anything weird. It didn't hurt the motor, it just didn't run as hard to the finish line as it should've.
"We had the car to beat yesterday in the heat and adapting is the biggest part of the whole thing. And we didn't adapt as well that round. It was funny. (Teammate Whit) Bazemore had his fire (also in the quarters today) and it was a pretty long clean-up and the sun started peeking through and I said, 'Oh, no,' because we set it up to go up there in (somewhat) cool conditions. Then I thought to myself, 'Hey, we ran by far the best ET in the heat yesterday, so come on out, sun.' As soon as I thought that, the sun hid again, went back in behind the clouds. It's just a part of it all."
As for the Funny Car championship chase, "It's going to be fun to the end of the year, no question. I'm going to get in my motor home and drive to Indy today because we're testing this week and I'm going to match race the nostalgia car next weekend in Cordova, Ill. (at The World Series of Drag Racing).
"There's so many big things happening in Indy right now. I've been excited about actually getting past the Memphis race and looking at all the new stuff that Brut's coming out with. The fans are going to be excited about what happens in Indy and from here on out. I can't wait."
Capps gave the Memphis fans much credit for enduring the extreme heat here to watch the NHRA races this weekend. "You hear a lot of drivers complain about the heat," he said, "but the fans are the ones paying a lot of money to come into the gate. Hopefully NHRA makes a mental note to do something with this race (re-schedule it, for example), because it's too bad that it's so hot out here."
Next up is the prestigious U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Cleremont, Ind., Aug. 30-Sept. 4.