Memphis: Ron Capps Saturday summary

CAPPS MAKES MEMPHIS FIELD IN FINAL TRY MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 19, 2006) - Funny Car points leader Ron Capps barely made it into the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series field today at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in a nail-biting final ...

CAPPS MAKES MEMPHIS FIELD IN FINAL TRY

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 19, 2006) - Funny Car points leader Ron Capps barely made it into the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series field today at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in a nail-biting final qualifying session. But he accomplished that feat, ending up No. 13, with a pass of 4.950 seconds at 292.90 mph.

Following a surprise deluge on Friday, which allowed only one qualifying round to be held that day after a long clean-up once the rain stopped, the driver of the Brut Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car posted a 5.168/291.07 pass, good only for 15th place.

Today's third session was held in extreme heat, in the 100-degree range, and Capps did not improve with a 5.193/246.39 lap, dropping him to No. 16.

In his final attempt the temperatures fell slightly, the sun was setting and by the time Capps' pairing arrived at the starting line he was out of the field. That solid 4.950/292.90 pass saved the day.

"Those weekends that you have when you just get into the show are as good looking back at the end of the year and as important as qualifying No. 3 or No. 2 at a race," said Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "It is one of those weekends where we had a shot of losing a lot of points and not qualifying and just having a disastrous weekend, but it turned into a pretty good one so far.

"I told the guys on the Brut team that the feeling you have right now, bottle it up and just remember it, because this is why we do this. It's not the money, it's not everything else, it's that feeling you get of going from the lowest of lows and you don't know if you're going to get in and, all of a sudden, you get in, your anxiety goes away, and the whole team is excited. Everybody's got the same goal. It's exciting."

The heat and the surprise rain storm took its toll. "A lot of guys had to pedal it last night," Capps added. "Everybody rolled up to the starting line, and whether the humidity caused a lot of the engines to not make as much horsepower, I don't know. I know Whit (Bazemore) had problems, I know we did, Bob Gilbertson, even (Gary) Scelzi might have slapped his too. Everybody was having to pedal it last night. Of course, in the run today it was a 140-something-degree track, which made it difficult.

"You have to get a little bit of data, and when you're cut run one short, tonight was THE run. And you either went up and did it or you didn't it. And for guys like Del Worsham not getting in just tells you how tough it was."

Capps faces Cruz Pedregon in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Gilbertson , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , Cruz Pedregon