CAPPS GRABS NO. 12 IN PHOENIX QUALIFYING CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 23, 2008) - Ron Capps drove the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the No. 12 spot at the second event of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Firebird Raceway.
CAPPS GRABS NO. 12 IN PHOENIX QUALIFYING
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 23, 2008) - Ron Capps drove the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the No. 12 spot at the second event of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Firebird Raceway. With only two sessions of qualifying held because of Friday's rainout of all pro qualifying, Capps was glad to make the field.
His first lap of 7.177 seconds at 120.26 mph under sunny and warm conditions was good for No. 15, but by the time he lined up for his second and final try, he was out of the 16-car field. As temperatures cooled, Capps pulled out a strong 4.853-second lap at 314.83 mph, which placed him No. 8 at the time. As the sun began to set and eight pairs of cars followed, he dropped to the No. 12 position.
"We've been through so many pressure situations the last decade of my career, with the close championship chases," said Capps, "but when it comes down to your not being in the show, and watching your two teammates right in front of you get in, who were also not in the show, was tough. My mouth got really dry. I felt like I was a kid at the first prom. I was a nervous wreck.
"When it got to half-track it started to pick the front end up and was really rocking. It nosed over at about 1000 ft., or it would have run better. We'll take it.
"Right now we're looking back and saying, OK, this is where we could have done better for that run, but at that time we would have done anything to get in the show. And that's what we did.
"No matter what happens tomorrow, it's icing on the cake, because it's just a pressure situation, with the rain and having just two runs."
As for the first pass, "Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) beat himself up," said Capps. "But look at how many teams weren't in. Big name teams. Robert Hight (Pomona winner) was right there with us, so was Gary Scelzi and Jerry Toliver. Some of the best teams in the business were not in and didn't get down the track.
"So, if we were the only ones then I would have told Ace, OK, go ahead, you could feel nervous. But I said, Hey, we're not the only ones. We'll just go up there and do our normal thing."
Capps faces Cruz Pedregon in first round of eliminations on Sunday.