CAPPS OUT IN WINTERNATIONALS OPENING ROUND POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2007) - Ron Capps suffered a surprise upset in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the NHRA Winternationals today, when track conditions changed following a number of...
CAPPS OUT IN WINTERNATIONALS OPENING ROUND
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2007) - Ron Capps suffered a surprise upset in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the NHRA Winternationals today, when track conditions changed following a number of delays as he waited to race in the final pairing. His headliner match-up against John Force Racing's Robert Hight resulted in a disqualification for Capps after he crossed the centerline.
Capps launched first with a .083-second reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Hight's .092, but was forced to pedal to recover after smoking the tires early. It was for naught, as his efforts caused him to cross the centerline and hit a timing cone at the 1000-ft. mark. Hight also had traction problems, but took the victory with a 5.521/280.37 pass.
"Sitting back there in the lanes as the last pair is certainly a disadvantage when things happen," said Capps, who has one Winternationals win, in 1998. "We had a delay when some cars hit the sand, and we had the John Force and Tony Pedregon deal (Pedregon suffered an explosion and Force's 'chutes came out late in their face-off). The sun gets a little higher in the sky and the track gets a little more marginal, and trickier.
"Cars didn't really get down the track in front of us, and we were a little nervous. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) was so consistent all weekend and, really, I still should have won that race. It made it through the tricky part and then it got out where usually the clutch starts coming in.
"We've been plenty safe and it shook so hard it shook my foot out of the throttle loop and I was actually on top of the loop trying to get it going. It wasn't the best job of pedaling on my part, but it's very unlike this NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge to pull them loose that far out. It's hard to reel these things in when they're making this much power.
"For our first race of the season we had a great qualifying effort (No. 8). Unfortunately, that was a big round for us. Obviously, racing Robert Hight is big, whether it was last year, the year before that, or starting off the year. It's a big match-up and we're going to see him a lot this year."