Ron Capps Finals Report

POMONA, Calif. - Ron Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro Funny Car continue to show they will be 2000 National Hot Rod Association championship contenders. Capps set the Firebird Raceway track record at 4.858 seconds on his final ...

POMONA, Calif. - Ron Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro Funny Car continue to show they will be 2000 National Hot Rod Association championship contenders.

Capps set the Firebird Raceway track record at 4.858 seconds on his final qualifying run to claim his second pole position in three races - going back to the final 1999 event - then advanced to the finals before falling to John Force.

"We had a wonderful weekend," Capps said, "that's the best part of it. As I've said before (crew chief) Ed McCulloch is just getting used to running a Funny Car. This is his first year with a Funny Car after almost a decade of running dragsters."

Capps also had the second best run of the weekend, 4.899 seconds, and the quickest run during eliminations, a 4.927-second, 303.30 mph effort against Bob Gilbertson in the opening round. He defeated Jim Epler and Tony Pedregon before meeting Force.

"I think it was a big deal to have lane choice in the final," Capps commented. "The other lane was much better. The car shook real hard, so hard that it broke one of the side windows. I pedaled it once, then again. The second time I pedaled it my car went up in smoke." Force won with a 4.933 at 313.88.

In the semifinals against Pedregon, Capps had a solo run when a mechanical problem forced Pedregon to shut off his engine. It was fortunate because the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro smoked the tires. "One of the oil fittings broke off the block and was dripping oil. We lost 10 points and we were fined $1000 for the oil down.

"We're looking forward to going to Gainesville (Fla., for the March17-19 Gatornationals). Ed obviously showed what he can do and the knowledge he has. We're looking forward to working with him all year."

The showing lifted Capps into fourth place with 122 points.

Qualified: First, 4.858 seconds at 305.42 mph.

First round: Capps, 4.927 at 303.30 def. Bob Gilbertson; Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.996 at 298.40 def. Jim Epler; Semifinals: Capps, 10.024 at 77.76 def. Tony Pedregon; Finals: Force def. Capps.

Pro winners: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher