CAPPS WINS ST. LOUIS FOR THIRD TIME MADISON, Ill. (May 6, 2007) - Today Ron Capps drove the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to his third victory of the season, the 25th of his career, and the third at Gateway International Raceway at...
CAPPS WINS ST. LOUIS FOR THIRD TIME
MADISON, Ill. (May 6, 2007) - Today Ron Capps drove the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to his third victory of the season, the 25th of his career, and the third at Gateway International Raceway at the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals.
With this win over Del Worsham under some of the toughest conditions he and crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch have endured, Capps extended his points lead over Robert Hight to 121 points. Hight was eliminated in the first round.
En route to his fourth final round of the season in his 255th career national event, Capps disposed of Gary Densham in the opening stanza with a steady 4.813-second pass at 321.27 mph, then Cruz Pedregon with a 4.990/287.53 and Ashley Force in the semifinals with a 4.862/310.48.
In the final round, the second for Worsham and Capps, Capps launched first with a .069 reaction time (.000 is perfect). Worsham followed with a .086. It was close, but it was Capps all the way to the finish line, earning the win with a 4.882/305.98 to Worsham's 4.918/308.50. The two are now even: 1-1 in final rounds. Capps has a solid edge in round wins: 23-8.
Ironically, Worsham and Capps are good friends and spent Saturday evening together with other pals at a local rock concert. "It's part of the fun," said Capps. "You race those guys, but it's fun to go out and have a good time. It's a big family out here."
Capps and the Brut team survived two engine changes, a broken body, changing weather conditions, and even having to qualify in only two sessions because of rain and moisture. But they prevailed.
"I don't think people at home watching the TV show are going to realize how tough today was, this weekend really," said Capps in the winner's circle. "We had two qualifying runs, the fans didn't get to see us run Friday night, [because] it was dangerous (due to a high dew point and moisture on the track). That was a tough call to make for (NHRA Senior VP, Racing Operations) Graham Light, but he made the right call.
"And then Saturday, only two qualifying runs, and there were some big names that didn't even qualify, so that told you how tough it was. And then the sun comes out today like our natural St. Louis weather should be, and when it did I got happy. That's Ed McCulloch, my crew chief. There's a lot of crew chiefs on the grounds, but very few of those guys are real good racers and he's one of them. He was probably here in the old days at the old drag strip that went in the other direction, I'm sure. He's got a lot of knowledge. I'm a lucky guy.
"That car is just incredible to drive and it makes me look better probably than I am.
"It's tough on the drivers, but I wouldn't want to be a crew chief. Man, I can't imagine the pressure those guys are feeling. It was just a great day. Every round win was like you won a national event. It was huge.
"We had lane choice first round and we knew Gary Densham could run good and we got by that round. Second round was Cruz Pedregon. We knew he could step up, but we got by that round. We had lane choice for those two. Well, when we beat Cruz we got over by the centerline and kind of spun the tires real good and we lost lane choice in the semis against Ashley Force. And we were pretty sure that they were going to put us in the right lane, because we had kept the left lane when we had lane choice. Well, we get up there and last minute they switch lanes on us and put us back over in the left. Ace just looked at me and I didn't say anything on the radio because a lot of teams listen to other teams' radios, so I just looked at him, like, Oh, cool, they put us over in the left lane. And it went down through there and actually spun the tires at the other end, but it still ran .86, and that gave us lane choice in the final over Del. So we went back over to the left.
"I could hear Del's headers right out my side window for a long way down there, so I knew, Oh, boy, he's right there if anything happens. I got on the chutes and looked over at my guardrail and it had that little (win) light on. It had to have been close. Every single inch was hard to get."
Said Ed McCulloch: "This is an endurance race. It tried everybody's patience. It was difficult for everybody and we were fortunate enough to make it down there, and here we are. We'll take it, and be happy that we got it. We weren't the quickest guys all day, but we were quick when we needed to be."
The Brut Revolution Dodge team also earned the Full Throttle award for consistency in qualifying.