CAPPS EARNS NO. 11 IN TIGHT QUALIFYING AT GATEWAY MADISON, Ill. (May 3, 2008) - Under cool, dry and windy weather today, Ron Capps piloted the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into No. 11 in qualifying for the NHRA Midwest Nationals...
CAPPS EARNS NO. 11 IN TIGHT QUALIFYING AT GATEWAY
MADISON, Ill. (May 3, 2008) - Under cool, dry and windy weather today, Ron Capps piloted the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into No. 11 in qualifying for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.
With temperatures barely in the 60s, and the sun making an occasional appearance, Capps posted his quickest pass of 4.803 seconds at 320.36 mph in the final session today. His other consistent attempts were 4.852/315.42 (No. 1), 4.822/316.08 (No. 7), and a 4.828/308.99 (No. 12).
Near perfect conditions for record-setting were present today, and after qualifying was over, the 16-car field was separated by a mere .08 of a second (4.744 to 4.824), although no track records were broken.
"That's just the product of what the cool weather has brought this weekend," said Capps, ninth in the rankings. "It seems like the NHRA did a great job for the second race in a row in track preparation, and the benefit of that is cars going down the track like they are.
"It was such a tight field," he said. "We were truly trying to run a .75 or .74 and that's what Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) was trying to run this morning and this afternoon. And we just couldn't get any quicker than an .80 flat, which is a great run."
Capps will face 14-time John Force in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday. "The NAPA team did all that hard work to post four good runs in a row that all went down the track, and we're rewarded by getting 'the Champ' in the first round," smiled Capps. "You've got to race him eventually, so I think we're ready. This track has got a lot of teeth and it's really taken anything that a lot of teams can throw at it.
"We're looking for a big day on Sunday," added Capps, who, with three victories, has won the most Funny Car national events at Gateway. "Mother's Day is next weekend and something I've never given my mom is a trophy from winning, so if we can win again like we did last year and I'm able to take it home on the plane and give it to my mom it would be priceless."
Capps' career record against Force is 17-38 in round wins. He's won nine of the last 11 meetings against Force, and has won the last four first-round match-ups over Force. This is their fourth meeting at Gateway, with Force leading 2-1 in those match-ups. The only other time the pair raced in the first round at Gateway was in 2005, and Capps won.