Topeka: Capps runner-up

TOPEKA, Kan., Oct. 1, 2000 - According to Ron Capps, it was "very frustrating to be in as many final rounds as we have been and not be able to win." Then again, just getting to six title rounds in one season is an achievement only one other...

TOPEKA, Kan., Oct. 1, 2000 - According to Ron Capps, it was "very frustrating to be in as many final rounds as we have been and not be able to win."

Then again, just getting to six title rounds in one season is an achievement only one other Funny Car driver has done this year. And it so happens that one driver is John Force. He's been victorious four times against Capps in Y2K finals.

Force won again Sunday in the finale of the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Heartland Park, 4.933 seconds at 291.82 mph to Capps' tire smoking 8.875 at 91.65.

Capps and the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro were at a disadvantage against Force. They were in the right lane, not the lane of choice for Funny Car drivers during competition.

"I knew we couldn't go down the right lane the way we'd been running the car in the left lane," said crew chief Ed McCulloch. "I really didn't change the combination for the final," it was just the lane couldn't hold it.

"We can't hold our heads too low," added Capps, who was runner-up to Bruce Sarver at Reading, Pa., two weeks ago. "We have to realize that being in the final round is a pretty big achievement with as much talent as we have in Funny Car right now."

Capps defeated Del Worsham in the semifinals with a 4.938 at 290.32 while Force stopped Jerry Toliver with a 4.923.

Capps and U.S. Tobacco Co. crew did accomplish one important thing; they moved closer to second-place Jerry Toliver in the Winston Series points. Capps has 1264, 55 behind Toliver's 1319.

The team doesn't have long to wait to return to action. The AutoZone Nationals begin Friday at Memphis.

Qualified: No. 3, 4.905 at 300.73 mph.

First round: Capps, 4.958 at 296.50 def. Bob Gilbertson; Quarterfinals: Capps, 4.987 at 294.82 def. Scotty Cannon; Semifinals: Capps, 4.938 at 290.32 def. Del Worsham; Finals: Force, 4.933 at 291.82 def. Capps.

Pro Winners:

Top Fuel - Gary Scelzi
Funny Car - John Force
Pro Stock - Jeg Coughlin Jr.

Next event: AutoZone Nationals, Memphis, Oct. 6-8. TV Times: Speedvision, qualifying highlights, Saturday, Oct. 7, 8-9 p.m. (ET); First round coverage, 5:30-7:30 p.m. (ET); Final round coverage, 9-11 p.m. (ET), Oct. 8

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Bob Gilbertson , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Scotty Cannon , Jerry Toliver