SONOMA, Calif. (July 29, 2012) – It wasn’t the storybook ending Ron Capps wanted for his family vacation in Northern California, but the driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T isn’t hanging his head.
Capps was upset when he lost in the first round of Sunday’s championship eliminations in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Napa Valley when his Funny Car lost traction and veteran Gary Densham sailed past him.
What made it more frustrating for Capps was that Densham’s time of 4.486-sec. and a slowing 248.16 mph was there for the taking had Capps’ loss of traction not slowed even more to 5.118 (162.80).
But Capps had won the past two titles at Sonoma, and knows streaks in racing end whether good or bad.
But a solid No. 3 qualifying effort enabled Capps and crew chief Rahn Tobler to clinch a spot in the 10-driver Countdown to the Championship that will be contested over the last six events of the 23-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
And one bad run doesn’t ruin a weekend when focus is on the big picture of winning the series championship.
In addition to winning elimination rounds that lead to event titles, Capps had wanted to cut into Robert Hight’s points lead. Capps was able to hold the No. 2 spot in the standings despite his early departure but lost 20 more points to Hight who leads by 81 points.
“We’re disappointed that our day ended so soon, but our NAPA Dodge was solid all weekend except for the first round,” Capps said.
Capps first run Sunday came right after No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon uncorked a run of 4.060 that was quickest of the day.
“We saw Cruz run that (4.060 seconds) right before we went up and thought the track would hold more,” Capps said. “It was a surprise when our tires got loose because this NAPA car with (crew chief) Rahn Tobler has been so consistent.”
In addition to qualifying No. 3, Capps and Tobler set the track speed record at 317.57 in qualifying.
“We could have made up some points on Robert, but we’re confident going to Seattle next week,” said Capps, who trails Hight by 81 points.
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 3
Event winner: Johnny Gray, DSR
No. 1 qualifier: Cruz Pedregon 4.028 seconds
First round: Gary Densham (4.486 sec., 248.16 mph) def. CAPPS (5.118, 162.80)
Session 1: 4.146 sec., 297.55 mph
Session 2: 4.046, 317.57
Session 3: 4.768, 170.21
Session 4: 4.135, 306.40
NHRA FULL THROTTLE FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(through Aug. 29, 2012; Sonoma, Calif.; * clinched spots in Countdown)
1.* Robert Hight, 1112
2. *RON CAPPS, 1031
3. JACK BECKMAN, 943
4. Mike Neff, 899
5. JOHNNY GRAY, 881
6. Cruz Pedregon, 761
7. Courtney Force, 740
8. Jeff Arend, 717
9. Bob Tasca III, 687
10. John Force, 674
11. Tim Wilkerson, 605
12. MATT HAGAN, 583
NEXT FULL THROTTLE EVENT
Aug. 3-5, NHRA Northwest Nationals, Pacific Raceways, Kent, Wash.
About NAPA AUTO PARTS
NAPA was founded in 1925 to meet America’s growing need for a world-class auto parts distribution system. By providing excellent customer service for more than 80 years, NAPA has become the industry leader.
NAPA’s strength is unrivaled, with over 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 64 Distribution Centers, than 13,000 NAPA AutoCare, AutoCare Collision and Truck Service repair facilities, over 400,000 parts in inventory every day and the convenience of 24-hour shopping with NAPAonline. NAPA AUTO PARTS stores provide friendly, personalized service. Our highly trained and experienced professionals are here to help you get the job done. With our huge in-stock inventory, NAPA provides the parts you need when you need them.
For your automotive repair needs, NAPA AutoCare and AutoCare Collision and Truck Service Centers can handle everything from preventive maintenance to major repairs. Technicians at NAPA AutoCare Centers have access to the most extensive training in the automotive industry. Qualifying repairs are backed by the NAPA AutoCare “Peace of Mind” Warranty, providing our customers with 12-months/12,000 miles of worry-free protection on qualifying parts and labor. Wherever you may travel, our warranty is honored at all NAPA AutoCare Center locations across the country.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., consists of seven professional NHRA teams: in Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the FRAM/Prestone dragster of Spencer Massey and the Matco Tools dragster of Antron Brown; and in Funny Car, 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan in the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, Valvoline NextGen Dodge piloted by Jack Beckman, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Service Central Dodge of Johnny Gray. DSR has won 189 NHRA national event titles and nine world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.
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