MORRISON, Colo. (July 22, 2012) – Ron Capps is an all-out competitor. He was when he was a semi-professional racquetball player and always has been as a drag racer.
So it was surprising when someone commented to him after losing in the semifinals Sunday near Denver that it might not have been a great weekend but it was a good weekend.
“All in all it was a great weekend,” he replied despite being eliminated by rookie Courtney Force and denied a chance to win his third NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series title of the season.
Capps’ upbeat analysis was a combination of running well in the high altitude of the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in the Rocky Mountains near Denver and gaining on series points leader Robert Hight, Force’s teammate at John Force Racing.
Capps arrived on the mountain confident about what crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant crew chief John Collins had cooked up for the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T.
“Rahn sat down with us when we raced at Norwalk (Ohio two weeks ago) and said he hadn’t done well at Denver in the past,” Capps said. “He told us we were going to try something completely different and he didn’t expect us to do well but was hoping we would.”
The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge did very well by qualifying third and running the quickest times in each of Sunday’s first two elimination rounds.
“Rahn’s good at racing the racetrack but sometime you have to race your opponent. We slowed our Dodge down a little bit because we didn’t want to get greedy. We didn’t want to beat ourselves.”
Capps’ time of 4.367 seconds at 286.32 mph was a little slower than what the Dodge ran in the second round. But Force, who advanced to her second championship round, cut her best reaction time of the year en route to running 4.259 (295.49) that was her best effort of the weekend with crew chief Ron Douglas.
“I have to hand it to Ron Douglas and his team because they just outran us, and Courtney cut a great light.
“They just plain spanked us.
“But I’m thrilled with how we ran. Rahn and J.C. came in with a combination they had never used before and something completely out of the ordinary. You talk about ‘NAPA Know How,’ they have it.
“That was the first time since Rahn and I teamed up that we were outrun. Our losses have been when we smoked the tires or something happened to the car.”
Another reason to be pleased with a weekend on the mountain was that Capps, who ranks second in points, cut 20 points off Force’s teammate Robert Hight’s lead in the standings. Capps is now 66 behind Hight.
“We gained another 20 points on Robert, and we just keep chipping away at it and that’s going to be a good fight to the wire.”
Capps’ teammates Jack Beckman and Antron Brown both won titles on Sunday raising the total of NHRA national event titles for DSR to 187.
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 3
Event winner: Jack Beckman, DSR
No. 1 qualifier: Jack Beckman, DSR, 4.131 sec., 304.05 mph
1st round: CAPPS (4.235 sec., 295.98 mph) def. Alexis DeJoria (4.914, 169.19)
2nd round: CAPPS (4.333, 289.82) def. Mike Neff (4.308, 292.30)
Semifinals: Courtney Force (4.259, 295.79) def. CAPPS (4.367, 286.32)
Session 1: 4.670 sec., 188.31 mph
Session 2: 4.212, 297.94
Session 3: 6.347, 103.53
Session 4: 4.285, 284.81
NHRA FULL THROTTLE FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(unofficial through July 22; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Robert Hight, 1,060
2. RON CAPPS, 994
3. Mike Neff, 863
4. JACK BECKMAN, 862
5. JOHNNY GRAY, 766
6. Courtney Force, 701
7. Cruz Pedregon, 680
8. Jeff Arend, 661
9. Bob Tasca III, 654
10. John Force, 643
11. Tim Wilkerson, 573
12. Alexis DeJoria, 494
13. MATT HAGAN, 491
The DSR convoy of nearly 20 trucks heads west this week for the Sonoma NHRA Nationals in Northern California. Then the following weekend heads north to Seattle for the third stop on the grueling Western Swing.
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.
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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 187 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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