BAYTOWN, Texas (April 28, 2012) – While most Funny Cars struggled Saturday at the NHRA Spring Nationals at hot and humid Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, Ron Capps and crew chief Rahn Tobler cruised along like a ride in a convertible on a cool spring day.
But the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event was anything but cool with temperatures in the mid-80s and humidity even higher.
The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T was the second quickest in Saturday’s opening session and quickest in the last session to hold on to the No. 2 spot to start Sunday’s championship eliminations after earning eight bonus points during qualifying.
Tobler tuned the Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car to a best run of 4.107 seconds at 307.02 mph on a much cooler Friday evening. But the team came back Saturday with runs of 4.166 (303.16) and 4.161 (304.46) on Saturday.
And Capps expects it to be hotter on Sunday.
“The sun will rear its head tomorrow more than it has Friday or Saturday,” he said. “This is a bumpy, very tricky track for crew chiefs and drivers to conquer. It’s very demanding.
“When it really gets hot – it hasn’t been that hot yet – tomorrow it will be hard to negotiate this track.
“Fortunately we have some talented people and this car has made it down the track on 30 of its last 31 runs. Rahn Tobler has made great calls.
Though optimistic, the veteran Capps knows not to look too far down track.
“We just want to get past first round and focus on Bob Bode. You can’t take anyone lightly, especially Bob. He’s won before.
“But I couldn’t ask any more from our NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge and I can’t wait to get back into the car.”
Even if it isn’t a convertible and doesn’t have air conditioning.
The following are Capps’ results and other DSR notes:
No. 1 qualifier: Cruz Pedregon, 4.103 sec., 305.29, mph
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Final qualifying position: No. 2
Round 1 opponent: Bob Bode
Session 1: 4.177 sec., 300.66 mph
Session 2: 4.107, 307.12
Session 3: 4.166, 303.16
Session 4: 4.161, 304.46
Saturday: Pro qualifying, 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m.
Sunday: Pro eliminations, 11 a.m.
Sunday: 7-10 p.m. EST, (delayed)
Sunday: High 82 degrees, partly cloudy, 20 percent chance of precipitation
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