DESPITE EARLY EXIT, CAPPS LEADS FUNNY CAR POINTS AFTER GATORS


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2009) -Despite his early exit in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway today, Ron Capps continues to lead the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series class point standings driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger. He is now 38 markers ahead of Bob Tasca III, winner today.

Capps snapped his win streak of two-for-two in the first events of the 2009 season when he lost a close race to Tony Pedregon. Although Capps' 4.164-second elapsed time at 298.67 mph was quicker than Pedregon's 4.198/300.93, Pedregon crossed the finish line ahead by a margin of just .0191 of a second. Reaction times: .117 for Capps, .064 for Pedregon, who deep-staged at the starting line.

"That's the way it goes," said Capps. "The NAPA Dodge ran great, I think it was sixth quickest of that round. And I've been on the other side of that deal when I've won.

"It's real deceiving to the fans," he said, attempting to explain the 'holeshot' loss. "When a driver deep stages, like Tony did, it makes the elapsed time a lot worse. Then you come back as a team and you look at the 60-foot (incremental) times and they're slower when a guy rolls in deep. So, in fact, his elapsed time was quicker than it showed on the scoreboard.

"I've won rounds that way and we're all going to win rounds that way and we're going to lose rounds that way. I think we tried to run a little better than that but obviously that ET could have won the round.

"It's great what we've done so far," he added. "It was great to have all the hoopla and it's great to be leading the points but, when there's a weekend off and a lot of teams might have been on vacation, my NAPA guys were down at West Palm where we tested on Monday. And it just shows the drive and determination of our whole NAPA team.

"Even though we are leading the points and won two in a row, we were still at the track testing. This NAPA team has always been great. We win as a team and we definitely lose as a team. As cliché as it sounds, there's not one guy who would ever have a bad thing to say, and it really brings us together.

"We're obviously happy with the NAPA car. When you go up every session and it's one of the fastest cars in that session it just shows how good a car we have. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is really on his game, and we're going to take it to Houston and try to win there."

Next up is the 22nd annual NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas, March 27-29.

UNOFFICIAL FUNNY CAR POINT STANDINGS FOLLOWING THREE EVENTS:
1. Ron Capps, 263
2. Bob Tasca, 225 (winner today)
3. Del Worsham, 188
4. Robert Hight, 164
5. Mike Neff, 163
6. Tony Pedregon, 160 (runner-up today)
7. Matt Hagan, 157
8. Jim Head, 155
9. John Force, 146
10. Ashley Force Hood, 145
11. Jack Beckman, 137