CAPPS REACHES QUARTERFINALS IN PHOENIX


In a day filled with rain delays and on-track incidents, Ron Capps reached the quarterfinal round of Funny Car eliminations at the 26th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals.

The opening-round of Sunday's eliminations saw the pilot of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger Funny Car defeat Gary Densham with a solid 4.097-second lap at 307.65 mph before being dismissed in the second round by Tony Pedregon. After taking the lead at the starting lights, Capps' day was done when the car experienced tire shake, slowing him to a 4.911/216.06 to Pedregon's winning 4.195/304.05.

Capps unofficially is now in third place in the point standings, following the second race of the 23-event 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

"We're not sure what happened," said Capps. "Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is looking at the computer trying to figure it out. It's very unlike the NAPA car to shake where it did. It happens a lot of times with conditions that get so good like they did, which really evens the competition out, because everyone can throw what they want at the track. It was pretty darned cool, overcast, rain-threatening, and we might have just missed it a little bit. It's hard to say.

"That's the great thing about Ace. We won't unload the car for the next run until he figures out why exactly it did what it did. And he always figures it out. It makes me feel really good as a driver.

"Today was a hard day for everybody to get through. Heck, we ran the second round at almost 5 p.m. The day just flew by.

"We have a couple of weekends off and we'll get ready for Gainesville."

The final rounds of this event were held on Monday, because of rain delays. Capps’  Don Schumacher Racing teammates captured DSR’s 23rd double victory since 2003, which also includes two triples. Jack Beckman beat John Force in the Funny Car final and Cory McClenathan defeated Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel final.

Next up is the 41st annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 13-15, 2010.

NSCS Race Notes

UNOFFICIAL FUNNY CAR POINT STANDINGS, AFTER TWO EVENTS, as of 2/22/10:

1. John Force, 224 (runner-up Monday)
2. Jack Beckman, 187 (winner Monday)
3. Ron Capps, 148
4. Robert Hight, 121
5. Matt Hagan, 120
6. Ashley Force Hood, 111
7. Bob Tasca III, 111
8. Tony Pedregon, 104
9. Del Worsham, 97
10. Jim Head, 86