On a sunny, warmer day than the teams had seen the previous two days, Ron Capps made a Funny Car first-round exit at the 23rd annual NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, when he lost to Cruz Pedregon.

The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger Capps drives for Don Schumacher Racing struck the tires early, resulting in a 5.764-second losing pass at 128.20 mph to Pedregon's winning 4.215/297.68.

Capps slipped to third in the point standings, 96 markers behind leader John Force.

"To be honest, we thought we had a good handle on the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge,” said Capps. “We talked last night, all the teams did, about how much the track conditions would change on Sunday. And I've said it time and time again, there's a lot of pressure on the drivers, but I can't even imagine how much pressure is on the crew chiefs, especially when the weather changes like it did overnight.

"We went up there, we had lane choice, we did all the right stuff, and just overpowered the track a little bit.

"We did see John Force's team smoke the tires a few pairs ahead of us, and Robert Hight's team slowed down a little bit, but he went down the track. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) pulled the NAPA car's horsepower back substantially and we thought it was enough to go down the track. It turns out that it wasn't. All you can do is analyze and go to the next race track.

"We have some interesting things coming up. We're going to test in Vegas on Monday after that race. We have a new tire from Goodyear coming out that we'll test that day, which will be something the teams will need some time to adjust to.

"All in all, a good weekend. We qualified well, but we're just disappointed. But congratulations to my teammate Matt Hagan for his first win today!”

Next up is the 11th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 16-18.

Race Facts


(after five of 23 events)

  1. John Force, 441
  2. Mat Hagan, 3711
  3. Ron Capps, 345
  4. Ashley Force Hood, 312
  5. Jack Beckman, 311
  6. Tony Pedregon, 283
  7. Tim Wllkerson, 283
  8. Robert Hight, 281
  9. Bob Tasca III, 268
  10. Del Worsham, 240
  11. Jeff Arend, 2232

1 Winner Today
2 Runner-Up Today