Ron Capps Advances to Semifinals of the NHRA Winternationals Presented by Valvoline

Ron Capps's quickest pass of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season opener in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car today was not quite enough to get out of the semi-final round of the NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline.

Squaring off against former champion Robert Hight, Capps posted a 4.079-second/307.16-mile-per-hour pass against his opponent's 4.070/312.05.

"With our quickest run of the weekend, and a close race in the .07s, I would have predicted a win for the NAPA team," said Capps. "But we ran into Hight, always a serious opponent."

Capps 4.134/306.67 bested today's first round opponent DSR teammate, Jack Beckman, 5.355/158.28 and then faced top-qualifier Cruz Pedregon in the quarter finals. The 45-year-old driver's 4.117/306.40 topped Pedregon's 5.225/157.85, which propelled him into the semi-final round against Hight.

"John Medlen and our crew had us in the hunt all weekend, and today was no exception as we blew by Beckman and Cruz [Pedregon, number-one qualifier] - both top guys. Improving our time with every run, and going into Gainesville with a .07 in our pocket and semis points, we can't wait to get back at it for the next event."

The second stop on the drag-racing tour is the 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals March 10-13 in Gainesville, Fla.

Capps left the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona with 73 points, which equaled fourth place in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship competition.

Race Facts

UNOFFICIAL FUNNY CAR POINT STANDINGS after the first of 16 races in the "regular" season:

  1. Robert Hight, 1181
  2. Matt Hagan, 93
  3. Mike Neff, 78
  4. Ron Capps, 73
  5. Cruz Pedregon, 63
  6. John Force, 55
  7. Jim Head, 55
  8. Jeff Arend, 51
  9. Johnny Gray, 43
  10. Bob Bode, 32
  11. Paul Lee, 32
  12. Jack Beckman, 32
  13. Gary Densham, 32

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