Traction Issues Lead to Capps First-Round Loss in Second 4-Wide Drag Race

An over-aggressive setup led to traction loss for Ron Capps, driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge R/T Funny Car, in the first round of today's 2nd annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals here at zMAX Dragway.

First off from the starting line, the Southern California native spun the tires, pedaled for a while and shut off when it was clear he could not catch either front runner from his group of four in this unique drag-racing configuration.

"We had a little bit too much in the tune up," said Capps. "The track was a bit warmer than it had been during qualifying. We had tried to find the edge between grip and no traction, but over powered the track.

"I pedaled the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge for a bit, but when I saw there were two cars clearly ahead of me, I shut it off to avoid blowing up, which could have resulted in an oil down and an expensive destruction of parts.

"If we're going to lose, I'd rather lose by being aggressive, not conservative. The NAPA guys will always go for it."

The NAPA team will remain here for a Monday test session, which could be an indicator of things to come, Capps said.

"We're staying at zMAX to try some new things for the NAPA car," he explained. "We're going to incorporate some things which have worked in other Don Schumacher Racing Funny Cars which we think can be the next chapter for us, one which will lead to major improvements as we move deeper into the season."

Capps heads to the Southwest April 29th - May 1st for the 24th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Tex. He sits in ninth place of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship competition.

Race Facts

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

  1. Robert Hight, 349
  2. Mike Neff, 300
  3. Jack Beckman, 2891
  4. Cruz Pedregon, 283
  5. Matt Hagan, 241
  6. Johnny Gray, 224
  7. John Force, 217
  8. Bob Tasca, 212
  9. Ron Capps, 190
  10. Jeff Arend, 187

1 Winner