TOPEKA, Kan., May 22, 2011 – Ron Capps, driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, reached the quarterfinal round in Sunday's NHRA Summer Nationals here at Heartland Park Topeka.
Capps' victory in the first round over Bob Tasca III was his 400th career round win. His first (career) round win was in a 1995 Top Fuel race against Joe Amato at Firebird Raceway outside of Phoenix.
"I did not have any idea about the 400th round win, but that's pretty cool," said Capps. "I can still remember my first win against Amato. Hopefully there'll be plenty more."
The Southern Californian's first-round win over Tasca came as a result of an impressive run on a slick track. He crossed the finish line with a 4.144-second elapsed time at 298.73 miles per hour. Tasca was close with a run of 4.178 at 301.67.
Though Capps lost in a tire-smoking contest against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Johnny Gray in the quarterfinals, he left Topeka feeling upbeat about the future of his NAPA team, led by new crew chief Tim "The General" Richards.
"The high track temperatures played havoc today and unfortunately we were one of the victims in the second round," explained Capps, who is 10th in the Funny Car championship standings. "With Tim as the new crew chief we're all pumped up about the rest of the season. It's exciting to have him on our team and I feel a win is on the horizon for our NAPA team."
The winner of the Summer Nationals was former Funny Car champion Robert Hight.
The next race is the 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals, June 2-5 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.
UNOFFICIAL FUNNY CAR POINT STANDINGS after the seventh of 16 races in the "regular" season: