Ron Capps Sees Positives at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

The combination of a four-hour delay in the start of today's final eliminations of the 11th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals caused by a massive rainstorm and the ensuing changeable weather conditions contributed to Ron Capps's early departure here at Bristol Dragway.

A track warming more quickly than expected following the storm led to Capps, in the NAPA AUTO PARTS DODGE CHARGER R/T Funny Car, losing traction during his run against eventual-winner Robert Hight, resulted in his first-round defeat. Capps ran a 4.122-second, 305.98-mile-per-hour lap versus Hight's pass of 4.090 at 311.20.

"Robert and Jimmy Prock are the kinds of driver and crew chief that I don't want to race - and do want to race because they are so good," he said. "But it's always great because when you face them you have to get up in all aspects of your game. We had a good setup until the sun came out, and even though we scrambled to make the last-second adjustments we didn't quite get it - but that's drag racing at this level.

"Considering how good our car was during qualifying when we handled all of the changing weather conditions, you expect to always win. It just doesn't happen that way, but I am still pumped by how well the overall weekend went."

"It is much easier to shrug off this loss because of how good I feel driving for Tim and how good the car felt all weekend," explained the Southern Californian. "I know we are going in the right direction, making considerable, solid progress with every run. Going right down the track with no drama during qualifying was a great step.

"Not only has the addition of Tim - and Kim Richards to the crew - meant the world to the NAPA team, but the car, which was built in-house by DSR's fabricating magicians, now makes the racing experience so comfortable for me I can't wait to get back into the car and race again."

The wait until the next round of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is less than a week as the NAPA team and the rest of the circuit move to Norwalk, Ohio for the June 23-26 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Capps will enter the contest holding ninth place in the Funny Car standings.

Race Facts

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

  1. Mike Neff, 765
  2. Jack Beckman, 705
  3. Robert Hight, 691
  4. Cruz Pedregon, 635
  5. Matt Hagan, 544
  6. Jeff Arend, 488
  7. Bob Tasca III, 462
  8. John Force, 451
  9. Ron Capps, 440
  10. Johnny Gray, 431