MORRISON, COLO., July 24, 2011 – Ron Capps drove the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny car into the second round today here in the 32nd-annual MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
Coming out of the sixth-starting spot, the Southern Californian defeated Bob Tasca III in the opening round of final eliminations with a 4.326-second lap at 291.57 miles per hour, setting up a quarterfinals match with Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan.
Although Capps was able to gain a slight advantage at the starting line, Hagan used a 4.299 run at 291.70 to edge the NAPA pilot's 4.319, 294.43-mph pass by a scant .006 seconds.
"Tim (Richards, crew chief) did an unbelievable job this entire weekend," said Capps. "We qualified well and didn't beat ourselves on race day. We gave it a great run and just barely got beaten in a really close race against Matt. We knew we'd have our hands full and everyone stepped up.
"This is a very difficult track to tune for and I can't say enough about the work Tim and the entire NAPA crew did first in qualifying (4.232 at 302.75) and then in the race. We ran well and did not hurt any parts - and this is all you can really ask for when you come to Denver."
Capps dropped to eighth in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings thanks to John Force winning the race, a situation which does not overly concern the DSR driver.
"The points are pretty tight from the fifth to 11th-positions in the Funny Car standings, which means there can be a lot of movement before the Countdown field is set," he explained. "We have no worries about where we stand now, because we have four more races until the playoffs begin and we know we will have success in the coming weeks.
"We are heading to Infineon Raceway, one of my favorite tracks and one where we've had success at in the past (including a win last year)."
Next on the schedule is round two of the grueling Western Swing (three races in consecutive weekends): the 24th-annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.
Unofficial Full Throttle Funny Car standings after the 12th of 16 regular-season races: