NAPA Filters Funny Car crew chief Richards brings out best in opposition Sunday, but it didn't help DSR's Capp

The sky Sunday over the NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals presented by was filled with clouds and Ron Capps was able to find the silver lining in one.

Despite coming up on the short end of what is believed to be one of the 10 quickest side-by-side Funny Car races in NHRA history, Capps said the performance of his NAPA Filters Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars brought out the best in his opponent.

Capps and crew chief Tim Richards produced a time of 4.059 at 313.15 mph but opposing crew chief Jimmy Prock tuned Robert Hight's 4.039 (317.12) that was the best in the first two rounds.

"What's funny is, it's a compliment to 'The General' (Richards), but Jimmy Prock gets this grin on his face when he beats us," Capps said. (Prock) grew up in the era of wanting to be a crew chief like Tim Richards. They are close friends, but Jimmy gets an extra kick out of beating Tim and out running him. It's a compliment to Tim. Prock is like a freight train every time we run but that's good because it brings the best out of this NAPA team.

Capps opened the day by beating rookie Courtney Force and knew it would be a greater challenge against her John Force Racing teammate and 2009 Funny Car world champion.

"I'm excited Tim did what he was able to do," Capps of the team's best run of the season. "It's funny because you're mad you lost but you're also encouraged because we showed that we can run with anybody."

It didn't help the NAPA Filters team effort that on its first run Saturday it qualifying that the car might have run over something that sent it scraping the left guardrail. The body wasn't damaged but it negated the run.

The next NHRA event is March 30-April 1 for the 13th annual Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"We'll go to Vegas with our heads high. We're growing as a team," Capps said.

The Tire Kingdom Gatornationals was called due to rain after the second round of eliminations was completed. Event activity will resume on Monday at 10 a.m. ET.

Event winner: Will be determined on Monday
Ron Capps, NAPA FILTERS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 6
Round 1: CAPPS (4.135, 306.05) def. Courtney Force (4.630, 272.72)
Round 2: Robert Hight (4.039, 317.12) def. CAPPS (4.059, 313.15)
(Through Gainesville; 3rd of 23 national events)

Race Facts

Final unofficial Funny Car standings:

  1. Mike Neff, 196
  2. Robert Hight, 154
  3. John Force, 150
  4. JACK BECKMAN, 137
  5. RON CAPPS, 125
  6. Courtney Force, 124
  7. Todd Lesenko, 102
  8. JOHNNY GRAY, 99
  9. Jeff Arend, 84
  10. Gary Densham, 83
  11. MATT HAGAN, 74