JOLIET, Ill. (July 1, 2012) – Ron Capps couldn't have been more eloquent after losing in the delayed first round of Funny Car eliminations Sunday at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.
"Every streak comes to an end, and we'll just have to start a new one," he said after losing traction in a loss to rookie Alexis DeJoria in the NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
Capps and crew chief Rahn Tobler had advanced to the championship rounds of the previous six NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events to become only the fifth team to accomplish that in Funny Car history.
During that stretch, the NAPA Batteries/Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Dodge Charger R/T won two titles and moved to within 100 points of points leader Robert Hight.
All teams were thrown a spitball when heavy rain moved in less than an hour after eliminations began at 11 a.m. and shut down racing until about 2:30 p.m.
Moments after Capps lost traction, DeJoria's engine seemed to lose a cylinder that forced her car to veer sharply to the left. She was able to maintain control and keep it from touching or crossing the centerline that would have forced a disqualification.
DeJoria gained a measure of revenge for Capps beating her two weeks ago for the event title at Bristol, Tenn. It was DeJoria's first final round.
"We knew they'd be tough," Capps said of DeJoria's Kalitta Motorsports-operated team and crew chief Del Worsham, who won last season's Top Fuel championship.
"It's a bummer for us. But we still have a great hot rod. Life is good."
What also disappointed Capps was not being able to send the day's NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member retired U.S. Army Sgt. Rob Dickey to the winner's circle.
Dickey, 35, and Capps grew up in San Diego. Dickey had to move to San Antonio in 2010 after losing his right leg below the knee and part of his left calf after stepping on a lane mine on Sept. 6 of that year while serving in Afghanistan.
Dickey is helping NAPA AUTO PARTS promote its July "Get Back, Give Back" promotion that encourages consumers purchasing its batteries, starters and alternators to donate all or a portion of the rebates available to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund that has helped Dickey and countless other soldier heroes and their families adjust to post-military life.
RON CAPPS, NAPA Batteries/Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 9
First round: Alexis DeJoria (4.320 sec., 226.70 mph) def. CAPPS (4.728, 177.98)
Session 1: 4.121 sec., 303.98 mph
Session 2: 4.319, 216.31
Session 3: 9.184, 79.10
Session 4: 4.090, 309.27
July 5-8, NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio