K&N Filters SuperNationals
Englishtown, Sunday: Ron Capps won his fifth Funny Car national event of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series today and re-extended his lead over John Force at the K&N Filters SuperNationals at
Coming into E-town driving the Brut Dodge Charger R/T, Capps held a slim 48-point lead following Force's win last weekend in
Capps claimed the win over Scelzi on a holeshot advantage, posting a 5.025, 299.46 to Scelzi's quicker but losing 5.012, 301.81 (reaction times: .079 for Capps, .133 for Scelzi).
En route to the money round, Capps demonstrated his and his team's now-familiar consistency by first defeating Jim Head with a 4.922-second elapsed time at 311.85 mph under hot and steamy conditions, then disposed of a red-lighting Phil Burkart Jr. with a 4.985, 308.43.
As the temperatures rose in the afternoon, elapsed times increased and speeds decreased, but Capps stepped up to the occasion by dismissing Tommy Johnson Jr. with a 5.021, 301.20 in the semifinals.
"After the weekend we had last week, you read on the Internet and you hear people talking, 'Oh, Force is right behind him,' " said Capps in the winner's circle, "but there is so much racing left and people were asking three or four races ago when we were a hundred-something up, 'What's it feel like?' I said, 'I don't even want to think about it, there is so much racing left.'
"And I still feel the same way," added Capps, whose team also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "He could be right on our heels, and I'd still feel the same way. Even if we lost the points lead, I know we're going to be good down the stretch with 'Ace' (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and (team consultant) Dan Olson and the whole Brut team giving me such a good car to drive. I'm just enjoying this right now.
"Englishtown is one of three tracks that Scelzi hasn't won on, so it was bittersweet to win because that Mopar/Oakley team has helped this Brut team a lot.
"Last year, it was at this race that 'Ace' got sick, got put in the hospital, found out he had cancer. The Mopar/Oakley guys jumped in and helped us, and 'Zippy' (Mike Neff), Scelzi's crew chief, actually tuned my car that weekend and we runner-upped. And 'Ace' came back from the hospital on Sunday and didn't look so good, but he didn't want to be anywhere but here, and he just kind of hung out. Those Mopar/Oakley guys really helped us a lot last year, so to come back here was emotional.
"If we do what we did last year from here on out, we're going to be fine (earned more points in the last half of the season than anyone else). I'm just trying to slowly enjoy this," Capps continued. "It's not many times you can be ahead of Force by over 100 points leaving Englishtown. It's an old race, it's historic, (it's in the) East Coast, everything about it is big. It's a dream come true.
"It was great we won, but the look on Scelzi's face didn't make me feel good at all down there. It's cool to win, but I don't like winning that way."
McCulloch had these words: "We have good news and we have bad news. The bad news is we're not very good on good racetracks. The good news is we're not going to any good racetracks for a while. So, I think we can help ourselves. We can race in bad conditions and on lesser racetracks. We just have to get better on good tracks."
Said team owner Don Schumacher: "This class is unbelievable this year. It's really hardball. It's kind of like the Pro Stock class is now. There are so many cars that are top cars every Sunday. And this is a tough thing to win. And this Brut team with Ron Capps and Ed McCulloch have just been doing fantastic. This is also kind of Brut's home track. They're out of
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