Capps moves into third in Countdown to Four
Memphis, Sunday: With his quarterfinal finish today at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park, Ron Capps moved into third in the Countdown to Four point standings.
With his teammate Gary Scelzi winning the event, and his other teammate Jack Beckman runner-up, all three Don Schumacher Racing Funny Cars are in the top four, with two races remaining before the final top four vie for the championship in the last two events of the season. Scelzi is fourth, Beckman second.
After qualifying No. 11 in a new Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T chassis, Capps first dismissed Tony Pedregon in an important win, as Pedregon had been ahead of Capps in points.
In the second round, Capps saw his day end when both he and Tommy Johnson Jr. lost traction, with Johnson recovering first. Capps led the charge off the starting lights, posting a .080 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Johnson's .102 and led briefly before striking the tires at the 60-ft. mark. Johnson smoked the tires later, and took the win with a 5.536-second pass at 237.75 mph, while Capps followed with a 5.994/230.92.
"It was the middle of the day," said Capps. "Usually this is when the Brut team excels. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is up on the computer. He's kind of beside himself a little bit because when the conditions get that tricky usually we find a way to get down the track.
"It surprised me so much as a driver, because this Brut Dodge just doesn't pull them loose like that. And it did. I gave it a pedal and tried to catch Tommy, but you have to be careful, and you want to keep it in the back of your mind, that you don't want to oil down. We get one (oildown) credit for this Countdown for each segment. We were starting to catch him, but I saw we were running out of track and I went ahead and clicked it off because the motor wasn't sounding happy.
"I'm telling you, it was a long night last night knowing we had Tony Pedregon first round. It was a huge, huge run first round to get by a fellow competitor in the Countdown, and then we have to watch the guys who aren't in it, like Tommy Johnson's team. They did a heck of a job getting down the track, and we didn't. And guys like that are looking to be spoilers to get on TV, because it's going to be kind of a fight as to who ESPN shows on TV and who they don't, with this Countdown.
"I'm really happy we're going to Dallas. I know that there's two races left and if you look at the points, they're so bunched up right now, so the drama is there already. Hats off to NHRA for doing this Countdown. We'll just try to stay in the top four and get to Richmond (the final race before the final four in points vie for the championship in the last two races) and leave Richmond in the top four still."
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