Capps collects No. 12
Dallas, Saturday: With No. 1 in points Robert Hight failing to qualify today at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals, Ron Capps has been handed an opportunity to move up in the Countdown to Four point standings with a good result in Sunday's Funny Car eliminations.
The driver of the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T is third in the standings, 25 behind his teammate Jack Beckman in second, and 55 markers out of first place.
Although he and the Brut Dodge team struggled somewhat in qualifying, Capps made the field in the 12th slot, posting his quickest pass of 4.884 seconds at 316.82 mph in the cooler Friday-night session. Under 90-degree temperatures and high humidity, his other passes included a 4.966/302.01, a tire-smoking 6.197/141.06 and a wobbly 5.168/289.20 in the last qualifying round.
"This is the opportunity that you don't expect," said Capps, who is seeking his first Funny Car crown. "We have to take advantage of it, there's no doubt about it.
"That last run it ran on one magneto, which is one side of the ignition system. We expected to run better; we had the left lane and they say the left lane is a litter better. We're still feeling this new car out and Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is really a little frustrated right now. Even when he's frustrated we still run pretty good.
"It gets back to my trust in Ace on Sunday morning and knowing we can win. But we definitely didn't qualify like we wanted.
"Before this weekend I sat down with the Brut Dodge guys and we were joking. I said, Let's do something different. Let's approach this weekend as if we didn't make the Countdown. And let's show up as if we have nothing to lose and try to win this race, and not worry about the Countdown.
"It did help me; it helped clear my head a little bit from counting these points. And now that qualifying is over, you're back to looking at who's doing what, and Robert is not in, and that is not what we expected.
"The first thing you look at is who's matched up - who are in the Countdown and could be racing each other. And it turns out that the guy right in front of us in points (teammate Jack Beckman) and the guy behind us in fifth in points are matched up first round. That's a good thing and a bad thing. It's a good thing because it's our teammate and we want him to win it. That means also that somebody else that is around us in points won't go past that round.
"And you get right back to start counting the points. It's a product of the Countdown and it's exciting."
Capps faces Ashley Force in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations on Sunday. The pair are tied in round-win match-ups at 1-1.
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