Capps bows out in first round
Chicago, Sunday: Ron Capps bowed out of the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at Route 66 Raceway, after being eliminated by Scott Kalitta.
Capps launched the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T first off the line, took the lead, then relinquished it after the car began to lose traction at 500 ft. By half-track Capps smoked the tires completely and Kalitta drove around him. Capps slowed to a 6.135-second pass at 153.68 mph while Kalitta won with a less-than-perfect 4.918/305.29.
"We just lost traction out there," said Capps, who qualified No. 4, and fell victim to weather changes today. "We had lane choice and it was a weather watch more than anything else for the crew chiefs. We were third pair and we kept watching the weather throughout Top Fuel eliminations. The next thing you know all the dragsters started smoking their tires and guys were out there pedaling. And we thought, OK, we're in trouble here. We had left the pit area and it was pretty cloudy and overcast and we didn't expect the sun to pop out that soon.
"But we thought it still had a chance of making it. We just couldn't make the big enough changes quick enough at the starting line. The NAPA Dodge came loose and Scott went on around me and his car started eating itself up at the end, but there was no way of catching him.
"It's such a crucial time with the point standings, that you seem like you're taking a couple steps forward then you go one step back, then you go a couple forward and one step back," said Capps, who is now No. 8 in the rankings. "We lost two spots in points and they're going to tighten up, but we felt so good after qualifying that we really thought we could make up some points.
"We're going to concentrate now on going to Englishtown and watch the weather again, more than likely."
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