Capps scores fifth semifinal finish of season
Richmond, Sunday: Ron Capps piloted the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car straight to his fifth semifinal finish of the season at the third annual Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park and moved into seventh place in the Countdown to 1 point standings.
En route to the semifinal, he disposed of John Force Racing's Mike Neff in the opener with a strong 4.085-second run at 300.93 mph, then dismissed another JFR team member, Robert Hight, in the second round with another solid 4.088/299.00.
It was his own Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Jack Beckman, in the semifinal who finally stopped Capps' charge through the field. Capps was the first to strike the tires on the NAPA Dodge, then it was Beckman's turn. Capps recovered but couldn't make up the ground in time, and Beckman emerged victorious with a 4.759/277.54 pass to Capps' losing 5.870/200.86.
"It was a great day for the DSR team, even though we lost," said Capps. "We had such a big amount of damage in our clutch area between rounds. We had Scelzi's guys, Toliver's guys over here helping our NAPA guys. We barely made it up to the semifinal. In the win over Robert Hight it destroyed a lot of parts in the clutch area. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and the NAPA crew were thrashing to get up there, and because of that he wasn't able to set the clutch the way he wanted. We had such a great consistent car early in the day.
"It smoked the tires and I looked over and Jack was smoking them, too. And I thought, Oh, come on, and I got back on it and Jack had a little bit more momentum than I did and I tried to chase him down, but he got the win.
"All in all, it was a terrific day. In the big picture, moving up three spots in one day was phenomenal. It's what this NAPA team is all about. We haven't shown our true colors so far this year. It's been a struggle for us.
"We're focused on moving up in the POWERade points as much as we can this year and concentrating on next year."
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