2013 NHRA: Ron Capps Carlyle Tools Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA AUTO PARTS Qualifying Report: No. 12
Ron Capps understands drama is part of racing, but the driver of the Carlyle Tools/NAPA Funny Car got more than he prefers Saturday on the last day of qualifying for the Carlyle Tools Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.
After making a respectable pass to open Friday qualifying with a time of 4.191 seconds at a slowing speed of 257.92 mph, Capps and crew chief Rahn Tobler battled with an electrical problem in the next two sessions before their last attempt on Saturday recorded a 4.103 (308.14) that was only worthy of the No. 12 spot in Sunday's championship eliminations field of 16. But it made them feel better heading to eliminations.
"That was a big confidence booster going down the track in that final session," Capps said, "especially with Carlyle Tools being the sponsor of the Carolina Nationals and we have a lot of people here with Carlyle and NAPA AUTO PARTS.
"It's been a tough weekend for us here in the camp. You hear a lot of teams talking about little gremlins here and there. We've had little things thrown at us; a tiny little wire breaking in the ignition box, little things like that that will test a team. A lot of times it will take a team a long time to find it and I just told all the guys on the NAPA team including Tobler that it's just testing us. It's just an early test."
Capps and the Carlyle/NAPA team started the first event of the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff seeded second but lost 12 points during qualifying and trails Don Schumacher Racing teammate and points leader Matt Hagan by 42 after Hagan qualified second near Charlotte.
"It was a big sigh of relief for Rahn Tobler," Capps said. "It was a great job by the guys to get the car together and finally get it down the track."
In Sunday's first round, Capps will face Alexis DeJoria who will have lane choice and is not qualified for the Countdown.
"I've said it before: The teams that aren't in the Countdown are probably the most dangerous teams we are going to have to face because they have nothing to lose," he said. "It's going to be a fun day tomorrow."
DSR COUNTDOWN HISTORY
DSR has won 15 Top Fuel titles and 12 Funny Car titles in the Countdown since its inception in 2007. DSR's Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army Top Fuel team leads NHRA with nine Countdown titles.
No. 1 Qualifier: Cruz Pedregon (Cruz Pedregon Racing), 3.980 sec., 319.22 mph
RON CAPPS, Carlyle Tools/NAPA Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying position: No. 12
First-round opponent: Alexis DeJoria
Session 1: 4.191 sec., 257.92 mph
Session 2: 12.892, 86.68
Session 3: 4.851, 163.39
Session 4: 4.103, 308.14
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Unofficial through Saturday at Charlotte; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,154
2. RON CAPPS 2,112
3. JOHNNY GRAY 2,102
4. John Force 2,096
5. JACK BECKMAN 2,082
6. Cruz Pedregon 2,081
7. Courtney Force 2,066
8. Tim Wilkerson 2,058
9. Robert Hight 2,048
10. Del Worsham 2,034
2013 FUNNY CAR WINNERS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
CARLYLE TOOLS CAROLINA NATIONALS presented by NAPA
Sunday: Noon, championship eliminations
ON ESPN (times are ET)
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, ESPN2, delayed
Sunday: High 81 degrees; 0 percent chance of rain