2013 NHRA: Ron Capps AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 4
It isn't trite when Ron Capps talks about "NAPA Know How."
Capps' NAPA AUTO PARTS crew chief Rahn Tobler, assistant John Collins and crew displayed on Saturday why he is so appreciative of being on a team that strives for excellence.
After rain washed out Friday's two qualifying sessions of the AAA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas, the NAPA team had two runs to earn a slot to race on Sunday and hang onto to his second-place standing in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship six-event playoff.
Capps started out with a time of 4.096 seconds at 306.88 mph to move into the No. 2 spot and came back late in the afternoon under sunny skies to post a time of 4.102 (305.22). Although the team dropped two spots to fourth for championship eliminations, it produced the two most consistent runs of the day.
"As we saw in Seattle you never know what's going to happen with two qualifying runs after you lose a Friday to rain," he said of when the team didn't qualify for the only time this season.
"We know we're one of the best teams out here and we know what happened in Seattle. We really worked hard on trying to get down the track at the Motorplex on the first lap, and that's what we always try to do. That's what we succeeded at doing last year and at the beginning of this year.
"It takes so much pressure off when you can do that and it sets the tone for the weekend. To do that and run the 4.09 really took a lot pressure off and it allowed us to try a few things on the second run that will help us on Sunday when we expect (weather) conditions to be similar to today's.
"Tobler is real happy. He felt like he left a little on the table but we learned from it. I believe we were in the tougher lane on the last run.
"It's the second race of the Countdown and there's a little more pressure. But Tobler, Collins and all the NAPA guys came through today with flying colors. It sets the tone for how we'll approach first round. This is a racetrack that when the weather is good and it's a little cool it will take anything we have."
Capps will start Sunday trailing points leader and DSR teammate Matt Hagan by 82 points.
The Fall Nationals is the second of six events in the Countdown.
The following are qualifying summaries for Capps and event notes:
No. 1 Qualifier: Robert Hight (John Force Racing) 4.052 sec., 311.85 mph
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 4
First-round opponent: Tony Pedregon
Both sessions rained out
Session 1: 4.096 sec., 306.88 mph
Session 2: 4.102, 305.22
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Official through Sept. 21 near Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,232 (---)
2. RON CAPPS 2,150 (-82)
3. Robert Hight 2,149 (-83)
4. JACK BECKMAN 2,136 (-96)
5. John Force 2,128 (-104)
6. Courtney Force 2,121 (-111)
7. Cruz Pedregon 2,121 (-111)
8. JOHNNY GRAY 2,115 (-117)
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,069 (-163)
10. Del Worsham 2,048 (-182)
2013 REGULAR SEASONS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Hight (Charlotte).
Sunday: 11 a.m. (CT), championship eliminations
Sunday: 8:30 p.m. (ET), championship eliminations, delayed
Sunday: High 83; 10 percent chance of rain
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Sept. 13-15 -Charlotte, N.C. (Finals: TF/Morgan Lucas def. SPENCER MASSEY; FC/Robert Hight def. MATT HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22 - Texas Motorplex, Dallas
Sept. 27-29 - Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6 - Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 - Auto Club Raceway, Pomona