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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 1
Posted by: newsla on Apr 13, 2014 - 07:44 AM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 1

Ron Capps enjoys competing in the most unique event on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and finds the antics of crew chiefs at the starting line to be quality entertainment.


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"Someone should put cameras on them when we get to the starting line with four cars and watch the crew chiefs coordinate everything with hand signals," he said. "It would be perfect with some Beethoven music."

Ron, ranked fourth in points, had good reason to be jovial.

The driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing maintained the No. 1 qualifying position after the fourth and final qualifying session in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte Motor Speedway.

His time of 4.059 seconds at 314.24 mph on Friday's last run earned him the 16th pole of his career and first of the season. It's his first No. 1 qualifying position since the 12th event of 2012 when he was on the pole to start the event at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago, a span of 16 races.

"We didn't get down the track on Saturday but (crew chief) Rahn Tobler was working on tune-ups for Sunday when it's hot like today," he said. "That's what was great about that run the NAPA team put out there Friday; it gave Tobler two runs on Saturday to get ready for eliminations."

The Four-Wide at zMAX on the world's only four-lane dragstrip features heats of four drivers in two pair of lanes separated by a center dividing wall at the world's only four-lane dragstrip. The top-16 qualified cars meet Sunday in elimination rounds again in four-car heats with the first two crossing the finish line advancing to the next round. In the championship round, four finalists race for the event title, runner-up position and the other two earn semifinals championship points.

Capps has never won the Four-Wide and his best finish in the event was in 2012 when he advanced to the championship-round foursome but did not finish in the top-two. Later that year, Capps won the traditional two-lane title in the fall with Tobler, who won the Four-Wide in 2011 with Capps' Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman. Tobler and Beckman were runner-up at the track in the fall during the 2011 and 2010 seasons.

Tobler showed his zMAX mastery Friday night when the pole-winning time was 0.015 seconds better than the next quickest Funny Car in the quickest of the four qualifying sessions.

No. 1 Qualifier: Ron Capps (Don Schumacher Racing) 4.059, 314.24 mph

Qualified: No. 1
First round opponents: Chad Head, Del Worsham, Alexis DeJoria
FRIDAY: 6.100 sec., 110.07 mph, (Session 1); 4.059, 314.24, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.160, 38.94, (Session 3); 4.135, 306.74, (Session 4)

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