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May 18, 2014 - 07:52 AM
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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Southern Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 7
Posted by: newsla on May 18, 2014 - 07:52 AM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Southern Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 7

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be at Atlanta Dragway Sunday for the first of three races on consecutive weekends and the start to a stretch that includes 10 in the next 12 weeks.


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Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler are eager for the challenge.

"I love swings like these because I know we have a great NAPA team so when you have (parts) attrition by going back to back to back and then four in a row and no one is better than adjusting to different conditions we'll see than Rahn Tobler."

"After the next month, month and a half when we run 10 races in 12 weekends you'll take a breather then look back and see that you either took advantage of moving up in the points - and we plan on doing that - or teams can fall. This gives you a really good chance of gaining a lot of points."

Ron and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car will be watching the weather radar closely Sunday morning after late morning drizzle delayed the start of Saturday's first of two qualifying sessions by about 2 hours.

The NAPA team's best run on Friday earned Ron the provisional No. 5 qualifying position. After two runs on Saturday they settled in at No. 7 heading to Sunday's championship eliminations schedule to start at 11 a.m. (EDT).

NHRA's talented Safety Safari will work diligently to get the track ready for racing but they could be handicapped by a forecast for a 60 percent chance of rain.

That unexpected variable will not make life easier for the NAPA team as it must be in Topeka, Kan., for the next event on Thursday.

But you won't hear Ron complaining about rain. The California native lives near San Diego in Carlsbad that was hit by wildfires last week. His neighborhood was evacuated on Wednesday but Ron's home was spared any damage.

He is friends with several members of the Carlsbad Fire Department and knows how he will celebrate the 42nd event title of his career and first this season after advancing to the semifinals in three of the past four events.

"If we can pull off a win Sunday there's nothing I'd like to do more than to take the Wally (trophy) back and put in right in the middle of the Carlsbad Fire Department," Ron said. "They're great guys, huge NHRA drag racing fans and fans of mine. Firefighters and first responders are the best.

"They started fighting wildfires last week far from home and then rushed back when the first one broke out in their own backyard."

No. 1 Qualifier: Alexis DeJoria (Kalitta Motorsports) 4.012 sec. (track record), 313.95 mph

Qualified: No. 7
CAPPS vs. Jack Beckman
FRIDAY: 4.095 sec., 309.20 mph, (Session 1); 7.107, 86.15 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 7.301, 80.85 (Session 3); 10.297, 81.53 (Session 4)

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