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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Summernationals Qualifying Report: No. 9
Posted by: newsla on Jun 01, 2014 - 07:49 AM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Summernationals Qualifying Report: No. 9

It could be a good omen for Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T team that they no longer are the quickest Funny Car in history.


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After their qualifying run of 3.964 seconds two years ago at Old Township Raceway Park they advanced to the championship round but the NAPA team lost to former Don Schumacher Racing teammate Johnny Gray.

When eliminations begin Sunday for the 45th annual NHRA Summernationals at Englishtown, N.J., Ron, who qualified No. 9, will be the second quickest after his time was bettered by Cruz Pedregon on Friday and that could clear the way to the winner's circle.

"With the track and the conditions we saw (Friday night), it's a decision the crew chief makes to either go for the quickest run you can make, whether it's to lower the Funny Car record, which we did here two years ago and it's a lot of fun. Cruz did that last night."

At this point in the season, Ron and the team led by Rahn Tobler would gladly trade being the quickest ever for winning his first NHRA Mello Yello Series title of the season and first in 15 events.

"Our NAPA Dodge is ready to win," said Ron, who owns 41 NHRA event titles. "Rahn Tobler is a master when it comes to changing conditions like we've had at Englishtown and I know we'll have a good car tomorrow."

Ron's only event title at Englishtown was in 2006 and he has been runner-up three times (1995, 2000, 2001).

Although the NAPA team has not advanced to a winner's circle through eight events this year, Tobler has produced a consistent and contending Dodge Charger R/T that is ranked fourth in points. Ron has advanced to semifinals rounds at four of the past five events.

"The mentality sometimes is when (the racing conditions are) this good and you're already qualified, you love to see what you can do out there and that's what we tried to do," Ron said.

Ron's best qualifying time was 4.054 seconds at 306.40 mph and it came in Saturday's last session.

"On our first run (Saturday), the track just wouldn't hold it. Tobler kind of took everything and calmed it down. We wanted to go down the track and make sure that we go to bed tonight confident the car will go down the track. A full run on the last qualifying run makes the crew chief sleep a lot better. So with everything backed down, it still spun in the right lane near the top end and knocked a little bit off but we ran a 4.05 and that's great."

The improvement, however, moved Ron up two spots in qualifying and that pairs him against DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in the opening round.

"Unfortunately we race our teammate and that sucks," Ron said. "We never like to see a teammate first round.

"I don't care where we qualify, I've said it time and time again, I roll into race day with as good of a chance if not better than anybody out here with Rahn Tobler and the NAPA team."

Provisional No. 1 Qualifier: Cruz Pedregon (Cruz Pedregon Racing) 3.959 sec., 310.48 mph

Qualified: No. 9
FIRST ROUND: CAPPS vs. Tommy Johnson Jr.
FRIDAY: 4.074 sec., 307.65 mph, (Session 1); 4.909, 157.56 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.292, 137.58 (Session 3); 4.054, 306.40 (Session 4)

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