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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA THunder Valley Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 3
Posted by: newsla on Jun 15, 2014 - 06:16 AM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA THunder Valley Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 3

Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T team intend to go Sunday where no Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car has ventured this season.


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That destination is an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series winner's circle.

And the odds could be with Ron and the team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Three of the veteran California driver's 41 Mello Yello event titles have been earned at Bristol, where he first raced in 1999. His first title at the track was in 2001 while driving the Skoal Funny Car for Don Prudhomme Racing and his last was in 2012 in his 10th season with DSR and seventh with NAPA AUTO PARTS.

"It's so special racing in Thunder Valley," Ron said. "I have so many great memories here."

One reason is the event, like Sunday's, is held on Father's Day.

"When I won here in 2001 I never imagined I'd still be racing 13 years later or that I'd have 41 Wallys," he said, adding his daughter, Taylor, was 5 on his 13-year-old son, Caden, wouldn't be born until a few months later.

"I'm used to being away from them and my dad on Father's Day but it is so special to call my dad on Father's Day and to get calls from my kids. And there's nothing like being able to be hold a Wally when I talk them or say 'hi' on TV from the winner's circle."

While Ron is happy with earning the No. 3 seed and having lane choice for Sunday's first round, he's just as impressed with the consistency of his NAPA Dodge.

His best run of the weekend of 4.024 seconds at 316.38 mph that came under cool conditions Friday night but Sunday is forecast to be hot like it was Friday afternoon and Saturday. His other three qualifying runs were between 4.171 and 4.188 seconds.

"This's when it really pays to have Rahn Tobler as your crew chief. He knows how to tune this car for tricky conditions like we saw today and will see tomorrow.

"I think Rahn was a little disappointed with that last run (4.172, 300.80) but we got it down the track all four times and that's huge going into Sunday."

No. 1 Qualifier: Del Worsham (Kalitta Motorsports), 3.992 sec.*, 319.45 mph* (*track records)

Qualified: No. 3
FRIDAY: 4.188 sec., 302.48 mph, (Session 1); 4.024, 316.38, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.171, 301.81, (Session 3); 4.172, 300.80, (Session 4)

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