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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps Mopar Mile-High Nationals Event Recap: Semifinals
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2014 - 07:38 AM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps Mopar Mile-High Nationals Event Recap: Semifinals

Ron Capps knew his NAPA AUTO PARTS crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane had his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car loaded for their semifinals match in the Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver.


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The NAPA team badly wanted its second NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title of the year, and Capps knew he would have to get past the weekend's hottest Funny Car, pole-winner John Force.

"We knew from qualifying how good Force and (Robert) Hight's team had been," Ron said. "I'm really proud of Tobler and Eric because we went up for that round really getting after it. Tobler was really adamant that he knew (Force crew chief Jimmy) Prock was going to step it up like they did in qualifying. We got through the rounds we did today by having a savvy crew chief that makes the right decisions."

Force produced a time of 4.080 seconds at 308.43 mph to Ron's 4.185 (303.91).

"The clouds were coming in for the semifinals and the track was going to get fast again and they were capable of going 4.10 or so. We gave it a race," said Ron, who was able to leave the mountain ranked third in points. "You come back and you try to look at the bright side and we went down the track. We didn't smoke the tires or beat ourselves and we made a race out of it."

But the veteran NHRA racer with 42 event titles thought he could've done a better job during Saturday's two qualifying sessions to help Tobler gain precious tuning data.

"On Saturday, the driver just didn't do his job. We lost two runs because I couldn't keep it in the groove. Maybe (Tobler) would've learned a little more and might've put us a step closer.

"Everyone is so tough now that you're going to end up meeting them whether it's first or second round or the semis. I was able to drive a lot better today but I really didn't sleep well last night. I needed to get better today than what I was on Saturday."

The NAPA team remains third in NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car points standings heading into Capps' hometown race near Sonoma, Cali., where Ron has four event titles and is the defending event winner.

Event winner: Robert Hight (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: John Force (JFR) 4.049 sec.*, 318.39 mph* (track records)

Qualifying Position: No. 5
FIRST ROUND: CAPPS (4.224 sec., 301.07 mph) def. Bob Tasca III (4.782, 194.94); QUARTERFINALS: CAPPS (4.239, 29.13) def. Cruz Pedregon (4.259, 290.63); SEMIFINALS: John Force (4.080, 308.43) def. CAPPS (4.185, 303.91)
FRIDAY: 4.141 sec., 306.67 mph, (Session 1); 4.087, 311.92, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.261, 254.81, (Session 3); 4.563, 191.97, (Session 4)

(Unofficial after 14 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)

driver (wins) pts behind
1. Robert Hight (5) 1179 ----
2. John Force (2) 998 -181
3. RON CAPPS (1) 921 -258
4. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 882 -297
5. Courtney Force (1) 817 -362
6. Alexis DeJoria (2) 811 -368
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 794 - 385
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 781 - 398
9. Del Worsham 780 -399
10. Tim Wilkerson 711 -468
11. JACK BECKMAN 708 -471

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