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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Nationals At Brainerd Qualifying Report: No. 2
Posted by: newsla on Aug 17, 2014 - 06:52 AM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Nationals At Brainerd Qualifying Report: No. 2

Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger Funny Car team will start championship eliminations in the NHRA Nationals knowing they have locked up one of the 10 spots in the Countdown to the Championship.


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Ron and the team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler arrived at Brainerd International Raceway ranked third in points for the next-to-last event of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season. That was a good feeling but nothing beats knowing you can win the NHRA Funny World championship after the six-race Countdown playoff.

"Anytime you put your name on the board at the top end that shows you have clinched a spot in the Countdown, I don't care if it's No. 3 or No. 10, it's big," Capps said during qualifying for the 33rd annual Brainerd race. "This championship can be won from any of those 10 positions. We're in a position to be third and sometimes you look around and are so involved in what's going on, that you don't realize that you've had a pretty good season."

Ron, who has won the past two Brainerd titles and four at the central Minnesota track, had a solid run on Friday with a time of 4.162 seconds at 306.46 mph then returned Saturday to post the second quickest time in the day's opening session 4.168 (307.23). But after a nearly 80-minute rain delay, Capps' veteran crew chief Rahn Tobler reached into his bag of NAPA Know How and tuned the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge to a lap of 4.064 at 314.17 to finish second in the 16-car order at Brainerd. It is the first time that Capps will start from the No. 2 spot this season.

"When we made the run on Friday night, it cooled off a bit and a lot of cars behind us stepped up, so the conditions we saw in the first run today with that 4.16 was one of the quickest runs and got us two points and that shows we're right there and should be good for race day," Capps said. "Then after the rain (Rahn) Tobler did it again. The NHRA Safety Safari did a great job prepping the track and we ran that 4.064 and just got nipped by my buddy (John) Force.

"It seems like for that fourth session that it always cools off and we see some cloud cover and BIR is as good as any track with cool temperatures and it will hold anything you throw at it. It really cooled off after the rain and we put on a great show for the fans. It doesn't matter where you qualify. Look at last year when we blew the body off during qualifying on Saturday and we came back and won the race on Sunday. Anything can happen."

Winning on Sunday at Brainerd is something Capps has become very familiar with. After another solid qualifying performance an eighth career final round appearance at B.I.R. could be in store.

No. 1 Qualifier: John Force (John Force Racing) 4.060 sec., 315.27 mph

Qualifying Position: No. 2
First round opponent: Jeff Arend (No. 15)

FRIDAY: 4.599 sec., 189.73 mph, (Session 1); 4.162, 306.46 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.168, 307.23, (Session 3); 4.064, 314.17 (Session 4)

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