2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA U.S. Nationals Event Recap: Semifinal
Ron Capps gets to return to his Southern California home from the NHRA U.S. Nationals with a trophy, but it isn't the main one he wanted to travel with.
Ron and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team defeated John Force on Saturday at Indy in what was the conclusion of the rain-delayed event held two weeks ago at Brainerd, Minn.
But Force gained revenge Monday in the U.S. Nationals eliminations when he beat Ron in the semifinals and kept the NAPA AUTO PARTS driver from advancing to his first championship round in the 20th time he has competed at drag racing's most prestigious event.
"Unless you've wanted something so bad that it actually hurts inside ... at times, you've had to tell people that it didn't bother you when it did. It's tough. It only hurts worse because we had a better shot, we got closer. You go that many rounds and you feel like you can taste it. That makes it hurt a little bit more."
Ron told crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane that they had the most consistent car at the 60th annual event.
"It was one of the best Funny Cars I've ever had here, and I've had some pretty good cars to drive. This place really makes you earn it. I mean look at the people who have won it in the past. That's why it's Indy.
"We looked forward to going out and racing (John) Force, but you know he can step up just like he did. We had a better car I thought and ET-wise we had a better chance of winning but that's why we race these things. It chattered the tires and pulled them loose and Force was gone."
Now, Capps and the NAPA Funny Car team turn its focus solely on another career first: winning an NHRA world championship. He will be seeded third and when points are reset to start the Countdown near Charlotte on Sept. 12 he will be 40 points out of first.
The 49-year-old winner of 43 NHRA event titles has finished second in the NHRA championship points four times, most recently in 2012 when he lost to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman by a record two points.
Winner: Alexis DeJoria (Kalitta Motorsports)
No. 1 Qualifier: Matt Hagan (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.998 sec. (track record), 316.01 mph
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 5
MONDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: CAPPS (4.069 sec., 316.97) def. Chad Head (4.083, 315.05)
Quarterfinals: CAPPS (4.071, 317.42) def. Del Worsham (11.876, 66.30)
Semifinals: John Force (4.033, 322.04) def. CAPPS (5.006, 163.79)
FRIDAY: 4.052 sec., 316.01 mph, Session 1
SATURDAY: 4.426, 201.25, Session 2; 4.026, 320.36 mph*, Session 3
* Session 3 was part of qualifying and concurrently the championship round from the rain-delayed event two weeks ago at Brainerd, Minn., in which Capps defeated John Force.
SUNDAY: 4.043, 319.37, Session 4; 4.113, 287.60, Session 5
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Unofficial after 18 of 24 events and end of regular season); DSR drivers in CAPS
driver (wins) points behind
1. John Force (3) 1,420 ----
2. Robert Hight (5) 1,340 -80
3. RON CAPPS (2) 1,188 -232
4. Alexis DeJoria (3) 1,148 -272
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 1,107 -313
6. Courtney Force (2) 1,093 -327
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 1,074 -346
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 963 -457
9. Del Worsham 961 -459
10. Tim Wilkerson 883 -537
11. JACK BECKMAN 873 -547
COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Standings and reset points for contestants qualified for the Countdown to the Championship)
driver (wins) points behind
1. John Force (3) 2,110 ------
2. Robert Hight (5) 2,080 -30
3. RON CAPPS (2) 2,070 -40
4. Alexis DeJoria (3) 2,060 -50
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 2,050 -60
6. Courtney Force (2) 2,040 -70
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 2,030 -80
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 2,020 -90
9. Del Worsham 2,010 -100
10. Tim Wilkerson 2,000 -110