Capps, NAPA Dodge team make progress in NHRA Gatornationals
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 16, 2014) – The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team made another stride toward championship contention Sunday when it advanced to the semifinals of the 45th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla.
The team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler continues to develop the Don Schumacher Racing Dodge for driver Ron Capps, and Sunday marked the furthest he’s advanced into championship eliminations after qualifying sixth.
The 2014 NHRA Gatornationals also marked the debut of assistant crew chief Eric Lane, who joined the NAPA team two weeks ago after Tobler’s longtime assistant was prompted to crew chief for Tommy Johnson Jr. and DSR’s Make-A-Wish team.
Tobler and Collins had been assisting with the running of Johnson’s team until a permanent crew chief was in place.
“It was great to have Tobler be able to concentrate solely on our NAPA Dodge and having Eric with us,” Ron said. “It was pretty cool seeing John Collins over there on the Make-A-Wish Funny Car and running his own team. Having John as a crew chief and Eric with us really is going to help our whole program at DSR.”
“We really needed to make a few points up and climb up in the points so it’s good. Now we can focus on Vegas.”
“It was a nice feel-good weekend for us. We had (NAPA director of events and sponsorships) Mike Rearden and his wife in the house with us, and that’s always great. “
Event winner: Robert Hight (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Cruz Pedregon (Cruz Pedregon Racing) 4.068 sec., 308.21 mph
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 6
First Round: CAPPS (4.132 sec., 308.14 mph) def. Jeff Arend (4.561, 194.07); Quarterfinals: CAPPS (4.136, 307.16) def. Jack Beckman (5.844, 121.34); SEMIFINALS: Robert Hight (4.168, 301.20) def. CAPPS (7.663, 89.63)
FRIDAY: 4.157 sec., 288.03 mph, (Session 1); 4.121, 302.14 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.731, 94.45, (Session 3); 4.949, 156.19 (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Unofficial, Through Gainesville, third of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver, (wins), points
1. John Force, (1), 316
2. Robert Hight, (1), 273
3. Alexis DeJoria, (1), 187
3. Del Worsham, (0), 187
5. Bob Tasca III, (0), 184
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR., (0), 168
7. RON CAPPS, (0), 164
8. MATT HAGAN, (0), 161
9. JACK BECKMAN, (0), 151
10. Courtney Force (0), 146