Capps, NAPA Team Leave Phoenix with Funny Car Points Lead despite Second-Round Loss
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 28, 2016) – Ron Capps and Don Schumacher Racing’s NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car team wanted to leave Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near with Phoenix with their second event title in two races.
While that didn’t happen after an early upset loss in the second round of the NHRA Nationals in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Capps and crew chief Rahn Tobler and the NAPA team will return to the circuit in three weeks with the championship points lead.
After opening the first round with a time of 3.965 seconds at 319.29 mph, his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T lost traction midway through the run against eventual event winner Tim Wilkerson, who also lost traction but recovered more quickly.
“Oh, I don’t know, we were a little more aggressive than what the track temperature and conditions would hold,” Capps said.
“Obviously, it’s the middle of the day and the hottest race day we’ve seen so far by a longshot. We saw cars in front of us smoke the tires in dragsters and Funny Cars. I know Rahn Tobler made an adjustment in the timing box before the run because he saw cars in trouble. He felt like he made enough of an adjustment.”
It was the first time in 14 runs this year that the NAPA Dodge was not running at full power at the finish line.
“We just had such a great racecar, so consistent,” Capps said. “Even in the heat on Saturday we felt comfortable going down the track but it lost some grip today; enough to where it slowed everybody down, we just didn’t back ours down enough.”
The next stop on the Mello Yello tour is March 18-20 with the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
“You always want that long break early in the season, but you want it to come off a win like we had in Pomona. We know we have a great race car, it’s just hard to swallow right at this moment.
“We’ll start looking at Gainesville, it’s encouraging with the race car that we have. Points-wise, we’re off to a great start and I feel very comfortable going into Gainesville with a car that can win.”
Event winner: Tim Wilkerson (Tim Wilkerson Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Ron Capps (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.925 sec. (track record), 320.05 mph
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 1
First round: CAPPS (3.965 sec., 319.29) def. Jeff Diehl (redlight)
Second round: Tim Wilkerson (4.597, 228.19) def. CAPPS (6.168, 115.86)
SATURDAY: 3.993 sec., 319.37 mph, (Session 3); 3.925-track record, 320.05, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 4.026, 315.34, (Session 1); 3.954, 320.89, (Session 2)
2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
After 2 of 24 events
|1||Ron Capps (1)||183|
|5||Tim Wilkerson (1)||147|
|10||Tommy Johnson Jr.||85|