Ron Capps, NAPA get second chance at Texas for double-up weekend

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 16, 2014) – Ron Capps hopes to improve on the performance of his NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car team a little more than a few weeks ago when the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series confronted drivers with an unplanned doubleheader. The final round of eliminations for the Mello Yello event that started on Aug. 17 at Brainerd, Minn., was completed two weeks later during the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend near Indianapolis. That result paid off for Ron, who defeated John Force in the rain-delayed championship round to win his second title of the season, but fell a little short when he didn’t advance past the semifinals of the U.S. Nationals. The NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte was postponed by NHRA officials due to rain Sunday afternoon and it rescheduled the final three rounds of championship eliminations to this Saturday during qualifying at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas. The winner of 43 NHRA Wally trophies would like to improve on that performance by winning Charlotte and Texas trophies this weekend. “That would be a great way to start the Countdown by winning the first two trophies and doing it on the same weekend might be something no else ever does,” he said. “But it’s like Don (Schumacher) says: You have to qualify first and then take it one round at a time.” The first two qualifying sessions at the Motorplex will be like any other Friday, but that changes Saturday when the third and fourth qualifying sessions also will be the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, for rain-delayed eliminations rounds from Charlotte. The Charlotte finalists will compete in a third run to determine the winners of the opening event of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship but will not count toward Texas qualifying. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team will be joined by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan’s Dodge Charger R/T in the Charlotte quarterfinals. Capps eliminated teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. (Make-A-Wish) in the first round Sunday and faces Bob Tasca III in the quarterfinals.   FUNNY CAR FROM CHARLOTTE Event winner: The event was postponed by afternoon rain before second round of eliminations. No. 1 Qualifier: Alexis DeJoria (Kalitta Motorsports), 4.090 sec., 300.53 mph RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Qualifying Position: No. 5 SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS FIRST ROUND: CAPPS (4.068 sec., 314.39) def. Tommy Johnson Jr. (4.075, 311.85); QUARTERFINALS: CAPPS vs. Bob Tasca III QUALIFYING FRIDAY: 4.229 sec., 293.55 mph, (Session 1); 4.123, 297.35, (Session 2) SATURDAY: 4.608, 184.02, (Session 3); 4.166, 302.55, (Session 4)   Ron by the numbers Last weekend at Charlotte (completion postponed to this Saturday near Dallas): Qualified No. 5; faces Bob Tasca III in quarterfinals A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 4; lost in first round to Tony Pedregon Career fall at Dallas: Wins 1 (1998); Runner-ups 1 (2009); Poles 2 (2005, 1997)   NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS  (Points updated through first round from Sept. 14 at Charlotte that will be completed at Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS) FUNNY CAR driver (wins)pointsbehind 1. John Force (3)2,162——– 2. Robert Hight (5)2,141    -21 3. RON CAPPS (2) 2,126    -36 4. Alexis DeJoria (3)2,104    -58 5. MATT HAGAN (1)2,090    -72 6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)2,084    -78 7. Courtney Force (2)2,076    -86 8. Cruz Pedregon (1)2,057  -105 9. Tim Wilkerson2,052  -110 10. Del Worsham2,043  -119 NHRA Fall Nationals Event Schedule (All times CT) Friday: 3, 6 p.m., nitro qualifying Saturday: 12, 3 p.m., nitro qualifying/Charlotte eliminations Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations ON ESPN2 (All times ET) Sunday: 4:00-5:30 p.m., qualifying Sunday: 8:30-11:30 p.m., championship eliminations

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