Keeping Pace

Capps atop Funny Car qualifying in Charlotte

Ron Capps is the top qualifying Funny Car after round one as the NHRA invades Charlotte, North Carolina for this weekend's four-wide racing at zMAX Dragway. (Photo Credit: NHRA Media Relations)
Ron Capps is the top qualifying Funny Car after round one as the NHRA invades Charlotte, North Carolina for this weekend's four-wide racing at zMAX Dragway. (Photo Credit: NHRA Media Relations)

Ron Capps powered his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger to the top of the class with a run of 4.105 seconds at 301.81 mph. Capps has yet to record a No. 1 qualifying this position season but has 11 in his 368 race career. The provisional No. 1 run comes off a recent addition of Rahn Tobler as crew chief for the team.

Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

CONCORD, N.C. – A resurgent Ron Capps overcame the disappointment of not qualifying for the last NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event in Las Vegas two weeks ago to race to the qualifying lead in the Funny Car category on the first day of qualifying for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway on Friday.

 

The other current No. 1 qualifiers are Summit Racing driver Jason Line in Pro Stock and Capco Contractors Top Fuel driver Steve Torrence.

 

Capps powered his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger to the top of the class with a run of 4.105 seconds at 301.81 mph. Capps has yet to record a No. 1 qualifying this position season but has 11 in his 368 race career. The provisional No. 1 run comes off a recent addition of Rahn Tobler as crew chief for the team.

 

“I told someone today that I was probably the most nervous I’ve been in a long time because that car had been down the track I think 19 runs in a row before the first run today, and the car didn’t change much. So then I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, if it doesn’t go down and it’s been down the track this many times, what does it say about me in the car?’ And then on top of it, you have the four-wide, so you have all that stuff going on, and then on top of that, you have my teammate Matt Hagan making the highlight reel in front of me and we had to sit for another half hour,” said Capps. “I just wanted to get that first run over with, so when it went down the track, it was such a huge relief.”

 

Line, the 2011 Pro Stock Champion and Charlotte resident, powered his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP to the lead in the factory hot rod class with his 6.493 second pass at 213.91 mph. Line’s speed of 213.91 mph set the national speed record for Pro Stock.

 

"That was a good run but it wasn't a great run. I don't want to sound spoiled but we left a little bit on the table on the starting line and a little bit more on down track,” said Line about his first run of the day. “On the second run, the car shook the tires a little less than the first and did a little less of a wheel stand but it still wasn't perfect. We're sneaking up on it. When I ran 213.91, I was a little disappointed because I wanted to skip right over 213 mph and go 214. We were so close."

 

In Top Fuel, Torrence racing his Torrence Racing/Capco Contractors dragster recorded a career best speed of 322.34 mph during his 3.799 second run. If he remains in the No. 1 qualifying position on Sunday it will be the first of his 53 race career and a boost for this family run team.

 

“We had a good car coming into this race, and I was really pleased with the first round. We went .94 when a lot of teams weren’t making it down through there, so I had a lot of confidence in my guys. We made it through half-track and just drove it right back into the groove and laid down a good number,” said Torrence. “(Outrunning the multi-car teams) is a big achievement because those guys have a lot of data, lots of run, and lots of experience among them, so to come out, and run a few races last year, and show up at the first of the season and consider yourself a competitive team, that’s a big achievement.”

 

Qualifying for the third annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals continues for the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series starting at 11:30 a. m. on Saturday with eliminations taking place on Sunday.




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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.





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