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Ron Capps draws first blood in NHRA Countdown to the Championship

13 Sep 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Ron Capps

Ron Capps earned the first three bonus points of the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Naturally, crew chief Rahn Tobler chalked it up to luck. 

"You know, I'd say that that was probably about half luck," said Tobler. "Everyone's struggling out here. So I think we just happened to hit it a little bit better than anybody else right now."

Tobler's modesty belied a tough session for Funny Car. Only three floppers made it down the track under power, including a pair of Don Schumacher Racing machines. J.R. Todd also made a clean run at 3.916-seconds and sits behind Capps' 3.849-second pass. 

Capps' NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car needed some steering input as he powered 1,000 feet. He was able to keep the car in the groove all the way to the stripe, nearly touching 330-miles per hour and giving himself a cushion ahead of the second qualifying session. 

"Tobler was nervous, probably more nervous than I've seen him in a long time," said Capps. "Obviously everybody in front of us was shaking the tires, so you're on high alert to do anything in the car to try and save the runs as a driver but come on man. We got NAPA filters on board, a great looking car and I've got a brand new fire suit. And I got Ron Tobler my NAPA Auto Care Team. 

"So, great run. It rattled for a long way, just like the Fuel Altered at the March Meet and I got ready to pedal it and it cleared up and it probably RPM'd higher than I heard it RPM in a long time. I knew it had to be good."