Tuesday, January 29, 2008


National Time Trials
Firebird Raceway
Chandler, Ariz.
Jan. 25-27, 2008

2008 NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T taken during the National Time Trials at Firebird Raceway, which Ron Capps will campaign in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Photo by: Roger Richards/Les Welch.

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 27, 2008)

The third day of the NHRA National Time Trials at Firebird Raceway was cancelled today due to rain.

Ron Capps, driving the new NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, ended the second day of testing on Saturday and the weekend on top of the charts, with a solid pass of 4.785 seconds at 322.34 mph. In the two days of time trials held in advance of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season-opener at Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7-10, Capps also posted runs of 11.918/75.03, 12.691/73.24, 13.167/71.38 and 5.924/159.38.

Capps and the other DSR teams will continue to test at Firebird Raceway until Wednesday, if necessary.

"Every year we come to this test session with everybody pretty much skipping Las Vegas (an open test session held the weekend before) because of the cold weather," said Capps, of Carlsbad, Calif. "We kind of rely on coming here and getting as many runs as we can.

"This year is kind of unique because of the 100 pounds that was added to the Funny Car minimum. NHRA added 50 pounds to us last year and then there was another 100 pounds added on. The cars are very different to drive and definitely harder to slow down with the extra weight on them.

"It's learning what these cars need. If you can imagine bolting 100 pounds onto something and trying to get it going from zero to over 300 mph in four seconds, you'll realize how this poses quite a dilemma for all the crews chiefs.

"Not a lot of cars got down the track and it took some adaptation for a lot of these guys just to get the cars to go down. We were ecstatic with the 4.78 (-second elapsed time) we ran Saturday night."

Saturday's schedule ran late because of a number of oildowns. "The lighting is not very good here in Phoenix and it was not our first choice to go to the finish line in the dark. Thank goodness the track owner brought (track surface consultant) Chad Head in again to work with the track. Chad did a great job, but, unfortunately, now we have the rain. It's really cutting everybody's test sessions short. Pomona is going to be very, very interesting. We're trying to get as many runs in here as we can.

"If you were to write one story about this test, the No. 1 story line would be getting used to the added weight.

"I think this year there's going to be a lot more teams going to Pomona that didn't have as many runs as they would like to have had going into Pomona. Usually we have plenty of opportunity to run, but with the rain forecast here, it's going to be tough."

This is the second straight year Capps led the charts after the "official" three-day test session. "I joked with (editor) Phil Burgess of National Dragster again about trying to make the cover being the quickest car in the test session," he said.

"To be one of the quickest cars here is definitely a confidence builder, there no doubt about it, but we're not naïve enough to think that a couple of good runs here and being the quickest translates to an automatic win in Pomona. Pomona is going to be interesting, let's put it that way.

"There's another chance of rain on Monday, then clearing up hopefully. We'll run Tuesday for sure, and possibly Wednesday, if we have to."

Best runs of the event, listed in order of elapsed time, in Funny Car at the National Time Trials (courtesy of Fast News and Compulink):

Psn---Num-Driver, Home Town, Car Type-----------------TT-ET----TT-Spd-Top Spd

1 28 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '07 Charger 4.785 322.34 322.34
2 388 Jim Head, Columbus OH, '07 Solara 4.841 313.95 313.95
3 347 Tim Wilkerson, Springfield IL, '07 Impala 4.969 249.67 249.67
4 750 Del Worsham, Chino Hills CA, '07 Impala 5.216 216.62 216.62
5 33 Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon IN, '08 Charger R/T 5.228 216.31 216.31
6 1 Tony Pedregon, Brownsburg IN, '07 Impala 5.329 204.35 204.35
7 319 Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, '07 Solara 5.432 195.11 195.11
8 ROCKS Jerry Toliver, Temecula CA, '08 Charger R/T 5.512 163.65 163.65
9 3 Gary Scelzi, Fresno CA, '07 Charger 7.584 114.07 114.07
10 999 Melanie Troxel, Indianapolis IN, '08 Charger 8.646 84.44 84.44
11 TASCA Bob Tasca III, Cranston RI, Mustang 8.976 93.01 93.01
12 5 Jack Beckman, North Hills CA, '07 Charger 9.316 76.26 76.26
13 782 Gary Densham, Bellflower CA, '07 Impala 9.521 97.12 97.12
14 71 Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg IN, '07 Impala 11.016 80.81 80.81
15 999 Melanie Troxel, Indianapolis IN, '08 Charger 11.580 73.08 76.21

Posted to Auto Racing - Drag Racing by Motorsports Blog

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