Leaving Gateway a little over a month ago, Ron Capps was feeling like he was on his way to the 2017 Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship. Capps, just defeated Jonnie Lindberg for his series leading eighth “wally” of the season, as he held a commanding lead in the points. But, everything fell apart since.
The next race in Dallas, Capps fell to his main rival for the season championship Robert Hight in the finals. Then, at Las Vegas, Capps had a mechanical malfunction and fell to John Force in the first round in the desert. Oh by the way, Force owns the car that Hight drives too. Hight, would make it to the semifinals that weekend but fall to his other teammate Courtney Force.
With how that weekend played out, Hight took over the points lead and held a 15 point advantage heading to the season finale at Pomona. The season was slipping away from Capps and his NAPA Dragster. Capps, would first take over the points lead in the sixth race of the season at Charlotte when he won his second straight event of the season, and wouldn’t give it back up until the return trip to Charlotte in September. He’d get it back in the next race at Reading though when he beat Courtney Force in the finals.
But, it slipped away again in Texas.
At Pomona though, it started looking like Capps would regain control. Hight was struggling and qualified 15th. Capps, was having better luck and cut that deficit from 15 points to eight going into the final eliminations.
Unfortunately, a second straight mechanical issue forced Capps to another first round defeat as Del Worsham eliminated him from Sunday’s Auto Club NHRA Finals as well as the championship too. Hight, upset Tim Wilkerson and the title was his.
How rare was Capps’ ending of the season?
Those were the only two first round losses he had all year long.