With a perfect tag-team performance Sunday at Atlanta Dragway, Don Schumacher Racing's Ron-and-Rahn put the Funny Car smackdown on the smokin' hot Robert-and-Jimmy tandem and halted their John Force Racing reign.
After Ron Capps and his Rahn Tobler-tuned NAPA Dodge Charger Funny Car defeated Hight and his Auto Club Ford Mustang in the final round of the Summit Southern Nationals, Capps shared some frustrations -- with qualification.
"We love those guys," Capps said of Hight and his JFR team. "Tobler and Prock went to dinner here not too long ago. They're good friends, and Robert and I are good friends. We had dinner last night and watched the UFC fight. I told them at the other end [Sunday], 'You guys bring everything I got out when I have to race you.' "
However, Capps let his annoyance spill out: "I got so tired of hearing about Force [Racing] winning every race. I got tired hearing about Robert. I love him but I got tired of hearing about him on this race streak"
The tech-savvy Capps hopped on Twitter and spoke up for Hight as soon as he learned IndyCar's Will Power won the first-quarter driver-of-the-year voting. "It irritated me that they didn’t give him that," Capps said, "but I told him, ‘I’m tired of hearing about you winning.’
"I know Tobler's the same way. We go up there, and it brings everything we've got to race those guys, so to beat them was huge."
Venting is a healthy exercise. So if Capps can say what he's tired of, so can we at Competition Plus.
Here's what we're tired of:
- The media -- ourselves included -- mentioning how long it has been since Tony Schumacher won a race. (See there? We did it again.) Schumacher is leading the Top Fuel standings, for goodness sake. He has won seven championships and 67 races. Why is that not enough for us? Pat Dakin hasn't won since 1973, and nobody mentions that each time he pulls up to the starting line. And Schumacher, to his credit, is trying to help us out so we'll stop, already -- he has been to four final rounds in seven races this year. Why did we mention Sunday that his winless streak has ballooned to 30 events? (Sorry -- it's hard not to say it!)
- Goofy things that keep preventing Erica Enders from getting her first victory in the Pro Stock class. She has great resources with Victor Cagnazzi Racing, a smart crew chief in Dave Connolly, excellent personnel, a loyal sponsor in Gaston Kearby, and statistics in her favor. In the past three events, Enders has had excellent reaction times, including one at .024 seconds in her losing match Sunday against Allen Johnson. Seven of her most recent nine reaction times have been .027 seconds or better, and she has won on a holeshot in three of her past four races. Enders still has that feisty confidence, saying, "If I bet, my money would be on me, that's for sure. I know that every time I get in that car, I mean business. You've got to have that attitude. You can't go up there questioning yourself. You've got to be calm and confident. That's what I am. Our day will come. We've got a great team, and we're fighters."
- Ike Maier showing up to race in the Top Fuel class and never bringing enough doughnuts for everybody in the pits from sponsor Tim Horton's. He's hungry for his first NHRA victory. We're hungry for a double chocolate cake doughnut or a Dutchie or something else yummy. At least throw everybody some Timbits!
- Greg Anderson and Jason Line continually beating themselves up for not being perfect with every run. It's never going to happen -- to anyone. So enjoy your blessings! Why argue with Confucius, who is said to have said, "Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." Maybe Anderson and Line are simply confused, like basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain was. He said, "They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." Makes sense. But if nothing else, check out Sir Winston Churchill's dramatic warning: "The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye." Yikes! You want to happen to you, fellas? No? Then stop it!
- Television stations ignoring drag racing altogether until someone, such as current NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan and ADRL Top Sportsman racer Lizzy Musi, has a spectacular explosion or crash and then showing footage of that again and again.
- Waiting for a decision about the DSR Top Fuel canopy.
- Never seeing Eddie Hill at a drag race.
- The NHRA's constant interference in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class with regard to weight mandates and parity. We get the theory. We also get that the system doesn't seem to work: the rules keep changing, depending on who leans on the sanctioning body most, perhaps? Whatever the catalyst, everybody keeps complaining. If someone else's mousetrap sells better than yours and you want to be competitive, you need to design a new and effective mousetrap. But the latest NHRA move came March 20, increasing the minimum weight for the Harley-Davidson 160-cubic-inch-displacement, four-valve combination by 20 pounds (from 640 pounds to 660 pounds). So the Harley-Davidsons of Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines are carrying around 20 extra pounds like some of us after Thanksgiving dinner. Fat lot of good the move accomplished. The bike class has had three races. Krawiec has won two. Hines won the other. "It (the added 20 pounds) definitely slowed it (the motorcycle) down," reigning series champion Krawiec said Sunday at Atlanta after his 13th victory. "I have tried to explain it to everybody that the extra weight, the 20 pounds, it wasn't going to make us not competitive. The goal, I think of NHRA, was obviously to try and bring us back into the pack, and by the performance of the Hectors (Arana Sr. and Arana Jr.) I think that definitely happened there."
So there you have it. And hey, Ron Capps, let's compare notes again sometime. It's kind of therapeutic.
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