Photo courtesy Ron Capps official Twitter account

NHRA: Ron Capps shows lots of class with comments about John Force’s struggles

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JOLIET, Illinois — It’s likely that several of John Force’s arch-rivals on the drag strip have enjoyed, even privately snickered at his struggles this season.

But not Ron Capps.

The 2016 NHRA Funny Car champ and second-winningest driver in Funny Car history (57 to Force’s 148 wins) did one of the classiest things seen in the NHRA in quite some time Sunday during eliminations of the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in suburban Chicago.

John Force. Photo: Getty Images.

Force and Capps squared off in a semifinal round. Coming into the run, Force had led the rivalry between the two with 56 round wins over the years to 36 by Capps and Force was hoping to go on to win the event, which would have been his first victory of 2018.

It was not to be, however. Force hit the timing block at the finish line, which resulted in a lane violation that would have disqualified him.

But that was all relative, as Capps reached the finish line first to win the run and reach the 111th final round of his career.

Afterward, Capps was interviewed in the cool down area and said some very classy things about Force. Other drivers could take a few pointers from Capps’ comments.

“John is my hero,” Capps said. “It’s hard to watch him struggle. It ain’t him or his guys. This isn’t him.

“(When they got to the start line) I had it in my heart that old man is going to get up and bite me.”

But Capps prevailed and moved on to the finals vs. Robert Hight, Force’s teammate and president of John Force Racing. Hight would go on to win the event when Capps lost traction near mid-track.

Force has endured three motor explosions and three crashes in the first nine races this season, including hitting the wall and bursting into fire Saturday night. He’s also having his worst season performance-wise since 2007, coming into this weekend’s race ranked 12th in the Funny Car point standings.

However, after Sunday, Force has moved into the top 10 for the first time this season (he’s now 10th).

Before he took his car to the pits to prepare it for the final round matchup, Capps added one last classy comment about Force, “Don’t give up on the guy, because I’m not.”

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Dean Wilson out for the remainder of the Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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