Capps Gets Unique Shot(s) to Win Title(s) at Brainerd International Raceway
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 17, 2016) – Ron Capps was crestfallen two years ago when his championship race against John Force was rained out at Brainerd International Raceway and washed out a chance to celebrate a possible victory with hundreds of loyal NAPA AUTO PARTS fans in northern Minnesota
The final was postponed until two weeks later as part of the U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis when Capps posted the Brainerd win with crew chief Rahn Tobler and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team.
He shipped the NHRA Wally trophy to the Minnesota for a tour of NAPA AUTO PARTS stores around Brainerd.
— #NHRA (@NHRA) August 17, 2016
This weekend at Brainerd, Capps gets two chances to raise an NHRA Wally trophy with his throng of NAPA fans because rain on Aug. 5 at the last race near Seattle delayed the Funny Car final round between Capps and Del Worsham to Saturday’s first qualifying session at Brainerd. Another opportunity will be Sunday during the regularly scheduled eliminations at Brainerd.
“Everybody here, nothing against the fans here, but this is for the Brainerd fans,” he said after winning two years ago in the postponed final at Indy. “This win really is for Brainerd and the amazing fans there. I could smell cheese (curds) cooking in the North Forty.
“This (trophy) is going to every NAPA store in Minnesota so you can touch it, you can pour stuff on it, you can do whatever you want with it in your local NAPA store and then it’s going to go up to track owners Christie and Jed (Copham) in Brainerd and it’s going to get put out in the ‘zoo’ (campgrounds) somehow.”
And true to his promise, the trophy toured through NAPA country and a “Ron’s Traveling Wally,” Facebook page was created.
Capps, who holds a commanding lead in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings, arrives at Brainerd with a category-best four event titles this year through 16 races and is coming off career-best performances with a best elapsed time of 3.843 seconds and 330.23 mph at Seattle.
“That was another great run by Tobler and the NAPA team,” he said. “So many Funny Cars were running in the 3.8s at Seattle in great conditions and it looks like we could see similar conditions this weekend at Brainerd.
“It’s really ironic after we couldn’t run for the trophy two years ago at Brainerd that we get to go back now with a chance to win two trophies.
“I know Tobler will have our NAPA Dodge ready for another fast weekend, but we have to focus on good qualifying runs on Friday and then the final against Del before we start thinking about this Sunday. I love driving this car.”
Capps arrives at Brainerd International Raceway with a 189-point over Courtney Force and can extend that by 20 on Saturday if he beats Worsham in the rain-delayed Seattle final round.
Brainerd and the U.S. Nationals, to be held over Labor Day Weekend near Indianapolis, close out the 18-race Mello Yello season. The points payout in the U.S. Nationals are increased by 50 percent; each round win is worth 30 points instead of the customary 20 meaning the event winner will earn 150 instead of 100 at the other 23 Mello Yello events.
After Indy, the top-10 drivers in each pro category will earn opportunities to race for world championships in the six-event Countdown to the Championship playoff that run concurrently with regular Mello Yello competition.
At that point, points for the top-10 are reset with the regular season winner starting the Countdown opener at Charlotte with 2,110, which includes a 20-point bonus for finishing first in the regular season. Second place starts 30 points behind with 2,080 and the following contenders drop at 10-point increments through the 10th position.
Ron Capps: NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T – Seattle final round ppd. to Brainerd
Seattle nitro finals postponed by rain to Brainerd; stats for Capps thru Seattle semis
Last event: Seattle (Aug. 5, 2016): Qualified No. 2, will race Del Worsham for Seattle title on Saturday
A year ago at Brainerd: Qualified No. 11, lost in first round to Robert Hight
Career at Brainerd: Wins 5 (1998. 2001, 2012-14); Runner-ups 3 (1997, 2009, 2011); Poles 1 (2000)
*48 FC/1 TF; Best time, speed: 3.843 sec. (2016, Seattle); 330.23 mph (2016, Seattle)
2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
Top 10 after 16 of 24 events (with Seattle Funny Car Final to be held at Brainerd, Minn.)
|1||Ron Capps (4 or 5)||1313 or 1333|
|2||Courtney Force (1)||1124|
|3||Jack Beckman (1)||1088|
|4||Del Worsham (0 or 1)||1070 or 1090|
|5||Matt Hagan (2)||1011|
|6||Robert Hight (1)||988|
|7||John Force (2)||970|
|8||Tommy Johnson Jr. (1)||940|
|9||Tim Wilkerson (2)||862|
|10||Alexis DeJoria (1)||765|
NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals Event Schedule (all times CT)
Friday: 3:30 pm, 6:00 pm – Nitro Qualifying
Saturday: 1:30 pm, 4:00 pm – Nitro Qualifying
Sunday: 11:00 am – Championship Eliminations
NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals TV Schedule (all times ET)
Saturday: 3:00 pm – Seattle Final Round on FS1
Saturday: 10:00 pm – Qualifying on FS1
Sunday: 2:00 pm – Championship Eliminations on FS1