Climbing in Standings, Capps Heads to NHRA Fall Nationals
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 13, 2015) – Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team face a crucial visit this weekend to the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
The NHRA Fall Nationals that begins Friday is the fourth of six events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Countdown to the Championship playoff and Ron knows his team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler is ready to make another move up the standings.
The NAPA team qualified second at the last Mello Yello event two weeks ago near Reading, Pa., and advanced to the semifinals to move from sixth to fifth in the championship standings and cut Del Worsham’s points lead to 105 points, about five rounds.
While that is a large deficit, Ron believes his NAPA team can chip away at it and get his first NHRA world championship.
“This is drag racing and anything can happen,” he said. “We know we have a good NAPA Dodge and that showed with our performances at the last two races.”
Ron’s run three weeks ago near St. Louis was his career best of 3.937 seconds and top speed at 327.19 mph. Two weeks ago near Reading, Pa., the NAPA team qualified second and produced its best time of the weekend at 3.969.
After using his driving experience to feather the throttle to overcome briefly losing traction to win in the first round, he used a 3.969 to advance to the semifinals for the third time this year. But his day was ended when Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman unloaded an NHRA record 3.897 en route to winning the event title at Maple Grove Raceway.
“That was a heck of a run by Jack and no one was going to beat him,” said Ron, who has won twice in five championship rounds this year.
“This NAPA team will never give up. There are 150 points we can win at each of the last three races and we’re just focusing on this weekend at the Motorplex,” he said of where he won in 1998 and was runner-up in 2011.
Ron’s visit to Dallas begins Thursday night with a special dinner hosted by Bob Gant, NAPA Dallas Distribution Center president and general manager, for the NAPA team and several key NAPA customers and employees.
“Bob is one of our biggest supporters and comes to a lot of races,” Ron said. “The forecast this weekend is for it to be in the 80s so I’m sure he’ll be wearing shorts.”
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Last weekend at Reading, Pa: Qualified No. 2; lost in semifinals to Jack Beckman
A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 3; lost in first round to Tim Wilkerson
Career at Dallas: Wins 1 (1998); Runner-ups 1 (2011); Poles 2 (1997, 2005)
*44 FC/1 TF; Best Time, Speed: 3.937 sec., (2015, St. Louis); 327.19 mph (2015, St. Louis)
2015 NHRA Countdown Funny Car Standings
After Reading, 21 of 24 races; 3 playoff races remaining
|1||Del Worsham (2)||2361||----|
|2||Jack Beckman (7)||2345||-16|
|3||Matt Hagan (4)||22711||-90|
|4||Tommy Johnson, Jr. (3)||2263||-98|
|5||Ron Capps (2)||2256||-105|
|6||John Force (2)||2211||-150|
|8||Tim Wilkerson (1)||2162||-199|
|10||Robert Hight (1)||2140||-221|
AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Event Schedule
Friday: 3:30, 6:30 p.m. CT, qualifying
Saturday: 1:30, 4:30 p.m. CT, qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m. CT, championship eliminations
Sunday: 4-5 p.m. ET, qualifying
Sunday: 8-11 p.m. ET, championship eliminations